Any business that is looking for exposure should be focusing a serious amount of invested time and resources on internet marketing. With print media a thing of yesterday, and thanks to Google, anybody can search the “best of” anything within minutes, there’s no mystery in mid 2018 that internet marketing can be an enormous engine of opportunity for your business.

Getting Started: Study Your Customers

When it comes to internet marketing, there are many effective strategies, but to ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth before investing down any path, you need to know your customer. Some refer to this as your customer “persona” or “avatar.” This includes knowing your customers approximate age, location, the demographics of the service/products you are offering, what they use to communicate the most, or most importantly, where they normally search for your product or service.

When it comes to investing in internet marketing, there are traditionally 3 popular routes to take.

1. SEO – Search Engine Optimization (AKA….The long, but proven game)

SEO is the real deal, and gets real results. The problem, it takes a ton of time, persistence, and most importantly, patience.

Google has “algorithms” that rank websites based on a number of determining factors. These algorithms are responsible for your website ranking where it does, and of course it takes a ton of heavy lifting to optimize a site for good search. Almost every business can benefit from SEO, regardless of the industry.

2. Google Adwords – “Pay per Click” Campaigns

Paid ads are a great weapon to drive traffic to your website quickly. Traditionally, we recommend paid ads for a few different scenarios.

  1. Your website is brand new, and you don’t want to wait for SEO to kick in, so driving ads can help accelerate traffic to your site while you invest in a longer, played-out SEO strategy.
  2. In conjunction with SEO – Once you start aggressively competing on Google, combining an organic SEO campaign along with paid ads can greatly help you “cover more space” on Google searches, making you an apparent trusted source.
  3. Although businesses who sell services use paid ads, you usually see more of a trend line among businesses who sell products running ads, as data tells us that most people when searching for a service rather than product, will look to Google reviews and organic rankings over paid ads.

Paid ads are a great way to accelerate exposure, but keep in mind that there needs to be a carved-out budget in order to see strong results quicker.

3. Social Media Marketing (Very Effective for MOST Industries)

Social media can be an incredible channel for business owners looking to reach customers. Facebook and Instagram are the big players, with numerous smaller sites pickling up steam. But social media will not yield results for everyone.

For example, say you’re a local wedding photographer. Places like Instagram and Facebook, which are story driven, work great for picking up new clients, as people are drawn in visually to images that you post of your recent projects, news, etc.

On the other side, social media isn’t always effective for everyone. For example, say you own a plumbing supply store, most of your customers won’t be finding you on social media, but instead on Google. So even though having a social media presence won’t ever hurt you, you may get better ROI from an organic SEO or Paid Ad campaign.

In conclusion, although the 3 channels above are the most proven to get you results, there are numerous other avenues to help you get online exposure. Consulting with an internet marketing expert is useful before investing any money into advertising.

Until next time,
Josh Olswanger
Thrive Web Designs – Your Boise Web Design team