Marketing Basics for Beginners: Where Do I Being with Online Marketing?
Whether you join a company that’s been in operation for years, you create your own business, or you join a start-up, every business needs some basic company assets. If the company is already established and has an online presence, you’ll want to audit the tools they use to make sure they are working properly and that they are the most efficient as well as cost-effective for your particular needs.
I’ve selected these Priority Assets as a starting point:
- Company Website – if your business is a Your Money Your Life (YMYL) category such as finance, health, legal, and more, you need to know Google’s guidelines for these industries while creating the content for your website.
- Social Media Profile(s) – you don’t need them all! Pick up to 3 where your customers play and build your skills with these. Regardless of the three you select, you need to also have LinkedIn and a Yelp! Business profiles.
- Google Analytics Account – without the ability to measure who comes to your website, from where they came, where they go on your page, and where they leave, you lose the basics to understand your customer. There’s so much you can learn about your company’s online presence with this essential tool.
- Google Search Console Account – this service helps you check how your website functions online by identifying any key issues such as if your website is mobile friendly (“optimized for mobile”) and is indexing properly by the Googlebots.
- Google Ads Account – if you plan on doing any paid advertising, you need Ads linked to your Analytics. Also, when you become proficient, Google Tag Manager can help you with a variety of tasks that you can manage on your own without asking a developer to add additional code to your website with each campaign or task. While I’m not a fan of Bing and have never seen any valuable results when using it, if this search engine works for you, you will need to create a Bing Ads Account as well. Yahoo as well, maybe (does that still work?), LOL.
- Google My Business Profile for each location – claim your locations on Google maps to respond to your reviews. You can also build a stronger profile so Google has more information on your company to give to users as Google moves further away from serving up company websites during search results. While Bing is not a heavy player in any market, you’ll want to claim your company’s Bing Places profile.
- A citation data management tool such as Yext will submit your company’s critical NAP(name, address, phone) information to dozens upon dozens of local directories online that you may not even know exist. While many directories are useless, Google still sees their signals as valuable enough to make a difference if old, inaccurate data about your company remains online. There are some directories such as Yellow Pages (the Real Yellow Pages – beware of fake ones!), Foursquare, Chamber of Commerce.com, Hot Frog, Superpages, and the Better Business Bureau pages are some you may want to claim your own profiles, if you can.
- Google Alerts – set up an alert using key business phrases along with your company name so you know when and if your company is being discussed online in articles or blogs by a third party.
While this is not nearly an exhaustive list, it’s a good start for getting your business online accurately.