The Adelaide Hills is a wonderful area to live and a great place to do business. This guide covers the basics of online marketing with a focus on techniques targeting Adelaide Hills customers.
These are the steps to being successful online:
- Get a Website
- Get Traffic
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Social Media Marketing
- Convert your traffic into customers
Get a Website
It’s important to have your own website where people can come and learn about your products and services and hopefully become customers. Your website is also a place for your existing customers and other people who have already heard of you to come and check out information about your business and offerings at their leisure. We typically see that a large proportion of search traffic to an existing business’s website comes from branded keywords. There’s a good chance that your customers are already searching for your business on the web and if you can’t be found then they might just go to your competitor instead.
How much should you spend?
You could easily spend thousands of dollars on a website if you want a custom design or advanced functionality such as an online shop. However, most businesses needn’t spend that much. You can get a functional, professional looking website for under $2000.
In this section I’m going to discuss three key ways to get traffic to your website.
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Social Media Marketing
- Referral Traffic
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Ranking in the search engines for a particular keyword (search term) is a combination of the relevancy and authority of your website for that keyword.
Google will analyse each of your webpages and determine which keywords they are relevant for. If someone makes a search and Google doesn’t think your webpage is relevant to that search term then you won’t rank for it. You can help Google to understand what your webpages are about by including your keywords in the important regions of the page. The important regions are:
- Page names
The image below shows where each of these regions are on a web page.
The page’s title is by far the most important region to include your keywords. I recommend structuring the title of each page of your website like this:[Primary Keyword] – [Secondary Keyword or Copy] – [Location Keyword/s] – [Business Name]
Example: ‘Online Marketing & SEO Adelaide Hills & Mt Barker – Wicked Cow Marketing’ or
‘SEO – Rank Number #1 in the Adelaide Hills & Mt Barker – Wicked Cow Marketing’
It’s important that the title of each page is different and represents the content of that page.
- Primary Keyword – The primary keyword for the page should be should be 1-3 words that accurately describe the content of that page and it should be something that your customers are likely to type in if they were looking for that page.
- Secondary Keyword or Copy – A keyword to further describe the content of the page or a short piece of copy such as a byline, unique selling point or offer to entice people to click.
- Location Keyword/s – A keyword or words to describe the location you are trying to target. More on this below.
The graph below shows some analysis of five Adelaide Hills towns and areas with their relative search volume for 2011 so far.
The graph was pulled from Google trends and the letters A, B and C represent news stories published at those points in time and containing one of the locations.
As you can see, the terms ‘Adelaide Hills’ and ‘Mt Barker’ get the equal highest volume of searches, closely followed by ‘Murry Bridge’ and with ‘Stirling’ and ‘Hahndorf’ bringing up the rear. In general, use the location you want to target as your location keyword. If you want to target all of the Hills then I’d suggest using ‘Adelaide Hills,’ ‘Mt Barker’ or both. The location keyword ‘Adelaide Hills’ has the added benefit that it includes the word ‘Adelaide’ so by using that keyword you’re also targeting Adelaide. Keep that in mind if you want to target both the Hills and Adelaide.
Interesting fact: The term ‘Mt Barker’ receives around 50% more search traffic than the term ‘Mount Barker.’ Google will still return web pages that include the term ‘Mount Barker’ if someone types in ‘Mt Barker,’ and visa versa, as you can see in the screenshot below, but the search results aren’t identical so you should always target the shorter version for the best results.
Once Google has established which webpages are relevant to a particular search query they need to determine in what order to rank them in. They do this by determining the authority of each webpage, in general and for that particular subject, and then giving webpages with a higher authority the higher rankings. A webpage’s authority is determined by looking at the volume and quality of its backlinks*. In order to improve the authority of your website you need to increase the volume and quality of your backlinks.
*backlinks are links pointing or leading to your website from another website. For example ‘this‘ is a backlink for Google from this webpage.
A good place to start is to add your business to as many Australian Business Directories as you can find. After that, you should try and leverage things that you have that other business owners don’t to try and get links, here are some ideas:
- Offer a testimonial to your suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, service companies etc. and ask for a link in return
- Use your knowledge of your industry to write an article for your website and ask other relevant websites to link to it
- Offer free product samples to bloggers and ask them to review you
Stay away from:
- Link exchanges unless the other website is closely related to yours.
- Paid directories – they are rarely worth the cost
In recent years, Google has been moving towards making search results more localised and returning local businesses as much as possible when people make searches. The primary way that they deliver these local results is with Google Places. You will often see Google Places (aka Local) results in Google if you make a search including a location keyword. Local results are always accompanied by a red marker and come in several different forms including ‘blended local results’ where the result is a blend of the local result and a regular search result and ‘pure local results’ which only include the link and business information.
In order to get your website ranking better in the search results, you need to claim your business’s Place Page or create one if there isn’t one for your business already. Follow Google’s instructions to claim and set up your place page.
Google can determine your location automatically and return local results when they think you are likely looking for a local business.
Social Media Marketing is the new buzz and there’s opportunities for Adelaide Hills businesses to take advantage. There are several different types of social media that I think require different strategies.
- Forums and blogs
- Social sharing
- Social Networks – Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc.
Forums and Blogs
These types of social media have been around much longer than the relatively new Facebook and Twitter. Blogs are a great way to add content to your website which is useful for SEO – the more pages you have, the more keywords your pages are relevant for. Forums are good for establishing yourself as an authority in your field. Most forums also let you add a link back to your website in your signature.
Every website should have social sharing buttons such as the Facebook ‘Like,’ Twitter ‘Tweet’ and Google ‘+1’ on their webpages to allow people to easily share the content with their friends. Search Engines are also starting to use social sharing data as an indicator of webpage authority.
Note: If you’re enjoying this article, please share it using our Social Sharing buttons on the left ;).
Facebook and Twitter give you the opportunity to build a following and community of customers and potential customers so you can keep your business front of mind and continually market to them to encourage them to buy your products or services. Building an active community takes time and effort. Here are some tips:
- Attract likers and followers by giving them some value such as a freebie, discount, additional services or the promise of good quality information
- Encourage your followers and likers to interact with you. Ask questions and follow up with replies. Think of creative ways to get people to interact.
- Encourage word of mouth by asking people to share your content
For Twitter use the #adelhills hashtag and try and get the influencers to retweet your content. Some of the bigger Adelaide Hills influencers are:
Referral traffic is traffic from other websites and includes social media which we’ve already discussed above. People can get from one website to another by clicking links, so one way to increase your referral traffic is to increase the backlinks to your website. Sound familiar? We discussed how backlinks increase your authority and therefore search engine rankings above. Now you have two good reasons to build backlinks to your website. To increase your referral traffic you should seek out backlinks on high traffic websites which is not necessarily the case with the backlinks you build for SEO.
Convert your Traffic into Customers
Once you have traffic coming to your website, you want to convert those people into customers. Some people will convert relatively easily while others need some encouragement. Some people will never convert, for whatever reason, this can’t be helped so don’t worry about them.
Getting people to convert on your website is a combination of things not least of which is your offering and how well it meets the needs of the visitor. Assuming you can’t change the offer or the people coming to your website (you can, of course, but that’s another subject), these are some key elements that effect your conversion rate:
- Sales copy
- Website ease of use
- Website structure
- Conversion funnel
- Call to action
Before you get started, in fact as soon as you set up your website, you should work out what you want people to do on your website – these are your conversions. Use Google Analytics to set up goals which allow you to measure the success of conversion funnel. Then you can make changes and test whether they have had a positive impact.
A Few More Tips
- Set up Google Webmaster Tools for your website – Gives you useful analysis of how Google sees your website and they will let you know if they find any problems
- Use the Google Keyword Tool to see which keywords get searched the most
Need Some Help?
Wicked Cow Marketing is based at Crafers in the Adelaide Hills. We specialise in helping small businesses generate more leads from search engines.
Find out more about our SEO services here.