Ever wondered why certain websites are ranked higher them the rest? How do you think the world of Google and search engine work? You just started a new website, probably from using wix or weebly, for your new business, and have been hopeful about getting new customers or leads from this channel. You wait and wait, and the leads doesn’t come.
Why, you asked?
You probably have not understood the terms SEO and SEM.
In simple terms, SEO is called Search Engine Optimisation – Unpaid and organic. Search Engine Marketing is paid and orchestrated.
Before we talk about the difference. I would like to discuss about how google ranks websites.
Google knows you’re looking for information, so it uses things like keywords to predict the likelihood that the content on the page is relevant to the search query. In other words, Google is going to rank these pages based on how relevant It thinks they are to this person – based on their search.
Next, Google looks at the website’s authority – essentially trying to estimate how reliable each website is. As a general rule, Google assumes that the more popular a website is, the more reliable it is – and therefore more likely to contain what the user is searching for.
These are only 2 major factors, there are a lot more and there are weighed averages, but you’ve probably heard the term algorithm used, and this is essentially the unique and secret formula each search engine uses for ranking.
So how does one do SEO?
Step 1: Learn what your customers are actually searching for
You can’t optimize your website without knowing what your customers are searching for—that much is obvious.
How do you figure this out? The best starting point is to use common sense.
Imagine that you run a hotel in Dublin, Ireland. It doesn’t take an SEO genius to guess that your customers are probably searching for things like:
‘hotels in Dublin’
‘place to stay in Dublin’
‘accommodation in Dublin’
The other way is of course, to log on to Google keyword planner. This is a very simple tool to use. It allows you to know the dynamic searches of keywords worldwide. So at any one point, you know what are the trending keywords on the internet.
Step 2: Create pages optimized for search
Keyword research is only the first step towards attracting more organic search traffic.
You also need to make sure your pages are structured well and satisfy the person behind the search to rank for the keywords you selected.
Your optimization efforts should start with making sure that your visitors are enjoying the user experience (UX) your website provides. Use design and typography that makes it easy to consume the content, and remove any unnecessary elements such as pop-ups, opt-in boxes, etc. that can annoy your readers.
Step 3: Make sure your website is accessible to both search engines and humans
When doing SEO, it’s important to remember that you’re working for two separate customers—your human readers, and the bots search engines use to index your website.
While bots are becoming more intelligent and human-like, many differences still exist between the two. Therefore, your goal should be to create a positive experience for both humans and bots.
Understanding how to create pages optimized for bots can be challenging. That’s why, while it’s important to have a strong understanding of the features we discuss in the following paragraphs, I encourage you to delegate them to a professional (preferably a developer).
Step 4: Build backlinks from other websites
Link building is critical for the success of your SEO strategy, so if you’re prepared to spend resources (time, money, etc.) on producing content, you should also be prepared to commit at least as much time to promoting and generating links to your content.
Why? Because there’s clear evidence showing that backlinks are one of the factors with a strong influence on Google’s ranking algorithm.
Step 5: Tracking your SEO success
The final step in setting your SEO strategy is figuring out how you’ll track your performance. There are many methods and metrics you can use, so it’s easy to get confused.
My advice is this: focus on the basics.
The most important metrics when it comes to SEO are a) organic traffic, and b) the average ranking position for the keywords you’re targeting.
So how about SEM?
If you want a faster method to reach out to your customers on Google. Using Google Adwords will be ideal.
Google Adwords is a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform. Unlike other PPC platforms like Facebook, AdWords actually offers advertisers two basic ways to reach people: 1) through the Google Search Network and 2) through the Google Display Network.
While these approaches are functionally very different, they both use a PPC bidding system, where advertisers bid to have their ads shown to relevant audiences.
The Google Search Network allows you to show your ads to users who are actively searching for the keywords that you’ve selected. If you own a landscaping business, you bid to have your ad show up every time a user types in “Landscaper in Tallahassee.”
As you can probably imagine, these “text ads” are an excellent opportunity to capture users who are at the research and purchasing stages of the digital sales funnel. Text ads are marked with a small “Ad” tag next to the site URL.
The Google Display Network works differently. Instead of showing ads to users who are actively searching for a product or service online, “display ads” or “banner ads” are placed on websites you think your target will be on.
So, there you have it, two different methods to have your website found fast. If you think getting your website noticed is hard, think again. You can effectively get lots of customers once you get your online marketing strategy in the right direction.
Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult to get awareness for your personal brand, products or services? You’ve been trying again and again to blast your new offerings on your personal facebook page and no one seems to care about it. To break through the ever-changing media clutter seems like an impossible task.
People often think that building businesses and brands could be a very simple and straightforward affair. Some students whom I have taught, even commented that as long as the products are good, customers would start flowing in!
This is a wrong mindset. Yes, given that the other 3 Ps ( Price, Product and Place) are right, one should ensure that the creation of the promotional tools is on-going and sustainable. You must have a long -term plan to ensure that your brand communicates with your customers regularly.
So let’s explore the 5 Promotional Weapons which you need to master.
I call them DAPPS.
D stands for Direct Marketing
Direct marketing is a form of communicating an offer, where organizations communicate directly to a pre-selected customer and supply a method for a direct response. Among practitioners, it is also known as direct response marketing. Most of the time, there’s no medium involved, unlike Advertising. Some of the most popular forms of direct marketing include Email, Telephone, Catalogue and SMS marketing.
The company may gain a few customers while merely annoying all of the other recipients. Junk mail, spam email, and texting all are forms of direct marketing that many people can't get rid of fast enough. However, direct marketing is the preferred advertising strategy for small local businesses, which can distribute hundreds of flyers, coupons, or menus for less than it would cost them to place an ad or make a commercial.
Most Popular form of Direct Marketing in Singapore currently:
1) SMS Marketing ( However Do note of the PDPA, Do not call registry clauses in Singapore)
A Stands for Advertising
This is the tool which most of us are familiar with. Based on Wikipedia’s definition, Advertising is a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea. What’s important is that advertisiing allows the control of message, so you can specially tailor your message to appeal to the subconscious of your audience. It is also non-personal as most advertising reach out to a mass audience rather than 1 to 1.
Advertising is communicated through various mass media,including traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio, outdoor advertising or direct mail; and new media such as search results, blogs, social media, websites or text messages. In modern times, it includes advertising via influencers, instagrammers, youtubers and even tik tokers.
One downside of advertising is the erosion of trust people place on this discipline. Credibility is sliding as more sophisticated and educated customers see through the advertising and commercial intention by the advertisers.
Most popular form of advertising in Singapore:
1) Advertisements on Youtube
2) Advertisments on Facebook and Instagram
3) Product Placements on Youtube Channels
P stands for Public Relations
This is my favourite topic as I have personally taught a lot of PR subjects and have managed public relations campaigns for many clients in the past. I also have many friends in the PR field who are still enjoying their work in this ever-changing industry.
This is also an area which most people are clueless about. What’s PR? Is it all about entertaining and networking?
I believe the keyword for PR is ‘stakeholder’. We need to understand the notion of stakeholders and how it matters to us. Stakeholders are essentially groups or parties that have an interest in a company and can either affect or be affected by the business. While advertising deals with only customer, PR on the other hand, deals with several stakeholders ; media, government, non-profit groups, community, competitors, customers, suppliers, employees, and the list goes on.
So what’s PR? Public relations (PR) is the practice of deliberately managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization (such as a business, government agency, or a nonprofit organization) and the public.
Some might still find this difficult to grasp. Have you ever wondered why some people are constantly hogging the media limelight while some are not? The former group most likely understood PR well and have used media relations to their advantage.
There’s a lot more to go for PR, but a key word for you, just think of ‘Publicity’ for now.
Most popular forms of Public Relations activities in Singapore;
1) Media relations – Pitching stories to the media
2) Press launches and events to attract mefdia attention
3) Special Events like mass run, charitable work, stunts
P stands for Personal Selling
The other P, which concerns more high value selling or high-involvement products. Due to the 1 to 1 nature of the tool, Personal selling requires a dedicated Salesperson to approach the entire marketing and selling process.
It is not easy to be a salesman. In fact there are several steps in the sales process. One might think that lead generation is important. However, there’s many other skills like presentation, relationship building, closing, handling objections, etc.
Personal selling can be defined as "the process of person-to-person communication between a salesperson and a prospective customer, in which the former learns about the customer's needs and seeks to satisfy those needs by offering the customer the opportunity to buy something of value, such as a good or service.
Many of these industries are using a heavy personal selling approach; MLM Businesses, Insurance, Financial & Banking, Property, Car, B2B businesses.
S stands Sales Promotion
Sales promotion uses both media and non-media marketing communications for a pre-determined, limited time to increase consumer demand, stimulate market demand or improve product availability. Examples include contests, coupons, freebies, loss leaders, point of purchase displays, premiums, prizes, product samples, and rebates.
We always call this a short-term inducement of sales. Essentially, we are using price or freebies to trigger purchase. Sometimes, irrational customers will buy because of the discounts or freebies.
One of the drawbacks of Sales promotions would be Increased price sensitivity. Consumers wait for the promotion deals to be announced and then purchase the product. This is true even for brands where brand loyalty exists. Customers wait and time their purchases to coincide with promotional offers on their preferred brands. Thus, the routine sales at the market price are lost and the profit margin is reduced because of the discounts to be offered during sale-season.
If the promotions in a product category have been rare, the promotions could have a negative effect about its quality image. Consumers may start suspecting that perhaps the product has not been selling well, the quality of the product is true compared to the price or the product is likely to be discontinued because it has become outdated.
Most popular Sales Promotional activites in Singapore:
1) Discounts, Discounts, Discounts
2) Off Peak hour benefits and perks
3) Membership to increase loyalty with existing customers
4) Credit card tie-ups and promotions
5) Working with Grab / Fave App
So there you have it, the 5 important Marketing Communications Weapons everyone should master. Depending on the kind of business you are in, you should learn how to mix and match the tools. So remember, if you don’t start marketing, your competitors will. In a downtime like this, it is essentially important to think about how you want to market your business. Don’t sit there and think that business is bad. Do something, and go out there and fight for your customers!
I believe you will keep your business afloat in this difficult time.