Marketing Your Cheeseburger
Article provided by eBridge Marketing Solutions
Stan, the manager of Chotchkie’s in the cult classic film “Office Space”, once made an astute observation. “People can get a cheeseburger anywhere”, he said. “They come to Chotchkie’s for the atmosphere and attitude.”
Web hosting service providers typically offer a similar menu: shared, virtual dedicated, dedicated, managed and collocation hosting services with complementary value-add features. What differentiates one provider from the next is their on-line marketing effort. Your marketing initiative is the “atmosphere and attitude” that is your vital advantage in a competitive marketplace.
There are a number of steps you can take right away to enhance your marketing on the World Wide Web.
The goal of marketing is to increase traffic to your website and to ensure this traffic is comprised of people looking to buy the products and services you sell. The best way to accomplish this is by optimizing your site for search and pursuing a high ranking in Google, Yahoo! and MSN for your targeted keywords.
A keyword analysis will reveal what words your customers search for when looking for hosting solutions and a basic understanding of SEO principles will help you target these terms. The title and meta description tags are key, as is the URL and your use of H1, H2 and H3 tags. Once your site is optimized for search and you know what keywords you’re targeting, it’s simply a matter of content creation.
The best way to litter your targeted keywords liberally throughout your website and on the web is by creating relevant content. Write about challenges in your industry, different approaches to website management, the evolution of eCommerce in your industry and how this relates to the suitability of various hosting plans. Write articles, press releases, case studies, white papers, interviews, blog entries and about other websites that revolve around your primary niche.
A quality external site with good content on a related subject can help market your primary website without diluting your brand. Once optimized for search, quality content should be produced on a regular basis with updates possibly written to an RSS feed and popular aggregators like Technorati.com pinged automatically. Write often, write well and watch your ranking rise.
One vehicle for the constant creation of content with several SEO advantages is blogging. Time magazine called 2004 the year of the blog and the importance of blogging from a marketing perspective has only increased since that time. Blogs are parallel with the mainstream media in terms of information delivery and as a data resource.
Introducing a company blog into your marketing strategy has numerous benefits. It forces the creation of desired content, it heavily encourages inbound links which provides a great Search Marketing boost and it promotes interaction by accepting comments and trackbacks. By powering your blog with server-side blogging software like Movable Type or Wordpress you can easily automate permalinking, the updating of category pages and monthly archives, the updating of an RSS feed as well as several other pages that may list the ten most recent entries.
Find any excuse to write a press release and distribute it via PRWeb. Service enhancements, new pricing plans, upgrades and company accomplishments are great justifications for a press release. Press releases enable you to draft a positive piece about your company containing your targeted keywords and links back to your primary site and for $80 PRWeb can ensure it’s included on Yahoo! News and Google News alongside articles from the New York Times and Washington Post. There’s no better bang for your buck and the benefits aren’t just reaped from human eyeballs but from search engine crawlers as well.
Your press releases will also have a permanent home in the news section of your website and a blog entry about the press release will complement the release. Before you know it, you’ll have a steady stream of relevant and quality content appearing in numerous places with multiple benefits.
An RSS feed is a great way to share your content with interested parties, but adoption has been slow and many still prefer email newsletters. To hedge your bets, it’s important you offer both options.
Your email newsletter will not only include excerpts from all the interesting blog entries and articles you’ve been writing, but links back to your primary website. One newsletter could target existing customers and work to up-sell and promote value-added services while another newsletter could target those interested in webmaster or web services news. The objective is to put your brand in people’s minds while persuading your target market to click over to your website.
Social Media Marketing
If you don’t yet know about the influential power of Digg, Reddit, del.icio.us, Stumbleupon and other social media networks, you’re missing out on a great source of traffic. If you’re writing well, make it easy for readers to promote your piece to these sites. Top ten lists are particularly popular, as are entries about these services themselves.
A key component of Search Marketing that’s not in your complete control is inbound links to your website. You have some control, however, and it’s wise to help yourself in this regard.
Participate in forum discussion on relevant topics, but ensure your signature includes your targeted keywords linking to your site. Participate often and on as many forums or blogs as possible. Ask acquaintances for an inbound link, write interesting blog entries that result in organic inbound links and seek to get your site listed in trustworthy directories.
It’s simple and effective, yet often ignored. In every email you send, include a signature that celebrates a service you provide with a clear call to action and link to your site. Don’t miss an opportunity to cross promote or market yourself, especially when it can be so easily integrated with daily activities you’re already doing.
There is no reason why you couldn’t address these 8 tips immediately. People can get a cheeseburger anywhere. Your online marketing strategy will help ensure they get their cheeseburger from you.
About eBridge Marketing Solutions
eBridge Marketing Solutions helps small and medium sized businesses create, design and administer their internet marketing initiatives, saving them time, money and resources while increasing website traffic and revenue.
For information on eBridge, go to www.ebridgemarketingsolutions.com where you’ll find services offered, testimonials and examples of our work!