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Internet marketing means telling the world you’re in business. It’s the equivalent of putting a huge sign on your brick and mortar store, placing ads in local newspapers, and activating rotating spotlights in the sky. Getting new customers is tough if they don’t even know your company exists.

The bare minimum of Internet marketing is having a web presence. Search engines list websites if the user types in just the right combination of terms. But your company’s site may nearly impossible to find otherwise.

If you want to increase your audience (which can translate into increased sales), you can use a variety of marketing techniques, but there’s so much you can do while still focusing on just the website.

Keep Your Website Relevant

When was the last time your online presence was updated? The content and the design should get tweaks from time to time. If it has flashy images or popups, make sure they’re comparable to other websites’ techniques. Change the copyright at the bottom to reflect the current year. Research your competition and keep up with the latest technology. The online world changes so quickly.

Mobile-ize

Websites users aren’t stuck at their desktops anymore. In fact, according to comScore, mobile has overtaken desktops in media and website use. Is your website optimized for mobile viewing? Do you know how it looks on a tablet or smartphone? Does your site load easily if the device isn’t connected to Wi-Fi? Are the icons easy for fingers to tap? Does it navigate intuitively? How does it look in different browsers and with different operating systems on mobile devices?

SEO Best Practices

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of making a website rank higher in search engines. When someone enters search terms into their favorite browser, the hope is that your site shows up on the first page. Sure, this can be a lofty goal when there are millions of websites out there, but that’s the whole point of SEO. Understand what your prospective customers are looking for, and hopefully your SEO expert can help your site rank higher for those terms. As with the rest of the Internet, SEO is constantly changing. Do your best to keep up.

Analyze Constantly

Do a baseline analysis of your company’s website using analytics tools (e.g., Google Analytics). Then set some benchmarks and re-analyze the initial markers. Has website traffic changed? Are visitors coming back repeatedly? What pages are popular?

Analysis can also come in the form of surveys or other direct feedback methods. Numbers only tell so much of the story. Pay attention to reviews, ask your visitors what they think of your website, or even test things out using your employees as reviewers.

Improving your Internet marketing doesn’t have to be mind-boggling. While you can employ a variety of strategies, concentrating on your website alone is a sound way to make progress. Keep informed and keep up with the times.

guy-on-pcIt’s no secret that marketing your business online is essential, so pretty much every company already has online real estate in place. But with the non-stop, seemingly overnight Internet changes, it’s no easy task deciding what strategies to implement – and when.

So where do you start? Should you research a dozen Internet marketing articles for the newest techniques? Look at what your competitors are doing? Stand frozen like a deer in headlights?

Before getting overwhelmed with the possibilities, the first step is to analyze what you’re already doing. If your company has a website and a blog in place, it’s time to stand back and take a super close look at how those things are working for you. Let’s cover a few of the most important data points to gather before you do anything drastic.

Is Anyone Visiting Your Site?

Using website analytics tools (e.g., Google Analytics, Mint, and GoSquared), find out how many people are visiting your site. Daily and monthly visits are the most important to note. Internet marketing goals usually include increasing visitors, so you need to know where you are right now.

Who’s Visiting and Are They Coming Back?

Obviously, this is closely related to the first data point. Just because you have 1000 visitors each day doesn’t mean they’re relevant. If 900 of the visits are from the same person, your message isn’t getting out there. If you are getting a lot of new visitors, it may not mean very much if they take one look at your site and never come back. Your website’s goal is to get a variety of people who find enough value in your website to stop by and want to come back to learn even more.

How Was Their Visit?

New people who keep coming back is great, but what did they do there? Did they spend time on various pages (page views and pages per session), take one look at the site and click away (bounce rate), or stay a long time (average session duration)?

Where Did They Come From?

Finally, how did your company find your online property? Some may have found you directly by typing in your URL. Others may have clicked on a search engine suggestion (organic), clicked on a link in an article (referral), or even been led there by a social media post (social). Knowing your traffic’s source(s) can help you decide what highways you want to focus on for future campaigns.

This list isn’t exhaustive – you can definitely find out more about your website using other data points. But don’t get bogged down with this first step either. Once you’ve done some of this background work, start deciding what your website goals are. Armed with this information, researching strategies won’t seem so overwhelming.

seo-blogMost individuals and businesses that want to be seen on a Google search will need Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It simply means showing up on the first three pages of a Google search. Although SEO can be explained easily, achieving it is another matter.

As of October 2014, there were a billion websites according to Netcraft, an Internet research firm in the UK. Google, the top search engine in the world, continues to make changes in its algorithm to ensure that Internet users get the best results from their searches – and to maintain its lead among all other search engines.

Some of the major changes in Google’s algorithm were Panda (2011), Penguin (2012) and Hummingbird (2013). Panda was done to filter high-quality websites from poorly designed sites. Penguin was done to check links and weed out unnatural links because according to Google, using these is part of what they consider “unethical.” Hummingbird was not exactly an algorithm change but more of a complete overhaul of their indexing methods and overarching algorithm. This affected how websites are now ranked. These changes and updates will continue to emerge and often without warning. Google is famous for announcing the new algorithms after it has been activated. The result? Your website will suddenly drop or go up in ranking depending on the quality of your website – according to the search engine’s standards.

These are just the major changes. As far as small changes in the algorithm are concerned, it happens about 500 times a year. It is possible to make an intelligent guess when an algorithm is changed because there are visible signs. The most visible sign would be volatile movement of your website’s ranking. Some of the reasons for the most recent movement last June occurred with websites that:

  • Had more ads than content.
  • Had too much sponsored content.
  • Had generic and/or thin content.
  • Had issues with indexing.

Although it isn’t possible to foresee changes in algorithms, it is possible to be prepared for any such event.

  • Make sure your website follows the high quality standards (front and back end) of the top search engines.
  • Keep content unique, high quality, and informative.
  • Use social media hyperlinks.
  • Avoid overstuffing.
  • Use high-quality links

You should also consider getting a professional to step in and monitor your website occasionally. You don’t need a full-time consultant to do this but having an expert team keeping tabs on your website and giving you recommendations will go a long way in preparing you for the inevitable algorithm changes. Don’t be like Demand Media, a company that was soaring high in 2010 as the 17th largest web property in the country with over 105 million followers, only to tumble and crash after Google changed its algorithm. The website had to make drastic changes in its website – changes that continue to this date. As of August 2016, the website has only managed to climb back to 71st place – a far cry from its 2010 status.

 

 

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Event promotion is a complicated beast with a lot of moving parts, but the cornerstone of it all is your event page or website. It’s where all the traffic for your event will be directed toward and is the point at which people have to decide whether or not they’re going to attend your event. If you don’t already have a site dedicated to your event, it’s very simple to set one up at EventBrite.com.

Even once you have your event website set up, you may find that it isn’t converting at the rate you’d like. Here are some tips to help you maximize your event’s website.

1. Target the Right Keywords

It’s important to describe your event in the terms that people are already searching for. You may be describing your event as being in the “self-help” niche, when it turns out your audience is more likely to search for “personal improvement”. Spend some time researching the keywords that relate to your event and utilize them in your copy.

2. Utilize Social Proof

If you have any standout quotes, reviews, or testimonials to share about your event, make sure they appear on your page or website. This could be as simple as adding some positive feedback you received at last year’s event, or publishing the current number of registrations. Either form of proof will make others more likely to sign up.

3. Reach Out to Relevant Websites for Links

If you know of any relevant websites in your niche, send them an email and ask if they’d be willing to cover you. You might be surprised by how many of them are willing to do a write-up of your event! Acquiring links to your event site from others can boost your authority and make you more likely to rank well in searches for the keywords you’re targeting.

4. Write a Compelling Description

Clearly indicate the topic of the event, time, place and who should attend. The description should include specific benefits for each type of attendee. Make it brief and scan-able. Use third-party endorsements when possible, such as a quote from a previous event.

5. Include Speakers’ Photos and Bios

Nothing draws a crowd like a great speaker. Images of people help to remind your prospect that your event is not just an event being hosted by a business, but an event being hosted by human beings just like them. Be sure to include photos of your speakers as well as their credentials on your event page.

6. Have a Prominent “Register Now” Button

Your “register now” button needs to be prominent and clearly visible. Without that and a call to action, you may not be able to get the conversions you want.