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The Online Marketing Project: How to Improve Your Online Presence One Step at a Time – Part 1

April 1st, 2013 ::
This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Online Marketing Project

If you’re familiar with the book (and blog) The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, the title of this blog post series might sound familiar. In the book, Rubin works on improving a different part of her life one month at a time and offers suggestions on how to do it yourself at the end.

The Happiness Project is the inspiration for this 4-part blog post series. Because it is so much easier to reach your goals in small, doable steps, I broke down the elements of what goes into a comprehensive online marketing strategy. I don’t know if it will make you happier, but my plan will certainly make online marketing easier to put your arms around. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Audit Your Website

Because the foundation of your online presence is your website, that’s where we’re starting:

  • Look at your Google Analytics data – What keywords are you being found for? Where is your traffic coming from? What pages are visitors spending time on?
  • Update your website – Add new information and remove anything that is outdated. Bulk up the pages visitors spend the most time on and remove any that get no traffic.
  • Proof your website – Check that all links work, spelling and grammar are correct, and the keywords you are being found for are being used throughout the site.
  • Optimize your website – Work with a search engine optimization expert (ask your web developer for recommendations) to ensure your site is properly optimized. Set up a maintenance schedule with the SEO person to make sure your site keeps up with changes in technology and search engine algorithms.

Step 2: Build a Mobile Site

Thanks to the increasing use of mobile devices to access and shop on the Internet, now is the time to put together a great mobile site:

  • Prioritize content – Because mobile sites have smaller screens, you want to add only the content that is most relevant to a mobile user, like hours of operation, location (with a map!), a brief overview of products and services, and contact info.
  • Streamline navigation – To cut down on scrolling or tapping, make sure the developer keeps navigation super simple.
  • Make contact info actionable – If you add an email address or phone number, a user should be able to tap on it and instantly connect with their email or phone functions.

Step 3: Start Listening

Now that your website and mobile sites are in good shape, time to find out what your customers and target market care about:

  • Set up Google Alerts – Find out what people are saying about your business, industry, products, and services by setting up Google Alerts using relevant keywords.
  • Follow trends on Twitter – If you are active on Twitter, trending topics are automatically customized for you based on who you follow. You can find them in the left-hand column.
  • Ask your customers – Sometimes the most obvious solution is the simplest. Ask your customers what they care about on Facebook or with a survey. To increase the amount of feedback you get, offer a freebie.

In my next post, we’ll look at editorial calendars, social media, and blogging, but til then, what aspect of marketing do you most want to improve?

Image by Flickr user fra-NCIS (Creative Commons)

Series NavigationThe Online Marketing Project: How to Improve Your Online Presence One Step At A Time – Part 2The Online Marketing Project: How to Improve Your Online Presence One Step at a Time – Part 4
The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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