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Do You Know the ABCs of Web Strategy?

By Taylor Reaume @ NOOZHAWK.COM

In today’s tech-driven world, online marketing is a linchpin for success. The average consumer is changing how they go about finding products and services, with the Internet being one of the first places that they look. Therefore, no matter what sort of industry your business is in, its online web strategy is invaluable.

As important as a web strategy is, it’s also important to remember that it’s just one piece of the puzzle that makes up a business. And with so much else to take care of, it can seem nearly impossible to keep up with the ever-changing atmosphere of online marketing. But while it may be worthwhile to hire an online marketer or social media specialist to handle the day-to-day tasks, it’s still important that managers and owners have a basic understanding of web strategy and online marketing.

The “50,000-foot view” is common business-talk that refers to a general understanding of how part of a company works. For example, a business owner may not know every step of the process that a dedicated marketing team makes, but it’s still important for the team to know the general highlights and direction of the company. When it comes to online marketing, here is a general outline that highlights the ABCs of web strategy.

Know Your Audience

As with any approach, the first key is that you know where your target is. Therefore, your web strategy should have a firm understanding of your audience and how you plan to attract it. If you believe that you already know your audience, you may want to think again.

Most companies will begin by setting up an online marketing strategy that approaches their audience the same way that it would with offline efforts. However, it’s important to know that the Internet is changing the way that you reach customers.

For example, you may have a stand-alone retail store that nobody outside of your neighborhood knows about, but that doesn’t matter once you go online. Your target audience expands to people around the world when it comes to online marketing and approaching new customers.

By understanding who your audience is and whether it is local, regional, national or global, you can develop an online marketing strategy that directly approaches it. This is also the chance that a business can rebrand its image and find new ways to expand in ways like never before.

Determine What the Audience Wants …

The next step in the web strategy for 2014 should be determining what it is that the audience wants and how easily it will stay interested in what you provide. For example, some online strategies may be to post viral videos to social media accounts. Other businesses might rely on blogging or posting new information for their audience to see. Others may even rely on an email list that is used for a monthly newsletter.

There are a variety of different approaches that may work best for your audience, so determining what it wants will help you focus your approach.

Before you jump to the conclusion that more content is better, keep in mind that this may not be true for your specific market. While there are plenty of videos or memes out there that attract a lot of interest, your target market may not be interested in such “viral content.” Instead, your audience may want more relevant information to your industry and what it is that you provide.

Looking to get 1 million views on a video might be a viable online web strategy for some, but it’s most certainly not the only option. Therefore, know what will interest your audience the most and be sure that this is the type of media you use for your approach.

… And Where They Want To Get It From

It is estimated that Facebook has more than 1.2 billion users who have registered accounts. Twitter has roughly 200 million, and Instagram comes in at around 100 million. These are staggering numbers, but it also shows that there are great disparities between each social media site.

As nice as 200 million users is for Twitter, it has a long way to go before it passes the 1 billion mark like Facebook.

Keeping some of the numbers in mind, it’s important that your web strategy is available to your target market via resources that it uses most often. Facebook is obviously a good resource because of the sheer amount of people who are on it, but it’s not the only outlet for your web strategy. Instead, your business may be better suited with an online blog, YouTube video channel, or a simple monthly email.

If you are aiming your online marketing approach at places where your target audience won’t see it, then you are wasting your time. However, providing information to users where they already are looking will help to increase the online presence of a business.

Optimize for SEO

Anywhere you look for tips on how to make your web strategy better, you are going to hear that SEO should be one of your most important considerations. SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to the ranking that a website has on a Google search query. In order to get higher rankings through SEO, a business needs:

» Keyword-rich content that triggers search engine results

» A website that runs smoothly and functions properly

» Correct contact information for a business (called “NAP” for: Name, Address, Phone number)

» No filler content to take up space

Plan Ahead

Whatever your approach is for online marketing, be sure that you plan ahead. This will help you save time and be much more effective with your online approach.

By planning ahead and having a routine schedule for improving your website, you won’t have to worry about missing posts or running short of content. Instead, you’ll always have new material to help with SEO, while also keeping the interest of your audience.

Unless you are ingrained in the web strategy approach of your business, it can be hard to keep up with everything. But with this 50,000-foot view of the best practices of web strategy in 2014, it’s much easier to see how valuable each part of the process is.

— Taylor Reaume, is president of Search Engine Pros and a regular speaker on topics of online marketing and web strategy. He has created over 550 web sites since 1998, one which sold for six figures in 2007 to Jupiter Media.  Taylor is Vice Chair of the Board at TVSB and an active member of several local non profits and foundations in Santa Barbara.  He can be contacted at 800.605.4988.  Follow him on Twitter: @SantaBarbaraSEO and Facebook: http://Facebook.com/thesearchenginepros

About Search Engine Pros: Search Engine Pros is a Santa Barbara web marketing firm specialized in online marketingSEO marketing, PPC (Pay Per Click Google Adwords), and SEO/web designVisit the website and Facebook page or call 800-605-4988 for more information or to request a copy of 101 Ways to Drive Traffic.

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7 Halloween Marketing Tips

Search Engine Pros Halloween Newsletter

Personal Note From Founder:

Dear Friends,

You’ve heard of newsjacking, but are you familiar with holiday-jacking? If it isn’t an official marketing term, it definitely should be. The bigger the holiday, the larger the interest among consumers and the associated volume of search on Google.

By effectively targeting your marketing materials to upcoming holidays, you can capture the interest of consumers who are attuned to the season. According to the National Retail Federation, a record 170 million Americans say they’ll celebrate Halloween this year. Halloween is the second highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas and spending in the United States this year is estimated to reach $6.9 billion.

The Halloween market is bigger than ever, and adults are having just as much fun as kids. There’s a huge opportunity for your business to join the celebration with some seasonal online content and clever Halloween social media marketing.

7 Halloween Marketing Tips:

1.  Hold A Halloween Contest
A fun Halloween contest could be for the best jack-o-lantern, the best costume, the best recipe – you name it. Ask your customers to post pictures of their entries, and don’t forget to offer a prize; a free e-book, gift card, or coupon would be perfect.

2.  #DoAHashtagContest
Setting up a hashtag can help your Halloween contest or promotion get seen by a wider audience. Even those who don’t participate could retweet it or mention it on Twitter getting you on more timelines and generating more buzz.

3.  Engage Facebook fans with images
Images are a proven tactic for attracting attention to your website, Twitter timeline or Facebook page. On Facebook specifically, with the new timeline for brands, images pop on your news feed and engage visitors, often earning more likes and comments than other posts.

4.  Write A Halloween-Themed Blog Post
This idea is truly limited only by your imagination. Relate Halloween to some aspect of your business and run with it. Do you have a pet supply business? Blog about tips for keeping your pet safe when trick-or-treaters flock to your porch. Run a home improvement website? List your top ten scariest DIY mistakes made by homeowners. This is also a good place for “awareness” topics like child safety or drunk driving on Halloween.

5.  Make A Halloween Video Dress up team members in Halloween costumes and make a promotional, entertaining, or educational video. Halloween tips are a good place to start for inspiration. Tips for applying Halloween makeup. Tips for examining your child’s trick-or-treat candy. Exercise tips for working off all that Halloween candy. The witch-filled sky’s the limit.

6.  Do a tweet-vote
A tweet-vote can help you earn new followers and engage your current ones. For Halloween, you could have followers vote on the costume contest you held in your office, which has the added bonus of humanizing your brand.

7.  Host a Halloween (social) event
Making your event social can help you not only generate buzz and attract attendees before it starts – it can also help you engage followers and fans during the party and after it’s over.

Fun Things to do in Santa Barbara on Halloween:

Downtown Halloween Safe Trick-or-Treat
October 31, 2013
Times: 3-6PM
Location: Downtown Santa Barbara
Address: State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: call 962.2098 ext. 24
Downtown businesses get into the spirit of the haunting season by welcoming hundreds of costumed children with treats, stickers, coupons or other Halloween goodies.

Halloween Bash at Carr Winery
October 31, 2013
Times: 7:30PM-11:00PM
Address: 414 N. Salsipuedes Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Phone: 805-965-7985
Venue: Carr Winery
Join us in the haunted wine cave! Sip wicked wines and jam to music by Tommy & the High Pilots. Georgia’s Smokehouse will be serving up their frightfully delicious BBQ. 21+, Costume required. A Halloween party you will die for…Get on the list before the event sells out.

Voodoo Lounge 2nd Annual Canary Rooftop Halloween Dance Party
October 31, 2013
Times: 9PM-1AM
Address: 31 West Carrillo St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: 805-895-3402
Venue: Canary Hotel
VIP Access 8:00 – 1:00 am $75 in advance, space is limited – Enjoy Bubbling Brews and Bewitching Bites- 8:00 – 9:00 pm – VIP Entrance to the Party – Two complimentary drink tickets to be used at the Voodoo Lounge Party – Access to VIP bar General Reception 9:00 pm to 1:00 am General Admission $40

CURATED COCKTAILS WITH ASCENDANT SPIRITS
October 31, 2013
Times: 5:30PM-9PM
Address: 653 Paseo Nuevo Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: 805.966.5373
Venue: Paseo Mall
MCASB partners with a new local mixologist every Thursday in October from 6-8 pm to offer unique $5 MCASB signature cocktails.  Visitors can enjoy music from DJ Emtpy Priest and guided tours of the current exhibitions: Call For Entries and Bloom Projects: Ro Snell, All that is left.

Must See Videos:

Hilarious Halloween Prank on kids!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YQpbzQ6gzs

Halloween Light Show “Thriller”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUAV_1jBJB4

Haven’t decided on a Halloween costume for your pet? Watch this video for some creative ideas!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYY6YmoHD5Q

 

Google Reveals the highest searched terms for Halloween costumes of 2013:

Thinking of dressing up as a Minion for Halloween this year? Judging by recent searches, you aren’t the only one. Both Google and Yahoo agree that Minion costumes – from the “Despicable Me” movies – are the top trending costumes of 2013. With Halloween less than a week away, here’s a look at the top 5 costumes people are searching for most this year:

1.)   Minion – from the movie “Despicable Me” is popular with both adults and kids
2.)   Breaking Bad – searches are up nearly 3x vs. last year for the popular AMC series, which just saw huge ratings for its series finale.
3.)   Fox – supposedly inspired by Ylvis’ viral video “The Fox”.
4.)   Duck Dynasty – searches are 3x higher this year vs. last year; search volume is highest in Texas.
5.)   Miley Cyrus – not surprising following her post-VMA performance and latest “look at me” antics.

 

Join us at Lunch & Learn e-Marketing Tomorrow
Time: Fridays 12:30pm-2pm
Location: 532 State Street (Next Door Joe’s Cafe)
Join The Facebook Event

Lunch and Learn e-Marketing is a web marketing seminar presented by yours truly, Taylor Reaume, Fridays 12:30pm-2pm at Verde Restaurant @ 532 State Street. I would like to welcome everyone to this new venue for our e-marketing discussions every week.  VerdeSB.com is a new mexican cuisine restaurant located on lower State Street. At this lunch meeting you will have a unique opportunity to share online marketing secrets with other business owners.  Learn online marketing and social media marketing strategy on the web. One lucky attendee will have their web site analyzed live by the lunch group and feedback is provided, to help optimize online presence.

Expand your knowledge of web marketing and learn advanced search engine optimization strategy. COST is $20; Includes lunch, a drink, e-marketing discussions with local business people – GREAT BUSINESS NETWORKING. Discover valuable web marketing secrets that will help you outrank your competition on Google. Bring your questions, business cards and laptop (optional). Leave with a full stomach and clarity/sanity on 2013 web strategy and web marketing options. Attendees participate in a live web site review and offer constructive feedback as part of the group. It’s educational. It’s informative. It’s delicious. Find out if your web site is winning the race to the top of Google. Open to everyone!

RSVP not required but appreciated.
https://www.thesearchenginepros.com/seo-workshop.html

Sincerely,

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