Even to entrepreneurs that have only a rudimentary comprehension of commercial marketing, the need for a robust and visible online presence is obvious.
While understanding this is one thing, however, it is quite another to translate such knowledge into practical steps that make your business website stand out above all others. The first thing to note is that the need for a visible web presence applies to all markets, although it is more pressing in competitive sectors with a high number of service providers.
Beyond this, it is also important to understand the core elements that support a visible web presence. It is no longer enough to create a standalone business website and deploy this as your sole vehicle for web presence marketing, for example, as even resources that can boast a relatively high volume of traffic will lose out if they cannot adequately engage potential customers and retain their attention.
See also: 4 SEO Tricks to Develop Brand Awareness
The Age of Integrated Marketing: Using a Standalone Website as Part of an Integrated Strategy
With these points in mind, it is clear that the use of a standalone website alone is unfit for the purpose of driving a defined marketing campaign in the modern age. Even accounting for the importance of an optimised website that boasts responsive design features, you can only successfully market a business or brand if this is a fundamental part of an integrated web presence marketing strategy. This must include numerous techniques, mediums and management platforms, especially if you are to aggressively target customers and help interested parties to locate your site independently. These include:
Social Media Marketing
Social media stands as the single most important element of your integrated web presence marketing strategy in 2015. This medium has changed traditional promotional and marketing techniques beyond all recognition, with VODs (videos on demand) on YouTube now proving more cost-effective than television advertisements and individual blog pages the prominent tool for establishing thought leadership within a specific industry. There is ample evidence to support this, with the streaming of engaging VODs now outstripping the performance of traditional television advertising which tumbled by 4% in the final quarter of 2014.
When embracing social media marketing, you must create and share content across a rich diversity of media. By opening a commercial blog on Tumblr and sharing promotional or educational videos on YouTube, for example, you can develop relevant and engaging content that effectively targets consumers before sharing this across social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. The individual resources that you use across your integrated social platform will depend largely on the nature of your business, and whether it offers products or services and is led by either imagery or text.
SEO and Mobile Web Design
If we accept that your standalone website is the foundation of your marketing efforts, then this resource must be optimised if interested customers are to locate your business in relation to specific search engine queries. This is despite the changing nature of Google algorithms and updates which, rather than marginalising SEO practices, have simply changed the boundaries of compliance for businesses to retain their visibility online. With mobile searches also continuing to grow at the expense of traditional desktop-generated queries, it is imperative that you strive to optimise your business website strategically to achieve the highest Google ranking possible in 2015.
Instead of diminishing the value of SEO, Google’s updates punish companies that use underhand, black hat promotional techniques. As long as you invest in organic SEO strategies that relate to natural and industry-relevant keywords, you will be able to achieve a positive search engine ranking without incurring penalties. Another key optimisation measure is to develop a responsive website design that is compatible with mobile devices, paying particular attention to landing page load times and the prominent placement of actionable icons.
The Use of CRM and Online Management Suites
With these web presence marketing techniques, you can target new customers, engage them through social media and underpin your strategy with an optimised and mobile-friendly website. These individual elements require careful monitoring and management, however, especially with regards to customer interactions and the maintenance of your company’s reputation. Customer demands and profiles continue to change with time and technological innovation, and an inability to keep pace in real-time is potentially damaging to your brands’ relevance and prominent online presence.
To effectively manage all aspects of your integrated web presence marketing strategy, you will need to deploy a CRM program. This provides a single, comprehensive management suite, through which data can be collated and analysed to provide an insight into every aspect of your overall campaign. The key consideration is consumer behaviour, as changes in profiles and the outlook of customers may alter the way in which you initiate social conversations and maintain an existing reputation. As you adapt your strategy and introduce new measures, you can also use online metrics to evaluate cost effectiveness and ROI (return on investment).
By incorporating these elements into an integrated web presence marketing campaign, you can effectively target customers and interact with them at times when they are most engaged with the brand. Alongside modern search engine optimisation techniques, this will enable you to maintain online visibility and build a robust, virtual presence.