Maybe traditional media and word of mouth have been successful in driving new leads to your business for decades.
Maybe sales are growing without the aid of a dominating online presence, tweets about your brand, or an effective email marketing campaign. But, if your competition has a better grasp of today’s trends and tomorrow’s technology, they have a tremendous advantage to gaining market share and appealing to the online audience your advertising is neglecting.
Here are just a few of the most effective marketing technology your business should be using right now.
WordPress Vs. Wix
Maybe you’re not on WordPress or Wix but these two symbolize the bookends of a wide digital gap. 25% of the sites online are built on the WordPress platform for good reason. This content management system gives greater control to the end user and is better optimized for search engines than a free website builder or other less supported technologies. Their immense online support community create a perfect platform to easily create and manage a business website. Additional tools such as Yoast SEO and Nelio A/B Testing offer significant advantages over other platforms. Wix may offer the convenience of a DIY, low-cost website, but there are some crippling limitations. You may end up with a satisfactory template design, but you limit the ability to optimize your site for search engines. Thus, forfeiting the opportunity to court a whole segment of potential customers who will never find your website in search results.
Your website is often the first exposure a consumer has of your brand. Consider a website visitor landing on your home page the same as if they were walking into your physical store. You would want the store to appear professional, organized, and information needed to make a purchasing decision easily accessible.
A Google AdWords paid search advertising campaign to increase visibility and generate traffic is one example of how technology can significantly impact the exposure your company has online. This can direct users searching for keywords relevant to your products and services with highly visible ad placement above or below organic results. Optimizing your campaign, content, and cost-per-click can take significant effort. Diligent research, intelligent management, and creative ad placement are an investment- but can provide positive ROI with the right team in place.
Pay-per-click advertising is the “right now” solution to driving traffic to your website. While the cost and complexity of a PPC campaign can scare some business owners unfamiliar with online advertising, the payoff can be immense. Intelligent keyword targeting, web banner advertising, and remarketing are all brilliant uses of technology to gain an advantage over the competition who is not running an effective, or any, PPC campaign. However, as more businesses engage in PPC, the price per click and competitiveness increase.
Search Engine Optimization
Have you given thought to the buyers you want to attract, or the phrases they use to search for your products and services online? There is a science to choosing the highest volume, lowest competition, best long-tail keywords to attract visitors to your site. While SEO can increase visibility in search results, there are many other ways to increase conversion rates once they are there. You can make enhancements to landing pages and experiment with different content and messaging for getting your customers to take action. A blog can be instrumental for sharing your expertise with your target audience, expanding on your long-tail keyword strategy, and contributing to the success of your search engine optimization efforts. These are just a few great practices to facilitate a dominating digital presence.
Keeping up to date with Google’s constantly changing rules, having a solid keyword strategy and click-worthy, high-value content are building blocks in the foundation of effective SEO. But, optimizing your site for search engines can range from updating code and content to the performance of your site on mobile devices. Images being named correctly, sized appropriately, even where content is placed can have a significant impact on your company’s visibility in search engines. SEO is just the tip of the iceberg for enhancing your business website and online presence.
2015 was the first year more than half of all searches came from a mobile device- in 2016 the trend continues. The new standard is a mobile-friendly website that responds or adapts to any screen size. Google considers this one of the most important factors in user experience and often places sites that are optimized for mobile higher in results than websites that are not. Responsive design is a design optimized for a phone, tablet, or another mobile device. The content fits the screen, so it doesn’t involve pinching, zooming, and scrolling from side to side in order to consume content.
If search engine data isn’t enough to sell you on mobile, consider your customers- Google reports that 48% of users feel that a company doesn’t care about their business if a website doesn’t work well on a smartphone.
Email, Social and So Much More
More than half of all Americans have a profile on a social media site. Chances are your target audience is active somewhere on Facebook, Twitter, or one of the dozens other social networks. For example, LinkedIn serves as an excellent place to network with a wide range of industry professionals and relevant groups to help grow your business. Profiles take on the form of a digital resume and the majority of users are dedicated to growing their professional network and expertise, not sharing pictures of their niece.
The average order value of an email is at least three times higher than that of social media according to McKinsey, yet email remains a significantly underused marketing method. Building an email list and properly leveraging it to market your business has proven to provide positive ROI. However, it takes significant time and effort to build a valuable database internally, or a financial investment to purchase one.
Creating an infographic other high-traffic sites and social media accounts will share with their audience is just one way to draw attention to your digital presence. Gated content, e-books, videos, case studies, white papers- these are all valuable pieces of digital content when considering the different types of buyers. Which techniques are you and your competition using- or not using?
The lost opportunity cost of going another day without taking advantage of marketing technology to gain a competitive advantage is quantifiable by the number of searches for your products and services in search engines in the last 24 hours, among many other measurable metrics. From Google Analytics to marketing automation, understanding these technologies can often determine success or failure in the online marketplace.
How has your company succeeded- or failed- utilizing the marketing technology available to grow your business?