24/06/11

By Lee Stretton, IT director at AddPeople

Many business people happily use social media to stay in touch with friends, shop and make travel bookings on-line but don’t feel confident enough to apply internet marketing to promote their own business. Now is the time for businesses to realise that the social media revolution has evolved and is now an essential tool in winning clients and capturing business.

Striking out into uncharted cyber-territory may be a bit of a challenge but it could pay big dividends. Reaching out to a vast new on-line audience could make a big difference to your business.

Getting to grips with the jargon is half the battle. Here are a few of internet tools that will help you understand social media:

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

This is the process of improving the visibility of a website in search engines so that your business ranks as highly as possible, preferably number one or in the top 10. Many companies now use an SEO expert to engineer the content of their website. It’s become quite a sophisticated area with an abundance of ‘experts’ offering their services. A well-established SEO consultant will suggest all sorts of ways in which you can steal a march on your competition by achieving a place higher-up the ‘Google-rankings’. Investment in good advice could see more customers coming through your door or making contact with you more or less immediately. Always measure the value of your ROI (return on investment) and beware ‘experts’ with very little more than jargon and promises to bring to the table.

Link Building

Link building helps in creating awareness, visibility and credibility of a website and generates quality traffic from relevant sites which increase sales. When high quality links join a site it’s seen as a valuable resource and shoot up the Google rankings. This means the site will then obtain wider search engine exposure and be indexed by more search engines.

Pay Per Click

This is a form of paid advertising on a search engine where you are only charged for the number of people who discover your website and ‘click through’ i.e. follow the link to your website. This is usually based upon ‘keyword’ searches and is a good way of ensuring that you get ‘more bucks for your bang’.

Social Media

These are interactive sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linked In. You register your presence on the site then engage with as few or as many individuals or organisations as appropriate. Again, using keywords and phrases such as ‘hashtags’ opens up streams of possibly relevant connections and helps you engage with people who are also writing about the same subject.

In business contacts and connections matter, investing time in building your presence on Linkedin.com will produce a network of links that will lead to business. The old cliché ‘people buy from people’ always applies in the corporate world.

Video SEO

By adding video footage about your business on YouTube it will attract viewings which you can measure. If it ‘goes viral’ you will be able to secure acres of free exposure.

Web Design

Sticking a single webpage domain on-line carrying your ‘name, rank and serial number’ is no longer an option for most businesses. Investing in a website that tells people who you are, where you are, what you do and most importantly ‘calling them to action’ is a must.

You’re website IS your business in a customer’s eyes. A website is your shop front, your display, your welcome, your sales pitch, your offer and your ‘call to action’. If it isn’t all of these things, change it, now.

AddPeople offer a free health check to all businesses looking at on and off page elements including having the right phone number, forms, key words, links into the website and the structure of a page, coding and stopping duplicate content. Please email lee.stretton@addpeople.co.uk to book a session.

www.addpeople.co.uk


About Add People

Add People is a UK provider of digital marketing services for businesses.

Services include search engine optimisation (SEO), search engine marketing (pay-per-click), link building, video production, web design and web development.

The company is privately owned and was established in Manchester in 2002 by John Spence and Grant Barton.

Add People, which is part of the Add Media Group, now employs 80 full time staff, is on the North West Development Agency High Growth Programme and is working towards Investors In People (IIP) status.

Add People is active in the digital marketing industry and is a member of both Manchester Digital and e-Consultancy.

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