Leveraging the power of online advertising is vital in an ever-changing digital world. A few mail drops here and there no longer cuts it; most businesses now rely at least in part on their online presence. The article will explore some of the most popular ways that you can harness online advertising.

Pay per click

Pay per click, sometimes abbreviated to PPC, is one of the most popular methods of online advertising. Services such as Google Adwords don't have a minimum spending requirement, allow you to filter who sees your adverts and target one or more keywords. It works by paying for every click that your advert receives, with the end goal of returning your investment. In general, the more you pay per click the higher your ad will be in the search rankings and the more clicks your ad will receive. 

Search engine optimisation

SEO is a technique that is used to increase your website's visibility on search engines. Unlike pay per click, SEO is a long-term strategy that provides traffic to your website without directly spending any money. There are several methods of improving the visibility of a website, including links from other websites, high-quality content, correct meta data practices, sitemaps and so on. When you first start advertising, it is common to focus on SEO in conjunction with PPC, since you are delivering traffic in the short term whilst still investing in the long term. 

As SEO is a long term game, it can take anywhere between 2 to 5 months before any meaningful results start to come through. It is important to remember however that the hard work pays off, and the increased traffic isn't just a temporary measure. 

Media

Social media and video sharing websites such as YouTube are invaluable tools when it comes to advertising online, and generally increasing your brand's presence. It is important to remember that whilst you are promoting your website, and putting links back to your own content where possible, you don't want to overdo it; there is nothing worse than being plagued with links whilst trying to watch a video or read an article. 

With social media, many websites such as Facebook provide a paid advertising service where you can reach your target audience, but you can equally advertise for free by getting involved with other projects, commenting on recent stories or even running a competition. 

Original content

To help improve your SEO and your brand's presence generally, having a range of diverse content that is not only interesting to read, but also original is important. This can take the form of tutorials, blogs, forums and so on. If your time is limited, user generated content such as forums and blog comments are also a good method of generating content with minimal input. 

Email marketing

Email marketing is a great tool, that is great when you have established a stable amount of daily traffic. By getting your existing and prospective customers to subscribe to your mailing list, you have an ideal form of communication directly with them. There are some important points to remember, though:

  • DON'T SPAM! Being bombarded with emails on a constant basis is not desirable, and although it may work in some cases it will probably just lead to a large number of your subscribers unsubscribing.  
  • Keep your content interesting. Make sure each email has a catchy subject that entices your subscribers to read more. 
  • Get your subscribers back on your website. Show them what they've missed, start a competition, introduce them to a new product; anything to increase your website's traffic.
  • Keep your emails consistent. Make sure every email has a similar theme to it and be sure to promote your brand.