A five-part series on online branding for businesses by Ryan Chaffin

1. What’s in a Name? Everything
2. SEO: Marketing in the New Millennium
3. PPC as a Model of Smart Advertising
4. Social Media: Highly Accessible Advertising
5. Freshening Up: Maintaining Your Brand Image

The proliferation of the internet has completely changed how our society exchanges information. What was once the realm of letters and paper is now the realm of e-mail and electronic documents. Just as the way of relaying information has evolved, so has the world of advertising. Billboards are now sidebar ads and the Yellow Pages are now Google Maps.

For many small businesses the internet has become a boon to their services, bringing them a whole host of new customers that they never would have seen in the years before the web. But, herein lays a problem. It is one thing to recognize the changing landscape of marketing and advertising, but a completely different thing to understand how this new mechanism works. Simply putting together a novice website and then letting is fester in cyber-anonymity is simply not enough. This is where a properly placed SEO campaign can assist your company in emerging from internet obscurity.

For example, you may be in the business of hiring truck drivers.  You may offer the highest quality truck driver hiring services available. Your track record may be sterling but no one will have any idea of your business’ quality if you don’t properly advertise it or if your name doesn’t appear in a simple web search. SEO stands for “search engine optimization” and these services accomplish exactly what the name implies: they help your website conform to the standards dictated by individual search engines. A properly launched and maintained SEO campaign can bring your name to the top of a web search, effectively bringing more traffic to your website. Think about it: when you search for a service, which web result do you usually click on? If you are like most people, the first page of results is usually as far as you get.

Let’s return to our previous example. If someone were to type “hiring truck drivers” into a search engine and you owned a company that specialized in this very service, you would want your company name to show up first. If you have correctly branded your company name online, enlisted effective SEO techniques, and followed up on your marketing campaign with solid services, then you would be in a prime place to reap the benefits of a very high ranking. All of these variables coming together and working in tandem would equate to a higher customer flow and increased sales.

A properly run SEO campaign can accentuate all the hard work you have put into your business by highlighting your products and putting your company name in front of more people than any other medium can afford. The results can truly be astounding: the investment worth every penny.

About the author

Ryan Chaffin is currently a college student majoring in Business Marketing. He loves anything technology, internet, and social media related along with sports and health & wellness. Ryan currently specializes in search engine optimization (SEO), blogging, and social media and believes in achieving your fullest potential on and off the web. You can also find Ryan on Twitter (@ryanchaffin).

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