Every time you talk to someone about your website you probably get the same suggestions: Create good content, use social media, buy some ads or start speaking at seminars and shows. Those things all sound like great advice, but has anyone explained to you why those four items are so important to the internet success of your small business? Well here’s the low down – those four actions are the basic tenets of internet authority, and this authority is a HUGE signal that Google and other search engines look for when ranking websites in the search engine results. In the age of spam, black hat SEO, and hacking, a website with high value, quality content and market authority is going to rank FAR better than other half-baked, cookie-cutter or spammy sites. So, as a small business owner, how do you grab a hold of this illustrious internet authority and make it work, even beyond your website?
Created and Creative Content
Content marketing is the first tenet. However, this does not mean write an article or blog post every day. Quality over quantity definitely rules here. You know your market, you know your products, and you know your business. People probably come to you for answers and advice, so write about it. Even if it is only one high value, relevant and educational piece a month-do it! Answer the questions your market is asking. Make it known that you are the go-to source for information in your vertical. Be bold and tell people you are that trustworthy source of knowledge, and back it up with solid answers, useful articles, quality content and good customer service. This writing is considered content marketing, or publishing content for the purpose of getting new business, and content marketing is the future of your internet success.
Once you have found your content marketing groove, you need to go social. Social media is ‘it’ right now. Social media allows your great content to grow wings and spread your words to the masses. Let your business determine which social media platform is best to use. Pick one or two, develop them out completely, and care for them like a real life customer standing in your doorway. Engage with your audience, share helpful information, listen to what they have to say and always be polite. While you might be hesitant about using social media, you need to embrace the fact that it has to be a major part of your new marketing strategy.
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Contrary to what most people think, buying ads on the internet doesn’t have to break the bank. Like everything else, there is a right way to do it and then there is a better way to do it. Think about your market, products, demographics and sales process. This introspection will guide you to the type of ads that are best for your business. This could mean Google, Bing, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and soon Pinterest-or a combination of them. After considering where you can best reach your target market, decide on a budget and set out your goals and expectations for that budget. Strategically buying ads can give you a layer of legitimacy to prospective customers that see them. It can show those prospects that you are willing to put some skin in the game to earn their business.
The fourth tenet of authority is go public. This does not mean start setting stock prices. This means get out there and speak, get on the news, volunteer, do something positive that gets your name and your business into the common lexicon. Take pictures, record videos, guest blog, publish your appearances to your site and post them on your social media channels. Don’t be afraid to raise your hand and say, “Hey, I am the person to talk to.” Make yourself the authority.
So what happens when you master these four pillars of internet marketing? You find that sweet spot of AUTHORITY that gives you not only search engine results, but the social following, lead generation and great publicity that keeps the money flowing in. Develop and incorporate these four principals into your current marketing strategy and your small business will soar to new heights.
If you have any questions about any of these concepts, don’t hesitate to contact us – we would love to chat with you.