Using the Internet to Your Advantage

If you remember in my post, “How to Knock It Out of the Park,” I talked about the Red Sox home opener and how to use marketing to build your brand in the staffing and recruiting industry. Well, wouldn’t you know it. After staking a 14 game lead over the Yankees, the Red Sox are letting it slip away and it’s now down to just seven games. There’s a lesson to be learned here about marketing. Like the Red Sox, if you believe that marketing is all about making that one big bang that establishes your brand, you’ll be very disappointed in the results.

Using marketing to gain a competitive advantage is showing up to play every single day and leveraging strategy and tactics that build leadership. One of the easiest ways to do so, and to attract candidates and new clients in the process, is the different forms of Internet marketing. Let’s specifically talk about search engine optimization or SEO. Your objective with search engine optimization is to gain the highest rankings possible on the search engines, i.e. Google, Yahoo or MSN. To do so, you need to formulate a keyword strategy, i.e. the phrase people type into the search engine to find your firm’s services. For example, Bullhorn’s two strongest keywords are “staffing and recruiting software,” and “On Demand staffing and recruiting software.” These keywords should be built on a differentiator for you, i.e. On Demand, and what’s representative of your market’s interest, i.e. staffing and recruting software. Perhaps your expertise is placing financial services branch managers. Your keywords may be, “financial services jobs,” or even better, “jobs for financial services branch managers.”

To really determine what the most popular keywords are in your market, you need to research them by using a couple of free services, Yahoo’s Overture or Wordtracker. Check them out. They’ll tell you what people, i.e. candidates and clients, search most frequently on in your market. Once you’ve decided on the right keyword, you need to use it by setting up meta tags on your site and sprinkling the phrase in, relevantly, into your Web site copy. The former is best done by your Web site developer and it’s low cost. But the payoff can be huge when you begin to see your brand rated higher in the search engines than your competition.

To truly build momentum and to keep your rankings high and promote your company, distribute press releases through a service called Transworld. It’s only $400 a year for unlimited distribution to all of the news services and search engines, and it will not only boost your rankings but promote your company. Create a simple editorial calendar of press releases on a monthly basis. Choose topics like your company’s momentum, i.e. placements, signing a new client, moving into a new market or sharing some research or a point of view relevant to the market you service. Watch the needle on the buzz meter start moving as your candidates and clients tell you that they’re reading about your company and how impressed they are that you’re doing so well.

Want to measure the impact of search engines driving people to your site? Sign up for a Google Analytics account. It’s fast, easy and free. Just like the American League East standings in The Boston Globe or the New York Times, you’ll find out where you stand in the world of Internet marketing and how it impacts your business. Till the next time.

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