Content marketing is absolutely essential for increasing the exposure of your business online. Compared to traditional forms of marketing like print marketing or television marketing, content marketing also promises a higher return on investment, more relevance to your local consumers, and greater exposure for your brand.
On that last point, content marketing brings together a host of different strategies to increase your website’s organic traffic and your brand’s overall exposure. A few of these tools involve social media (e.g., social media marketing), inbound marketing and content strategy, and search engines (e.g., search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising).
Once you have a functional website up and running as well as a social media presence, search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine advertising are really the two ingredients to bring it all together.
Think about it, wouldn’t a great website that didn’t receive equally great traffic be at a minor competitive disadvantage? It sure would, but with search engine optimization, you can avoid that problem and increase your online exposure.
SEO and Search Engine Advertising Absolutely Essential
The name of the game with search engine optimization in ensuring that your website achieves page one status on major search engines.
That’s the theory, but in practice what does this all look like? It means that search engine optimization should allow your local customers to find, for instance, your hot dog business if they’re looking for a local place to have lunch. If someone else is thinking about franchising a hot dog business, they can find you thanks to stronger SEO as well.
You want to make things incredibly easy for your customers. In a sense by checking off all of the technical details that go into search engine optimization, you can facilitate a more seamless customer experience and allow your business to be found more easily.
In other words, although the end goal driving SEO is incredibly straightforward (i.e., increasing your website’s traffic and online findability) the means of getting there are pretty technical, though understandable once you hire a digital marketing firm. In essence, your success on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! depends on predictable factors within your control.
Quality Content and Website Responsiveness
The quality and relevance of your content in customers’ eyes matters a lot, so having regular blog contributions can help your business here.
Making sure that your website is responsive for customers no matter what device they’re coming at you from (tablet, PC, smartphone, etc.) is also hugely important—that’s called being “responsive” across devices. From there, making sure the “architecture” of your site is solid through HTML coding is critical for success.
Search engines also take a lot of data on your customers to find out how much of an authority you are in the field. The ways in which search engines like Google go about this aren’t yet fully understood but it seems to hinge on factors like how long people stay on your site and how deeply engaged local customers are with your website.
Whether your customers stay and “click through” your website or quickly “bounce back” onto Google is an important metric that Google and other search engines heavily take into account.
As it turns out, you can do a lot to influence how “personalized” your website is for customers going through search engines. Making sure that you have the right SEO keywords—or words and particular phrases that your customers are likely to search for—on your website is one surefire way to get found on major search engines.
Finally, a process known as “link building” can give your website higher search results as well.
Local SEO and Pay-per-click Advertising
Local search engine optimization (a.k.a., local SEO) is a tool that allows local businesses to be found by customers at just the time that your services are needed by them.
Local SEO promotes your company’s name, phone number, and address to local customers searching for the kind of services you’re purveying on major search engines. This means that there’s a good chance customers will stop by your brick-and-mortar store that day!
The majority of customers hop on to search engines when they’re looking for, say, a local fast-food restaurant. Since more and more of your local customers are coming at your business from smartphones, local SEO is definitely something that you need to get in on.
Pay-per-click advertising initiatives like Google AdWords can also increase your website traffic by allowing your ads to appear on the biggest search engine in the world!