Having an online presence is becoming a major marketing trend and a must for many businesses. However, most business beginners start out making common online marketing mistakes, such as prioritizing SEO keywords rather than making their business website easy for visitors to read. Although social media networks and SEO are key elements to online marketing, there’s more to Internet marketing than that.
1. Cross-sell your products or services
SEO isn’t all about keywords – backlinking is part of SEO as well, and cross-selling is a popular trend for Internet marketers that allows them to use backlinking as part of their SEO marketing. Cross-selling is a sales technique used to refer customers to other products a business is selling. For example, if an online business sells clothing, they can cross-sell a blouse by linking to skirts or trousers in their clothing collection that are good complements to the blouse. If you’re selling products or services, link to related products or services you offer to give customers ideas on how to use your items and have a higher chance of them purchasing more than one product. Add an incentive when customers buy multiple items as well, such as free shipping or a small gift card.
2. Participate in forums and online groups
Getting your business name out there on the Web is more than creating a website. Establishing your business is a crucial step, so to help you get your name out there, visit and participate in forums that relate to your business. Forums allow you to put signatures in your forum posts, which make for a great place to put your website URL and advertise what your business offers. When joining forums and other online groups, be sure to avoid promoting your business directly as it can be seen as spam. Instead, offer your help to users and let your signature do the promotion talk for you. By making yourself known to online communities and being a helping hand, people can be interested in what services or products your business has to offer. Don’t just stop at forums related to your business: go to forums and online groups where your target audience is hanging out at and participate there as well.
3. Add a blog to your business website
Include a blog on your website to offer valuable and unique content to your visitors. Adding a blog to your website allows you to add more relevant keywords to informational content as well, which helps your page rank. For instance, if you sell fishing gear, offer tips on how to catch fish or what the best fishing poles are and link to your products for each fishing pole you mention. Other blogs or websites can link back to your blog and help your page rank, too. The key to maintaining a blog is by adding unique content that you think will be useful to visitors. You also must be consistent about your blog, so update it at least once a week; being consistent also aids in ranking you in search engines. There are also different ways to add content to your blog without text, such as taking photos and sharing them with your readers; let the photos tell a story. You can create YouTube videos and webinars to help your blog visitors as a video marketing technique. By using YouTube for your video hosting, you’ll be able to link back to your blog from your YouTube videos and channel for more exposure.
4. Brand your business
Creating your business brand helps you stick out from the competitive crowd. Take Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan and check mark logo; simple, yet most people know their brand. To start branding your business, think of a business name you want to use for your website, business cards and social media accounts, etc. Try to create a business name that’s short, yet catch, so people have an easier time remembering it. Be sure to use words relevant to your business while creating a business name. This will help potential clients know what you offer right away. Along with a business name, choose a slogan and symbol that represents your business. Colors and designs are also important elements when branding your business, so brainstorm what you want for your business’ appearance.
5. Volunteer to write guest blog posts for other bloggers
Reach out to other blogs similar to your niche and ask if you can write a guest post for their blog. You can offer to write tips on how to start a business like yours or write about your business start-up journey. Remember to note in the message offering you would like to link back to your website on the guest post. Also, to increase your chances of your offer being accepted, add articles you've written before to show others you can provide unique and informational content to their blogs.
When starting a business, not only are you wanting to bring cash flow into your bank account, but, most importantly, you’re wanting to help others through your products and/or services. Remember one of your purposes for starting a business is to help people’s lives become easier and more enjoyable. Whether you have a new restaurant or offer computer software products, you can find ways to help boost your business’ online presence with more than keywords.
Angie Picardo is a staff writer for NerdWallet, a personal finance website dedicated to helping consumers make better decisions about their personal finances, travel plans, health bills or higher education.