3 Internet Marketing Services That Will Bring Your Chicago Based Business, Rankings, Traffic, and Revenue
With 4.54 billion people using the internet as of January 2020, it’s crucial that a significant part of your marketing strategy is digital.
Businesses and customers alike are always online, always searching—and many of these online searches are bound to find their way to you.
In fact, studies have shown that 65% of all consumers start with an online search before making a purchase. So, you need to be able to reach audiences where they spend most of their time: the internet—the key to which is search engines.
With one of the world’s largest economies, business in Chicago are booming.
But while the fertile grounds for business give you an ample opportunity to start a small business on your own, there’s also a disadvantage to it: in order to make your digital presence felt, you’ll need to stand out, and employ some digital marketing strategies can take your brand straight to the next level by making your site search-engine friendly.
1. SEO: Vetting the Right Audiences for the Right Reasons
What most people don’t realize is that their website is a powerful marketing tool and a great revenue generator.
SEO encompasses sponsored content, ads, online stores, affiliate marketing, and more.
You can even take advantage of a subscription model where visitors need to pay a monthly fee to view your content.
So let’s say if they want to listen to your podcasts for a long period of time, they’ll need to start paying for your podcasts by the second or third month—and since you need them to subscribe this will also end in conversions.
With $69k a year, the disposable average salary in Chicago is comfortable enough for people to spend on subscriptions.
However, these strategies aren’t going to be any use to you if your website doesn’t attract a consistent flow of people. The first step in generating revenue through your site is building an audience—Chicago is a big city with the country’s third largest population.
Great numbers, but how many of these people are checking out your website? This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in!
Search Engines – Why You Need To Pay Attention
Any time a user searches for something, the search engine algorithm works to choose posts and stories that best answer their question. SEO focuses on understanding these algorithms.
But there’s a challenge: 75% of people don’t scroll past the first page of Google searches.
This means that your aim should be to rank on the first page of Google searches in order to make SEO worth your money and time.
With the right optimization techniques, you end up ranking higher and higher on Google, boosting your chances of appearing in the results of those 75% people. After all, the better the chance it is for your site to be found by users, the more traffic you’ll get—which will later convert into leads and revenue.
Google search is ever-evolving—more than 3,200 changes were made to its search algorithm last year alone.
This means that you need to adopt dynamic SEO strategies that effectively tap into the power of search engines and help you draw in targeted traffic.
Here’s a checklist that’ll help you cover the SEO fundamentals:
a. Content Optimization
Google has long confirmed that content is one of the top ranking factors(among hundreds!).
They don’t keep saying content is king for nothing: at the end of the day, even if you’re drawing organic traffic to your site, it’s your content that will ensure you’re making conversions and customers.
From retaining repeat customers to creating brand reputation, content is a crucial part of your online success—even if you don’t put in any other SEO efforts.
Your other efforts are actually what help users find your content more easily. So if you don’t have good content to lead them to, the rest of your efforts are purely vestigial in nature.
Studying your customers’ pain points allows you to create valuable content that your audience can relate to.
Pain points are essentially very specific issues that your potential customers are grappling with and trying to solve.
Pain points are what unify your customers and hence your digital marketing approach to generate leads. You can illustrate the pain point for a potential customer, demonstrating that you understand their problem.
Then you have the space to hit them with your solution – your product and/or services.
This strategy of illustrating the problem and introducing your product or service as a solution will serve to boost your lead generation efforts through digital marketing significantly.
In order to fully provide an accurate representation of a customer’s pain point, you need to factor in their search intent.
Focusing on Searcher’s Intent
Google no longer uses keyword-matching to rank pages in search results; it analyzes the searcher’s intent through the search query’s context—the ‘why’ behind the search query.
Here’s the question you need to be asking: What does the customer want from their query?
Algorithms now measure how well your content matches the visitor’s search intent. Therefore, answering your customer’s commonly asked questions improves your site’s visibility in the sea of content on the internet.
Keyword Research and Strategy
Adding valuable keywords to your content is an age-old technique that boosts SEO rankings.
A mistake to be avoided at all costs when adding valuable keywords to your content when you want to generate leads is keyword stuffing.
This is when you use way too many keywords in your content in an unnatural way.
Generally speaking, using 2-3% of your content for keyword density is considered the safest practice to avoid being flagged for keyword stuffing.
This is a black hat technique that you want to avoid at all costs because it will shoot your rankings in the foot and thus negatively impact all your lead generation efforts.
Stay within the confines of white hat SEO tactics as much as possible and avoid “shady” black hat tactics like the plague.
The best practice when using keywords is to be strategic and use them as naturally as possible within the context of your content piece.
However, it’s important to mention here that researching for keywords needs to be a continuous process.
You can start by typing in industry-specific keywords in the search bar and seeing what Google suggests. Go through the “People may ask” section to gain a better understanding of searcher’s intent.
The four most common types of searcher’s intent include: informational, commercial, navigational, and transactional.
At each stage of the user’s search intent, you want to give the user what they are searching for while subtly mentioning your own product/service or having a lead magnet embedded within your content to help guide them.
Help people find what they are intentionally looking for.
One key way to identify intent is to literally look at each keyword or key search term you want to target and think about what intent could be going through a user’s head when they are searching that word or phrase.
Then, where relevant, give it to them and, in turn, maximize your own lead generation efforts.
Moreover, there are tons of tools out there that can help you identify valuable keywords.
Updated And Unique Content Is Key!
Steer clear from duplicate content. According to the Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, content that is copied with little or no effort, time and manual curation is rated lowest in search rankings!
Make sure that you not only publish unique content that adds value, but also periodically review your articles and blog posts to make sure the information is up-to-date.
Unmaintained websites with misleading content are the primary reason why websites have low E-A-T (expertise, authority and trustworthiness) ratings.
b. Optimizing For Local SEO
Businesses that have local service areas or a brick-and-mortar presence need to pay special attention to local SEO. Adding local landmarks and the city and state name in your content will rank it higher in search results when users type in location-specific keywords, such as “best chiropractor in Chicago.”
c. Google My Business Listing
A great way to leverage location-based strategy and achieve digital marketing success is to create a Google My Business Listing—it’s a free tool for businesses that wish to grow their portfolio and increase their local exposure across the search engine.
It provides users with basic information about your business at a glance. This appears in Google Maps, Google Search, etc. it’s a great way to give your business a public identity.
What’s more is that you can get insights on your brand’s visibility on search engines by using tools like Google Insights andtailor your SEO efforts accordingly.
d. Make Mobile Optimization Your Top Priority
So, when focusing on SEO, you can miss out a huge part of web traffic if you don’t optimize your website for mobile user experience.
Google has one main goal: providing searchers a good user experience, in addition to credible and authoritative content.
Since mobile devices account for 48% of the total web traffic, it only makes sense that you focus onhow your site appears on mobile phones.
Is the site design responsive? Is the default text font too small and unreadable on mobile phones? Do the text and image collapse on screen?
Use the Mobile Usability Report located in Google Search Console to see how your site performs on mobile devices.
Moreover, you can even see how Google sees a particular page on different mobile devices using the URL Inspection Tool.
Undoubtedly, SEO puts your business ahead of competition and enhances your brand’s visibility in organic search. The competitive advantages it offers are truly unparalleled.
2. PPC: Reach the Top of SERPs Instantly
If you’ve ever noticed advertisements appear alongside search results, then you’re already familiar with PPC advertising.
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising has become a common form of advertising that has proved its worth through innovative methods and immediate and effective results. It displays ads to your targeted audience at the same time when they’re looking for your service or product.
If launched strategically, your PPC campaign can help you reach qualified leads and generate considerable revenue within a short period of time.
What is PPC?
PPC is an advertising model where advertisers pay every time a visitor clicks on their online ad. It gives brands the opportunity to feature their service/product on top of the search page results.
One of the most common types of PPC ads are paid search ads. They appear when visitors perform commercial searches. This can be anything for a local service search, such as someone looking for a plumber in the area, or a user looking for high-end products like ERP software. All these searches trigger PPC ads.
However, there’s a catch: businesses can’t simply pay for their ads to appear on top of search results; instead, there’s an automated bidding system in place, called the Ad Auction, where businesses place bids on keywords relevant to their business.
So, when the searcher submits their query to the search engine, a complex algorithm works to display ads based on the advertisements’ relevance and validity.
Generate Immediate Results with PPC
While SEO is a great long-term strategy to drive web traffic, PPC has the power to deliver immediate results the moment your ad campaign goes live is posted on the internet. With a good score and a good bid, your ad can instantaneously get on top of sponsored listings, delivering targeted traffic to product launches, limited time offers, special promotions and other projects that are time-sensitive.
People looking for these specific brands respond instantly to these targeted ads and convert when directed to the brand’s landing page.
The best part is that the bidding on specific keywords costs a lot less than generic keywords that other online marketers are also bidding for.
PPC data is invaluable in terms of improved conversions, both in optimizing existing web pages and initial SEO planning. This is because paid search can direct users to sites that don’t currently rank.
3. Guest Blogging
Ask any savvy marketer and they’ll tell you that blogging is a vital tool that attracts the right audience to your website.
What is Guest Blogging?
Also called “guest posting,” guest blogging is the process of writing unique and specialized content for another company’s site. They do this to:
- Boost their domain authority with credible backlinks
- Increase their own and their brand’s credibility and authority across search engines
- Drive traffic back to their website
- Connect with peers in the industry
It’s a two-way street and it benefits both the host website and the guest blogger.
How Guest Blogging Benefits Your Business
Guest blogging establishes the author as an authority figure, which in turn tells search engines that the content on their site is trustworthy and credible.
Moreover, by building relationships with other industry leaders, you can expose your business to an entirely new audience too.
Since search engines love fresh and unique content, guest blogging gives you the opportunity to deliver fresh perspectives to your audience—a great way to keep readers coming back! Additionally, the promotional boost doesn’t hurt either.
Helps Stimulate Social Media Shares and Following
A great way to extend your online reach is to generate social media shares. The more your content is shared, the more the search engine will recognize it as important.
If you submit a guest post to a website that has plenty of social media activity, shares will come in naturally when your content gets published.
You can even get the ball rolling by embedding Infographics—they help you get far greater social media engagement compared to other social media content. Consequently, this translates to followers and greater leads!
Lastly, customize your author bio, include links to your social media accounts so that the audiences can see you as someone they can relate to. Your followers will vouch for you as an authoritative author and you can reward them by sharing regular updates aligned with their interests.
Shortens Your Sales Cycle
Content marketers always have trouble with the sales funnel—a multi-modality process that turns prospective visitors into buyers.
By distributing content through guest blogging, you can immediately build familiarity between your brand and your target audience—thus, shortening the sales cycle.
Think of it this way: you introduce your brand’s propositions in your guest blog rather than waiting for leads to come to your website.
It’s impossible to create a one-size-fits-all digital marketing strategy, which is why the most effective strategy is unique to every business. However, you can never go wrong when taking advantage of SEO, PPC advertising and guest posting—these individually and collectively work together to improve your online business presence.
An award-winning digital marketing and SEO consultation firm, Search Berg, specializes in providing affordable and customized SEO packages to businesses in Chicago.