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Setting Up an Interactive Online Presence

Setting Up an Interactive Online Presence - ibuildcompanies.com by Jeanne Heydecker

Internet Marketing encompasses a number of discrete disciplines ranging from SEO (Search Engine Optimization), SEM (Search Engine Marketing), Link Exchange, Blog Marketing, SMM (Social Media Marketing), and Online Advertising, among others. Before anyone embarks on this effort, your existing web site and social media pages should be carefully evaluated to see if tweaks to the existing sites are enough or if your sites will require a complete redesign to maximize the return on investment.

Imagine you’re having a dinner party. You’re investing in invitations, calls, maybe follow up calls and reminders to ensure your guests will arrive. But once they arrive, there’s nothing for them to do, there’s no food or liquor (the horrors!), and maybe they keep trying to open doors that go nowhere. Not a nice experience. Are you doing this to your prospects when they visit your internet properties?

As part of this process, establish a baseline of analytics. Big word – basically just means data. You don’t need a lot, but these are pretty important to establish before you launch anything new.

Important Baseline Data to Collect:

  • TRAFFIC: Total unique visitors
  • TIME ON SITE: This is the metric that Facebook is famous for. Time on Site shows visitors are reading and engaging. You want this as high as possible.
  • % LOCATIONS: % of visitors from specific regions – base this on where your business focus is.You may want to create certain regions, countries, states, cities and follow their growth separately.
  • % BOUNCEBACKS: To determine the amount of traffic that showed up, realized your site wasn’t what the were searching for and left.
  • KEYWORDS: Self-determined. Where do you rank when searching for your SEO keyword terms via google, bing, yahoo? Cross match this with what organic searches are actually driving traffic, but eliminate all keywords built on brand or company names (for this purpose).
  • FACEBOOK FANS: # fans who’ve liked your Facebook Page. You could also mention #messages by non employees to measure engagement.
  • LINKEDIN MEMBERS: # members to your Linkedin Company Page and/or Group.
  • TWITTER FOLLOWERS: # members to your Twitter Profile, and sweet fancy moses, make sure you get some sort of twitter verification service to keep spammers out of your follower list. You want real traffic from real people.
  • SMM TRAFFIC: By reading your analytics, you can determine the source for traffic by searching for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and the rest of the social media and web sites. Break these out by site. You can also see what type device people are accessing your pages from, since most social media has separate sites for mobile, tablets, and apps.
  • BACKLINKS: You want to know who and what quality sites are linking back to your site. This gives you credibility to search engines.

Establish Measurable Goals:

Examples:

  • Drive traffic to the web site, increasing unique visitors by 10% each month. (EX: Month 1=100, Month 2=110, Month 3=121)
  • Drive international traffic to the sites, to ultimately eclipse domestic traffic. Increase international traffic by 10% each month.
  • Decrease the bounceback from 78% to 45% of visitors within six months.
  • Increase the search keyword universe to include organic search terms beyond branding – 2 additional non-brand keywords or phrases added to top 100 search terms each month.
  • Increase fans/members/followers to social media sites by 5% each month.
  • Demonstrate traffic increases from social media efforts – increase traffic sources from social sites by 5% each month.
  • Increase backlinks by 20 per month.

Phase One:

Get your house in order. Fix your web site to include add-ons that enable the company to offer interactive content and engagement activities for visitors to your web site. Any redesign should focus on the user experience, facilitating the user’s need to fulfill their information requirements and enable ease in communicating with you.

Search Engine Optimization:

Search engine specialists optimize sites for specific keywords and engines so that the sites will rise through the ranks and appear on the first page of search results on Google and Yahoo!.You can either hire an external SEO firm to ensure that our sites can be found on high-ranking relevant web sites all over the Internet, hire an in-house expert if you plan to drive most of your revenue from your site, or try it yourself. You’ll figure out that one or the other will probably suit your needs best in the long run.

Incorporating search engine friendly design and content strategies will improve search engine rankings and drive more traffic to your web site. Optimization is the practice of refining and reworking the content and tags on individual pages and graphic files in order to facilitate a search engine’s spider software to evaluate the web sites’ contents as more applicable to certain keywords and categories.

This includes optimizing titles, meta tags, alt tags, keyword tags, comments, and file names to add an increase in rankings. Individual pages are tweaked for more specific phrases. Keyword density is measured and improved where possible. Site architecture is structured to assist the spiders in listing every page of your site. Many other tasks are done, all with the achievement of a higher-ranking score as the goal. All pages will be optimized for search engine ranking and include google analytics for web site traffic analysis.

When stakeholders are satisfied with work, work with your ISP to relaunch the site. You may want to submit your site to google with an .xml file of your content. It may get your site reviewed more quickly.

After this, the real work starts. The next post will introduce some basic Internet Marketing principles. See you then.


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