Ready, Set, ....Stop
So you have spent your time and money developing a great website. Now people are just going to find it, use it, and buy whatever you're selling right? Unfortunately that isn't the way it works but we can fix that. Marketing online isn't about creating short term advertising campaigns. Marketing online is about creating a consistent revenue stream for your products and services. This involves a diligent effort towards marketing long term. What would happen if you opened the doors to a new shop and just waited to be found?
The most effective way to market online is to market all the time. Consistent marketing allows you to have a controlled advertising expenditure with measurable results. When you try to spend money in a hurry it becomes very inefficient. Your website needs to be visible and marketed daily - with bursts of expenditure when you need to market something time dependent.
How to Market? - oh let me count the ways! They call it a marketing campaign for a reason. It should involve a wide array of different marketing types to create one consistent campaign that is measurable in its outcome.
Balanced Marketing Campaigns:
Why is a domain name so important? Domains are the real estate of the Internet. If you have one that is effective it will save you an enormous amount in marketing expenditure. When users see a good domain name in a search engine listing they are more likely to click on the listing. This leads to higher conversion rates and lower advertising costs for search engine advertising and seo. Every brochure, business card, billboard, and taxi cab that you advertise will be more effective with the right domain name. If you don't have a good domain name you will literally lose half of your marketing dollars down the drain. Interweaving is an expert in domain selection and acquisition. Even if a domain is already taken we have means to acquire domains that are not being actively used or will help you find a very viable alternative for high impact marketing.
Everything that your business owns or distributes should have your website address on it. If you have a good domain name - people will remember it through repeat exposure. The domain name needs to be prominent on your advertising material not just shoved in the corner is small font with no colour. Try to think of every way you can push people to your website. It will increase your revenue, provide better service for your customers, and cut your costs.
The big G. Google is the 500 pound gorilla for search engines. It has a grossly dominant market share and is a very useful utility for web users. Yahoo is a distant second, and Microsoft an even more distant third. Search engines are the yellow pages of the Internet. When people search they find relevant contextual websites that are specific to the user search queries. You absolutely have to be in the search engines to have a well marketed website. It is your most cost effective proactive marketing solution.
Search Engine Optimisation
The best type of search engine listing is the one you don't have to pay for again and again - organic search listings. There are three ways your website is selected to be shown is search results: relativity to the search request, relative locations, and page rank.
When someone types a phrase into a search engine they are looking for something. The search engine will try to offer search listings that are the closest match to what the user is looking for. Simple isn't it? Not quite. The reality is that search engines need to know where to find the right websites for each query. They do this by indexing all the websites on the web and using an algorithm to find the best ones for each search query. Optimisation for search requests is a science and a little art too. Your website needs a list of search phrases that you would like to be found on in the search engines. This list needs to be as wide and deep as possible to collect as many organic search queries as possible. That includes typos and misspellings as well. Then your website needs to be optimised for those terms with page titles, descriptions, and meta data all being optimised on a page by page basis to be the most specific result for search engines to serve. Although search engines are algorithmic they still depend on website owners to tell them what each page is about, and more importantly offering descriptions that users will find attractive to click on. If a search engine doesn't find a description to serve for the web page - it just makes one up.
Every user accesses the Internet through what is called an IP address. IP addresses are assigned geographic locations and distributed accordingly. Websites can be hosted anywhere in the world. The IP address tells the search engine (and users) where your business is!
The most common mistake is when website owners host their website on a cheap foreign host - which is commonly the domain registrar where they originally bought their domain. These hosts are allocated IP addresses that are for their geographic location not yours. So if your web host is in Phoenix, Arizona USA that's where the search engine thinks your business is too.
Search engines are like dating agencies. They try to pair up the best websites with the most specific users. Today modern search engines are weighing the websites that they list by how close a user is to the website that they recommend. Unless you want to be selling your goods to customers in the USA or Thailand - this can be a major problem. Your website needs to have its own SEO IP address located as close as you can to your average customers location. If that is in Australia, then you need an Australian Hosting Company Your own unique static IP address screams to the search engine - WE ARE IN AUSTRALIA!
Page rank is a mysterious thing to most people but to Interweaving it is very simple. Search engines want to list the pages that will give users what they actually want. To get the best search rank you should do a number of things. There are a great deal of factors that contribute but the most important ones are to have:
- Volumes of original textual content
- Links from other websites to yours
- Local IP address with a local host
- Frequent updates to website content
- Create a good site map
- Give it time to ferment
- Provide clear relevant descriptions
Search Engine Advertising
If you can't beat them - join them. Although organic search listings are the most cost effective way to advertise you can also buy advertising in search engines. In Google these are the ads with or on the right side of the page and sometimes at the top of the organic search listings. They also can now be found in Google maps which offer paid listings.
Search engine advertising is very effective and offers a great return on investment if you advertise consistently. You need to target your ads to the right phrases, to user locations, and for the right price per click. Does that sound complicated? Interweaving is very experienced in all forms of Internet marketing. If you would like us to create a marketing campaign for you and manage it monthly that can be arranged. Campaigns start for as little as $50 a month.
Community building is about building relationships for your website. Most of those relationships will be with your existing or new customers. Others will be through interactions and association with other websites. Websites that stand alone and are not cared for don't do well. They tend to be outdated quickly and users lose interest. The goals of community building are to attract users to your website, get them to interact with it on a regular basis, entangle and market to them on a regular basis, and to get links to it from other websites in the same global community.
Relationships are built through communication and interaction. Your website needs to establish a user base. Once it has users you want them to interact with each other through forums, chat, and newsletters. You can even enable users to create their own blogs on your website. Community software just like the facebook website can enable the exchange of messages and a real community to be built. Communities are very useful. You can market to them, gain market intelligence, and even some friends.
The other type of community building is link building. The number of links you have going to your website will have a strong impact on your page rank for search engines. One of the ways to do this is through adding your links in posts that you may make in other website forums and blogs. Also advertising on some websites can add direct links to your website and attracts customers. You can post news releases and articles which can receive quite wide distribution from other websites looking for content.
Building a community is hard work. It takes patience, skill, and enthusiasm. If you would like to learn how to do this Interweaving can teach you.
Affiliate marketing is about creating a sales team online that promotes your website. This usually takes the form of paying for leads or sales that these third parties generate. It also usually involves tracking those conversions so you can pay the third party sending you the leads. This commission for leads that end in sales is usually 15%-30% of the sale price. Affiliate marketing can be hit and miss. Certain types of offers do very well through affiliate networks. Typically your business needs to have something very commercial to sell and enough profit to share around to make this viable.
Affiliate marketing has another advantage. If it is done well it generates links to your website. Affiliates place banner ads, text ads, and forms on their websites hoping to generate leads. These all have links embedded in them if they are not masked. Your banner ad links point at your website. Every link counts for link popularity and page rank.
Social marketing is different to community building. Community building is about attracting users into your website. Social marketing is how your business interacts with external websites and communities. Typical social marketing includes Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, SlideShare, and MySpace. Organisations use these external communities to raise awareness of what they stand for, how they are different, and what they have to offer. This is usually done through a more passive form of marketing. If you post articles of interest to other people, participate in forums and make friends online it all helps. Most importantly you can build up a network of people that are also in your industry. Many of these people will link to your website and you can link to theirs. This form of reciprocal linking within an industry is seen as a vote of confidence by search engines and adds value.
Interweaving's managing partner has direct relationships with the strategists and market leaders in Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft. He has managed Internet marketing through them valuing more than $10 million per year.
If you want to take your Internet marketing seriously book an appointment