7 Tips for Online Success

So what you need to concern yourself with to achieve online success? What things will Custom Fit Online be focusing on for our clients? Read on for my top 7 tips!

Content Is King1. Content is Still King

Being successful online these days is more and more about creating great content. Are you blogging regularly with content that is relevant to your customers / prospective customers? Are you telling your story in a compelling manner? Have you developed and defined your story and your writing 'voice'? Are you creating and sharing great ideas? Are you utilizing the power of imagery (photos and videos), especially with social media?

My Tip: Work at continually creating quality content that is relevant for your target markets.

Engagement

2. Engagement is Queen

So content is king? Yes, but content doesn't do much without its queen… and this online queen has a name: Engagement. Your content needs to truly engage people. Are people visiting your blog or Facebook page sharing your information or commenting on your posts? Are you sharing and responding to others via social media? Do they find your content useful or compelling? You need to continually measure and monitor your online presence.

My Tip: Continually review and adjust your content and responses accordingly so you meet the requirements of your audience while also reinforcing and enhancing your brand.

Multi-screen3. Multi-Screen Contact is the Norm

More and more it's a multi-screen world. People are accessing online with several devices: smart phones, tablets, televisions, desktop computers and/or laptop computers. You need to be available online no matter what device and screen size they are using. Having an optimized mobile presence (like a dedicated mobile site or app) or building a responsive website that works in a variety of screen sizes is an extremely important key to online success in 2013.

My Tip: Build your mobile online audience today before your competition owns this space.

Mobile SEO4. Mobile / Mobile SEO Skyrockets

And while desktop computers, or even tablets, aren't going to drop out of existence in the next 12 months, the use of small mobile devices as the portal to the world-wide-web will continue to grow at an incredible rate. Worldwide, the number of online searches made on mobile devices will soon surpass the number of online searches made on desktop computers. Getting your website or social media channel visible and in front of the correct audience is paramount to business success moving forward.

My Tip: Stay on top of search engine optimization including your online presence served to mobile devices.

Facebook Ads5. Facebook Advertising

Facebook has made getting more of your content to all of your friends or followers more difficult. Facebook's new algorithm means that your Facebook posts are only going to be seen by a certain percentage of your followers. We're seeing a typical business post, without any advertising impetus, gets to between 12 to 20% to our followers; more if the content garners some engagement. Facebook Advertising provides more opportunities to reach your followers and their friends. Facebook has their business users where they want them; after all Facebook is a business and they need revenue to continue. More and more you'll need to pay (to some extent) to increase the reach of your Facebook content.

My Tip: Explore how Facebook advertising can benefit your business.

Inbound Marketing6. Inbound Marketing Triumphs

With our business there are two sources by which new clients initially connect with us:

I. People who reach us via INBOUND marketing. This includes referrals, natural search (a.k.a. SEO), social media, links (from other websites, blog, social media, etc.), or public relations. Inbound marketing involves putting in effort to build channels by which people reach you. These channels include blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, webinars, white papers, etc. Such channels draw people to 'consuming' our content and engaging with our business.

II. People who reach us via OUTBOUND marketing. Think tactics like pay-per-click advertising (such as Google AdWords), display ads or banners, rich media (TV, radio or print), or other 'paid' sources. When we fork over the cash to acquire an audience through some formalized advertising source we're outbound marketing. Incidentally, Custom Fit Online utilizes Google AdWords and Facebook Advertising as per of our marketing strategy.

Don't get me wrong. Outbound marketing doesn't suck! Often, it's a very appropriate marketing tactic: for example, if you don't have a strong brand or can't compete against businesses in the SEO world you may need to use AdWords, Facebook Advertising or some other outbound marketing option. However, in general, inbound marketing is a better return on investment, has a longer lasting effect, and the visibility of inbound marketing continues when the marketing efforts stops.

The move to effective marketing involves more emphasis on inbound marketing techniques. Simply put, inbound marketing will continue to grow and be more critical to business success than outbound marketing for 2013 and beyond.

My Tip: Do an inventory on your marketing efforts. Are they mostly inbound or outbound marketing oriented? Bump up your inbound marketing efforts.

Change7. Prepare for More Change

Well, I don't know if I need to write too much about this. If you run a business you know this all too well.

For my business, I spend a significant amount of time each week acquiring new knowledge to stay on top of all the changes in the world of online business. I read a lot, watch videos, attend webinars, or go to events. I am continually sharing my newly found information on analytics, SEO, web design, and such with our team, our clients, and prospective clients in-person. (I also contribute regularly to our blog, my Twitter account, and our Facebook page.) Why? Because the online world is continually changing, and this rate of change continues to increase.

My Tip: If you want to be successful online you either need to keep up yourself up-to-date or partner with somebody who is.

BonusBONUS TIP: A Good Online Presence Won't Save Businesses Models That Suck

I could have made this point first on my list. While you can have a sexy online presence and be active online this won't help you much if your offline real-world business sucks.

First and foremost, is your business model actually profitable? Are your customer service and delivery channels rocking? Are you providing the right product: the best quality, the most convenient, or the best price? (You'll never achieve all three of these but if you are really good at one your chances of running a successful business are good. If you deliver on two of these you are probably running a very successful business.)

My point is, get your offline business model and delivery together! Even a great online presence can't save a bad business. As competition increases in virtually every businesses sector the quality of your business model and product or service delivery will be a huge asset to your online presence as well. The ultimate business set-up is a strong business model, with excellent delivery of products and/or services, anchored with an effective online presence.

7 Tips for Online Success

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My Tip: Step back and examine your overall business model. Assess your delivery of products and services to your customers. Then no matter where you are improve on something. Even small, continuous improvements can make a big difference.

Best wishes to you and yours for a peaceful and prosperous 2013!

Roy McClean
Dec 21, 2012
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