Unless you are lucky enough to operate in a market where you have a unique product and little competition it is likely that being found on the search engines for your chosen words/ phrases will become increasingly difficult, this is where Search Engine Marketing comes in.
What is Search Engine Marketing?
Search Engine Marketing is a form of marketing that promotes a website on search engines by increasing their position in the results using optimisation and advertising techniques, such as SEO and PPC.
You can find out more about the different aspects of Search Engine Marketing below:
Why is this important?
Ultimately the search engines will provide the most relevant results possible connected to the search criteria, however these days you will find that your website might be pushed down the rankings by multimedia, social networking sites, videos or e-brochures, blogs or images, therefore the need to optimise your website for blended search becomes paramount.
To stay at the top of your internet and marketing online challenges, demands an ongoing programme of tuning and monitoring to ensure the changing dynamics of the market, the customers and your competitors is understood and responded to.
What is Blended Search?
Its basically an integrated approach to your internet marketing online. The diagram below gives an overview of the key requirements to deliver a true ‘blended search’ and establish the business as the primary provider of your particular offering within the market place.
Blogging online has grown in popularity over the last few years, in fact the word ‘blog’ is now part of our everyday vocabulary. A blog provides a very straight forward platform for you to share your news and keep your followers updated with news and articles relevant to your company. Regular entries of commentary, videos and events updates can all be posted on a blog easily. These posts are quickly picked up by the search engines and can drive more traffic to your website. They can also be shared on social media to further increase traffic and popularity.
Over time you’ll gain an audience of subscribers to your blog who will be notified every time you post something. Imagine how quickly your message can be received by individuals that are interested in what you have to say.
Building relationships is key to your online success, a blog is a two-way street where your audience can join in and have their say. By being transparent you will gain trust and respect from your audience, all of a sudden your company will have be much more approachable as you have a ‘face’.
Viral marketing can explode your marketing efforts, Blogs are more easily picked up by social bookmarking sites and if your goes viral that will push more visitors to your website.
A Blog becomes a point of differentiation, if you are writing about what you do and how you deliver, you can demonstrate your unique selling points and why new prospects should do business with you.
You will become known as an expert in your field which will bring about lots of PR opportunities from journalists who will approach you instead of your competitors.
On a practical level a web blog is a time-saver as its great place to post your articles that you can then also push out to your clients via email marketing.
How can we help?
If you need help with your blogging, then talk to us. We can help you to setup a blog, or implement one on your website to make it even easier to update. We’re also available to help advise you on how to make the most out of your blog, by good practice techniques such as including target keywords
One out of five searches on Google is localised, i.e. the visitor has indicated the town that they want the results to be located in, e.g Plumber in Oxford
A great way to make sure that your business is located when someone conducts a local search is to get your business onto Google Places.
What is Google Places?
Google Places is a local listing for your business, which appears on the ‘Maps’ section of Google and recently has been incorporated into Google+ pages. This is a listing with relevant information about your business such as contact information, short description and photos / videos. This can also include a link back to your website.
This is a great application for business owners that wish to be found locally (for example a hairdressers) and with Google’s recent developments, it’s a highly effective way of getting your business listed higher on the search engines.
How can we help?
We can populate your business place page with information pertinent to your business, including opening times, coupons, photos and videos. The Place page is like a web page in its own right all about your business.
Once you have your on page SEO optimisation in place your next step to achieving more visitors to your website is through a comprehensive linking strategy. This is because your placement in the Google search rankings is partly attributed to the analysis of those sites that link to you. However the quality and relevance of the links are king as these will positively (or negatively) affect your rating.
Building your linking strategy
A linking strategy is built gradually over a period of time to deliver inbound links to your website. These inbound links can come from a variety of places such as directories, relevant websites, PR/ New pieces, blog posts and social networking sites.
The best links come from sites of high quality and relevance to yourself, so it’s worth asking your partners or customers if they’ll put a link on their website for you.
A strategy over time should enhance the popularity of your site and increase your website traffic.
How can we help?
We can help you to develop an effective linking strategy and help you to develop these links over a period of time.
Seeing and hearing is believing, our society and your potential customers are looking to be educated, informed and entertained. Users of the internet are now getting much more sophisticated in how they absorb information and educate themselves online. The use of multimedia with video, sound and e-brochures in your marketing mix provides visitors with an enhanced experience that ‘touches’ all the senses.
A website with an audio/visual experience typically has a greater ‘stickiness’ which means that visitors stay on your website longer and absorb much more of your information, the two main points of multimedia are clarity and interaction and using a variety of images, videos and words in your marketing message enhances this.
Videos and e-brochures are also valuable tools which you can use to get some more inbound links to your website.
Video Production and E-Brochures
Videos are a great way to add an extra dimension to your marketing mix and once produced have a life long shelf life so can be used time and again. Perhaps you could get some customers to give positive feedback for your company on camera? Or you could put together a series of training videos. These could then be uploaded to a video sharing website, such as YouTube and then embedded onto your website.
Why send your prospects to a flat pdf that provides no level of interaction, when you can send them an e-brochure. Not only do e-brochures look fantastic your prospects can bookmark the areas which interest them and easily forward them to their colleagues.
You can also put the link at the bottom of your email signature, a great way to get people you know to look at new sales promotions or information about your company that you want to share.
How can we help?
If you’re interested in creating some multimedia for your marketing, we can help you come up with innovative ideas for videos and put you in touch with the right people to help produce your videos. We can then assist in optimising these and help to get them online.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
Pay Per Click (PPC) can be a way of obtaining quick results for your target keywords as you are guaranteed a page 1 listing (in comparison to seo optimisation – organic listings based on merit). Structuring your campaign and ad groups in the right way will make your online advertising more efficient to manage, more targeted and more cost effective. At IRUN we typically work with Google adwords and adsense as we believe that the Google ads are seen by a larger audience that other advertising methods.
Self-management is an option but each campaign will benefit from being planned to achieve the stated objectives and actively managed to ensure:
- They use all the selected key words plus the use of geographic terms is appropriate.
- There is full ‘split testing’ of adverts to assess campaign effectiveness.
- Active bid cost management to better control costs.
- Appropriate use of use keywords matching (broad, phrase, exact, negative).
- Use of Google analytics to track performance.
Make sure your cost per click is viable for you
‘Click Costs’ -This is the actual cost per click and applies every time one of your adverts is clicked on. Costs are determined by Google through their ‘quality score’ which is affected by a number of factors including the level of competition, Ad relevancy, campaign history etc. These fees are paid directly to Google and are typically paid on a monthly basis by credit card, it is our job to make sure these are at their optimum rate.
How can we help?
We will work with you to establish the best keywords to target, by conducting keyword research. We can then help you to create a successful PPC campaign and provide ongoing management services.
Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the name of the process which affects how your website is ‘ranked’ by search engines, such as Google and Yahoo. Your website’s ranking determines which page of the search engine’s results your website gets listed on. Any website owner’s objective is to get their website to the top of page 1 on the major search engines.
SEO internet marketing is a complex process, although not as difficult as some ‘experts’ make out. Having said that, you cannot learn SEO optimisation skills overnight. With help from IRUN your website will rank more highly with the search engines, and this will aid your online business development.
How can we help?
Getting your SEO internet marketing right starts with having the right foundations in place. We can help you to optimise your website on page and with your SEO internet marketing campaigns. We have proven success in helping clients reach page 1 on the major search engines. Using keyword analysis, keyword rich content, and a linking strategy, your website presence can be taken to a new level.
Social Networks these days rank very well in the search engines and used correctly can enhance your online brand and reputation management (conversely they can damage it too!) Just like an HR manager will ‘google’ a prospective employee before hiring them, your prospects will ‘google’ you. It’s your job to make sure that what they find has a positive impact on their decision making process.
Once your reputation is protected and managed its then time to ‘use’ these social network sites for your business. Through them you can:
- Find collaboration partners that you can work with (across the Globe potentially)
- Start a relationship with people you’d never normally get through to on the telephone
- Meet other experts in your field that you can bounce ideas off
- Viral Marketing, if you manage to get your information to go ‘viral’ then the results can be astounding
This all sounds great – but where do you start?
We know that the prospect of ‘doing’ all of this sounds immense, after all you’ve only got 24 hours in any one day. But we can help you, by putting together a simple social networking strategy for you, we will help you with our 3 step plan:
Step 1 – protect your online brand
- We will help you get started on all the main Social Networking Sites
- We will help you get a consistent profile and message across your networks
- We can help you with privacy settings if you really want to keep some things private
Step 2 – monitor your reputation online
- We will introduce you to the tools that we use to monitor what is being said about you, your company and any keywords that are of interest to you.
Step 3 – time for you to get involved
- We will help you build your professional network
- We will help you position yourself as an authority in your field.
As with anything online to build your ‘brand’ on social network sites does require a little time and effort. However you’ll be amazed at how a few minutes a day, following a simple social networking strategy, will reap rewards for your business and add to the ‘blended search optimisation’ goal.
How can we help?
We can help you to setup the relevant social media profiles and advise on best practice to make the most out of it.
Monitoring and evaluation is an essential part of any programme for enhancing ongoing site popularity. You need to be able to track performance and make the necessary amendments to your website to gain maximum advantage of all of your online marketing activities.
In order to help you achieve this we use the free tool from Google, Google analytics. With this tool you can:
Find out where your website visitors are coming from.
- Understand what marketing initiatives are working for you (and which ones are not).
- Understand and identify where visitors are leaving your website and which pages need improving.
- Understand which pages are your most popular and which links most visitors click on.
- Analytics integrates into your ppc campaign so that you can understand your conversion rates.
This tool ultimately gives you the information to track individual user activity and also to track your campaigns through your landing pages. It ultimately will help you with your search engine optimistion and your conversion architecture to gain you more clients.
How can we help?
We can help you in multiple ways, simply by setting up your Google analytics on your website so that you can have access to all of this rich marketing information, or, we can provide a monthly report to you with our recommended actions for improvement based on our findings