Archive for February 2013

What is Internet marketing?

Online Marketing or Internet Marketing is a highly effective way to target and optimize visitor traffic and at the same time keep control over your advertising costs.  The central goal of any Internet marketing campaign includes a particular action; a sale, phone to ring, download of a whitepaper etc.

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Consider for a moment just what your website is and what it does.  For many of us your website is our receptionist, our salesperson, the warehouse manager, the billing coordinator all wrapped up into one.  Consider a person that makes a purchase on your site.  Let’s look at what just occurred.  A person was informed of your site through either a marketing piece you provided to them or through an online advertisement or perhaps through a search.  Point being they are now on your website.  Congratulations you have convinced them you site IS worth visiting.  Now how do you keep them there and more importantly how do you get them to buy something?  Before your first visitor ever comes to your site you need to have developed a strategy that addresses this and it should ask a few very important questions:

Who is my online customer?

What do I expect them to do (purchase or complete an inquiry)

How do I measure success online?

What is my effective cost per sale online?

How can I monitor and track results

Depending on your product or service your online customer may be very different than your brick and mortar customer expecting detailed information on the product or the ability to build their product much like dell does with their computers.  Never assume online and offline customers are the same some depending on your product expect a very different experience.

If you have a relatively low cost item most times customers will purchase directly thru your website.  The higher in price and/or complexity your product or service gets the less likely the entire purchase will result on line.  At this point you need to ask yourself the best way to get these potential customers currently on your site to convert.  Let’s say for the moment that you are selling golf shirts on your website and they are priced at $49.50 each.  Assuming you provided enough information about; the quality of the shirt, the sizes and colors it comes, and give the customer an easy way to give their credit card; people will purchase from your site.  Now on the other hand let’s say you are selling central air conditioning systems for the home that on average cost $25,000.00 Most if not all would not purchase online. What your information needs to do is sell why the product is superior to any other out there.  Videos of the installation, customer testimonials, download whitepapers/brochures and coupons all are items that will get the customer to reach out to you.  You should have an inquiry form on your site where that information is immediately sent to a sales rep to contact the prospect.

So you have had your site up for 6 months now and have made numerous changes to your site to improve the user experience. How do you know the changes are paying off?  How do you know your visitors are happy with what they see? A simple tool called Google Analytics will help out in this area.  It will provide detailed on the demographics, where your customers are coming from.  What customer are new vs. returning visitors and what they are doing on your site once they get there and how long they are on each page.  A huge drop in one page could be telling you the page is of no interest or too confusing to the customer and needs to be redesigned or taken down.  You will also know how many people are reaching your site through a computer, ipad and mobile giving you some ammunition for building a mobile website.  You can track your traffic sources from your affiliates to organic seo to even your back link partners.  Once you have mastered the basics you can add tracking to your thank you or your success page so you can track sales and even put monetary values on the items so you can see real time how much you are making through each of your traffic sources.