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How to Build a Thriving Online Business in 2013

Finding success online is not as easy as it was 10 years ago. Traffic was obtainable as competition was low in many industries. And SEO was a repeatable formula that  didn’t involve worrying about the next Google update.

The internet has changed tremendously and the tactics of yesterday no longer apply. In fact, some may even negatively affect your site. Thousands of webmasters are singing the blues after their sites were downgraded as a result of Google’s updates. Here one day, gone tomorrow…this is not a recipe for lasting success on the internet.

So how do you increase your profits in this new internet paradigm?

The key is to DIVERSIFY.

Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Webmasters who relied on their Google rankings for sustainable profits either closed shop in 2012 or they must rebuild to recover what was lost. Had they dabbled in additional marketing strategies they would not be as cash-strapped.

Here are some strategies you may want to execute in the new year:

Social Media

Don’t despise what may seem like an insignificant source of traffic. Social media is what its name suggests, but it’s much more than just a social club. Yes, people are talking up a storm and not buying directly on the site, but the trick is to join that conversation which leads people to like your brand and purchase from you. You can direct the conversation to occur on your Facebook Page so you expose your brand to more people.

Social media allows potential customers to become attracted to your brand so they will not only purchase from you, but also become brand ambassadors. Social sites provide the ideal platform for this dynamic to occur.

To increase your exposure, take advantage of sponsored ads and Facebook PPC. Target a specific subset of customers and lead them to “like” your Page or take advantage of promotions and discounts.

Email Marketing

Imagine you lose your Google rankings, yet many of your customers and potential customers are still subscribers to your email list. All is not lost. Though you will lose a portion of your income, you can divert your attention to your email list while you are working to regain rankings.

Consider creating some interactive component to your site; a forum, blog, etc. that will draw subscribers in to visit your store. You still have a vehicle to drive traffic to your store if you are building a robust list of subscribers.

Pay-Per-Click

I know this strategy costs some money, but it can be valuable to drive traffic if executed correctly. PPC (Google Adwords) requires a learning curve in the beginning, so if you have never used it, I recommend you research and learn a about it first. You also should set aside a “trial and error” budget you don’t mind losing. Use this money to test several landing pages and keywords. Over time, you will find your sweet spot.

If you lose your organic rankings, you can recover some of the money lost by paying for traffic until you regain rankings.

These are just a few of the marketing strategies you can employ to diversify your portfolio. The key to marketing in the modern-day internet is to spread your wings and dabble in more than one avenue. Some strategies are riskier than others, so a well-balanced campaign will ensure long-term success even if temporary setbacks occur.

 

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