The Truth of Online Presence
Our social media experts at Naartjie Multi Media sent this article for us to review. As Columbus’ official destination marketing organization, we’re always looking for ways to be better today than we were yesterday — always (just ask the Staff). And with social media growing by leaps and bounds and new sites (Pinterest) popping up that demand serious analysis for incorporating into the strategy, more information is needed to make those critical decisions.
The origination of the article is Local Search Source. Here’s a brief capsule of what they’re saying:
Local Business owners CAN and SHOULD understand the truth about their online visibility. They need to be visible, they need to be found, and need to generate new sales/increase clients; so let’s cut to the chase…
Focus on the most critical, controllable factors with the online piece of the puzzle, you’ll be off to a good start.
- Invest in a well-built website – this is your foundation for everything going forward! You’ll be rewarded on multiple levels, especially if you stay away from those free, template websites. Rule of thumb: “you get what you pay for”, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend thousands of dollars. As a marketing tool, is your website doing it’s job? Is it optimized for mobile (check here if you’re not sure)? Learn more here, and take a look at Search Engine Land’s 8-point checklist for local websites.
- And by “well-built” (above), it’s the site’s optimization. For example, if Google doesn’t know who you are, what you do, and where your located, your site is nothing more than “an expensive secret”. Make sure your site is search engine friendly!
- Take control of your online business information – this is critical information (like your name, number, URL, hour of operation, and address) that’s distributed across the web and shared across various properties – so if it’s inaccurate or incomplete in one place, it’s probably inaccurate or incomplete in many other places. Yes, Google Places is an important first step, but due to continued technological advances and user fragmentation they’re literally hundreds of other directories, databases, search engines and app’s to consider. Time consuming – yes. But necessary. Start by checking your listing and profile information here.
- “Get social”. For two reasons; you’ll be found in more places, and your be rewarded with some positive organic rank/optimization. Focus on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and G+ to start.
- Reputation management – Rep. Mgt tools (and even something as easy as Google Alerts) allow you to monitor your online ratings, reviews and citations. How will you address those unfair or negative reviews if you don’t know about them?
- Search Engine Marketing - simply put, pay-per-click advertising plugs the holes that SEO cannot fill. You want to be found regardless of how prospects are searching, right? A properly designed campaign uses hundreds of keywords and keyword combinations, as well as multiple ad groups and sophisticated analytic analysis and call/lead tracking to drive a strong return-on-investment. And don’t forget about the strong relationship between paid search and organic visibility.
- Internet Yellow Pages – always a basic component of local online visibility. And the bonus; IYP users typically convert (buy) at much higher levels than those finding you on Search Engines or Social Media.
There you have it. The basic foundation to begin building a comprehensive on-line and social strategy for positive marketing results. And if this is still foreign, I’d suggest contacting our techies at Naartjie