1. Build A Holistic Strategy
The most successful internet marketing strategies begin with a holistic approach that includes all three key elements: SEO, Content Marketing, and Social Media Marketing. None of these services is meant to stand alone and while cherry-picking one or two internet marketing elements may offer some short-term gains, you won’t achieve the best results possible for your website. Here are the important roles that each of these services play in a successful internet marketing strategy:
Solid Technical Foundation –
The first step in search engine optimization is ensuring that all the technical elements of your website are in tip-top shape. A technical audit will identify if your site currently has appropriate meta titles and descriptions, H1-H2-H3 hierarchy, page redirects, and URL structure, and whether there are any issues with duplicate content, inadequate content on key pages or site speed.
On-Site Optimization –
Through on-site optimization, SEO is giving your website the very best chance to be found in appropriate online searches. Your SEO team will collect a comprehensive and exhaustive list of all the keywords and phrases that represent your website, and will work to make on-page content changes to incorporate these keywords into your home page, product and service pages, blog posts, and resource pages.
Inbound Links –
Once your site is technically solid, SEO moves onto off-site optimization. In this phase, SEO works to create inbound links to your website from other sites. Inbound links are still one of the most influential ranking factors that search engines pay attention to. When influential, relevant websites link back to you, it’s seen by the search engines as a “vote,” that speaks in your favor. When your website receives more relevant links or “votes,” it tends to rank higher.
Fresh Content –
Websites that are regularly adding fresh content are proven to have higher amounts of traffic. With input from SEO on user search habits, you’ll know what kinds of quality content users want to read and share. Every time you add new content to your site, in the form of a product page, FAQ page, blog post, video, or podcast, Google has the opportunity to index another page that will lead users to your site.
Social Media Marketing
Social Signals –
Utilizing social media gives you the opportunity to engage with and gain insight from users who have chosen to follow your brand. With your social media platforms you can build personal relationships with these users, in an effort to build brand loyalty. Social signals are a growing indicator of your brand’s authority and expertise. When users share, like, and comment on the content you publish on your social channels, it shows that your brand is popular and trustworthy. As a result, Google is more likely to give your website more presence in the search results.
Putting It All Together
SEO, content, and social media truly rely on and support each other. Each is an important gear in the internet marketing cycle.
Content + SEO
This pairing is where you see a lot of the work happen on your site. A consistent schedule of unique and relevant content plays a big role in your SEO strategy. Fresh content prompts Google to crawl and index your website which can improve your standing in search engine results. Identifying the topics that users are searching for and ensuring that all content is keyword optimized are two important ways that SEO support content.
Social + Content
Social media and content marketing are a perfect pair. Every new piece of content you create for your website should also be shared on your social media channels. Social media takes your content to a wider audience than it would have simply living on your website alone. By analyzing social likes, shares and comments, content marketers can identify what types of content users best respond to.
SEO + Social
SEO and social media may seem like the furthest removed components of internet marketing, but in reality, they work closely together. Social media can offer SEO plenty of insight into the topics that followers are searching for and responding to, as more and more users are taking internet searches off the standard search engine platforms. In response, SEO can offer social media focus keywords to drive their posts. The two also partner together build relationships with influencers, experts, and thought leaders in your industry, which opens up the door to link building opportunities.
2. Define Your Target Personas
There are two simple ways you can derail the success of your internet marketing strategy:
- Delivering the right message to the wrong audience.
- Delivering the wrong message to the right audience.
Luckily, both of these mistakes can be avoided by building personas that define your target audience. Using Google Analytics, you can start with the simple demographics of your website or social media users, including their age, gender, and geography. These basics will start to build the outline of your target user, but for your internet marketing strategy to really work, you need to fill in that outline and give your user a personality. This will help you gain a better understanding of how your audience thinks, works, and lives. To get into the mind of your target user, ask yourself these types of questions:
- What is her job? What does that position look like in her company?
- What does his family look like? Is he single? Married? Have kids?
- Is he the final decision maker or the information gatherer?
- How and where does he gather his information?
- Who are the other influencers in her business decisions or buying habits?
- What social media sites does she use? What websites does he visit frequently?
Take an extra step by assigning a character or celebrity who embodies the target persona you’ve created. It’s not necessary, but it does help to add a face and name to your audience, that everyone can relate to. Working with a specific persona in mind makes it’s easier for all service areas to put together a successful internet marketing strategy. For content and social media marketing, personas help to develop a “voice” for the brand. Should your content “talk” to users like a friend or neighbor, or should it project a sense of authority? A persona also helps a social media team know what articles, images, or videos (outside of your original content) they should be sharing on social channels. On the SEO side, understanding the user persona helps to focus efforts on the influencers that users follow and respond to.
3. Determine Your SMART Goals
Goals are essential for proving that you’re running a successful internet marketing strategy. Start by identifying the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that you want your internet strategy to improve, these can include Domain Authority, social engagement, users’ time on site, average page visits, or conversion completions. Once you determined your KPIs, you have to get SMART with your goals. S – Specific M – Measurable A – Attainable R – Relevant T – Time-bound and Trackable Here are a few examples of SMART goals that you can set for your marketing strategy:
- Increase the number of qualified leads through Request More Information by 20% in twelve months.
- Increase the number of landing pages on the site by 30% within the first six months and by 50% in the first year.
- Reduce bounce rate by 10% by the end of year one.