If Facebook were a country, it would be the third most populated country in the word. Every day Google answers more than one billion questions from people around the globe in 181 countries and 146 languages. In 2013, it is crucial for business to get online and embrace digital marketing in order to be ‘digitally competitive’. Companies who traditionally used billboard advertising, television and radio advertising to market their products and services are shifting their budgets to online. The problem is however, most companies who invest in digital platforms are not too sure if their efforts are paying off.

The following tips are key to beginning and maintaining a successful online presence.

#1. Content

Content can be in the form of an article, a photograph, video, a whitepaper or even a top tips guide. Whatever form of content you decide to create for your website, make sure that you keep it interesting and relevant for your audience. Creating and distributing quality content will give your website so many benefits. Not only will it give your users a more compelling reason to ‘share’ your content, which will help you gain new backlinks for your website, but it enable you to attract new visitors to your site.

#2. Site Structure

Having a website that has a great site structure will help your customers to do what they came to do as well as giving you bonus points with Google. Search engines due to their very nature, must break down all web sites into elements based on the structure of the page.

Visitors so often rush to find the information they are looking for, rarely read through the fine details of a web page, but rather scan headings and bullet lists to find what they are looking for. If they can’t find information efficiently, then they are more likely to exit the page and find an alternative website which will help them reach this information.

#3 Analytics

Google Analytics gives you extremely powerful information on your website’s traffic. This information is your gateway to gaining insight on your user’s behavior once they have reached your website. Having data on where your visitors came from, where they landed and how they interacted with your web page can help you to optimize your online marketing efforts in order to provide a significant return.

#4 Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing has changed the way small businesses communicate with customers and market products and services.

One thing a small business owner should know is that using social media for marketing is a time-consuming task, and there is definitely a right and wrong way to deal with customers in online social spaces. While your efforts may be derived from a marketing perspective, your online social interactions with customers needs to be honest, open and provide value to be successful. You need to focus on building relationships more than blasting customers with marketing messages.

#5 Email Marketing

Email Marketing has got more and more exciting recently. Email marketing is a cheap and effective way to establish or maintain relationships with customers, however business have to make sure the content they are sending is both targeted and relevant. So before you hit send on your next batch of newsletters, thing about what you’re trying to say to your customers. Look at the list you’re sending to, will your entire database be interested in the message you are trying to put across or should you segment it so only the most relevant users receive it.

By Karin Lohitnavy and Carlie Dragone

When the writers Carlie Dragone, Digital Media Strategist, and Karin Lohitnavy, Master Connector of Midas Public Relations are not devising online -marketing strategies, they can be reached at www.midas-pr.com