Building off of the successful book “The DragonSearch Online Marketing Manual“, Ric Dragon and Josepf Haslam have developed a comprehensive Grow Your Business Online Infographic to guide businesses on how to grow their business online. This is a short summary of the content of the infographic. You will find a link to the PDF version at the end of this post.
Start With a Quality Website
Growing your business online starts with a quality website. The key components of a site are it’s credibility and effectiveness.
The most heard about component to this is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Creating your site with SEO in mind means that you have focused, unique content that can also be read (found) by the Search Engines. We highly recommend WordPress as a website platform for most businesses to consider.
Use Pay-Per-Click (PPC) to Grow Your Business Now
Perhaps you lost a key client or are expanding locations, if you need business now, then Internet advertising, especially pay-per-click advertising should be considered. PPC can be very effective in driving qualified, converting traffic to your site. The key is to understand and track your lead generation and conversions. Google Analytics helps make this easy to do. PPC also generates valuable business intelligence and can demonstrate the value of a comprehensive SEO program. If you’re getting a great click through rate on a keyword that is converting traffic to your site into leads, you will understand the value of getting more traffic organically by integrating strong SEO into your process. SEO generates leads through higher traffic, lower cost organic search.
SEO Means More Leads at Lower Cost Over Time
Think about your website contents as your networking Elevator pitch or Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Each page of your site needs to be focused with it’s own USP. This Unique Selling Proposition needs to be compelling for both people and spiders — those agents that the search engines use to crawl and index your site into the findable space. The search engines use back-links and other digital referrals, such as GooglePlus and Tweets, to understand what other people are saying about you and your site. All things being equal between two sites, the one with the most (quality and relevant) external references (back-links) wins. Professional SEO cultivates relevant back-links to help your site be found more often for search terms that are meaningful for your business.
Social Media Diversifies and Widens Your Client Base
Social Media is becoming increasingly important on many fronts and can be a great too for growing your business. Search engines are incorporating Social Media Signals into their search results, meaning that users of social media have an edge over non-users in getting found online. Social media also allows for community building which can turn your customers into digital advocates. Social media allows for discovery. Any given blog post, or Tweet, or LinkedIn share could find it’s way in front of a new potential client who otherwise would have never heard about you. Add social media marketing to your efforts and measure its impact on the growth of your business.
Some tips about the use of social media:
- Profiles. Establish your profiles in your name now! Even if you are not currently active, on say Pinterest, you still want to reserve your company or brand name.
- Blog. Blogging creates valuable unique content for your site, keeping it fresh & up-to-date which is great for SEO and your target audience.
- Listen first on Social media, then engage with people socially. Avoid broadcasting and aggressive self-promotion. Think of Social Media as one huge multi-room cocktail party. Go into each room to make personal connections first, just like you do in real life.
Benchmark Your Site, PPC, SEO and Social Media against your Business Objectives
You’re never going to get the perfect site, page, or PPC campaign the first time you put it up. Everything online is an experiment. The key to online success is to fail fast! As soon as you start to have results, whether they be successes or failures, you will start to be in a position to refine and enhance for optimal performance in order to grow your business successfully online . There is no foolproof model, the winning model is to constantly assess. This is the importance of benchmarking. Using analytics, competitive research and customized benchmarking allows you to make refinements to your site and campaigns. You can quickly and effectively see what is working and not working and make improvements. The internet does not stand still. You need to stay current and fresh and the best way to do this is to evaluate your business results and make changes as appropriate.
Subscribe or bookmark us. More materials being released to help your business grow online. You can also follow DragonSearch on Twitter for the latest! The Grow Your Business Online Infographic is being rolled out on Tuesday, May 8th, 2012 to the New York State SBDC (Small Business Development Counselors) Annual Staff Conference as a Keynote presentation. A PDF version of the infographic may be found at the end or this article. The infographic may be re-used with full attribution.