Hi there! Crystal Coast Technologies is an internet marketing agency headquartered on the North Carolina coast in Swansboro, NC, and you’re on this web page because you’re either looking for an agency to help your business succeed online or you’re just looking for some tips to help you do it yourself. Either way, we’ve got you covered. Read on and find out.
Since 2005, we’ve seen so many changes to how small business internet marketing is done. And we have dozens of clients that have been with us that entire time. Why is that?
Anthony trains his team to help educate each person or business who makes contact, even if they don’t hire us. We won’t just throw around complex terms without explaining why they’re important and how they relate to your business. We won’t make statements that are subjective like “we’re the best internet marketing company” (I mean, seriously, how would someone even confirm that? haha). That means our clients know we’re going to be completely transparent as we build long-term relationships.
Client’s also know that Crystal Coast Technologies is honest and follows the mantra: “Do well by doing good.” In the case of internet marketing, that means letting clients know if there are free or low cost tools they can use if they want to do some things on their own. After all, maybe they want to be hands-on or maybe they want to lower the cost of hiring a professional company to help them market their business online. So, at the end of this article, we’ve included a list of some of those tools. Helping clients make the best decision based on their situation and level of comfort is one way we “Do well by doing good.”
So that’s a bit about how Crystal Coast Technologies operates. Now let’s explore some of the ways we deliver.
Whether you’re in a big city or a small North Carolina town like Swansboro or Emerald Isle, your company needs an internet marketing strategy created just for you, for your target audience, and to meet your goals. Crystal Coast Technologies is ready to help with that.
So how do we do that? Well, there are many tools and techniques and it’s highly likely that an internet marketing campaign will look different from one business to the next. For example, each business likely has different target audiences and different competitors, right? So stuffing everyone into a one-size-fits-all package doesn’t apply to marketing a business on the web. The best pathway to success starts with developing a customized strategy for your business. Here’s how we do that.
We will schedule a discovery meeting with you to held via conference call, in-person, or via video conferencing. We have clients both here in the US as well as internationally, so we will adapt to your preferred method of communication. The purpose of this meeting is to learn about your company identity. Some of the questions we’ll ask about your business are:
The answers to these questions and more will help identify potential marketing opportunities and challenges. The information gathered in this meeting is crucial going forward. It sets the foundation for a successful marketing campaign.
We’ll do a complete marketing analysis of your business’ website and the websites of your top competitors. What is your website doing well? Where does it need some help? This market analysis will establish that baseline and show how you currently stack up against your competition.
Next we’ll work on designing the internet marketing strategy. What tools and techniques will we use to reach your goals? How will we measure the performance? Internet Marketing for a single location business in a small NC town like Emerald Isle or Swansboro will be slightly different than marketing a business located in a larger North Carolina city like Jacksonville, Raleigh, or Wilmington. What works for one business might not work for another. We’d likely incorporate a local SEO strategy and maybe run some Google Local Services ads. However, online marketing for a multi location national company wouldn’t really benefit from using those same tools. So we’ll create a plan of action just for your business.
Once we compile the list of tools we’ll use for your business’ campaign, we’ll explain the purpose of the tools to you. Additionally, if there are ways you want to contribute, we’ll outline some things you can do on your own. Here is a brief outline and breakdown of the 8 tools we most often use to do that:
Strategy 1 – Website Design and Development:
Successful internet marketing starts with a well designed website. During the analysis mentioned above, we’ll thoroughly examine your website: the layout, the underlying website code, the load times on different devices and across different internet connection speeds. Everything. Your website is the main support of your business’ online identity. Humans need to have a good experience when they visit and search engines need to quickly identify where to place it in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). So we’ll flag any things that need attention.
NOTE: If you don’t have a website, we can design a custom website for you. Of course, that’s the best option. But if you feel like tackling it yourself and saving some money, there are some tools you can learn to use and do it yourself. They’re listed at the end of this article. Honestly.
Strategy 2 – Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
Nearly all internet sessions start with typing a query into a search engine. So if your goal is more traffic to your website, you need to rank in search engines. That’s where SEO comes into play.
Start by listing the keywords and phrases that you think your target audience would type in if they were looking for your product or service. Then work to get your website to rank for those terms. It’s a complex process but those are the basics.
Did you know?: 63% of those shopping for a product start their search with Amazon. [ref: MarketingCharts.com]
Strategy 3 – Local SEO:
This is related to SEO mentioned above but it puts more emphasis on ranking for search terms with what’s called ‘Local Intent’. For example, you may have typed in something like ‘internet marketing agency near me’ or ‘internet marketing agency company’ to arrive at this page. The search engine recognized your intent to find a company close to your location. That’s ‘local intent’. If that’s your goal, we’ll use local SEO to reach it.
Did you know?: mobile searches including the phrase ‘open near me now’ are up 200% and those including ‘can I buy’ or ‘to buy’ are up 500%. [ref: Think With Google]
Strategy 4 – Pay Per Click (PPC):
PPC is a tool that quickly puts your business at or near the top of the SERPs. It’s especially useful if you have a brand new website because it can take weeks or months for a new website to begin to show up in the SERPs. Additionally, PPC is useful if your business is in a highly competitive market. There are only 10 organic spots on the first Search Engine Results Page (SERP). So if there are a lot of competitors in your market and you can’t secure an organic spot on the first page, PPC is your best option.
Strategy 5 – Google Local Services Ads:
These ads are shown at the top of Google’s SERP when a user searches for a local service. For example, if you are a landscaper in Emerald Isle, NC, you could setup a Local Services Ads account and your ad would display when someone in your vicinity searched for a landscaper. Currently, there are limited business categories, but Google will surely add more as time goes by. These ads can be a cost-effective alternative to a larger PPC campaign.
Strategy 6 -Email Marketing:
This can be a cost-effective tool to use to market your business. You can even try your hand at it too. When we’re managing a campaign for a client, our preference is MailChimp and you can signup for a free account there. You won’t have all the whistles and bells, but it’s still pretty robust. Then create your email audience, design your email, and schedule your campaign.
Did you know? There are strict laws regarding the use of email marketing with steep fines for violations. Here’s a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) compliance guide [ref: FTC.gov]
Strategy 7 – Social Media Marketing:
The average social media user spends three hours a day browsing Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other favorite networks. An internet marketing company will define your target audience and check the statistics to learn which network is most popular to them. Then they’ll work to grow your likes and follows.
Did you know? Organic reach on Facebook is essentially zero. Businesses are pretty much forced to pay to be seen [ref: Digiday]
Strategy 8 – Online Reputation Management:
Businesses with reviews earn more trust and monitoring the online reputation of your business is a critical part of internet marketing. There are dozens of websites where your business can be reviewed and you may not even be aware of them all. That’s where reputation management shines. For example, we monitor more than 80 review sites for our clients. When we spot a review, they are immediately notified so they know what was said and can respond. Plus, we have tools to easily generate more reviews through email and text messages.
Once the marketing strategy is clearly defined, it’s time to get to work and put it in motion. Depending on the tools that will be used, full implementation will typically take between 2 and 4 weeks. After that, we’ll be monitoring and adjusting the strategy to make sure the goals are always in the crosshairs.
If you’re here, that means you’re either looking for an internet marketing agency to work hard for your company or you’re a business owner doing some research on your own. Either way, Crystal Coast Technologies has you covered.
Since 2005, we’ve added new strategies, the new coding languages, and the monitoring capabilities that make up the ever-changing digital landscape. Those experiences have molded us into a complete agency offering custom web design, logo and graphics design, as well as SEO and internet marketing. Hopefully this article has educated you on how we operate and given you some ideas on how you might even be able to have a bit of success marketing your business on your own. Of course we have bills to pay, but it’s also important for us to share some of what we know with others so that they can make their best decisions. That’s one way we’ve been able to “Do well by doing good.” for nearly 20 years.
Graphic and Web Design
Figma we use it every day / Gimp photo editing / Photopea online photo editor
Google Material Design Helpful design guidelines
Copywriting and Content
If you find some of these tools useful or have one that could be added, we’d love to hear about it! Drop us a comment below 🙂
In fact, to help our fellow small businesses, we setup this tool to let you do some of that on your own. In just a few minutes, it will perform a comprehensive health check on your website and give you an actionable list of what it finds. It might be free to use but the results are extremely valuable.
If you have questions about running an internet marketing campaign yourself or you want to inquire about us marketing your business for you, we’d love to hear from you! Please fill out the form below or call us and we’ll be happy to help.