What does it take to market your business online? Without waiting years and years to move up the rankings on Google’s SERPs, how can an entrepreneur get the proverbial word out? There are definitely some ways to market your business that will offer a better return on the investment of your time than others. Some will take weeks to pan out; while others will take months and years.

No matter what method you choose for marketing your business on the web, as long as you ensure that you’re adding value along the way, and you’re implementing the proper set of marketing habits, you’ll eventually reap the rewards of your work over time. It won’t happen overnight. But then again, nothing worthwhile ever does. Below you’ll find some the best methods — in both the short and long term — for driving that all-important traffic to your site and pages online.

1. Create a blog and post high-quality content regularly.

Clearly, the most important way you can market your business online is to build a blog where you can post and share high-quality content that adds an exceeding high amount of value on a regular basis. This is definitely a very long-term strategy, and it won’t pay off overnight, but every entrepreneur needs to understand the importance of embracing this online marketing method.

Not only does building a noteworthy blog in any industry or niche help to drive traffic by peaking the interest of Google, but it also leads to creating authority. If you can become an authority in your industry, you’ll garner the attention of consumers, the media and business owners alike. That, in turn, will snowball, build more authority, and eventually, enormous amounts of visibility and sales.

2. Market your content on Medium and Quora.

If you’re looking to get some early traffic, and you have a fairly new domain — less than 2 years old with little authority built up — you should work on marketing your content on sites like Medium and Quora. How does it work? Write one high-quality piece of content on your website. Make sure it’s keyword-centric, insightful, unique and adds a lot of value. Ensure that whatever you’re talking about helps people in some way, shape or form.

Once you’ve done that, write another article on a site like Medium or Quora, also making sure that it’s keyword-centric, insightful, unique and adds a lot of value. Create one link from that article using a primary or relevant keyword back to the main article on your site or blog. This is called content marketing, and it’s the most powerful method for gaining traction on Google’s SERPs, while also reaching large existing audiences through these authority sites as well.

3. Use Facebook ads and strategically-targeted landing pages.

Facebook ads, while not free, offer a great opportunity for reaching the right demographics for your business. As long as you know your customer well, you can use metrics like interests, geographic location, marital status, age and many others, to locate potential consumers to send to strategically-targeted landing pages, also known as squeeze pages.

Experiment with micro-spends to see which ad copy and squeeze page receives the best responses for dropping consumers into your sales funnel. It might take a considerable amount of time to find the right mixture or recipe when it comes to advertising on a platform like Facebook, but once your campaign is profitable, all you need to do is continue to scale.

4. Create useful video tutorials on YouTube.

YouTube offers a great resource for marketing your business on the web. While you might find some friction at the outset for building your audience, if you focus on creating useful video tutorials, eventually, you’ll reach a vast amount of people. Again, you have to focus on adding value without much concern for generating profit.

YouTube is a great resource for tutorials because you can teach people just about anything in an easy-to-understand format. Whether you’re screen-sharing to teach a digital skill, or you’re capturing something in the real world, just ensure that the quality of the recording and the overall content is high. Also, be sure to drop a link inside the description back to relevant content on your site.

5. Develop a relationship with your customers through email marketing.

Email marketing is something that every business owner should be engaged in, but it’s no easy feat. To succeed with email marketing, you need to give something away for free in exchange for the consumer’s email address. It needs to be something of value. If you are serious about collecting emails, take the time to create a free report or ebook that will help people in your industry or niche. Then, develop a relationship with that consumer through drip-fed campaigns using a system like AweberGet ResponseConstant Contact or Mailchimp. However, don’t try to sell at every corner and turn. Connect first, then focus on selling.

6. Collaborate with popular bloggers in your niche.

Reaching out to to popular bloggers in your niche might be an effective way to market your business online, especially if you have something of value to add to one of their posts. If you find a popular blogger who often writes about a particular subject that directly correlates to your line of work, why not reach out and look for ways to collaborate?

A great way to make this happen is to offer your services as a guest blogger. Clearly, you’ll have to have a good background in writing yourself, and it might be difficult to find a popular blog willing to allow you to do this, but it would be worth a shot if you eventually secure a guest post.

7. Offer a free product or service to customers.

Studies have confirmed that people are more likely to accept something for free than they are to pay a nominal price for it. So, why not provide a free service or product to your customers? Maybe you offer a free 15-minute consultation or an entry-level product that you want to give away.

Whatever you offer, be sure to secure the customer’s contact details so you can get in touch with them later. If you’re giving away a service for free, you have an opportunity right then to upsell those customers to your paid services. People are more likely to feel like they owe you when they accept something for free as well.

8. Use business listing sites like Yahoo Local and Google Local.

If you’re running a local business and looking to attract nearby customers to a brick-and-mortar location or offering some professional service that’s geographically-specific, you should list your business on local business listing sites such as Yahoo Local and Google Local.

Google Local is an especially powerful way to list and verify your business information, providing public details such as your company’s address for Google Maps appearances, store hours and other information related to your business. Ensure that you keep this information accurate and up-to-date.

9. Optimize your website for SEO.

Clearly, optimization of your site for relevant keywords is an important aspect of marketing your business online. However, the one thing to keep in mind is that if your business is new — less than two years old — and you’ve built very little authority or content, you’re going to have a hard time ranking at the top of Google’s SERPs for any keyword that’s marginally competitive.

The goal is to build excellent content, but also ensure that you optimize your site’s On-Page and Off-Page SEO. While this can become a very lengthy discussion, pay attention to things like your site’s speed, mobile usability, meta descriptions, link profile, reading level, citing of sources, content quality, insightfulness and so on. This is more likened to a marathon than a sprint, so don’t get discouraged in the short term if you don’t see enormous results.

10. Use press releases to communicate important company news or events.

Press releases aren’t going to get you immediate media coverage. While some media professionals will use outlets such as Help a Reporter, or even scour press release sites such as PR Web, you’re likely not going to get any type of instant news coverage by putting out a press release.

However, a press release that’s well-written and has a healthy link profile can assist you marginally with SEO, but it can also allow you to communicate important company news or events that you can then use to actively pursue media outlets with through the proper PR channels.

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