The biggest issue for many businesses is that they have a great product or service and they would be very successful, if only people knew they existed! They are in a “catch 22 “ situation because due to the lack of their success they don’t have the hundreds or thousands of pounds needed to market themselves.
Appearing at the top of Web search results using SEO can be an expensive prospect and it is something that cannot be attempted without the expertise of a marketing agency. However there are a number of alternative E-Marketing methods that are free or low cost that are worth exploring.
Because Search engine rankings can be hard to achieve and Google themselves whilst improving the quality of their search results are making it (deliberately) harder for the average site to rank high, the most viable option is to pay for adverts within the search results. Google calls their product Adwords
You will notice these ads by the small ad tag on the bottom left of the listing but otherwise they look like the other results.
The cost per click is measured by how popular that search result is. When a user clicks on the ad, you could be paying anything from a few pence to over a pound for that click but you can fix a maximum budget. These ads should be treated the same way as a print advert with compelling wording and a clear “call to action”
A primary E-marketing marketing method that has proven to achieve real results, is much simpler and is totally free is Social Media..
The term social media includes Social networks, Blogs, Wikis , Youtube, Pinterest and Instagram. Simply defined, it is user generated content .
This is a different marketing method to SEO – it is not about using keywords to attract people to your website rather a direct method to interact with and update your clients much the same way as greeting them when they come into your physical store.
The style of writing is usually conversational i.e “ have you seen our latest product”?”
Social Media can be used to strengthen your brand by both connecting with your clients and listening to their needs and adapting in the process.
It is widely accepted that in 2008 Barak Obama gained most of his votes using Social Media. He used it to connect to and inform his voters every step of the way and make them feel connected to his cause and attract others.
Blogs are also defined as social media but can be an integrated into your website and help your search engine rankings. For a business blogs to be successful the subject matter should tie on as close as possible with what you are offering and follow a theme rather than just be a repository of irrelevant industry news or general things that might interest your clients.
Email marketing is another method that if used properly can achieve results. To do email marketing professionally you will need to use a third party email service provider, many of who offer a basic package for free and provide the tools to automate the process and with the built-in facility for a user to opt out.
If you have an E-Commerce site, connecting to your client via email is a must. Emails should not only be used to reconnect with people who have made past purchases but the language you use in the automatic emails that you send out post purchase can be what might encourage your customer to return.
The destination you arrive at after clicking a google ad, ( link in an) email or targeted search engine result should be a product specific “landing page” or “microsite”. This type of page helps keep the focus on the offer rather than other elements present on a home page. What this means is that instead of the clicking on an Adword and getting to the front page of the website take them to a new page or microsite that contains similar wording to the ad text and a short contact form or phone number as the “call to action”.