An Introduction to Internet Marketing Practices and Techniques
In 2012, Internet World Stats reported that there were 245,203,319 Internet users in the United States alone. That’s a massive audience businesses can reach through Internet marketing. Internet marketing connects with customers and generates sales. It works. Like traditional marketing, you will find that many forms of Internet marketing exists, but not all of them are right for your business.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the application and utilization of specific techniques to increase a website or webpage’s ranking in search engine results. Most Internet users navigate the Internet by utilizing search engines. Common search engines include Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
SEO has a high Return on Investment (ROI), because the techniques works. SEO increases a site’s visibility in the search engine results. A website on the second page of google for their keyword is more likely to be seen than one on the tenth page of the results, because people simply do not take the time to look at results on the tenth page. Although the goal is to get on the first page of the results because 96 percent of clicks occur there.
SEO requires a long-term commitment and the rules of SEO are dependent on search engines, which may change with little or no warning. Moreover, SEO is competitive and there are no guarantees of placement. Plus it requires a valuable piece of content which you will need to develop (blog article, website, ebook, video, etc…).
Website Development and Optimization
Website development and optimization is the art of arranging your website to make it easier to use and to generate a specific action from your site visitors. For example, you might want site visitors to fill out a form, start a trial, download a brochure or purchase a product from your online store.
Website Development and Optimization Pros
Your website is your virtual business card that anybody in the world can access at any time. An optimized website takes it one step further and generates an action that could lead to a sale. An optimized site is set up like a customer thinks. Thus, it is easier for a customer to navigate.
Website Development and Optimization Cons
Most website creators focus on making a website look good instead of optimizing for sales. So, you will either have to focus on finding a website developer who’s versed in website optimization or hire a second one with this knowledge afterwards. Additionally, you can over-think optimizing your site and make it more salesy than intended.
Putting an advertisement on another website is considered an online ad. Online ads work the same way as print ads. Business owners create an ad and put it on a relevant site. It may be a banner ad at the top or bottom of the webpage or a smaller ad on the side of the website. It can even be an interactive ad that opens up when the Internet user opens that page. Top advertisers include Google Adwords, Bing AdCenter, Facebook Ads, and Linkedin. Because not all advertisers are equal, you should hire a professional to wade through the different advertising opportunities and determine the best one for your business.
Pros of Online Ads
The wide range of options makes this a fairly useful tool in marketing your business. The ad content is left up to you. You can make the ad interactive. You are not just shooting from the hip. You choose the website, pay their fee and reap the benefits of your target audience seeing your online ad.
Cons of Online Ads
Like with print ads, cost of the ad creation increase the expense of online ads and you will have to pay the website’s placement fee.
In Internet marketing, email marketing replaces direct mail marketing. It utilizes the same concept as direct mail. You will email past and future customers with the latest arrivals, coupons, and news to entice them to buy from either your online or brick and mortar store. Giving people a good reason to buy is ethical and often more successful than badgering people into buying.
Pros of Email Marketing
Email marketing involves creating multiple emails and sending them off quickly. This fast turn over trumps traditional direct mail method, because business owners would have to create the mail, have the piece printed and then, mail it. Emails are quickly created and personalized for each recipient. Business owners cannot do that with printed marketing. Additionally, the short production time allows business owners to increase communication frequency and decrease costs, which will translate into more sales.
Cons of Email Marketing
When you email, your correspondence can easily be lost to the spam box and never reach the recipient. Building an opt-in list is challenging, but worth the time investment.
Content marketing is, perhaps, the largest all-encompassing content marketing method on this list. It involves any method, which includes the creation and sharing of all types of media, such as video, ebooks and guides, with the expressed purpose of attracting customers
Pros of Content Marketing
Content marketing aids in building your company’s brand and image. For example, a salad dressing company can use video, ebooks and recipes on their website to enhance their usability. Then, customers can use the content and thus, buy the product. It gives the customer the answer to what can I do with this product while building the brand’s image. Content marketing is also a natural link generator for SEO.
Cons of Content Marketing
Quality control is the biggest issue with content marketing. Search engines reward quality content with higher rankings. You must have a strategy and a long term commitment to make content marketing work for your business. Additionally, content marketing takes a lot of time and effort. For business owners, creating content may be overwhelming.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing uses social platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to connect with both present and future customers.
Pros of Social Media Marketing
Marketing via social media reaches people when they least expect it, during their leisure time. It helps develop a brand image, whether the posts or tweets are quirky, fun-loving or inspirational. The engagement of the company with its customers creates long term brand loyalty.
Cons of Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is time consuming. There are two leading platforms at the moment and it takes time to write the little marketing messages involved. You can outsource the creation of the posts and tweets. You, however, still have to post them. It also takes time to develop a following on each platform. Additionally, the foundation of every good social media campaign is the right platform for your business. Finding the right one is a complicated task for business owners. An Internet marketing professional can help you. Keep in mind, social media marketing isn’t for every business.
Finding the Right Internet Marketing Mix for You
In reality, using just one of these methods will not yield the best online marketing results for your business. After all, these marketing strategies are either intensely focused or extremely broad. A full Internet marketing review and strategy needs to be personally developed for your business. That way you are putting your Internet marketing budget into the right places for the biggest impact. If you wish to have a free review of your business done, contact devEdge Internet Marketing by filling out the form above or calling 250-516-4327.
Which Internet marketing techniques have worked successfully for your business? Would you add a technique to my list? Share your thoughts with us!