Building Your Audience With Social Media It’s hard to imagine, but Social media has been a part of our lives since the early 2000’s. There are many social media sites all over the globe, but most notably: LinkedIn came about in 2002, followed by MySpace in 2003 and then Facebook opened its doors in 2004. Social marketing platforms have grown tremendously since their inception (Facebook now claims over 1 BILLION active users!). Wouldn’t it have been great if your business or product had a social media presence for over ten years – distributing all that content, and building a following for all those years? Would that give you some sort of an advantage? You bet! But don’t worry, even if you have no social media reach or experience, you could start now and build the online social media empire that you’ve always wanted. This article will introduce the concept of building your online audience and both experienced bloggers and those that are relatively new to the concept may benefit from the content presented here. Let’s figure out the first step to working with social media as a marketing platform: defining your target market. Define Your Target Market As with pretty much all marketing strategies, before diving into the heavy duty stuff, you have to first fine your target market. This means figuring out exactly who your consumer is – everything from what they look like, how they think, and what they purchase. It helps to be as specific as possible, but generalizations are fine in a lot of cases. Demographics are a key aspect, but don’t ignore the individual and WHO they really are: their likes, dislikes, lifestyle, etc. A professionally developed strategy might involve a customer ‘avatar’ (including a photo and character description of your ideal customer). This helps you hone in on your perfect consumer, and although you ignore the many other people that may buy from you, this approach is part of top-line strategies by professional marketers. Demographics Conducting market research can be a highly involved task. We recommend taking a look at online articles regarding market research to get more details. Every business has its own demographic preference. If you run a flower shop, your demographics might lean toward women, aged 35-55. If the flower shop is in a busy New York street corner, as opposed to a cemetery in Wisconsin, your demographics will further change based on these and many other factors. To help define your demographics, you can ask yourself a few questions to help you define the customers that currently drive most of your business. The price of your product or service, and does it relate to a particular income class in order for people to afford it? Where is your target market physically located? Is it online/offline or both? Is your product or service gender specific? Or more suitable for a particular age-range? Or is it best for people with a particular religious/political/social creed or status? Does your product or service appeal… read more →
SEO Can Be Free – An Intro to Do-it-Yourself SEO The science of SEO is complicated and requires technical know-how in an ever-increasing body of knowledge. But, most people with some Internet experience can at least learn enough of the basics to understand how it works, and what they can do from home to improve it. You don’t have to learn everything, just the key aspects which make up the foundations of basic SEO. There are many free or paid resources online that offer lessons and tutorials on basic-to-advanced SEO. When used pragmatically, a little SEO knowledge can go a long way. Learning about SEO will also help you understand the work that you ultimately pay companies like Enternet to produce for you. Although most clients simply go on auto-pilot as we provide an extensive analysis and execute the SEO project in pieces, it would be to your benefit to understand what we are doing and why. In a lot of cases, the client completes some of the work on their own, and hires us to do more complex and time-intensive portions of the project. Because SEO companies differ in expertise and focus, it also helps to have a rudimentary knowledge of Internet marketing in order to best decide if you want to focus on something particular (such as social media, or Google AdWords) or to have everything done in a broad fashion.
Why would a website need SEO? The majority of web traffic is generated through the giants of the search engine world – Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. Although hard to imagine, YouTube is actually now the second biggest search engine after Google, and social media sites like Facebook have continually been increasing in ranks as they grow into super-high-traffic sites that also include search functions. For most standard Internet users, search engines provide the primary mode of navigation through the world wide web. Traffic is generated via search engines for any type of site, including information-only sites, and product-selling sites. To any publicly available website, search engines provide the invaluable service of targeted traffic. People search for your product or service specifically, and the search engine provides them with a list of sites that relate to their searches. If your site is not found on search engines, or your site ranks lowly in the results (meaning the user must sift through too any results to find you), the loss of engagement from the outside world is going to be unmistakable. Traffic to your site is one of the most vital aspects of the online world. Why have a website, unless you can drive traffic to it? And, amid the billion(s) of websites out there, how does yours stand out from the pack? SEO can drastically improve your site’s prominence in the results page. And, as the ultimate goal is always to be the first result on the first page, SEO and SEM (search engine marketing) are the only ways to get there. There are few marketing options available to a business looking to promote itself, which would have as much of an impact in today’s digital world as SEO. A successful SEO campaign can produce results for months, if not years to come.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? SEO is the process of affecting a website in order to increase its placement in natural search results within a search engine. Now, what on Earth can that mean? To understand a bit more, let’s go back to the early 1990’s when indexing information first began. Although the Internet itself was in development since the 50’s (as a United States military communication tool), McGill University in Montreal was actually the birthplace of the first search engine tool called “Archie”. Built in 1990, Archie was a live-search program that indexed files found on public servers. There was so little information to sift through at the time, that Archie would do a live search every time, without having to store any information inside databases (which is how everything works nowadays). In 1991 came a similar but more advanced tool “Gopher”, then a few others, and within a couple of years the first version of the search engine came about”. JumpStation”, created in 1993 by an English programmer, was the first tool to incorporate the three major elements of today’s search engines: crawling, indexing and searching. Jumpstation was therefore the primitive version of new-age search engine giants like Google and Yahoo. Well, that’s just a brief insight. People worked off of each other’s ideas and the Internet grew and grew, with more websites cropping up every day. During the mid-90s, webmasters began to see that there are simple but effective ways to advance a page on the search engine results. It didn’t take long to see the value of search engine placement and the science of SEO was birthed. Compared to today’s SEO, the primitive Internet required little work to manipulate search engine results, allowing those early webmasters to have a relatively unregulated approach to “black hat” and “white hat” SEO. Since their inception, however, search engine companies have realized that abuse of search results needs to be monitored, and thus dedicated much of their resources to figuring out ways to provide the most relevant and natural results possible. Although black hat SEO generally results in penalization of your website, gray hat and black hat techniques are still being explored by search engine optimizers (SEO’s), which leads companies like Google to implement an ever-expanding set of changes to their algorithms. But, rest assured, companies like Enternet have to abide by proper whitehat SEO rules in order to maintain a competitive edge while also avoiding penalties and injuries to our sites. Why do you need SEO? Read on…