It is the middle of May and outside it is snowing. Like many here in Colorado I can only shrug and say “Colorado weather!” although I suspect many folks across this country could say “<insert_your_state> weather!”
But as I ponder this unanticipated weather event, it reminds me how so often, in Internet marketing, we face unanticipated events. It may be that a FaceBook update cancels out all of the marketing you have been doing on FB. It may be that a new Google search algorithm update pushes your site down in the rankings or removes you from their rankings altogether. These events can and do happen.
You have no control over what decisions social media or search engine companies make. They have millions of customers and make decisions they believe are in their best interests. You need to make decisions that are in your best interest as well.
And that means that the centerpiece of your internet marketing should always be your website. You own it. You can control what appears on it. You control the content. The layout. In the Internet marketing realm, it is (or should be) the one thing you have complete control over.
So what should you do with your site? Two simple things:
- Make your site search-friendly. The number one thing search engines in general and Google in particular look for is content. Often I have been told by a client or potential client they want to be ranked number one for their key phrase – something like “Denver website design”. Basically the formula is <geographic_identifier> followed by <industry_keyword_or_keyword_phrase>. And I ask, “Where on your site do you use that phrase?”
That is usually followed by an uncomfortable silence.
Create content – lots of content and yes, it has to be original content – and make sure that your content uses your keyword phrases. Then post it regularly to your web site. Hate blogging? That is fine. Post news and industry updates to your site instead. Post case studies. Post testimonials from happy clients. There are lots of ways to get good, keyword-laden content on your site that the search engines will love.
- Make your site social-friendly. The easiest way to do this is to make sure you have some kind of social-sharing link on all or most of your pages. If you have a content management system web site, you should be able to do this in a few minutes. You can also connect your site into your chosen social platforms – Facebook and Twitter are the easiest as they’re the most well-known.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box a little though. If your business is very visual, consider how Pinterest and / or YouTube could bring value. In any case, make your site social-friendly so it is easier to plugin to your larger marketing plan.
If you haven’t already, I urge you to take control of your Internet Marketing by making your web site the core. Add social. Add search. They are great ways to enhance your image, attract customers, and get into new markets. But make sure you understand what your goals are and how you need to get there.