With so many online marketing tools and tactics at your disposal these days–and so many resources telling you what you should and should not do to improve your website’s online presence–it’s difficult to know where to start. Which areas of Online Marketing Optimization (OMO) should you focus on to achieve online marketing success?
The answer is no single area of online marketing will produce the desired result: A website that is a legitimate marketing machine. This is a digest of the common marketing threads that yield successful websites via a mix of paid and non-paid methods. The overarching idea is to engage in inbound marketing – Creating ways for your customers to find you instead of bombarding them with marketing messages in the hopes that some will respond.
We call the items below the 5 pillars of Online Marketing Optimization because, used together, they will bring your website optimum results.
We say Blogs but really this is an argument for content in ALL forms, with your blog as the foundation or hub of the content. One of the best ways to generate traffic to your website is through content marketing. Write blogs that are specific to your industry, product or service with the intention to provide valuable information to your customers. And be sure to transform those blogs into various pieces of content: images, PDF e-books, podcasts, webinars, videos, micro blogs, tweets, Facebook posts and more.
If you are stuck with what to write, a good way to start is by creating customer personas and by answering every single question your customer has ever asked you about your product or service as per Marcus Sheridan, aka The Sales Lion. This way, you would have an idea on WHO you are writing for and WHAT to write about.
Be sure to submit those blogs to bookmarking sites. Providing sharing buttons makes it easier for your readers to help disseminate your content across the internet for you. Also, by getting your blogs within the blogging community and other sites it creates inbound links which will fuel your organic SEO efforts.
2) Natural Search / Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
A key factor in successful SEO and online marketing optimization is the targeted keyword list. Research the kind of keywords your customers are using to look for you online. Some freely available tools include the Google keyword tool and the SEOBook keyword suggestion tool.
There are two primary aspects to SEO: On-page SEO and Off-page SEO. On-page refers to elements you control within your website and off-page represent links from other websites linking to your content.
Ensure that your keywords are within the content of your blogs, the meta content and H1 Heading tag of your website, the URL, the internal link text within your site and where you can affect it, all external inbound link text. Here is a comprehensive list of how on-page keywords are ranked by Google from SEOmoz.
As for off-page SEO of inbound links, be sure to create relevant, interesting or funny content with unique headlines. Give your readers a reason to want to link to your site. Most of all, request feedback and interaction.
3) Paid search / PPC (Pay-Per-Click)
The ability to reach your primary customers through paid search advertising is an effective way to deliver relevant offering of your products and services to a targeted base of customers.
Even though you may have high organic rankings, it’s important to implement paid search to extend your reach. Go beyond customers you get from the hundreds of keywords driving your organic search results and instead target thousands of keywords with PPC. But don’t take just our word for it, see HubSpot’s strategy on how to run an effective AdWords campaign.
Advertising avenues such as Facebook, LinkedIn and AdWords give marketers the ability to get granular in the audience target profiles, including targeting by geographical location, age, designation, company names, industry and more.
4) Social Media
This doesn’t just mean all you need to do is have a Facebook page or Twitter account. The essence of social media is much more, but also exactly that – being social. Having a Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter account without any updates or conversations is similar to inviting guests to your house and then ignoring them the whole time.
The idea is not only to engage with your audience but also enable conversations between your fans and potential customers. This area of extremely valuable earned media showing you the monetary value of a fan which you have direct contact with is a perfect example of optimizing your online marketing efforts.
There is a reason we listed blogs and content as the first pillar to Online Marketing Optimization, because without that content you can’t win with Social Media on a consistent basis.
Here is a great video featuring Chris Brogan on the best practices and insights into social media marketing.
5) ROI – Measure & Optimize your Return On Investment
- Blogs – Check!
- SEO – Check!
- Paid Search – Check!
- Social Media – Check!
- Return On Investment – ?
Measurement of your marketing mix is the key to providing you with a focused roadmap on what to optimize within the other four pillars of online marketing optimization. Before embarking on your marketing campaign, be sure to have clear objectives, define the audience of the reports, the format and the frequency. This would make measuring the results more effective.
Here is a list of tools that will provide you with the information and analytics to guide you through measuring the work you are doing in order to reach your business objectives.
- Measuring your Blog’s effectiveness
- Measuring your website’s SEO effectiveness
- Measuring conversions and PPC AdWords Conversion Tracking setup information
- Measuring your Social Media effectiveness and reach
We hope this was a good list to help you with your online marketing optimization efforts. Does this help clarify some issues for you? What’d we miss? Let us know what you think, we’d love to read your comments.