Whether you own a company serving local customers or a brand recognized internationally, having a website with user friendly tools, in depth information about your brand or business, and a unique design aesthetic are all key factors in digital marketing success. There are many ways to build a quality website yourself, even with minimal development knowledge, including with the many web building services available today. However, these web builders can cause design issues, create functionality roadblocks, and may lack in search engine optimization (SEO) tools. The mid to high cost for web builder services at top tiers may not be worth it to many brands. Small marketing firms in your area often compete with web builder costs while providing a better range of services, flexibility, creativity, and overall greater level of care. MLT Group LLC offers comprehensive services for web development in Minneapolis, MN and the Upper Midwest, including digital marketing, SEO services, social media marketing, graphic design, video production, and web design.
Effective Web Development
There are many properties of effective web development, and while many technical aspects of web design may shift with time (such as Google and other search engine algorithms), there are several core values that remain largely constant. Even with more and more cookie cutter web builders coming onto the market, there are still many reasons to work with an independent marketing agency.
Cookie Cutter vs. Custom
Web builders rely on templates that make it easier for anyone using their services to build nice looking websites quickly. However, these templates tend to become cookie cutter examples of excessive website conformity. The first problem with template or cookie cutter websites is that they are not unique. Many other brands, including your competitors, may use the same web builder services and templates. If your website starts to look the same as others, the creative and innovative aspects of your company may be overshadowed by the conformity of your site design.
Another issue with cookie cutter websites is their functionality. Templates provided through web builder services may not include unique tools for media incorporation, ecommerce, and other custom needs. Additionally they often don’t give you options to accurately manage your SEO performance. Cookie cutter sites often offer some SEO tools, but without the ability to fully tailor to your specific brand’s SEO requirements. Some brands need ecommerce SEO emphasis, while others might need SEO that increases readership of fresh content.
The templates offered through web builder services may be easy to use to a point, but if you don’t have any web design expertise, you’ll struggle in the confines of your selected template. By outsourcing your online development process to an affordable marketing firm, you’ll be able to expand far beyond the limitations of templates. The goal of a marketing firm is to customize your website and marketing campaign every step of the way, giving you ownership over your brand and web presence that a cookie cutter website cannot accomplish.
Small Firm Effect
There are several ideas behind the concept of Small Firm Effect. Firstly, small businesses exist for a reason. They are serving a purpose that larger companies are not able to provide, and their continued success is evidence of this fulfillment. Secondly, small market capitalization has a tendency to outperform large market players, partly because they offer more boutique, quality services. Small companies are able to thrive with a quality over quantity approach to business, much the opposite of large corporations’ usual inability to provide the level of service quality that small firms can. Because they can’t provide a boutique level of quality, larger companies rely on quantity over quality.
Smaller firms can offer better quality services because they are more flexible and nimble to changes in projects or markets, their smaller staff is more attentive to customer needs, and with fewer projects on the schedule, they can spend more time and energy on precision and tailoring. Small companies can also focus on locally targeted content and become a part of online or physical communities.
Effective SEO tools will place your website in higher rankings on search engine results pages (SERP). Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo use crawling bots that scan the content, data, security, and other aspects of your website pages. They will then index that information and rank sites based on how positively and accurately they answer a search query according to the search engine algorithm. Algorithms change over time, but many core SEO practices stay relevant for long term use. One example is backlinking. Backlinks have survived as a potent ranking factor despite the banning of many backlink related spam techniques. An example of an outdated SEO practice is keyword stuffing or overloading the use of keywords in your text content. A change that is coming in SEO marketing practices is Google’s launch of their Page Experience signal system. These new SEO guidelines are geared to favor websites with strong user experience metrics, including fast load times, interactivity, and balanced visuals.
Pay Per Click
SEM marketing techniques like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and Google Ads can be effective, but nothing beats SEO practices for positive results and cost effectiveness. The strategic use of keywords and multimedia, installation of metadata, URL building, continued release of fresh content, and increased accessibility for a broader range of users will all play a significant role in improving your SEO. Our team of SEO experts, freelance writers, graphic designers, and video production staff combine forces to make our customers’ websites soar to higher ranks on SERPs.
Social Media Marketing
Another aspect of effective web marketing is the use of social media platforms to promote your brand and grow your audience. Having multiple social media outlets for your company might seem like a lot of tedious work in order to build hashtags, create well designed visual content, and write strong captions, but there are ways to streamline the process. The best social media presences will have a team dedicated to running on mainstream platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Social media marketing campaigns can see even further audience growth by creating video content for platforms that are expanding the internet in unique ways, such as TikTok and Snapchat. If you can’t afford your own social media marketing team you can still get a whole team working for you by contracting with an agency like MLT Group.
Improving Social Media
To get started improving your social media marketing presence, there are a few basic steps you can take. Or have experienced digital marketing pros help you with these steps.
- Establish your ideal customer and target audience. This can include demographics like age, location, income, social media presences, job titles, and aesthetics.
- Examine your current presence before determining the next steps forward. Pinpoint which platforms and networks you are the most important to your target audiences and optimize your presence on those accounts with clear photos, descriptions, bios, and URLs.
- Make a messaging that is a constant across all your social media platforms and your website. This messaging should explain to your audiences the values of your brand and help build trust with potential and existing users.
- Calculate your key performance indicators (KPI). Social media analytics often provide metrics that work as KPIs, such as likes, shares, conversion rates, brand shout outs, sentimental feedback, time spent on each platform, and post reach.
- Create fresh and engaging content on a regular basis. Social media is a great space to humanize your brand, show what’s going on “behind the scenes,” and overall build a fun and interesting environment beyond the professional aspects of your website. You can also use your platforms to curate other brands; content and outreach to build relationships with like-minded companies.
- Track your data, analyze results, and use this feedback to continually optimize your social media marketing practices. Social media platforms are the best spaces for trial and error because of their low cost and ease of content production.
If you also utilize ecommerce as a primary part of company operations, pairing those online sales tools with SEO, social media, custom site design, and the support of a boutique firm will help your brand grow and build a dedicated audience with strong user relationships.