How to Get Found on The Web Guest Author In today’s business climate, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. Between new brands entering the scene and search engines updating their algorithms daily, it takes a lot to keep companies on the map. Since you’re familiar with BenchmarkONE, you’re likely ahead of the game when it comes to email marketing and engaging prospects who know you. But how about reaching the people who don’t? In this post, we’re breaking down exactly how to be found on the world wide web. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Search engine optimization (SEO) is all about keywords. This strategy involves identifying the keywords you want to be known for, investing in them, and aligning your online presence. First, you need to choose your keywords. Think about the words that describe who you are, what you do, and the phrases a potential buyer would enter to find you. Keep in mind that broader terms will be harder to own. For example, if you’re selling consulting services, “consultant” and even “consulting services” may be too expensive. However, longer variations like “consulting services atlanta” or “small business consulting services” can bring the price down. Once you have your terms in mind, double-check them against two things: competitiveness and volume. Here at Liscio, we use MOZ.com to asses both. Once your keywords are finalized, you’re ready to create your content. Articles, landing pages, and blog posts are all prime places to sprinkle your keywords. Use your keywords verbatim in header tags, metadata, and body copy. To keep your website relevant, high-ranking, and valuable to your target community, you’ll need a steady flow of fresh content. The highest-ranking sites consistently publish content to maintain their position as go-to resources. This requires a year-round, long-term commitment to content creation. For brownie points, reach out and create partnerships with industry influencers and related websites. Just like referrals and reviews, having an industry expert endorse your product or service is great for SEO. Nothing moves the search engine needle more than relevant backlinks (when someone else publishes a link to your site). The way search engines rank websites is constantly changing. Google, for instance, is notorious for changing its algorithm to throw off those trying to game the system. Moving up the search rankings is hard, but not impossible. To keep up, publish consistent content, stay up to date on how the big search engines are keeping score, and adjust your approach accordingly. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Search engine marketing (SEM) involves purchasing ads for relevant keywords. Think of the ads that appear at the top of your search results with the “Ad” box to the left of their URLs. As you may have guessed, these brands pay to hold the top spot. SEM is a trickier strategy to master, because the cost of purchasing ads declines as the firm’s SEO ranking for those keywords rises. Getting a good return on investment with SEM requires careful management. If this sounds a bit too complex, bring in a third-party specialist until you’ve mastered the ropes. One caveat of SEM is the ad factor. Some potential customers are turned off by paid ads cluttering their search queries and don’t reward those ads with a click. Retargeting Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is an online advertising technique that allows you to advertise to visitors who have left your site. Considering only 2% of visitors who reach your site will convert on the first visit, retargeting helps your brand stay in front of the 98% who leave. Think about browsing an e-commerce site. You might poke around, put a few things in your cart, but ultimately leave. With each new web page you visit, the brand seems to follow you in banner ads and Facebook posts. Retargeting shows ads to prospects as they visit other sites. Retargeting is particularly valuable once you’re driving a fair amount of traffic to your site. What is client acquisition cost (CAC)? As you begin to invest in organic and paid strategies, there comes a time when you need to evaluate success. That’s where client acquisition (CAC) comes in. CAC can be calculated by: CAC = (Marketing Cost per Prospect Generated + Sales Cost Per Prospect) / Close Rate % Push marketing carries two costs: the cost of the initiative plus the sales cost. As you can see, close rate % is a huge factor. Since sales costs are notoriously expensive, it’s better to have one prospect with a 50% close rate than five prospects with a 10% close rate. Referrals and reviews are great for smaller firms with tight budgets because they don’t cost a thing (aka zero CAC)! Wrapping it all up. In conclusion, consider your keywords carefully, stay focused on targeted customers, and avoid generating inefficient leads. Remember that focusing on client experience — including customer service — early on will reduce your CAC and boost your client acquisition. With the right tools and infrastructure, clients will find you on the web and stay for the long haul. Tools that prioritize client experience, like Liscio, will help you build top-notch relationships that keep clients on board. As a secure, mobile, and intuitive communication and file sharing platform, Liscio sets the stage for firms and their clients to collaborate seamlessly. Author Bio Chris Farrell is co-founder and CEO of Liscio. He’s a seasoned technology executive with more than 20 years of leadership experience in finance and accounting. Chris served as the CEO of Nexonia, Inc., the parent company of the Nexonia, Tallie, ExpenseWatch, and SpringAhead brands. His experience as a founder of Tallie and SpringAhead gives Liscio a proven leader with a successful track record scaling up startup technology platforms for professional services. Chris earned his CPA in the heart of Silicon Valley at Arthur Andersen in 1996 and his MBA at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management in 2004.