Tools and techniques to help customers find you online.
Use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and paid digital marketing to drive traffic to your startup’s site.
Search Engine Optimisation
Search engine optimisation is the process of improving your website’s visibility on search engines. It considers how search engines work and what people search for to find a product or service. There are many SEO techniques that will boost your website in search rankings but keep in mind that SEO is often a lengthy process that improves with time.
Keyword optimisation is the act of researching, analysing and selecting keywords that will drive traffic to your website. There are many freely available tools such as Google Trends or Google Analytics that will help you understand what people are searching for around your offering. Once you have your keywords it’s about ensuring they’re visible in the title of the page, its URL, throughout page copy, in the meta tags and elsewhere. Many content management systems will detect where your SEO can be improved through tagging and image descriptions.
Making good use of links is an important part of the SEO process. All websites consist of internal and external links. An internal link is a link from one page in your website to another, which helps search engines like Google to understand the hierarchy of your site. External links point outside of your website – they should be used sparingly and only when relevant. Link building, which sees businesses seek to increase the number and quality of inbound links to their webpage, can also be a useful tool for increasing your search engine ranking.
Good content is at the heart of effective SEO. Google itself regularly evangelises the importance of good content for increasing your search engine ranking. Original content that chimes with your brand and uses SEO conventions like keyword phrases and linking can be extremely effective in building a loyal audience. And guest blogging on external sites to increase the number of inbound links to your site can also be effective.
Not only does compelling imagery help attract visitors to your site, but visual search is set to play an increasingly important role in search results. So, make sure to prioritise original imagery where possible, and remember there are many online resources for free photographs that exist under the Creative Commons license. Upload using a descriptive file name and use keywords in the metadata.
Paid digital marketing
Paid digital marketing can be one of the quickest ways to reach prospective customers at scale. It refers to any strategy in which users pay for advertising that targets potential customers. While paid marketing can drive traffic it does not ensure the quality of visitor. It’s therefore essential to build up data on what value different marketing techniques are creating for your business.
Pay per click (PPC)
PPC stands for pay-per-click, a form of internet marketing where businesses pay only when someone clicks one of their ads. Typically, a PPC campaign is linked with a search engine or network of websites. Users may engage in a so-called Ad Auction, an automated process that determines the cost and depends on demand for advertising space alongside a particular search term or on a third-party media site. Choose your keywords carefully to balance cost with market reach.
Social media marketing
Social media is about targeting your audience or prospective audience on social networks. When you consider that nearly half of the world’s population are now active social media users, the role it can play in boosting brand awareness is clear. A paid social media strategy usually involves using the channel’s native ad tools to create, schedule and post ads to your target audience. It can be an effective way to target mobile users, gather market insights and grow followers.
Influencer marketing is a burgeoning field that seeks to capitalise on the high levels of trust that social influencers have built with their audience. The first step is to choose the most appropriate platform for you and then reach out to an individual whose followers crossover with your target market. You will need to set goals, targets and a budget and ensure your message is on point. Influencer marketing is more generally a B2C tool, and while it can be effective it does carry a risk of reputational damage if the commercial relationship between business and influencer is not made clear.
One of the most effective ways of reaching new customers is with content marketing. Paying to have your content - or content about your business - published on third party sites can reach new audiences and bring traffic to your site. Visitors will often exchange email data for high value content such as reports and whitepapers, creating a list of potential leads.
Master your marketing with more advice and information:
- Part 1: Create a marketing plan.
- Part 2: Define and refine your brand.
- Part 3: Improve your marketing with customer personas.
- Part 4: Use social media to promote your startup.
- Part 6: Find the right video approach to meet your needs.
- Part 7: Use content marketing to build your business.
- Part 8: Improve your reach with advocate marketing.
- Part 9: Create content efficiently with this marketing hack: founder to founder video.
- Part 10: How to market your business on a limited budget: founder to founder video.
- Part 11: Discover how to find and target your market: founder to founder video.
- Part 12: Use these marketing techniques to boost your ROI: founder to founder video.