It’s a tough world out there.

Nowadays, almost every business, from SMEs to the digital titans, maintains a website or blog to reach out to a wider audience. The internet has indeed changed the way we do marketing: The plethora of results delivered right to their screens is a total win for the consumers but a “survival of the fittest” for companies on the other end. If you want to survive, you have to equip yourself with the necessary weapons and skills to race your rivals to the first page of Google——and the buyers’ wallet.

Having said that, is your website up for the challenge? The good news is, if you have your game down pat, you can compete even internationally regardless of the size of your company. You’ll open yourself to limitless opportunities if you get these eight essentials in place:

  1. Advertising

If you want to inform the online world of your existence, you should be willing to cash out for online advertisements. Ads enable your potential leads to find you using targeted keywords as in Google AdWords. If you search on Google, you will find relevant ads at the top and the side of your search results. The beauty about ads like these is that you will only pay for the clicks your post will get thus the term “pay-per-click.” But here’s the challenge: To maximise your few minutes of fame, you have to craft the most attention grabbing headlines using only 35 characters or less.

That’s not much to work with, yes, but you can make it a fun experiment. You can calibrate your ads by putting several variations of the same offer out there all at once. You can play with the headline, the body text, link, and keywords and quickly find out which one gets the most clicks.

  1. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

If you don’t have that much budget for ads, you can fight your place on organic search results next using SEO.

SEO increases your site’s visibility through optimisations under the hood and efficient keyword strategies. If your site is optimised well, search engines can rank your site and better get you to searching users more accurately. It legitimises your site, so the higher the ranking, the more likely that it will appear on the first page of search engine results which gets 91.5% of traffic, by the way.

  1. Content Marketing

The blog section is an excellent way to tell your visitors about your company’s mission and values. But it’s not just about producing articles! A persuasive content strategy should:

  • Have time-specific, realistic, and measurable goal
  • A theme consistent with your business’ goal and
  •    At the same time addresses the needs of your users
  • Refined before a wide scale launch

“Effective content marketing is both goal- and customer-oriented,” according to Break the Web CEO Jason Berkowitz. “It should establish a genuine rapport with the readers. It should give value to them and at the same time leads them to what you want them to see: That your business’ growth is their business’ growth.”

  1. Social Media Management and Interaction

Where else can they share your content other than social media? Integrating your social media accounts will significantly improve your brand presence throughout the Internet. It is an efficient way to connect to potential customers and clients. They can share your content to a wider audience through sharing, and they can reach you for questions, concerns, and other reactions in real time. In turn, this will help you make more sense of the numbers or analytics as you get to have a piece of their mind, the real people who digest your content and utilise your product or service.

You can streamline and optimise your social media game using Smarterqueue or RecurPost. These apps let you schedule your posts for your Facebook profile, page, and groups, Twitter, and your LinkedIn company and profile, complete with advanced analytics and hashtag recommendations.

  1. Email and Newsletter

Social media giants like Facebook is a nice way to increase brand presence but to convert those numbers into leads and eventually clients, you have to have a more insistent, personal approach. Case in point: permission-based email campaigns.

If you get your way to your audience’s primary inbox (not spam), you will drive significant traffic to specific campaigns, inform prospective clients about your upcoming promotions/events, and build your list of warm leads. If you’re searching for one more reason to nurture your email subscribers, here’s what: The average click-through rate for email marketing is at 3.7% whereas Facebook and Twitter only receive 0.07% and 0.03%, respectively—and that’s a $38 return for every $1 investment!

  1. Mobile Marketing

If you’re not optimising your site for mobile devices, you are not marketing where more than half of users are spending the most time. According to the ComScore 2017 Mobile Usage Report, an average Internet user in the US and UK spend 71% and 61% on mobile, respectively.

Aside from the surge in sales—and therefore, usage—of mobile devices, localised advertising can benefit from the GPS feature of a smart phone or tablet by verifying the user’s location and promoting relevant ads.

  1. Analytics

Analytics will gain you a better understanding of your target audience. Using web analytics like Google Analytics will help you find out which of your posts and platforms garner the most traffic at specific times of the day, audience, or campaign.

In split tests, you’ll be able to know which headlines, promos, or keywords work best by looking at their click-through rates and engagement. This will help you choose the best approach when you finally decide to take it to a wider scale, saving you considerable time and money.

  1. Sales Tools

It’s going to be difficult, if not impossible, to make an impact if you don’t have consistent branding and a wide array of sales tools such as brochures, presentations, and mobile apps to step up the buying cycle.

An effective and competitive sales tool is something that every one of your sales representatives finds user-friendly and your leads ridiculously easy to understand. It should be able to explain to your prospective buyers what they are getting in a language they know and use. And most importantly, your representatives should be able to organize and track their progress seamlessly so they wouldn’t miss any opportunity.

Conversion is an integral part of any campaign, so your end game deserves as much time and planning as the development of your product. Without an impactful and efficient sales strategy, you will end up wasting the momentum you painstakingly worked on.

With this new digital age comes new approaches to marketing. It has become more competitive and customer-focused, propelling businesses to a rewarding race to grab and sustain customers’ attention in the most creative methods and unconventional media. With the Internet offering a cheaper alternative and a wider reach, marketing can become everyone’s game. And isn’t that the ultimate goal – to push boundaries and give back more value?