There is absolutely no denying the significance of social media, not just in our everyday lives and interactions, but as part of the way we market our own products and services. And engaging properly in social media is something which can bring great benefits to your business, but before you start off on that journey, you need to make sure that you’re ready. That means ensuring that all the basics of SEO and online are covered: there’s no point going straight to social media 2.0 if you haven’t even got the basics right. So before you go pouring resources, time and cash into social media, make sure that you’ve ticked off all the items on this list. If you haven’t, you’ll be missing our on more fundamental opportunities to do more business online.

Conversion Optimisation: since your website went live, what have you done to see how effective it is at converting visitors to sales/enquiries? And what have you done to improve this? There’s no point spending lots of time and effort on driving more visitors to your site if it’s not efficiently turning them into customers for you.

• Keyword Strategy: do you know exactly which keywords you need to target through search? Many people assume they know what their potential customers are using as search terms because that’s what they use themselves. This is absolutely NOT the way to start off! Use tools like Google Keyword Tool to find out exactly what terms people are using, and in what volume. Then you need to know how competitive these terms are and assess where you’re going to get the quickest gains and returns.

• On Page SEO: Is your site structure and content absolutely optimised for Search? Titles, headers, tags, URL structures and internal links are all vital basics to get right before you start on the complex stuff.

• Link Building: if you don’t have a clear link building plan in place, which you’re working on every month then your SEO isn’t going to be working. You must have this right before starting on the fancy social media activities, even if they do sound more exciting!

• Analytics: do you know exactly where your visitors come from, where your sales come from? This goes right down to knowing which search terms produce the actual sales and enquiries you get each day. Once you’ve got Analytics set up correctly and you’re getting detailed information on exactly what’s going on, then you can really drive efficiency and know where your money is going to, and coming from!

Once you’ve made sure that you’ve got all the basics right then you can launch into social media with all the enthusiasm in the world. Just make sure that you’ve got all the basics right first!

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