Okay, your new professionally designed, beautiful and functional website designed by Startup Production is live! Now what? How do you drive traffic to your website so you can turn prospects into customers and website visits into sales? SEO! [Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing visibility of a website in a search engine results.]
I’m going to do my best to make a very complicated subject matter and break it down into four easy to understand components of driving more traffic to your website. If we remove the mystique out of the process, we are less likely to be bamboozled into internet marketing scams and unscrupulous ‘SEO marketing consultants’.
Here are four main building blocks of SEO (and the pros and cons of each):
I. Organic SEO through optimizing the content and source code of your website so search engines can easily navigate your website, easily determine the nature of your business, and decide if you are a trusted source in your industry. (Website Optimizations packages coming soon!)
- Con: It takes a lot of work, patience, and it can take some time for search engines to find you and reassess your optimization efforts.
- Pro: It has long-lasting results that do not rely on paid advertising!
II. Pay-per-Click Advertising is the process of gaining traffic by purchasing ads on search engines. Through targeting your marketing audience, choosing relevant keywords, and ongoing reviewing and analyzing of your ads, you can have a successful campaign.
- Con: It can take trial and effort to find the keywords that work for you, and it takes strategy and know-how to accurately analyze the statistics to find what is working and what is not.
- Pro: It has instant results as your ad will display in the prominent areas (top and right hand side) of the search engine.
III. Backlinking can be another effective SEO tool, but only if done right. If done wrong, it will actually hurt your site these days. What is a Backlink? In basic link terminology, a backlink is any link received by an external website back to your website. The number of backlinks is one indication of the popularity or importance of that website or page (if and only if the links are coming from a trusted source) according to the search engine.
- Con: Inorganic backlinks are bad for your site, plain and simple. Google will penalize you if you are artificially trying to create backlinks to your site through link rings, link schemes, reciprocal links, bought links, and links on low quality sites. One rule of thumb to know if the link is harmful to your SEO efforts, don’t ever pay for a backlink!
- Pro: There is a lot of controversy about backlinking with new Google standards, but the fact is an organic backlink from a trusted source, that has (1) Relevance, (2) Authority & Influence, and (3) Diversity**, is a fundamental variable in organic search algorithms and organic search strategies and cannot be ignored.
IV. Social media marketing focuses efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks. A corporate message spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or company itself. Hence, this form of marketing is driven by word-of-mouth, meaning it results in earned media rather than paid media.
- Con: If your social media content is of poor quality, not relevant to your industry or inconsistent, your audience (followers, fans, likes, etc) will lose interest or you will fail to build an audience in the first place. Also, social media ads can be complicated if you have not targeted your audience and researched effective keywords, which is similar to PPC ads. [See 2A above.]
- Pro: Social media is easily accessible, free, helps create brand awareness, improves customer service, increases word-of-mouth referrals, and drives traffic back to your website (translation: good backlinking). *See Startup Productions new social media packages.