Spotlight: Online Marketing Tips from Smart Ranking

Rinkel collega Jeroen
Jeroen van Vierzen
update: 15 February 2017

This week a different kind of Spotlight with one of our clients. Smart Ranking provides insight into online marketing for start-ups. These tips will help you rank better in Google search results!


What is online marketing?

Online marketing is the marketing of your products or services via the internet. As with offline marketing (e.g. advertising in a newspaper), online marketing aims to increase your sales or awareness. This depends on the goal you have. There are various channels for carrying out online marketing, which makes online marketing very broad. Online marketing can be done via social media (e.g. Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn), but also via search engines (search engine optimisation or search engine advertising). Search engine optimisation is abbreviated to SEO and search engine advertising to SEA.

One-off operation or ongoing process?

Most work is an ongoing process. This is because it is important to use social media to keep your fans up-to-date through a continuous number of posts and stay active as a business. Furthermore, you need to continue your SEO if you are working on this. Google does not stand still and SEO is a fast-changing world. Probably all your competitors are busy with their own SEO campaigns and when you stand still you are going to lose out. Some parts of your SEO campaign will be one-off work, though, so you don't have to constantly redefine your keywords or do technical analysis every other day. Furthermore, SEA does not stand still either. By optimising your SEA campaign, you can reduce your cost per click, for instance, and also in SEA, your competitors are constantly working on their own campaigns.

Where to start: can you improve your appearance and online findability yourself?

First of all, it is important that you lay a good foundation for the marketing channels you are going to use. When you start using Facebook as a marketing channel, your page needs to look good. Get a good cover and profile picture, make sure all the information is filled in correctly and that it looks professional. Then you can start thinking up posts that connect with your target audience and with which you will continuously maintain your page.

SEO requires completely different actions. First, you need to know which search terms your customers will use to make their purchases. You can research this with a keyword research. For this, you can use Google Keywordplanner, among others. A good idea is to first have a brainstorming session and come up with as many search terms as possible. Then you supplement these with Google's suggestions and check whether these search terms are really being searched for. The final result will be a list of keywords on which you would like to be found. On the basis of this keyword research, you can start writing texts/blogs that match these keywords. My advice is to first ensure that everything on your website is set up properly, after which you can register with Google My Business, for example. To gain authority for your website, you can start guest blogging. However, gaining authority through backlinks is a very extensive aspect of SEO, there are many articles on this on the internet. A good knowledge base is MOZ.

What are the trends, how do you make sure you stand out?

As more and more entrepreneurs see the value of online marketing, it will become increasingly difficult to stand out. More and more entrepreneurs are choosing to use search engine marketing or social media marketing. Just like on TV, you need to come up with a good campaign to make sure you appeal to your target audience. Especially for social media marketing, it is very important that you show your distinctiveness through social media. You can do this with, for instance, personal posts or user-generated content. For SEO and SEA, too, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out, as competition is growing and only one company can be in first place. In SEO, too, it is important to do just that little bit more than your competitors. For instance, make sure you get better links than your competitor. It will be a constant game of being better than each other.

Is online marketing outsourcing affordable for a start-up?

Online marketing outsourcing can certainly be affordable, provided the agency thinks carefully about the channels to be deployed and creates a good strategy. The largest marketing agencies in the Netherlands charge rates (€139-€150 excluding VAT per hour) that are not affordable for the starting entrepreneur. However, fixed subscriptions are quite affordable for many start-ups; there are already subscriptions available where you outsource your SEA/SEO/Social media for €300 per month.

How important is Google compared to, say, Bing or Yahoo?

If you are a small or starting Dutch entrepreneur starting with SEO, it is not yet worth focusing on Bing or Yahoo. Bing and Yahoo have a share of about 10% in the Dutch market and Google a 90% share. If, as an established business, you attract hundreds/thousands of visitors a month via search engines, it may well be worth targeting Bing or Yahoo as well.

How important is social media?

Social media is an often underestimated marketing channel. Through social media, you can easily reach your customers and interact with them properly. By doing so, you encourage customer loyalty, which will ensure branding and more sales. I myself have carried out several tests in relation to social media and SEO, but I will not yet see a demonstrable difference in terms of positions. So you should not (yet) use social media to get higher positions in search engines. However, we do recommend entrepreneurs to start using social media channels.

Especially for Rinkel customers!

Are you interested in online marketing but can't see the wood for the trees, or do you simply not have the time to take your website to the next level? Then take advantage of Smartranking's online marketing scan, completely free of charge! Especially for Rinkel customers.

Want to know more? Then take a look at SmartRanking's website.