7 Sure-Fire Solutions For Standing Out Online

When you’re the owner of a business, you’ve got a lot on your plate.

First and foremost, you’ve got your product. Handling every aspect of your product is your priority, and, unsurprisingly, takes up most of your time.

But there’s so much more, beyond the reason your business even exists, that you’re expected to focus on. Namely, marketing is key. People need to know that you’re out there. And if you have even the slightest online presence – which you definitely should do, by the way – that’s a whole different ballgame.

Standing out online can feel like a near-impossible feat. Actually, if you’re honest with yourself, it’s a little disheartening trying to even get in line with your competition, let alone ahead of it. You might be the only niche knitting store or halal butcher’s in your local town, but online, you’re one tiny dot in a sea of many.

That’s why SEO is so important.

SEO can help you get seen to the people that matter. That might be those at your target age range, in the appropriate location, or with the right needs or values for your business to appeal to. SEO is all about standing out in your industry specialism, no matter how overpopulated or crowded it may seem.

If you don’t already work with an SEO expert to implement strategies to get you in front of your target audience, that would be a good place to start. But in the meantime, take a look at these 7 sure-fire solutions for standing out online:

Know your market

The truth of the matter is this: you might be doing all the right things to stand out online, but if you’re doing it in the wrong place, you’re going to reap very little reward from it. Make sure you have a clear focus on your market when it comes to selling yourself and your services.

What does your audience expect of you? What are their habits personality points? What would pleasantly surprise them? What would turn them off? Keep all of this in mind when you’re concentrating on your marketing.

Keep it basic

Overcomplicating things for yourself is never going to bring you any extra success. In fact, it’ll most likely do the opposite, potentially even repelling your target audience. Fancy fonts, image overuse and general website clutter can all have the power to scare away your customers for aesthetic purposes alone.

Website design aside, make sure you’re sticking to a basic brand consistency across all of your online platforms. There’s no reason to keep bumping out new content or products if they just don’t work for you. Which leads us nicely onto point number three…

Stay true to what you stand for

Don’t run an ad campaign that doesn’t fit who you are just because it worked for somebody else. In fact, ignore all trends that don’t align with your values. It’ll be embarrassingly clear to your audience if you’re ever working something simply for the publicity you’re hoping it brings you. Learn to turn down the opportunities that may potentially paint your brand in a bad light.

Know when to reign it in

There’s nothing worse than coming across as overly eager on the internet. In short, it can look a little… desperate.

Excessively promoting your content quickly goes from acceptable marketing to spam, and that’s a difficult perception to rid yourself of. Make sure your online promotion and communication is aimed at appealing to your customer rather than straight-out selling your product.

Offer value wherever you can

People love value. It makes them feel special. And if you can find a way to offer your customers value through every interaction they have with you, you might just have found yourself a winning formula.

Value doesn’t have to equate to too-good-to-be-true discount codes or even – gulp – freebies, by the way. This might actually lower the customer interpretation of your brand over time. Value can be anything from an entertaining blog post, to a genuinely helpful email campaign, a free webinar, or even just the sharing of a bit of wisdom.

Don’t overcrowd your focus

Maybe you do offer more than one product or service, but if you want your branding to make sense online, you need to find a core value and stick to it. Find that one little thing that you do well, and use it in every way you can to your advantage. Don’t try to please everybody. Please yourself, and the right audience will come to you.

Care about your audience

If you created your business to solve a problem for your audience, chances are, you care about giving them the best possible experience with your product you can offer them. But all of this can get lost in the haze of trying to juggle all aspects of your business.

Try to dedicate a small amount of time each day to your audience. Communicate with them, surprise them, give them a reason to want to keep coming back to you – and they will do.

3 Vital Considerations To Make For SEO Success

So, you’ve decided you need some help with your SEO.

Good for you! Outsourcing your SEO is one of the most efficient, cost-effective things you can do for your business. Not only are you opening up your time to be more flexible with the things that really matter to you and your brand, but you’re putting a difficult job in the hands of a professional. There’s no better way to ensure that your business will garner the online attention it deserves than with an SEO expert.

You might now be in the process of waiting to hear back from your chosen SEO partner in crime. Once you have, you probably assume, it’ll be a case of agreeing on some sort of deal, before parting ways and only hearing from your SEO expert in their regular reports.

Right and wrong.

Outsourcing your SEO can be that simple… in the end. But when you’re still in the stages of discussing your SEO with website developers, designers, PPC experts, and whoever else you’ve got on board to boost your online presence, communication is key. In fact, it’s vital.

You can’t expect an SEO agency to understand exactly what your brand stands for, or what you want to succeed from their SEO implementation, until you’ve made it very clear to them. And that might mean sitting back and thinking a few things through yourself.

Start simple. Do you know what you want to achieve from your business’ online platforms? What’s the message you want to communicate? Who are you aiming it at?

If you’re not sure yet, it’s time to make some essential considerations. Here are 3 things to have a deep think about before your initial discussion with an SEO expert:

What’s my strategy?

Every business needs a strategy. Think of it as your plan of action: it covers your aims, your goals, everything you wish to achieve, if you’re not doing so already.

You most likely already have some form of a strategy in place, but a strategy is nothing if it’s not clearly outlined somewhere (even if this is just in your head). Communicating your strategy to an SEO expert is the best way to give them a good understanding of your industry, which may be pretty niche, and the outcomes you’d hope to achieve in it. There’s no shame in highlighting what you’re already doing well, either. It’s important to act on positive trends from a marketing perspective.

When it comes to your strategy, ask yourself first of all: how am I currently communicating my purpose online? Your brand purpose, if you’re not sure, if the reason why you set up your business in the first place. It’s the gap you wanted to fill, the problem you wanted to solve. It usually involves helping people in some way.

Being clear of your purpose is the first step. Implementing it in your online marketing is something else.

Who is my current/target audience?

You need to make your SEO specialist aware of your precise brand purpose, going into as much detail as possible. Show evidence of how you currently communicate your purpose, if you do (don’t be concerned if you don’t – that’s what your new SEO campaign will achieve).

You also need to have a clear idea of your audience. Not just who you want them to be, but who they are. Because that speaks volumes. How big is your current client or customer list? Who are they? How do they behave? And, most importantly, how do you want your audience to evolve with your brand? Again, give this some deep thought and be sure to communicate it to your SEO specialist in that initial meeting.

Understanding your customers is key. They might like your products, but that doesn’t mean you have them on your side forever. The more you know about your customer, the better. Luckily, some aspects of SEO can help you to help you to learn more about your customers through their online activity alone. But it’s good to have some idea of what you’re working with before you start up with your new SEO campaigns.

Who are my competitors?

Perhaps the words fill your stomach with dread: your competitors.

We all hate to think about them, lurking just out of reach, not quite as far in the background as we’d like. Our competitors are our biggest nemesis – but we can also learn a lot from them. And you may have more than you initially thought you did.

Of course, your key competitors are those that have similar, or the same, brand purpose. Their mission statement is almost identical. They aim to help the same people with the same problem as you do. You also have competitors that solve a similar, or the same, problem as you do, but with a different product or technique. It’s just as important to keep your eye on them.

A final competitor to consider is your SEO competitors. These will most likely link up to your biggest competitors with a similar or identical brand purpose. They’re the ones who are performing best on Google and other search engines at the moment. You want to knock them off the top post.

While an SEO expert can do their own research into your competitors – and will do, no matter how much prior information you provide – you know your industry best. This gives you the advantage of being able to list out your top competitors from your perspective. They might not necessarily be the brands and businesses that are sitting at the top of Google. Sometimes competition goes deeper than who is outperforming you in search engine rankings – and your SEO specialist would really benefit from your knowledge.

Your point is not to copy your competitors. It’s to beat them. And with the right SEO implementation from an industry expert, and a solid, effective marketing strategy in place, there’s no reason why you can’t succeed in this, all while staying true to your business and everything it stands for.

TOP SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING TIPS FOR ONLINE BUSINESSES

Much is known about the looming success that one can have in their business when they market their products and services online. One of the most effective strategies of selling a business online, which doubles up as a success pillar in this day and age is search engine marketing. The following are a few important tips of how you can make your online marketing campaigns more successful using search engine optimization.

  • Have your web content and website optimized

From the content in your actual web pages, to offsite and onsite back links, all these should be optimized to attract attention of your target audience, as well as please search engines so that your website can rank higher. The amount of traffic that your site receives is largely dependent on these factors, which you can have a SEO agency and a good web designer to assist you maximize the performance of your business online.

  • Use blogs and social media marketing.

Blogs are also quite effective as internet marketing tools. Choosing an influential blog site, and having back links established to or from your site can go a long way in maximizing visibility and generating more web traffic to your business website. You can also establish a blog of your own, where you blog about interesting topics relating to your online market niche.

Social media campaigns are equally effective methods of marketing your business over the internet. They not only form a basis and an arena where you can get your target market easily, but also a means where you can keep in touch with them and update them regularly with information concerning your business and linking it to your main site. Here, you can build your brand name as you interact with your customers directly and even address their concerns and queries. It can get to a point where your clients market your brand for you by referring others as they share, tweet, and like. These boost your search engine marketing efforts in the long run.

If crafted well enough and produced creatively, videos can be quite fruitful when it comes to search engine marketing. The textual content or description should also be copy written professionally in order to create influence on sites such as YouTube and Vimeo. Make use of YouTube channels, and have your video link back to your main site.

  • Have an optimized website

Even as you craft your content to attract visibility from Google and other search engines and entice traffic towards your website, it can be disappointing enough if your site is not optimized in terms of speed, mobile device compatibility, browser compatibility, and ease of navigation. Website optimization is an equally important aspect of online marketing. Have it designed for convenience and keep it up to date.