There is a lot of noise and competition online. According to The Business Journals, the average American sees or hears 4,000-plus ads per day. Common sense tells you that in order to stand out, you need to get creative.
Now, there is no shortage of brands pumping money into their online marketing campaigns. While Google and Facebook remain the two big-boy platforms to pull customers from, Amazon’s U.S. ad revenue is projected to climb 63.5 percent this year, surpassing $2 billion for the first time, according to WordStream.
If you really want to deep-dive into marketing and advertising statistics, check out HubSpot’s resource — it’s impressive and packed full of great data.
In an effort to help you discover new and creative ways to generate more traffic, conversions, leads and revenue online, I’ve asked several business owners to share their best online marketing growth hack, which they have personally experienced the best results using. Hopefully their suggestions and tips cab help you plan some successful campaigns and strategies moving forward.
1. On-page optimization.
“One marketing strategy that has had a big impact for us has been on-page optimization. As we move closer to page one for certain keywords in Google’s organic search results, we make tweaks to the content to help boost the page’s relevancy and rankings. For example, we often increase the usage of related terms to help reinforce the page’s meaning.
We also add alt tags to images that contain relevant keywords, adjust the page heading, and do A/B testing with the page title and meta description to optimize for higher click-through-rates. We are always looking for on-page optimization tactics to support pages on our website that are ranking on page two or three for different search queries.” — James Feldstein, Audio Den
2. Publish online content that solves customer problems.
“Blog content that answers a prospective customer’s question has been a major win for us in 2018.
Inevitably, customers have a problem and use search engines to solve that problem. A blog with content demonstrating a strong solution demonstrates expertise and builds credibility. Not only does the customer discover your business via the blog, but will be inclined to select you over competitors just pitching their service.
However, it’s not simply enough to draw traffic to a well written blog. Converting that traffic to customers is essential to monetize. Direct users to forms or contact info with a strong call-to-action. The form may be as simple as joining e-mail list, calling in or entering their name and contact information. This is why building credibility via your blog — and entire website — is so important. Users need to feel comfortable providing their info.” — Earl White, House Heroes LLC
3. Starting and growing a business blog backed by a focused and systematic business approach.
“On the onset, a great deal of research went into understanding our target audience and their problems and challenges. Against each of their needs, problems and solutions — we created a list of topics which will meet their expectations and preferences and are commercially relevant to us as well. Further, each topic was segmented into various long-tail sub-topics and this way we built a wide and detailed cluster of topics and subtopics.
Then, we categorized and prioritized topics based on reach and commercial viability and created a vast amount of high quality and engaging content around them. In the last few months, we have been successful in creating over 100 business relevant blogs plugged with the most important keywords overlapping the business as well as the audience challenges in various niches. All of our content formats were published and promoted across the web through social media and other marketing campaigns, which helped us see a significant spike in traffic, authority and search engine rankings.
This strategy led to over 3X growth in traffic and our marketing-supported business shot up by 200 percent.” — Ketan Kapoor, Mettl
4. Targeted search engine optimization.
“The number one online marketing growth hack that I’ve personally used and have seen work is targeted SEO. What I mean by this is that I’ve really learned what it takes to rank your content on search engines and I’ve doubled down on the tactics and things that have worked.
For example, I’ve spent more time doing keyword research for high search volume and less competitive keywords. Once I’ve done that, I’ve created a strong blog post — content people want to read. From there I focus on distributing and having others mention the blog posts where it makes sense. All of these tactics together have helped me double our traffic month-by-month and it’s increased our affiliate sales.
Showing search engines that your piece of content is legitimate makes a huge difference — it’s also important to pull out pieces of information from the post and distribute it using your social media channels. Turning your written piece into visuals and video will also go a long way.” — Nick Le, Gridfiti
5. Extensive keyword research.
“My favorite online marketing growth hack has to be keyword research. I use a free Chrome extension called Keywords Everywhere that gives search volume and paid search value for any keywords you type into Google. I look at what my competitors rank for, as well as new keyword ideas that are under-utilized.
I then compile a list of relevant, high volume keywords that are considered middle or bottom of the funnel (i.e. consideration or decision stages of the buyer’s journey). Next, I target those keywords on pages on my website. This strategy has increased my search engine visibility, and helped drive more organic traffic to my store.” — Elizabeth Bradshaw, Canvas Art Boutique
6. Optimizing the checkout process for easy ordering and repeat ordering.
“I had a company completely reconfigure my website layout, design and UX. It has made the ordering process so streamlined and my brand look professional. It has also made it easier for customers to find what they are looking for.
Easy finding and easy ordering means customers will order more often and spend more money. We also use the WooCommerce repeat order button, which adds an ‘order again’ button in the customer’s recent orders list, making it easier for our customers to re-order with ease.” — Roberta Perry, ScrubzBody
7. Creating link-bait content on our blog.
“Our best growth hack has been publishing link-bait articles on our company blog. For example, we wrote a step-by-step tutorial about how to make a cuckoo clock craft for kids. It’s been our most successful content marketing piece to date. We pitched the article to craft bloggers and parenting websites, and we were able to earn many external links to the blog post. This helped boost our rankings in the search engines.
We’re now on page one in Google’s search results for many of our product keywords, and our sales have taken off. The link-bait articles take much longer to write and execute. Fortunately, the payoff has been very positive. It just goes to show how valuable good content marketing can be.” — Bob Ellis, Bavarian Clockworks
8. Execute a well thought-out content marketing strategy.
“We’ve seen tremendous results from the robust content marketing strategy we implemented for our blog. Myself, along with a team of writers that I manage, provide well-researched and thought-out blog posts that our audience finds valuable. We stay on top of trending news and try to answer questions that our readers might have. We go into great detail to provide as much information as possible.
Our blog serves as a comprehensive guide to data recovery and digital forensics, and all the complex pieces that comprise it. Aside from our blog, we create thought-leadership pieces for other publications as well. Collaborating with other thought-leaders in the industry is extremely beneficial. Establishing a voice in your industry is important for anyone who wants to continue to grow and expand. We try to become an authority that others trust and look up to.”
Brian Gill, Gillware Data Recovery
9. Built a community and following on YouTube.
“My first community came from YouTube. I was bullied because of my acne. When I had no one to run to, I started making videos. 2010, I uploaded my videos and had followers who were waiting for my stories and skin care reviews. I found people who actually valued my thoughts and can relate to me and my experience.
People requested to buy it from me and eventually encouraged me to launch my business.
Since people see my vulnerability and they see how my own skin care products changed my skin and my life, they trust that my videos and whatever information I share with them is true.” — Daisy Jing, Banish
10. Establish promotional and affiliate partnerships.
“Our biggest spikes in sales have come from partnering with other people and companies who have quality email lists to promote our products. Last year we had our best Black Friday ever — more than doubling sales from the previous year — by partnering with two others. We did an email swap with both of them. We sent an email to our list with a discounted offer for their product, and they sent an email to their list with a discount offer for our product. Our target markets were almost identical, but our products didn’t compete with each other. The result was exposure to a new audience and a lot of sales.
The best part was those sales added new customers to our email list. Over the next few months we launched a couple new products and many of those customers bought them, so there was a long-term gain.
Also, if you have an affiliate program you can approach bloggers and influencers in your industry who have email lists and strike up a deal with them to promote your product to their lists. It doesn’t have to be a huge email list, either. A small but highly responsive list is better than a big list that’s unresponsive. You can either pay them a set amount to send the email or use an affiliate program and give them a percentage of the sales they generate. I prefer the second option because it gives them more incentive to give a strong personal recommendation that will lead to a higher response from their subscribers.” — Marc Andre, Vital Dollar