Impact Media has just launched a new website for Atlanta Interior Designer Shon Parker. When Shon & Tim came to Impact Media they were looking for a new website that would distinguish them from the other designers in Atlanta. Even we did not know how well this project would turn out. The images and flow of this website makes you want to reinvent your home or office and hire Shon immediately. Phase 2 of our project for Shon Parker will be SEO to build his ranking for the competitive Atlanta market.
Tips for Internet Marketing on a Tight Budget
In today’s technologically advanced society, businesses have more ways and places than ever to market themselves. The World Wide Web has grown tremendously over the years and it is a great tool with endless limits. Creating and maintaining an online presence is essential to a business’ success. Impact Media understands that times are tough and not everyone as room left in their tight budgets when it comes to marketing, so here are 12 steps to follow to assist in developing a successful internet marketing strategy…
1. Know your market.
Your market includes your customers, your suppliers, and your competitors. Your marketing strategy will not be successful if you do not have your audience defined clearly. It is extremely useful to get a big-picture view of your target customers. Who is your target market? Who will be most interested in your product and/or service? Age groups/Genders/Location, etc.? What are your customer’s interests? What do they need? What are some of the likes and dislikes they have about competitors? Once you have an idea of these factors, figuring out how and where to reach them and how to tap into them will be much easier and you will not waste money and time marketing to the wrong individuals. One of the many keys to keeping your marketing ground-breaking is customization and personalization. Let your customer know you think of them as an individual.
2. Set and Reset Goals.
Do you know what it is that you’re trying to gain from internet marketing? Increased awareness? Increased revenue? Both? You will most likely have many goals which is great! Be sure to keep track of what they are so you can measure your success and tweak things as needed. When you accomplish a goal, set a new one….keep aiming to accomplish more!
3. Set a budget.
Once you have figured out what your target market is and you’ve set your goals, you’re ready to plan your budget accordingly. One of the great things about internet marketing is that you can be successful even on a tight budget. There are platforms (like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) that are available free of charge. With that being said, sticking solely with no-cost forms of internet marketing may not be the best strategy for your company’s success. Determine what channels are most beneficial for your company and be willing to spend a little money to get the results you’re striving for.
4. Brand yourself.
What is it that you want to be known for? Gone are the days where customer’s first impression is made in-person, thus establishing your brand. The internet and social media have enabled anyone and everyone to become known and connect with others in a real time fashion. Who you are and how you come across is a crucial factor in establishing your brand. You need to establish a presence and generate brand awareness through networking.
Having a professional website and a strong social media presence is extremely important when branding yourself. There are countless companies trying to sell products in your targeted market area and on the internet; what is going to make your brand unforgettable? You need to be able to set yourself apart from the competition. This begins with your website. Your domain name should be your company’s name if possible, and if that domain is already taken something reasonably similar will work. You don’t want potential new customers getting lost trying to find you on the web. Obtaining a domain name has a fee involved, but using a hosting service is very affordable even for the most constricted budgets.
A successful brand provides self-promotion, conveys loyalty, and offers consistency in the quality of service/product you provide.
Content Marketing is key! Having a great web design is flattering, but websites like Craigslist.org & many others prove that it is content that users go there for time after time. What does your site say about you, your company and your industry? Is it unique and useful? Does it draw potential new customers in? Will people gain new information from looking at your site? Is it easy for users to get information to contact you on your website? These are all things that a successful website needs to produce leads or sales, depending on your focus.
6. Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
When someone enters a search query related to your company into a search engine, whether it’s through Google/Bing/Yahoo etc., don’t you want to be one of the first ones to be displayed? The obvious answer is YES! This is possible by making your website more appealing to search engines by knowing what the Search Engines are looking for and leveraging that information to increase your rank for specific keywords and queries. SEO can be a complex and time consuming process; however, the time needs to be spent on it to guarantee that your website will be found. Some of the stress can be taken off your shoulders by hiring a professional that stays up on the Algorithms like Impact Media :).
7. Pay-Per-Click or SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
This is an immediate way to get your website up in the rankings and in front of your target market. SEM gives you much more flexibility and configuration by allowing you to run your ads in specific geographies, and now with Google+ getting traction on the Social Media playground you can also choose from a more detailed demographic for your ads to be displayed to.
The more content you have on your site, the more opportunities there are for search engines to pick it up. Blogging is a good way to generate leads and links to your site. That being said, don’t produce content just to produce content. You need to make sure what you are conveying is informative and relative. Create quality posts, not just quantity, that will engage your reader and draw them in. There are many sites that you can submit your blogs to that do 2 things, the first being that it exposes your posts to new readers, thereby expanding your marketing, and it also generates back links to your site, which search engines still like.
9. Social Media.
First off, be sure that you are picking your battles wisely here, make sure the Social Media platforms you decide to leverage contain your audience. Facebook is pretty much a given, because it would seem that the whole world is on there, but do you know if your products or services will be interesting to the typical user on Pinterest or the 100s of others that are out there. Be active and build a known presence on social media sites, but do not make every post about a product or service that you offer, you will effectively desensitize your fans with them thinking that every post you make is just another sales pitch. Provide good information that helps them with their life, whether it is Do-It-Yourself tips or offering ways for them to save time or money through a value added post works great and builds rapport. Use these free tools to promote your blogs and engage with customers in a casual, yet professional manner.
10. Email Marketing and Email Reminders.
Be sure to integrate your email marketing campaigns with your other marketing campaigns for maximum impact. Email campaigns should be relative to not only your business, but the economic climate of your clients. There are specific days that work better than others to send out an email, and those days vary depending on if you are marketing to a business or a private individual. There are many factors that need to be taken in on how and when you send these emails to avoid being misconstrued as SPAM or having your audience start ignoring you, because you talk about the same thing in every email.
11. Conduct Webinars.
Webinars are inexpensive ways to increase 2 way communication between you and your clients. It opens up more dialogue and builds rapport by offering your availability and reinforcing that you are an expert on the topics that interest them or that they need.
12. Local Business Directories.
Most of these are free and it’s silly not to take a few minutes to enter your business’ information on them. Before paying to be listed on a Local Directory, see how the free ones work first. At this point the major Search Engines have a local directory section that is free to setup, and if setup correctly can yield great results for you.
By following these simple steps, your business will climb the ladder of success much faster and think of the web as “What you put in, you get out”, as long as you are following these steps!
We just launched a new responsive web design for Southern Exposure Sunrooms in Wilmington, NC. Actually, Southern Exposure Sunrooms has been a client of Impact Media’s for 7 years, and in that time they have grown to have locations in Raleigh/Durham, Fayetteville and Myrtle Beach, SC. According to John’s video testimonial for us, which is to the right of this post, he attributes a lot of that growth to what we have done for his Internet Marketing & SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Southern Exposure Sunrooms is a highly ethical company and they do a terrific job with Sunroom additions. If you have not had a chance to check them out you should definitely go to their new website, it is really nice, of course I am a little biased..
Southeastern Insurance has been a client of Impact Media Solutions for the past 4 years, and in that time Impact Media has built one version of their website, and increased their online rankings with rigorous SEO (Search Engine Optimization), so they returned to do even more this time around. In that time they have seen the value of the leads and conversions they have received as compared to more conventional advertising, such as the Yellow Pages, or television and radio. Patricia and her staff are great at what they do as well, with their focus on Commercial Insurance in Wilmington, NC, they are true experts at making sure that you get the right coverage for you.
This new web design is responsive and offers even more flexibility than their previous site, with the latest advancements in tech on the web. We wish them many years of success with this version of their website, and look forward to continuing to provide the service we have over the past few years to them.
Impact Media has just launched a new Custom Web Design for Alpha Mortgage in Wilmington, NC. Their new website is a responsive web design which conforms to any device that attaches to it. Alpha Mortgage has been a client of Impact Media’s for over 6 years and in that time has used Impact Media to design 3 different versions of their website, and in addition to using us for their Internet Marketing, we have been their SEO (Search Engine Optimization) vendor as well ensuring that they are #1 on the search engines for their desired key terms. We encourage you to visit their new website and see the new user interface tools we are leveraging to make the user’s experience second to none.
Of all of the Search Engines out there, there are 3 that remain ahead of the others by a long shot, they are Google, Yahoo & BING. So when I decide to optimize for a client there are several factors taken into place. Each one of these Search Engines operates on its own algorithm for rewarding ranking to your website, and with that being said I would like to show you the market share of these 3 titans of search. Google maintains the majority with over 67% market share of all online searches, while Bing is in a distant second place at 18%, and then in third place is Yahoo with just over 12%. The numbers drop dramatically after that, as the other 100s of search engines fight over the remaining 13% of market share in America.
This leads me to my point, when I am performing Search Engine Optimization or SEO, I also weight my efforts based on market share. I never forget about one of these Search Engines, as they are all important, but my main focus is on keeping up with the Google Algorithm and ensuring that I have a met their requirements for good ranking. Now of course there are some assumptions made, because Google does not go around broadcasting their secret sauce, but these assumptions are based off of data that I compile on a daily basis. For instance in 2013 Google had 4 major shifts, and close to 180 small changes made to its algorithm on how it ranks websites. Typically they do this, because folks figure out their algorithm and start manipulating sites to rank higher that really are not applicable, and that in fact decreases Google’s worth to the consumer or user.
I wanted to write this post, because this explanation is one I provide quite often to my clients, or prospects that want to know about my methodology on Search Engine Optimization or SEO and I want to be sure that all of our clients know that my SEO is ethical, and can never jeopardize their ranking or get them banned from Google, Yahoo or BING.
The Baker/Wayne Team has been a client of Impact Media Solutions for over 6 years, and we have helped their team with the majority of the Internet Marketing during that time. We just launched the latest version of their web site, which includes Custom Web Design, a Mobile Website to make the website responsive for all devices and our ongoing Search Engine Optimization. This site has the very latest of our IDX Search as well the latest scripts that make for an improved user experience while clients are using their website. We hope you visit their site and see why it is going to be one of the leading Real Estate Websites in Wilmington, NC as well as the whole South East of North Carolina.
While there are many search engines to choose from, Google holds about 65% of the market share with its closest competitor hanging around the 15% mark. It is critical to know if the SEO Company you work with is keeping up with the changes Google periodically makes changes to their algorithm. It is just as important to know if your SEO Company uses White Hat or Black Hat techniques. White Hat means the company optimizing your website follows the rules and regulations set forth by the search engine companies, namely Google. Black Hat means they are using improper methods to manipulate the algorithm. While they might assure you they are using White Hat methods, the most recent Google update will prove quickly if they are being truthful or not.
Penguin 2.0 is the name given to the newest update to Google’s algorithm. The first Penguin targeted unnatural inbound links and other versions of web spam. P20 is still brand new, but it looks like it gives Penguin stronger search and destroy abilities for websites who are using Black Hat methods. This means that you can end up paying a very dear price for your SEO Company’s unethical methods. To give you some sense of how strict Google is with their SEO rules, they have penalized their own company on multiple occasions.
So if Google is penalizing their own company, what chance do you have? If your SEO Company is ethical and utilizes White Hat methods you should have nothing to worry about. A good way to check is to Google yourself (it’s hard to write that, even as an adult and not laugh). Make sure you have completely signed out of any Google account you might have (YouTube, Google Pages, etc.). When signed in, Google will use your search history, location, and attributes to tailor your search results so signing out removes those variables and you get a truer sense of where your website ranks. Once you have Googled your site, if you notice that it has fallen down in the rankings drastically, then there is a very good chance that your SEO Company is not very ethical. Then it is time to give them a call, start getting answers and maybe do some firing.
Here at Impact Media, we take quite a bit of pride in our ethics and standards. Honestly we were very happy with the new Penguin update because it will help our clients out. If their competitors are utilizing Black Hat SEO methods, then there is a good chance they will be penalized and our clients will reap the rewards. If you are wondering if your SEO Company is a good choice or not, one question to ask is, “Did they make me sign a contract?” Our SEO policy is to never have the client sign a contract because if we are doing a bad job then they should be free to take their money somewhere else. We have yet to lose a client because we could not deliver first page rankings. On the other hand we have heard several horror stories from new clients here in Wilmington, N.C. about certain companies, one well known company in particular, that never delivers on their SEO promises and refuses to let businesses out of their 12 month contract. That is just wrong.
You can trust Impact Media and we are more than happy to supply you with several references to back that claim up. You can also check out a couple of video testimonials. The first is from Joey Milam, Marketing Director of Alpha Mortgage and the second is John Hickey, owner of Southern Exposure Sunrooms. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1TqDXFyW4uM
When you are ready for a top notch, ethical SEO Company that is going to deliver solid results with increased leads for your company, give us a call at 910-679-4471 and ask for C.S. Alexander
Martin Self Storage has been a client of Impact Media Solutions since 2004 and we have handled everything from their computer hardware, networks from Wilmington to Florida to marketing their web design using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and other forms of Internet Marketing. They are one of the premier storage facilities in the area and are ever growing, we like to think we helped a tiny bit, but we will not flatter ourselves too much. Go see our latest creation for their website and see for yourself what they are doing now. Martin’s once again is reinventing how Storage Centers will market on the web as well cater to their clients.
We have just launched a new custom web design for Future Homes in Hampstead & Hubert, NC. Brent & Keith of Future Homes both have great ideas for getting their products in front of their perspective clients, and they were a great bunch to work with on this project. Now that Impact Media has launched their website, we can now focus on their Internet Marketing & SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to ensure that their website is found on the internet. Please have a look and let us know what you think.