Nine ways your business can cast a long shadow
1) Natural Search
Get the benefits of “page one” without actually being there! Many small companies don’t have the expertise or time in order to get and maintain a page-one ranking on Google for the most popular short keyword phrases. If being on page one isn’t feasible, then make sure you are only just one click away from every page-one listing.
Use the most popular, relevant short keyword phrases for your offering and then comb through the Web sites on the first page. Except for Web sites of competitors, you should be able to get a presence on all of these pages. And since 70% of traffic goes to the natural listings on page one – this means a lot of exposure for you!
- Put a link to helpful content on your site from any Wikipedia type listings (don’t worry about no follow, this is about traffic)
- Comment on blogs and article that are on page one (don’t worry about no follow)
- Create partnerships with applicable sites
- Identify key associations and organizations to join
- Target the sites for your ads to display on via Google’s content network
- Buy display ads on these sites
Since many searchers check out a couple of sites before being fully satisfied, this gives you many opportunities for exposure for each keyword phrase – increasing your presence and credibility with each exposure.
2) Paid Search
Now for some successful strategies for a strong presence with keywords you can afford. Many keywords in today’s paid search ad space have moved out of the budget range for many small companies. But don’t give up – there are still lots of cheap keywords out there to be had. Here are some ways to uncover paid search traffic that you can still afford:
- Mine your analytics data for keyword queries that brought you traffic. Look only at five-plus word phrases. This can be a great beginning to a long-tail search network campaign.
- Bid on your competitor’s brand and product keywords.
- Bid on your partner’s brand and product keywords. Use your ad copy to clarify how to fit in and benefit from using them both together.
- Promote yourself for everything you will be attending- conferences, charity events, etc. Bid on the keyword names of the events and highlight your presence at them.
- Promote your blog posts individually using longer-tail terms (5+ words again) from your posting.
- Go beyond Google into Yahoo and Bing. Also look at further expansion into Facebook, LinkedIn, Business.com, etc
3) Highly-targeted Content Network Campaign
The rock bottom CPC’s of the Google Content Network attracts many small companies. However, if the campaign is not highly targeted it is just another waste of money. Here are some tips on how to enjoy the lower CPCs while getting actual brand and click results from the Content Network:
- Use managed placements only. Select prominent websites in your industry – places your target customer goes to for their news.
- Set ad groups of keywords. For the content network you use those popular 1-2 word phrases in thematic ad groups. Just enough information to help Google relate to the type of content on the managed placement site that your ad is most relevant to.
4) Display Ads – One at a Time
Buy prominent space (rotated through different sites) on the most predominantly viewed authorities in your space and on the most widely read newsletters in your space. Doing one at a time will enable you to spread your presence on a smaller budget and avoid ad fatigue.
5) Re-targeting Campaign
These are the campaigns which can be run through Google which will show your ads to previous visitors of your website as they cruise around other websites that are a part of Google’s content network. You’ll need to place a snippet of code onto your website in order for Google to start tracking visitors. You’ll need to get to 500 cookies before Google will show your ads. Some small companies are turned off by this number, but just be patient – you’ll eventually get there and the rewards will be worth it.
Previous visitors will be impressed as they cruise the web – “wow, these guys are everywhere!”
Be sure to limit how many times a previous visitor sees your ads in a day or week. While you want to project a big image, you don’t want to become irritating noise.
Check out the sites that your visitors are frequenting – these may be good managed placements for your content campaign, or great link building opportunities.
A blog can be your free way to demonstrate your helpful expertise and get a natural search presence for longer tail terms.
It’s also great material to push out through more social avenues such as Facebook , Twitter, Digg, Reddit and others.
Great content can gain you popularity on Facebook and Twitter and also will have people show the article to their friends so you can experience viral growth.
Having a professional regular newsletter projects the image of being big. It helps remind people about you and is your chance to become a regular helpful source to potential and current customers. There are many very affordable email systems out there that can help your emails to look professional and help you maintain your email list with ease.
If your newsletter contains truly valuable content – people will share it with their friends and you will experience viral growth.
8 ) Enlist Bloggers, the Media, Customers and Partners
Small companies can’t go it alone, so leverage every single person out there that can help you. Here are some tips on who can help and how to engage them:
- Find influential bloggers and get them interested to blog about you, or think about you for certain topics. Providing them with interesting data that you have from internal studies or leveraging them as an expert can be a great way to build the relationship.
- Reach out to journalists (whether from your local newspaper, or national industry publications) and make sure they know about you. Again – offering unique and interesting data or topic thoughts can be a helpful way to them that can start the relationship.
- Get Noted / Awarded – whether by an analyst, a publication, or an annual reward – get your name in the hat.
- Partners – build some partnerships –whether it’s with the owner of the jazz bar across the street from your restaurant or a technology consultant who helps to implement your software – have them mention you on their site, in their blogs and link to you and recommend you. Referral fees are often good motivators here.
- Enlist your customers. Offer incentives for reviews on local listings. Offer contests on Twitter and Facebook.
9) Free Listings
Get list for free wherever you can and make the listing as complete as possible. Listings can include:
- Google Merchant Feed
- Local Listings
- Topical industry directories
Employ these strategies and in no time, you will be projecting an online image of a larger, professional organization that is knowledgeable, reputable and here to stay.
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