Byrnesie’s Tips in Tough Times #4: Master the Internet

Michael W. Byrnes, Jr.

In one way or another, individuals or companies using the internet want to increase their search engine optimization. In today’s world, to show up at the top of a keyword search results in instant credibility, more website traffic, and ultimately more business.

Ten tips to be a dominant player on the Internet and proudly wear the green jacket (inspired by the recent Masters golf tournament.)

1. Entice them to click. Attract prospects from social media sites by giving them a taste of your website content, not the whole meal. First take a look at your social media strategy and answer this question: Within your online communities, are you currently interacting with more prospects or more competitors? Make sure you are reaching your target market. Consider working with a complimentary business. Through creating a strong strategic alliance, you can routinely promote each other’s sites.

2. Get the word out. Start by emailing an article or a newsworthy press release to traditional media outlets in your industry or region, like newspapers, magazines and TV programs. Press coverage might start slow, but it often snowballs once other journalists see that you have been vetted by another organization and are considered a respectable source. Once you get coverage, you will have more credibility and can better position yourself as an expert on social networks.

3. Write a book. It seems counter intuitive in this day and age of the internet, but it is another tool to create site awareness, plus it gives your business more credibility.

4. Syndicate content. Remember the old adage, “kill two birds with one stone”? Now try to shoot for 20 birds with one stone. Get the most out of your material, by dispersing it to all the online directories and communities that fit within your ideal target markets that will hopefully be interested in what your business has to say.

5. Don’t keep it secret. More than ever, the internet allows prospects to do research and get information on your industry’s products and services. Part of their decision is based on what they learn from your site compared to your competitors. You might only get one chance to win business, so avoid holding back content. Plus, restricting information goes against the internet culture.

6. Keep it current. Websites need to graduate to a dynamic approach. If your site becomes stagnant it will be forgotten. No visits equals no new business. Consider using interviews, news items, event recaps, pictures, articles, surveys, contests with prizes, and daily tips or facts as fresh material to keep them coming.

7. Interact with your guests. Allow comments on your site. The conversations increase interactions and build relationships.

8. Capture email addresses. Entice website visitors to share their information by giving them something for free like a white paper, an excerpt from a book or a webinar. Even though RSS feeds, tweets and other social media postings are popular tools, email messages (and e-newsletters) are still the best club in your bag to get repeat visitors.

9. Write for the internet. People have less time to read and more information to read than ever before, and that ratio will worsen as the internet evolves. Plus, now some are reading content on their little smart phones. Do not feel hurt that your content will not be 100% read. Embrace that it is now a way of life and facilitate speed-reading.

10. Use videos. More people are switching from TVs to laptops as their main source for news, education and entertainment. Top-notch videos can set your site apart from the text-only websites your competitors might still have.

Another important lesson: you will never hit a hole in one if you don’t know what you are aiming for.
Do you have tips on how to earn the green jacket? If so, please share them below.

Michael W. Byrnes, Jr. is the President of Byrnes Consulting, LLC in Charlestown, Massachusetts.