Online Marketing Guide for Businesses

27th Apr 2017

Stimulating online interest in your company isn't easy. Effective internet marketing usually requires multiple techniques and perseverance. Even if you hire an expert, it takes time to build visibility. If you're ready to get started, here's a brief guide to online marketing.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO is the process of optimizing your site so that it ranks well with the search engines and appears high on the SERPs (search engine result pages). There are various techniques, but for the most part it comes down to keywords: the specific words or phrases search engines use to index your web pages. 

You need to determine the most popular keywords in searches for content similar to your own and use them. Keyword tracking helps you determine how well your chosen keywords are working. It's important to get a good rank tracking tool to keep optimizing your keywords.


Pay-per-click advertising can be a cost-effective way to get noticed. With PPC, search engines display your ads, but you don't pay until someone clicks on one. To make the most of PPC, you have to use keywords and language to target your market segment, and have a means of tracking the success of various ads. 

With Google, you can utilize various tools and settings to optimize your PPC campaigns. Normally you pay a certain amount up front, and your ads are displayed until that budget is exhausted. 


Email campaigns are the digital version of direct mailing, but email advertising is much cheaper and more flexible. Emails can generate interest as newsletters, updates, limited sales offers, or helpful tips. You can find email management tools that allow you to customize emails for thousands of individual recipients. You can also add digital coupons, "preferred customer" bargains, and any other incentives relevant to your business.

Sending emails to random people is considered spamming. Most email systems use anti-spam filters, and some systems will even blacklist you if you keep spamming. Instead, your online content should include invitations to subscribe to an email list. With user opt-in, you can send them whatever you want. If you don't overdo it, and the email contains useful content, these subscribers will remain connected to your business.

Social Media

The top social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have millions of regular users, so these are great places to promote your business. Set up a profile for your company, provide some noteworthy posts, and start interacting with audiences. You can post text, photos, videos, links, graphics, and much more. Your purpose is to generate interest and trigger positive conversation about your company, products, and services.

Most of the major social sites also have analytics tools so you can gauge the success of your efforts. You can review demographics, how many likes, clicks, or shares you're getting, how many times your company is mentioned, and how. Third-party services can help you track results across multiple social platforms. If you do it right, the great thing about social media is that your followers can recommend or "share" you with friends to do your marketing for you.

Content Marketing

This is a new buzzword describing an old idea: in order to keep people coming back to your site, you have to give them content that provides value. SEO, emails, and the rest will drive traffic to your webpages, but you have to provide something that maintains and nurtures they're interest. This can basically boil down to content that generates feelings and provides information in ways that plain text can't. Few people today have the patients to sit and read through a "wall of words".

Attention-grabbing content could be images, infographics, video, and interactive elements. It could be puzzles, games, surveys, trivia, downloads, or anything else that you think your audience will engage with. Don't overlook adding topical blogs, forums, or Q&A pages. Any free advice that adds to the customer experience increases the value of your product or service.

If you think successful online marketing takes a lot of work, you're right. Experiment, evaluate your efforts, and be innovative. If you do the basics correctly, in time it becomes second-nature and your customer base continues to grow.

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