If you’re in the business of selling products or services online, then you’ve undoubtedly heard of SEO, or search engine optimization. For those new to the field, SEO is a set of techniques that help your website show up in the search results of your chosen search engine when potential customers search for products or services related to your niche.
While there are free tools that can help you with basic SEO, to truly understand and implement the practice, you’ll need to pay for a reputable SEO company’s services.
Whether you’re looking to improve your internet presence, increase web traffic, or both, here are the top ten online marketing techniques that can help you achieve your goals.
1. Content is king.
The first and most important rule of SEO is to have good content. When search engine users are looking for products or services related to your niche, your website will appear in the results if you meet their search criteria. But to get there, you’ll need to provide them with content that is both relevant and unique. When it comes to obtaining quality content, you have several options including;
- Find a reputable news publication for journalists to write stories about your product or service. If you’re looking for traffic, this could prove to be an effective tactic. If you’re using PR to gain media coverage, this is a great way to achieve that.
- Join a content network. There are several platforms, such as Shopify, that allow you to connect with influential bloggers and journalists who might be interested in covering your topic. Simply sign up, create an account, and you’ll be able to start engaging with potential bloggers and journalists about your product or service.
- Use social media to find experts who can help you with content for your website. With over 2.9 billion monthly active users, everyone has a digital footprint and the ability to connect with people who have something to say. By gaining credibility and building a following on social media you can eventually land yourself an authoritative article or video that you can use to gain more traction on your site.
- Start a blog. While creating content for your website is important, having a blog that consistently posts valuable information can also bring in organic traffic and help establish your authority in your niche. Plus, you’ll have the ability to build and engage with an audience. If you’ve never blogged before, starting a business blog can be a bit daunting. But with the right guidance, it’s a straightforward process. You can even use free tools, like WordPress, to get started.
- If none of the above seem like a fit, you can always create your own content and manually optimize it for the search engines. But, unless you have extraordinary writing skills, this can be quite the task. Alternatively, you can always outsource the work to a reputable SEO company that specializes in content marketing. They’ll craft engaging copy that draws readers into the action, keeps them there long enough to make a purchase, and helps you track the results of your campaign. Plus, it’s a great way to learn the ropes while doing some good for the industry. You’ll find a lot of content marketing blogs and platforms that can get you started on your journey – and that’s something to celebrate!
2. Keywords are everything.
In addition to having relevant and unique content, you’ll also need to make sure that your chosen search engine knows precisely what you’re trying to say. One way to do this is through the use of keywords. When you enter a keyword or phrase into the search bar of your chosen search engine, the results will be filtered and limited to websites that contain that specific keyword or phrase. To find the right keywords, you can use free tools like Google Keyword Planner, which will show you the popularity of words and phrases as well as how competitive the market is for each of them. The more you know about your keywords, the easier it will be to choose the right ones, and the more effective your SEO campaign will be.
3. Local SEO.
When someone searches for a product or service related to your niche, they’ll usually want to find a store, restaurant, or some other kind of point of presence near them. To ensure your website appears near the top of the pile, you’ll need to do a few things, including;
- Register your business with the appropriate business registry or licensing agency in your region. This is something that you’ll need to do even if you’re not physically located in the region. Many industries, like real estate, require business registration. Even if you’re just running a personal blog, there are still many legalities you have to follow. Not only will this help you connect with other businesses that are also located in the area, but it will also force you to become familiar with the most current regulations and licensing laws.
- Use the geo-location feature on your phone to find the closest office or store to you. This way, when a customer uses your location to discover nearby businesses, your website will appear at the top of the pile
- Include your physical address on your website
- Include your email address on your website
- Set up a physical address for your website
- Create a map with directions to your location
- Add a small snippet of text about your store or business to your website’s header
Backlinks are links from other websites, such as blogs or popular forums, to your website. When a website mentions or links to your website, it’s considered a form of editorial endorsement. This is because the person or business that referred the consumer to your website is considered an authoritative figure within their niche. Backlinks can also prove to be valuable indicators of the strength of your niche, and whether or not it’s a market that will accept your product or service. To ensure your site receives plenty of backlinks, you can do any or all of the following:
- Join relevant social media networks
- Use social media to create content that encourages people to link to your site
- Ask customers for suggestions on content you could create that would be valuable to them
- Include links to your site on your social media profiles
- Curate and distribute quality content regularly
- Build a community.
Having a high-quality backlink profile isn’t something that happens overnight. You have to constantly monitor and engage with your link builders to create and maintain a comprehensive backlink profile.
5. Social media.
If you’re looking to reach an audience and possibly drive some sales, you’ll likely need to turn to social media.
While there are plenty of free platforms like Twitter that you can use to gain more followers, you’ll need to pay for a premium account to truly harness the power of social media. But, if you want to build a following and grow your business using platforms like Twitter, you’ll want to do the following to ensure your success.
- Set up automated tweets, messages, and updates
- Monitor your brand’s social media accounts regularly, and engage with consumers
- Use keywords in your headlines, descriptions, and hashtags as often as possible
- Build a community, and participate in relevant conversations
Even if you’re not sure where to start on social media, simply using the above tips will get you on your way to gaining credibility and making connections. And as you build your audience, you can eventually take advantage of social media to drive sales.
6. SEO for eCommerce.
If you’re running an online store, or selling your own products or services online, then you’ll need to consider SEO techniques that are specific to eCommerce.
Many online sellers use platforms, like Shopify, to create their store and sell their products. With over 500 million monthly active users, Shopify is the largest eCommerce platform out there. They’ve also developed several tools to help online retailers, like you, improve your SEO, drive traffic to your store, and make sales. If you’re looking to optimize your Shopify store for SEO, you can use their built-in SEO tools or take advantage of their free trial to get started.
As an online retailer, you’ll want to ensure that when potential customers type in a keyword or search for a product, your website comes up on the first page of search results. To do this, you’ll need to make sure the following things are done;