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Jan 17, 201709:47 AMOpen Mic

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4 marketing pillars to build a business as strong as the Parthenon

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Dating back to Ancient Greece and Egypt, monumental structures have relied on the strength of stone pillars, working together to support an immense amount of weight and pressure.

Over the past 2,500 years, the Parthenon has been rocked by earthquakes, blown up by exploding gunpowder, and suffered severe fire damage, yet it and its pillars still stand today.

The way we apply digital and online marketing to a business is no different. Every business should be built upon the same principle, using a plethora of marketing pillars to uphold the pressure of its success, and together produce significant results.

Every day I encounter many businesses that have one pillar, and in simpler words, put all their eggs in one basket. When the one pillar they have relied so heavily on comes crashing down, they can find themselves in a hard free fall to the ground. For example, if 10 years ago a business’ only pillar was a Yellow Pages ad, they would have lost their only method of reaching new customers and growing their market share once consumers stopped opening the phone book for information.

Think about it — when was the last time you used the phone book for anything?

There is a clear and significant risk of having one or two pillars, which is why I recommend the Parthenon approach.

Here are four of the many marketing pillars businesses should use to build a solid foundation:

Search engine optimization

Earning top rankings in natural organic Google search is still one of the best ways to grow a business. However, many business owners think content is king when it isn’t. Right now, Google has indexed over 60 trillion web pages, and we all know that when we do a search, we pick from the top few. When a consumer is searching for your product or service, it is crucial that your business cuts through the clutter of now 130 trillion web pages to end up among the first few results. If done right, SEO can be your greatest profit generator.

How do you get your business there? One tactic is to write 2,500 words of unique and compelling text and check it with copyscape.com to make sure the content is truly unique. Your main keywords should be inserted 19 times, as inserting it more than that could be considered “keyword stuffing,” and your website could be sent for human review and a potential penalty. Include different variations of your main keywords such as plurals and singulars into the mixture, as well as variant names for your product. For example, a laptop and notebook computer could be considered to be the same type of computer. However, we want to sell to potential customers who use both keyword variations.

The use of latent semantic language lets Google find relationships between those keywords and the ones in the search query. For example, if you are selling golf clubs then the words driver, iron, and putter are related.  Also, include brands like Taylor Made and Callaway. Consumer testimonials are also a great method to include keywords and organically improve Google ranking.

Search engine marketing

Increasing your online visibility through paid opportunities is key to reaching potential customers. While it may take a while to earn Google’s trust through SEO, search engine marketing can be turned on fairly quickly. With SEM, businesses pay to play and are relevant, while maintaining full control of speed and budget. SEM allows you to target your prospective customers through search engines such as Google, Bing, and AOL.

Say you are a contractor and can only handle three projects at a time. SEM can run until the three projects are scheduled, be turned off and then turned back on when one of the projects is complete — allowing you to turn the volume up or down as preferred.

SEM also allows you to run AB testing on coupons and special offers — this is cross-pillar optimization. Let’s say you test different offers and one of them did very well and resonated with your audience; you can now also use it with SEO, social media, print media, etc., knowing that the data you collected means something and will provide results.

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