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Marketing And Branding / Sales And Marketing
December 2013 Contractor Success

Maximizing Online Marketing

Today, marketing goals can be met with a minimal budget and without a large team of experts.

December 11, 2013
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For many commercial cleaning companies, online marketing has become an integral part of their overall marketing strategy.

In today’s Internet age, online marketing can often be accomplished with a minimal budget and without a large team of marketing experts.

Having a well-designed and engaging website is a critical component of online marketing, but this is simply the foundation to maximizing a company’s online marketing efforts.

To get noticed, and drive traffic to a company’s website, there are countless online opportunities for commercial cleaning companies to harness.

Online Videos

Videos are one of the fastest growing trends in online marketing.

Consumers want quick and easy access to information, and well-made videos provide it.

Videos allow consumers the chance to see and hear directly from the provider in a format that is easy to understand and can provide a wealth of information.

Since videos can combine images, motion, music, voice and even text, they provide for highly engaging content.

When visitors to a website are engaged they stick around longer.

Posted to YouTube, these videos can be a tremendous marketing tool.

e-Newsletters

For virtually everyone who sits down at their computer and checks their email, they are likely to see an electronic newsletter (e-Newsletter), or several, in their inbox.

Many companies involved in commercial cleaning have used them for years.

For those who have not used e-Newsletters, there is a reason why so many companies continue to use them.

Properly developed — with educational content and not sent too frequently — they are one of the most cost effective ways to stay connected with clients and potential customers.

The cost of e-Newsletters, as compared to traditional printed and mailed newsletters, is next to nothing.

Advertising In Digital Publications

More publications are turning to digital media to reduce costs, reach more readers and allow quicker response to new developments.

As these publications add an online edition, or switch entirely to a digital format, new advertising opportunities have emerged.

Digital advertisements can include actual links, social media connections and videos.

These videos can tell a story, provide testimonials and showcase how a product or service is used.

Digital advertising also allows the advertiser to create links that can quickly direct a consumer to more information.

These links may connect with a specific landing page that provides targeted consumers with direct access to specific information and the ability to inquire about or purchase services.

Also, with the use of targeted landing pages, special promotions can be easily created and tracked.

Webinars

A webinar is a type of conferencing event that can be shared through the Internet with virtually anyone.

It allows for real-time communications between the webinar host and multiple audience members.

Webinars provide companies with the opportunity to interact with clients, and potential clients, for very little cost.

These are perfect opportunities to provide live video, interactive forums and slide show presentations with secure access for educational, marketing and training purposes.

Social Media

Social media is an ideal tool to share a company’s expertise and develop online communities with shared interests.

It can be used to interact with customers and educate people about how a company’s products or services can help them.

For companies that have not gotten onboard with social media yet, here are some suggestions:

  • Sign up for a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube account. They are all free.
  • Post news, upcoming events, information, videos and specials on all the social media channels.
  • Post something at least weekly. When at a loss for ideas, develop some educational content.
  • Drive visitors of your social media channels to the company website, and from the website provide links to the company’s social media channels.

Press Releases

Creating a press release (PR) to garner media attention can be done for very minimal costs with almost immediate results, but there is more to the PR than meets the eye.

Virtually all businesses want their PRs to be reprinted, but that is not typically the primary reason to write one.

In many circumstances, the number one reason for writing PRs is to increase a website's organic search engine optimization (SEO).

Whenever you release a PR on one of the many online PR distribution services you have in essence created another Internet presence with links to your company.

If the proper keywords were used in the PR then the new web presence created could quite possibly even show up ahead of a company’s main website when people conduct Internet searches using related keywords.

When a company sends out a PR through an online PR distribution service, that PR can now be picked up by not only publications, but it will also be picked up by online services such as Google Alerts.

If the PR incorporated the correct keywords, it will get picked up and emailed to any number of people that currently get alerts based on those keywords. 

Pay-per-click Advertising

Pay-per-click advertising is a form of online advertising that allows companies to bid on various keywords and phrases used in Internet searches that allow their paid advertisement to appear in the paid section of Google and other search engines, typically on the top and right side of the page.

This can be a valuable tool for companies that otherwise are organically appearing on page two or beyond during normal internet searches.

Search Engine Optimization

Companies have to understand how search engines work and today that primarily means Google.

When a potential customer sits at their computer and types in a word or words for a Google search, they are instantly given a huge list of choices by Google.

For Google to rank these links, and to appear on page one of the search, they perform three primary processes.

Crawling — This is the process by which the search engine finds new and updated pages to be added to their index.

For Google, the program is known as Googlebot, which analyzes billions of web pages.

It detects links on pages, new websites, changes to existing pages and dead links.

Indexing — Once Googlebot has processed the pages from crawling, it compiles an index of all the words and their locations on a page.

Additionally, it will process information found in content tags and attributes.

Serving — During a Google search, the most relevant pages are shown first from a massive index.

There are hundreds of factors that determine which web pages are most relevant.

One of the important factors is known as “PageRank” by Google.

According to the company, “PageRank is the measure of the importance of a page based on the incoming links from other pages. In simple terms, each link to a page on your site from another site adds to your site's PageRank. Not all links are equal: Google works hard to improve the user experience by identifying spam links and other practices that negatively impact search results. The best types of links are those that are given based on the quality of your content.”

 

Paul Cochrane is the president of Cochrane & Associates, www.CochraneAssoc.com, a specialized marketing and public relations firm focused on helping commercial cleaning, indoor air quality, HVAC and environmental companies maximize their potential. He is also the founder of the IAQ Video Network (www.IAQTV.com), a website portal and video production company for news and information about environmental, health & safety and indoor air quality issues. He can be reached at (602) 510-3179 or Info@CochraneAssoc.com.

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