For this blog post we get into the subject of marketing your waterjet online. I’ve asked our in-house expert and global marketing communications manager Jessica Harding to give us some quick tips. Take it away, Jessica.
You might be good at making stuff with your waterjet, but not as confident at marketing your waterjet capabilities. To some the internet can be an intimidating space of hashtags, likes, keywords and Googles. Yet, when you really dig in and move past the natural mystique of what goes on in the secret algorithms within, you’ll find that if you consistently follow some simple best practices your business’s awareness will rise. Yes, it’s true, we could go on and on about how to refine your internet presence, but for today, we are going to merely touch on some powerful basics. For this post I am going to assume you already have a website up and running. If you don’t, I suggest you start there. There are numerous services available to help you build a site from scratch. No code experience necessary.
Let’s get started…
1. Optimize your website for Mobile
It may seem trivial, but do not ignore the need to optimize your website for mobile. On April 21, Google released a mobile-friendly algorithm (aka secret sauce recipe change). Google estimates that over 60% of web searches are done using phones, so naturally, as it’s Google’s job to serve up the best content for users, sites optimized for mobile are given a higher ranking in the list of search results. Most build-it-yourself websites feature templates that are responsive. Regardless of how you go about it, make sure you are set up for search success. Want to read more on this: Quick Read on Mobile Optimization
Note sure if your site is mobile-friendly or not? Check it out using this tool: Google WebMasters Tool
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
You may have heard people refer to some keywords ranking higher than others “organically.” This is SEO. Think of it as the free way to elevate your site in search rankings, naturally so to speak. Once again, on their ever present quest to deliver relevant content to internet users, search engines work to find specific copy and optimizations within a site to determine which pages should be served up first. In general, it’s important that you select key words that prospects are most likely to search for, and then focus on copy that matches your key search terms, giving that copy high priority in terms of the architecture of your site. Additionally, search engines love new, fresh content. Be sure to regularly update your website. The quality of your content is important. Put thought into creating content that your users need and want, that is engaging, and will draw interaction when possible. There are many other things you can do to raise your site SEO, and you don’t have to figure it out alone. Check out this blog for more details on SEO: What is SEO
And this leader in the SEO industry offers a great tool with insight on how you can personally improve your website: Moz
3. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Wait, didn’t we just talk about this? Nope. Search Engine Marketing is the paid version of search. For example, when you search a keyword and discrete ads show up on the top, bottom, or right side of the page, advertisers have bid on these keywords to make sure their ads come up. Google offers quite a few tools to help with this, but often times working with an SEM expert is best due to the management your account requires to ensure you are bidding the right amount, at the right time of day, on the right terms. There are multiple forms of SEM, but most certainly all will require creating a list of keywords and corresponding ads, monitoring it over time and refining it to make sure you focus on the areas that are right for your business. Thankfully, analytics and insights give you a very clear look into what works well and what doesn’t, as well as the ability to monitor it over time. If you’re a small job shop and work locally you might opt not to put money into SEM. Then again, a small job shop can break out of the city limits by being found by prospects on a more national scale, and SEM can help make that happen.
Want to learn more about SEM? Here’s a resource to check out: What is Paid Search
4. Social Media
Remember when we thought social media wasn’t for business? Those days are gone. Today social media plays an integral role in SEO ranking and greatly influences the awareness of your company. It’s also an easy way to share relevant and creative content. The different sites you can participate in grows daily, but the most relevant today (in my opinion) are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+. Do you need to be active in all of these realms? Not if you don’t have the ability to update your content frequently. If your resources are limited I recommend you pick one and focus your effort. Consider advertising on Facebook and Twitter. You can spend very little (think $50/month) and make a big difference in the number of people exposed to your content. They give you tools to gather insights as to what posts are generating the best response, what time of day is best to post, and more. You can really refine your strategy. Post content that is engaging to people. Talk about interesting jobs you have completed and include pictures or videos. Try to get others to share your content. Overtime you will grow organically. Often times taking the time to post can be the biggest hurdle to overcome. I recommend you set aside time to collect pictures and stories, write a bunch of them up all at once, and then use a software tool like Buffer to schedule and automatically launch your posts.
This post has really only touched on very high level basics of internet marketing. But it’s been my pleasure to share even just this bit with you. If you have specific questions, send them our way. We’d love to help you grow your waterjet business.