The euro slumped on Thursday following the European Central Bank’s (ECB) latest interest rate decision.
So how can you go about promoting your site online? There are many different routes you can take, some of which will be better suited to your business than others. While social media sites like Facebook may appeal to someone promoting last-minute holidays where they want to post images of beautiful beaches to visit, it probably won’t be the right place for a building contractor (who needs to appeal to a more specific customer).
Regardless of who the target audience for your business is, your site needs to show up in Google’s search result, and to a lesser extent Yahoo’s and Bing’s (Microsoft’s search engine). This can be achieved in one of two ways: either through paid advertising (Pay Per Click) or through organic content marketing, also known as Search Engine Optimisation.
Pay Per Click (or PPC for short) means you bid on keywords which are relevant to your site. So if your website was for buying and selling villas on Costa Blanca for example, you would most likely want to bid on search terms like “villas in Spain, villa on Costa Blanca, Spanish villas, and Costa Blanca”. When someone searches for your terms, an automatic bid is triggered which takes into account the searcher’s location, as well as the day and time of the search, and competitors’ bids. The winner is then determined, and the bid with the highest offer fitting this criteria shows up in the most prominent place on the search page, with the subsequent bids appearing further down.
You can easily identify PPC results as they are marked with a small yellow Ad symbol and appear either at the top of the page or down the right-hand side. Underneath these is where you will find what is known as the ‘organic’ search results, which come from Search Engine Optimisation or SEO.
SEO also involves keywords which are relevant to your business, but rather than just choosing and bidding on words or short phrases, you create original pieces of content containing these phrases. These can be blog posts, social media posts, online news articles, infographics, videos, podcasts, slideshow presentations, or anything that your imagination stretches to.
The most efficient way to rank well in search results is to produce authentic, relevant content which your target audience will genuinely want to read (and hopefully share online). Before you write this content you need to perform a keyword analysis, to do this you will need to use an online tool like Google’s keyword generator. This allows you to see which words are most commonly searched for by people who are seeking businesses like yours, and then incorporate these terms into your marketing messages.
There are many other ways to promote your website online; social media has moved from being the domain of teenagers sharing holiday photos to now being a major marketing tool which any company would be negligent to ignore. Facebook now generates millions in paid advertising, and provides a great platform for sharing visual media. Twitter’s 140 characters are ideal for getting short, pertinent messages out to your clients, or just linking to your new blog post. LinkedIn is also a perfect tool for promoting any business-to-business messaging.
You should also not ignore the fact that with ever faster internet connections and a smartphone in almost every pocket, video content is become more and more popular. Over six billion hours of YouTube video are watched every day, so this is also a very effective way to reach your audience and promote your business.
No matter what avenues of online marketing you choose to explore, the most important aspect to remember is to keep testing. Always keep a record of what you have been doing so you’ll know what to do next when it works, and what needs to go back to the drawing board.