Running a company in almost every industry, sooner or later it should be taken advantage of the opportunities offered by internet marketing. We are talking not only about typically digital businesses, but also about those that, until recently, could easily do without a digital presence. Gastronomy, hairdressing, plumbing, car mechanics, physiotherapists, computer repair shops, interior finishing and companies from hundreds of other industries are slowly migrating to the online world every day. In the vast majority of cases, this is no longer an option, but an ordinary market requirement, the fulfillment of which (or not) may decide about the company’s future.
This is due to the fact that consumer habits have changed significantly in recent years. If you cannot keep up with the growth of digital competences of your target group, a problem will arise. Your customers – both a large proportion of the current ones and a large number of potential new ones – are already online. If you do not wait for them there, when the moment comes when they will start looking for services or products offered by your company, they will turn to the better digitally exposed competition.
Internet marketing, especially if your company has not carried out such activities before (or has conducted them to a minimal extent), is an activity that requires a large dose of knowledge at the very beginning. Moreover, to say that later the necessity to broaden marketing horizons grows exponentially would be a delicate hyperbole at best. It is also worth remembering that while some of the elements that make up the digital image of a brand can be done for free or with a low effort and budget, costs will increase as they develop.
How to start internet marketing? Which tools to use? Which are essential at the beginning and which can be postponed when the brand grows digitally?
Virtually every brand should have its own website. Thanks to this, you can provide customers with basic information about your services / products and, above all, let them find you. A well-made website will allow you to make the right first impression and provide the necessary contact details. The website should be readable, aesthetic, fast and adapted to User Experience standards (more about UX later in the text).
However, in order for the website to be properly visible, it is important to properly approach its positioning. When a user enters a phrase that interests him / her, it returns a list of several dozen or several hundred thousand results in a specific order. It is not accidental, and the constantly evolving Google algorithm is responsible for it. However, you can live in harmony with it and use good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) practices from the very beginning.
The SEO of websites and online stores can be divided into two categories. The first is changes that we can make on the website itself – sometimes the whole process is called on-site SEO, i.e. SEO performed directly on the website. They mainly include the creation and optimization of content in such a way that it is “easy to digest” both for the user and for the search engine bot who will regularly visit and analyze the website.
It also means that the content is saturated with keywords for which we want to position the page – they should appear in several places in the text (possibly also in the headings), but you should not overdo them with excessive, unnatural intensity, because this will reduce the readability and quality of the text itself. To gain space for content that does not overwhelm with quantity (no one likes to read a wall of text), you should think about starting a company blog. This will allow not only to increase the amount of content, but also to present the brand as it deserves – i.e. as an expert in a given industry. In addition to substantive articles on a given branch of the market, the blog is a great place to present employees, current achievements and corporate culture – so that customers can also see the “human face” of the company.
On-site SEO also focuses on the technical refinement of the website:
– improving its loading time (the vast majority of users will resign from visiting if the page loading takes more than a few seconds) – this can be achieved, among others, by image compression, code minification, transfer to a faster server, etc .;
– adaptation to display on screens of different resolutions (most of the internet traffic takes place via smartphones, which requires the use of other solutions than in the case of typical desktop versions – users of desktop and laptop computers, however, cannot be forgotten, there are also tablets);
– SSL certificate installation – it ensures encrypted communication between the website visitor and the server and is taken into account by Google bots;
– And many other aspects.
The second, no less important part of SEO is getting links leading to a given website, which is referred to by the term off-site SEO. It is they who signal to the network bot that, according to the social proof of rightness, the website is probably valuable and it is possible to raise its position in the search results. The key, however, is not to “hack” the right number of links from random pages – in SEO, the number must go hand in hand with quality. Tools such as Senuto or Ahrefs help in analyzing the link profile.
At the initial stage, the key information about SEO is the fact that SEO is a long-term process. Achieving satisfactory results is not possible in a week, month, and often even a year – it requires creating a plan and its proper implementation, adapting to the current algorithm updates and continuous training. What’s worse, once the results are achieved, it is easy to lose, for example, due to an ill-considered website update, which, for example, will cause problems with indexing individual subpages.
If you already have a website, it is worth checking carefully how it is doing in the search engine and what can be done to improve its positioning status. We are talking about performing an SEO audit, thanks to which you can check both the elements that can be improved on the site itself (on-site SEO) and the link profile (off-site SEO). On the web you can find many sites – both free and paid – with which you will automatically collect basic information on this topic. At Paraphrase Online com, we also prepared the possibility of conducting such a quick audit. The Google PageSpeed Insights tool, which checks the speed of operation and other basic elements that make up the “performance” of the website, may also be useful.
As a collection of general information, automatic SEO auditors and similar scripts are the first base for further actions. They only take into account the very basic factors influencing the position of the website, so if you think about SEO “seriously”, a professional audit by a specialist will be necessary. Multifaceted analysis allows you to develop a detailed SEO strategy, which in the vast majority of cases (except for extremely niche market sectors) is necessary to bring the website to meaningful results.
Google My Business
When a potential customer enters a company name, a section with details about the specific company often appears on the right next to the search results. Setting up such a business card is free, so you can display the most important data – phone number, address, opening hours or photos of the registered office. Thanks to this, the user has access to basic data without the need to search further, and you can make the right first impression. We write in detail about the GMF in a separate article on our blog.
Social media is the modern equivalent of city centers. Depending on the current status of a given portal, they can be bustling (like Instagram or TikTok) or abandoned (like MySpace used to be). There is no doubt, however, that the presence in social media will be useful for most brands – they are perfect platforms for quick contact with the client – not only announcements “I am a given brand”, but also “maybe it’s worth establishing a dialogue?”.
The first question to be answered when considering setting up a brand account on social media is “which website is your target audience on?”. Each website is characterized by a slightly different user profile – due to the skillfully built up position of Facebook over the years, theoretically, you will find all age groups there, but Instagram and TikTok reach younger users better. Each platform has its own code – IG is an image-based platform, TikTok is mainly short videos, Twitter is primarily based on 280-character text messages.
Think about which website your brand fits best. A dynamic brand aimed at teenagers, with skilful profile management, will be great on TikTok, while in the case of care products for seniors, the presence there will probably end up in business terms as a waste of time and resources.
There are many brands in social media. This is a huge overload of information for the user. Due to this accumulation in social media, the company should stand out – not use a clichéd, boring narrative. You have a split second to catch the eye of a potential customer – don’t waste it on overproducing clichés.
It is worth knowing that the era of organic reach (that is, achieved without the support of paid ads) is gone forever. Your fanpage on Facebook will not be displayed to all users who once clicked “I like it” and they hope that it will allow them to update about new posts. Social networks are increasingly monetizing their activities and focus on presenting paid ads. For this reason, bearing in mind your presence in social media, it is worth allocating part of the budget, for example Facebook Ads – it is a waste of time for content creators to see the posts by a dozen or several dozen people.
Google Ads is a powerful advertising system that allows you to reach millions of potential customers.
The Google Ads ecosystem allows, among other things, to show ads:
– In search results – above and below organic results. This placement guarantees adequate exposure of the advertisement and is usually associated with clicks. An advertisement placed especially at the very top of SERPs, although marked appropriately, is sometimes confused with a traditionally positioned page.
– On YouTube – the largest video content portal in the world is also an excellent advertising platform. You can place ads before, during and after your videos (in the form of videos), as well as text overlays, product overlays. The system also allows the use of several other formats (e.g. at the top of the column with suggestions for other movies to watch).
– On millions of portals associated with the Google Display Network partner network. Thanks to this, you can display ads on many lifestyle, news or journalistic websites – the network brings together both small blogs run by hobbyists and the largest wide-range horizontal portals in the world. Furthermore, your ads may be shown to specific users – those who, for example, have previously visited your website or expressed interest in similar products. This is a great way to remind customers about yourself.
– In Discovery Ads – a graphic and video format based not on the sent ready materials, but on a set of elements that, based on self-learning algorithms, the system dynamically mixes, thanks to which it selects a creation that will generate the best results in a given place and under given conditions. Discovery Ads appear on Discover tabs, Gmail (“Offers” and “Communities” tabs) and YouTube (“Watch Later” panel and the platform’s home page).
– In Google Shopping – In the “shopping” tab of the search results page, there is a product price comparison platform. In addition, you can also advertise specific articles there over the “normal” results. What’s more, product ads can also appear in traditional SERPs – when a user enters a phrase in Google that suggests a product (for example, a drone or a thermal mug), Google Ads may display an ad for your product with an image, name, price and, of course, a link to the store’s website.
– And this is only a part of the possibilities of Google Ads!
What else is worth knowing about Google Ads? Out of reach, the system is distinguished by enormous targeting possibilities. Unlike, for example, a TV advertisement, we have the option of precisely specifying to whom the message is to be displayed, which prevents the budget from being wasted. The platform also enables dynamic adjustment of the target group based on the collected data, thanks to which it can rotate ads in real time to people who, according to the system, have the best prognosis for conversion. Supportive solutions such as POCM are also available, which adapt the data 24/7 thanks to self-learning algorithms.
Related to this is the fact that in order to take full advantage of Google Ads, the system must have “what” to collect data on, which is why it is a solution that requires a financial contribution.
How to start internet marketing?
The channels presented above are a good start for a brand that wants to start online marketing in its company. Of course, this is only the tip – digital marketing offers basically endless possibilities. The key is to choose the right channels – so that communication is consistent and results grow.