Whether you are just getting started or have an existing business that you need to infuse some life and growth into, here is a good strategy that you should follow.
Whether you call this your blueprint or your cheatsheet or your To Do List doesn’t matter – just read it, absorb it and get to work on it! J
While this blueprint/cheatsheet/action plan is based on solid and proven strategies – every industry and every site is different and you need to determine what works for you and then maximize your efforts on those areas to further maximize those results. (Use a stats program to track your results!)
OK, without further delay, here is the plan….
Lay The Foundation First…
Optimize your site:
If outsourcing makes the most sense given your time and skill set (in other words if you don’t know how to do it yourself and don’t have the time) you want to start by requesting a consultation or proposal and make sure the firm you are talking to will tell you what they are going to do and what it will cost. Get all the details, ask for references and make sure they will answer any and all questions until you feel comfortable.
DO IT YOURSELF:
- Make sure you have clean code – which means no “code bloat” (put java script and CSS in external files) and make sure your code isn’t littered with excessive tags and old extraneous code.
- Write compelling Meta tags that use your keywords well (do not stuff keywords or make a list of keywords, write in compelling sentence format)
- Do your on-page optimization (bold instances of keywords, place links with keywords as the anchor text in your body content, properly compress images for page load time, name images with keywords, use ALT tags that are both descriptive of the picture but also use a keyword phrase [no keyword stuffing])
NOTE: This is not a license to run wild with the optimization – do all things in moderation and within reason – don’t overdo anything. Your page should naturally use your keywords. Focus on 1-3 related keywords per page – keywords that naturally go together. Don’t spam or keyword stuff.
Set up a WordPress Blog:
If you don’t know how to install or configure a Blog or you don’t know what marketing, SEO and social media plugins you need, you should outsource this step. Make sure you give the company you outsource to all the details (access to your server – both control panel and FTP access). Talk to them about the look and feel of the Blog and also let them know how you plan to use the Blog so they can pick a theme that will best meet your needs.
DO IT YOURSELF:
- Install a WordPress Blog on Your Server as a sub-directory (example: isellflowers.com/FlowerBlog)
- Install and configure all SEO, Social Media and Marketing plugins (don’t forget to add your ping list)
- Make sure your Blog, Twitter and Facebook are all connected so your Blog is feeding your content to your social media sites.
- Make sure you turn on permalinks so URLs are user and search engine friendly.
Set up a Twitter account:
Talk to the firm about what they will handle and what you will do yourself. Find a firm that will work with you and create a custom package to meet your goals and needs .
DO IT YOURSELF:
- Create a compelling bio that uses one or two of your core keywords.
- Design custom background that conveys who you are and what you do.
- Plan your tweet strategy.
- Start tweeting.
- Build followers.
- Don’t just tweet AT people, engage them in conversation
Set Up a Facebook Fan/Business Page:
OUTSOURCE: If you don’t know how to work with HTML and design graphics, you should outsource your Fan Page design to make sure you get a killer page.
DO IT YOURSELF:
- Don’t just use the default tabs – build a killer FBML tab that allows you to collect leads and really engage users.
- Add a feature that offers a coupon, or a free report that people get after they click the LIKE button. Getting something they wouldn’t otherwise get is the biggest reason people become a fan of a page.
- Start building your Fan Base.
- In addition to your Blog feeding into the page, drop by and personally leave questions, comments and share info that they can’t get anywhere else to keep them glued to your page
Create a content addition plan:
Make sure you are working off of your keyword list and creating new content on a regular basis. Try focusing on 1 or 2 keywords per page and write your content “article style” (which means useful, informative and not self promotional because you want to be able to syndicate this content). Determine how often you can add content and calendar a plan to make sure it happens.
Now you are all set up and running and now the focus is on: GROWTH
If you are already creating new content for your site or Blog, let’s make sure that you are following an action plan to get you more exposure.
OUTSOURCE: If you aren’t sure you can write compelling copy that will use your keywords well and establish you as an expert with something interesting to say, you should look into outsourcing your writing. Ask to see samples of previous work and make sure you edit/approve all articles to make sure you are happy with them being out there representing you!
DO IT YOURSELF:
- Create a compelling bio with calls to action and links to your site (tip: use different bios on different articles and tailor the call to action and the page you link to on your site to the topic of the article)
- Post your content on your Blog (if you are properly configured, that will feed your content to Facebook and Twitter [which should also feed to LinkedIn] and it should also ping your Blog automatically). Make sure you are using tags and categories and make sure you are either adding Meta tags via All in One SEO Pack or have an SEO Configuration that automatically generates GOOD Meta tags when you post.
- Submit your RSS feed for more exposure
Comment on other industry Blogs:
- Skip this step unless you plan to truly add to the conversation and include real useful and thought provoking comments.
- Link back to different pages on your site.
Continue all social media activities:
- Don’t just rely on your content being fed from your Blog, you need to personally interact as well.
- Make sure you have a plan in place to maximize social media sites and grow your follower/fan base as well as engaging them.
After your post is crawled and indexed, submit to article directories:
- If you are going to submit manually, make sure you compile a list of directories that will give you the most benefit. Rather than submit manually, you should either outsource or use a submission service.
Bookmark your post at various social media and bookmarking sites:
- Keep in mind: different social media/social bookmarking sites are for different topics and audiences. Only submit to appropriate ones!
- A few to consider:Social news – Propeller, Digg, Reddit
Social hosting – Weebly, Squidoo, Hubpages, WetPaint
Bookmarking – Diigo, Mr. Wong, Delicious, Google, Mixx
Sitemarking – StumbleUpon
Write another article and start the process all over again!