Written by Leandra Slabbert
If you own a business, you’re selling a product or service. Now, whether your business has been around since day dot, or whether it’s in its early years, you’ll know the importance of tapping into the market and taking hold of your target customer. It’s what’s inevitably going to transfer into leads, sales and ultimately, cash.
For years the traditional way of reaching your audience was through simple marketing techniques – techniques that more than likely didn’t involve the web. It’s all good and well going this route, but we can guarantee that you’re not reaching half as many people as you could be if you had an online presence. We can say this with confidence, because statistics in 2015 show an estimated 3.2 billion people, half the world’s population, were online, and the stats were only increasing.
Now, we, of course, don’t mean that you’ll be able to reach everyone, but with the web as powerful as it is, you will definitely be able to reach the vast majority – wherever they are in the world. That’s the beauty of the web: you are no longer limited to a specific region, you can now attract and target your customer, on a global scale. Search Engines even have the power to advertise your company directly to an individual target customer, through the information that they unconsciously offer the web, regardless of where they are. The marketing opportunities are endless when you have an online presence.
So, how do you generate an online presence? While there are many ways, there are two simple and very effective channels which you should not pass up if you are serious about targeting your customer and making your mark in the online world. They are: SEO and content marketing.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. What it is, is a set of rules carved out by search engines for owners of websites and blogs to follow if they want their site to be recognised and presented to the searcher. Essentially, strong SEO means that the likes of Google, Yahoo and Bing will favour your site and have it rank on the first page when a person searches for something in line with what you are talking about or offering in your content. This means more traffic, which means more leads, sales and cash.
Think of the number of times you searched Google when you needed a certain product or service, needed a question answered or needed instant information about a certain topic. Now, think of the number of times you clicked to the second page of the results. Yep, researchers say, hardly anyone ever does. You glance over the first page, and if your desired result does not appear there, you search with different keywords. Think of all those poor companies, blogs and people that are sitting on the second page, missing out on all that traffic and sales. You don’t want to be one of those companies, blogs or people – that’s why you need SEO.
Also, having your site featured on the first page, increases your website’s trust among searchers, giving them one more reason to use you instead of your competitors.
The world of SEO can be rather complex and should be left to the tech professionals. It takes years to crack the minds of the search engines, and there are a few SEO agencies that have successfully managed to do this, and with their expertise, would achieve a strong SEO for your company. You will see an extraordinary difference in traffic to your site and more importantly, revenue, after calling on an SEO agency to take on the task for you. One company increased their market traction by over 400%, with 100% rise in sales, after using an SEO agency to consult and develop content strategies and improve on-page copy and visibility. If they could, you could, too.
While SEO is a fantastic tool, it cannot work without content. You see, one of Google’s rules is that websites and blogs need to have relevant, trustworthy content and copy to successfully rank on the first page, or at all. What Google does, is it sifts through all the content on the web that matches the search it’s getting, and presents its best findings to the searcher. Trustworthy content is content that is original and not duplicated elsewhere on the web. It should contain some links, imagery, be a solid word count, and so on. Content could come in the form of a blog, videos, infographics, podcasts, newsletters, pretty much any channel that allows one to relay information or tell a story.
Content marketing doesn’t just make SEO possible, it contributes to generating massive leads. How? Well, if your blog, for example, is interesting, compelling and consistently offers great information, you’ll not only build trust with your potential customer but there’s a good chance that people will share your articles on social media. And, since we’re living in the age of Facebook and Instagram (and all the others), you can only imagine how much traction you’re going to get. According to Kissmetrics, a reputable online marketing site, the use of social media management could easily double your traffic. Social media gets people recognising your business and talking about it. Isn’t this the aim of the game?
Constant content also keeps your current customers and potential customers informed and interested. They’ll be eager to draw information from your site because you have compelling, relevant data. This, in turn, creates trust and perhaps even brand loyalty.
Imagine you stayed stuck in the old ways of marketing and failed to take advantage of the ease of reach that the web offers. You’d be completely missing out on all the perks – and let’s not forget: all the potential cash!
So, ask yourself: are you reaching out to your target customer in line with the way the world is moving and doing things these day? Are you positioning yourself in a way that’s promoting traffic and increasing sales? In this day and age, the scary question you need to answer is: if you’re not on the web, then do you even exist?
Found this article useful? Here is an infographic that highlights the points above. Feel free to share it with others that need to know the importance of content and SEO.