By: Dan Goldstein, Director of NeuMarkets Inc.
Last week we were lucky enough to hold a jam packed seminar at the KEDCO offices in Kingston, in regards to the strategies our Web Marketing Company uses to help our clients across Ontario grow their web presence.
Seach Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing (SMM) Go Hand in Hand
Our belief, and the message we tried to convey in our seminar, is that Search Engine Marketing and Social Media collectively make up the most important facets within the broader category of inbound aka web marketing.
Jargon aside, the web marketing process is as simple as:
The key message we try to get across each and every day, is that there are a few key principles that must be addressed in terms of optimizing your website, blog and local profiles – the rest of the puzzle comes into place with truly unique, interesting and informative blog posts, pages and other forms of content on your website.
Here is a quick and dirty list of best practices for each of the components in the above diagram.
Optimized Website and Blog
At the very least you must ensure that your code is clean, w3 validation is a great code cleanliness report to pull and send to your web developer.
Once the basic site is cleaned up, you need to make sure you are properly structuring your keywords across your individual pages (not sure what your keywords are? check out this blog post we released on Keyword Research to help you generate your short list).
Armed with your keyword list you should make sure each page includes….
- 1 of your keywords in the URL (ie. xyz.com/keyword-here)
- h1 tags with that same keyword
- alt tags for images on the page with your keyword in it
- a unique meta description for the page with your keyword included just once
- a few natural mentions of your keyword within the body text of your page
- If possible, any form of value added content like a video, white paper, diagram – or some other form of imagery that makes your page more interesting and drives the point of it home
Social Media Buzz
When it comes to social media we like to keep it simple.
We believe that a solid portion of your social efforts should tie back to your blog. If you aren’t releasing your own unique, interesting and informative content on somewhat of a regular basis (at least once per month) then it becomes more difficult for others to take an interest in you.
If you can commit to a regular schedule of blogging, as well as commenting, sharing and interacting with like minded individuals in your local area, or across the globe – then we strongly believe you can succeed with this marketing channel.
Here are some of the key principles we like to advocate:
- Release Blog Posts as often as you can – and on a regular schedule to prove your reliability
- Create lists of people (preferably bloggers) to follow, comment on their work and reach out to with your opinions and ideas
- If you are brand new to social media – try out twitter, its search function and follow some of the bloggers or industry connectors you may have come across in the past
- Dedicate an hour a week, 20 minutes a day – something to grind away at getting comfortable with socializing online
- Think of it as a modern take on cold calling – it sucks at first!
External Links to your Pages
In the world of search marketing, external links to the pages on your site are what show the search engines that your content is relevant for your chosen keywords.
If you are in even a somewhat competitive industry, without other people linking to your site, it is near impossible to rank in any search queries at all.
A great way to get links to your pages is to go out there, partner with bloggers and ask to release guest blog posts on their site.
When you land a guest blogging spot, be sure to include a link to your site in your by line. And if possible try to build in a hyperlinked keyword to your site within your blog post. For example…
“John Smith is a Kingston Realtor specializing in…”
The hyper linked text in that sentence should lead the visitor to a specific page on your site where that keyword is optimized for (it can even just be your home page as we did at the start of this blog post).
Local Profiles and Citations
If you are a locally focused business (a Realtor, Baker, Restaurant owner) and you aren’t already setup on Google Places .. please click on that link and get setup today!
More and more we are seeing the search results for our clients keywords filling up with place page listings.
Once you are setup, get out there and get mentioned on different blogs, directories and local organizations.
The best type of listing for the purposes of local search is one that includes all of your contact information (what we classify in the industry as citations). For example, if your address and phone number are written on your site as…
John Smith, Realtor
Then make sure you get your information listed on those blogs, directories and local organizations in the exact same manner.
Also, your place page can serve as a great way for your customers to review your services. If you are proud of what you are selling – ask for a review!
The more mentions and more reviews you get; the more relevant you seem, and the higher your place page will rank in the search results!
Dan Goldstein is the Director of NeuMarkets Inc. From SEO, to website and even web application design and development – he and his team mates help their small and medium sized business clients across Ontario to grow their businesses online.
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