Web Marketing Through the Eyes of a Salesman

by: Kurt Weber (VP of Sales, North America)

Marketers use corporate web sites to promote the company to potential clients.  When it works, the sales team enjoys receiving contact information and leads to use to win new business.  Everyone is happy until …

What happens if suddenly your company is no longer high up on a search engine results page?  Or worse, you show up several pages behind your competition?   Unless your marketing team is living in a cave, they’re probably aware that Google has been making some fairly significant changes over the past year to their search algorithms and the presentation of search results.  The outcomes are that some SEO techniques that once worked don’t have the same impact and, as Google has moved to provide more information for each search result, the quantity of entries on the coveted first page have decreased.  If in the past you appeared near the bottom of the Google search page for your keywords, check it out, you may now be on page 2 (or worse).

Google has also been increasing the weight of social media (reviews, blogs, tweets, discussion forums, fans and followers, etc.) in determining page ranking.  As a result, social media should be part of your plan to increase the reputation of your website and your position on a Google search results page.

Here are some suggestions to get started in designing your plan:

  • By now you have a blog, don’t you?  Blog at least once a week with useful content for your audience.  Remember, just ‘cause you’re blogging doesn’t mean that anyone is reading!  You need to promote it.
  • Everyone knows that key words and phrases are important on your website.  Make sure you also incorporate them into your blogs posts.
  • Twitter is a great way to generate a social media following.  Try to tweet at least once a day with useful content for your audience (observations on industry trends, links to your blog posts, etc.)
  • Claim and update your Google Places Page.  As Google seeks to compete with providers of local buying services (Groupon, Yelp, etc.) this becomes more important, particularly in your local market.
  • Consider optimizing your website for mobile viewing. Today, 10% of all searches are done on mobile devices and that percentage is expected to exceed 50% by 2014.
  • Ask customers to post reviews of your products on popular review sites if possible.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of video. YouTube is now the #2 search engine. And since YouTube is a Google company, video will certainly help strengthen your search scores.
  • You already have a LinkedIn page for your company, right?  Now consider creating a Facebook page for your business.  Add a ‘Like’ button and plan on multiple posts per week.

We’re experiencing a paradigm shift from traditional outbound marketing, where Marketing and Sales try to find customers, to an inbound model where we make it easy for potential clients to find us.  Take it from an old Sales hand; if Marketing gets these self-qualified visitors in the on-line door, we’ll close more business!

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