Internet Marketing is an area of work where businesses can reach potential customers, gain exposure and grow their business. By using Search Engine Optimization, both on the website and off of the website, companies and people can increase their rankings and site visits. When sites are designed with location and specific key words, people can find a business, product or service for a specific set of search terms, such as “Hairdressers Near Me” or “Salons in San Diego” The websites simply need to be written properly and submitted to search engines for indexing. Developers and designers can use a guideline for designing a page or site to show up in search engines for location and key words, such as WordPress plugins, or good Meta/HTML tags and using anchor text in the write up. Also by providing a good alternate description for images and anything else used on a website, so a search engine robot can read, keyword index, and provide a readability score based on the information published.
By using Social Media, businesses and people can promote their products and services to end users of the media platforms such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Reddit, and other sites. Businesses can create profile pages for their businesses and connect them to their website and vice versa, allowing two way communication from the customer to the business. Anything published on their website can be sent to their Social Media pages and vice versa, ensuring nothing is missed. Social Media also offers paid advertising where businesses can reach a wide range of users and limit the reach to certain demographics and locations.
Analytics show traffic to a site and provides source information so a business can know which platform is more effective. If I ran a social media ad campaign, I can track site visits, origination, and sales generated from my campaign to my website and within the Social Media platform itself. Businesses also have insight to the time on page, conversions, and click through rate.
Google Adwords and Facebook Advertising for businesses can get complicated, as many businesses compete for top rankings for various keywords. The key words are auctioned for a Price Per Click, using a daily spend rate or budget to reach potential customers. Personally, I find the Adwords program to be dangerous for new business owners advertising on the Internet since there is no real proof these customers are clicking from the specified region and are actual interested buyers. The system can be abused, causing a company to pay for clicks that maybe their competitor hired someone to sabotage their advertising efforts to remain on top. There doesn’t seem to be any regulation of these companies such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo or Facebook, unless some political scandal arises, causing question about Russian Advertising or something like that. No one really questions how valuable or costly the Pay Per Click Advertising campaigns can get. It certainly has it’s benefits to increase exposure and is a great tool for marketing and increasing sales on the Internet, but there are no studies that really show conversion rates for other forms of advertising vs. internet advertising; not much different from what businesses are used to: “we think it worked.” Search Engine Optimization seems to be the best 1st route for businesses to be visible in search engines.
Connecting all of these profiles such as your website, facebook page, Google+ page, or “My Business on Google Maps” and any other profile you might have such as Yelp, Angies List, Houzz, or other directory service is the best approach for a business to gain better search engine rankings or visibility. Being all over the place, promoting a brand, or service is the best way to reach customers and make your name known; and most of it just requires creating listings, building a technically sound website, providing good content, and staying current and consistent with your listings.