At this point, online marketing and SEO are part of almost every business's marketing budget. However, in order to make your online marketing efforts truly successful, you need to make sure you don't limit how many customers you can reach.
If you're still holding back because you don't know what to do, there are some basic tips that can get you in the game.
Do Your Keyword Research
Keyword research is essential for any business that's trying to succeed marketing online. When it comes to keyword research, there are a few things you need to do that are particularly important.
Using a tool like SwissMadeMarketing.com or Google Adwords, search for terms related to the home security industry, for example. You need to find terms that are directly related to your industry first, in order to draw in the greatest amount of traffic. The problem with this is that the terms directly related may have high competition and not be viable terms you can rank for if you have low domain authority.
Search for terms that aren't directly related to your industry. For example, home improvement, home renovation, child safety and home safety are all related to home security, but not in such a direct fashion. These terms will keep you from limiting your scope and reach. Many of these terms will have high search volumes, and more importantly if they're long-tail terms, will have low competition.
Create a list of keyword terms you think will help generate traffic for your business. You want to have at least ten search terms that you can create content around. The URL's for this content will also be designed around the keywords.
Quick Tip: Make sure to use the keywords you find verbatim. Otherwise you lose the value of the keyword.
Write Guest Posts for Links
Creating guest posts for blogs and sites is a great way to get links back to your own website to increase how many people see it. However, if you want to be successful at this, you're going to need to create content that people are interested in reading - not just promotional fluff that talks about how great your business is.
Make sure to look for sites with a good amount of traffic and strong PR's otherwise it's a waste of time. Sites with traffic will increase the probability of your link being shared thereby affording your organic traffic.
Using "home security" and adding "home design" as an additional keyword, you could write an article about how to tastefully conceal a security system keypad in your home - like covering the keypad with a canvas painting on hinges.
You could also create an additional related article about how to safely use a curved glass ceiling lampshade to conceal smoke detectors from view.
Both of these are topics that are relevant to the home security industry, as well as marketable on sites like Pinterest for example.
Quick Tip: Finding a high quality image to Pin for this article will increase the probability of it being seen, liked, and re-pinned. Pinterest's users are predominantly women in their late 20's and early 30's, new moms, and middle class. This is the demographic you want to reach.
Maintain Your Blog and Link to It
By maintaining your own company's blog, you'll be able to create content that people will want to come back and read on a regular basis. When your content is really good, people will want to share it with their friends through social media or in their own guest posts.
That's a natural method of link building, and it helps to increase your exposure to potential new customers.
Another effective method of link building is to create a custom Google Search that limits your search to forums like Quora, Answers.com, Yahoo.com and Askville. Once you've created this custom search you'll be able to find people asking questions relevant to your industry so you can provide answers and links to your own content and business.
This might not sound fruitful at first, but it really can be effective. You'll also be surprised at how quickly you can do it once you create your own custom Google Search.
Return on Investment (ROI)
Doing keyword research, creating guest posts for other blogs and sites and building links can be a lot of work. That's why many business owners choose to hire somebody to do this work for them while they take care of the day-to-day operations of the business.
Hiring somebody might seem like a cost you can't afford, but following these tips, you'll see an excellent return on your investment. When new client leads become new paying clients because of your online marketing efforts, the initial cost will seem like nothing more than a few pennies.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer and business owner in the Los Angeles area. She's written various articles on increasing the value of your business and successful marketing strategies to increase visibility. She is currently a regular contributor for Protect America.