At Macworld 2011 presenter Jean MacDonald discussed some online marketing tips small businesses can use for better search engine placement, pay per click strategy and effective email marketing. Jean is a partner of Smile Software, makers of useful tools PDFpen and TextExpander. Her presentation focused on the following four topics: Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click, Email Marketing, and Social Media
Tips for search engine optimization (SEO)
The proper utilization of SEO on your website will definitely increase your website’s success. The first step that you must take is to determine the keywords that will lead people to your site. Using short keyword phrases will most likely not work due to the level of competition for those words and the volume of websites that will be ahead of your site in the #1 search engine, Google. Your ultimate goal is to reach the first page in Google for whatever keyword phrases you choose. Jean suggested the use of the Google Keyword Tool for keyword investigation and to find effective keyword phrases that are 2 to 3 words long. You should then take those keyword phrases and place them in your page title, meta tag description and page content. If you don’t mind spending $80, Jean suggests a tool by Rage software called SERank for monitoring your rankings and competition’s rankings.
Tips for Pay Per click (PPC)
There is a lot of negative stigma around the use of PPC for website promotion. Many have invested money only to receive poor traffic results or ineffective traffic since the conversion rates were low. Jean suggests using PPC to test the effectiveness of the SEO keywords you identified in the first step. The ads you create must include a call to action and you should set up specific ads entitled with specific keywords. One important thing to remember when setting up an Adwords campaign is to limit the ads to the Google search network only. The default is to send the ads to all networks and that may send your ad to sites that don’t reflect the the clients or customers you are targeting.
We will discuss the email marketing and social media tips in the next post.