How To Improve Your Internet Marketing
Internet marketing should be personal business strategy for your business. To do it right, internet marketing should reflect the specific aspects and needs of your business, along with online promotion. The internet is so vast consisting of news sites, social media sites, video sites, informational business websites, e-commerce sites, and a myriad of other connections that require many strategies, tools, and techniques. It can seem confusing to figure out where to begin and where to focus your attention and efforts. Our suggestions can help make sense of the confusion; and, bring order and focus to your efforts.
Do not overlook using email as a tool for your internet marketing. Are you capturing and storing emails; does your contact form ask for email addresses; and, does all your marketing material highlight email information. It should. When customers buy your products because of your marketing efforts, it did its job. Now, you need to measure what it costs to create that sale. Surprisingly, email marketing is one of the lower cost options for marketing. Far superior to direct mail, TV, radio, or print ads. An email marketing campaign is not a one-time effort; it’s repeatedly contacting the prospects again and again; and, some of the best emails are not sales pieces but informational pieces. Eight to 12 contacts can bring the prospects/customers back to your site and buying again. There are no bad emails, just bad communication. Good communication with the prospects/customers establishes a relationship with them and creates a desire to buy from you.
Internet marketing is using and taking advantage of social media sites. High-authority sites like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube can deliver your message to large groups and is great way to raise your business profile and awareness of your brand. Just investing a little time, minutes a day or an hour a week on these social media sites can significantly increase your business’ visibility on the web and increase people’s awareness of who you are and what your business offers..
If you do business primarily in the local area, having your local government and agencies link to your site and indicate that you are a favored service provider in the area can provide very strong affinity with the local population (and you would be surprised at how many agencies are willing to acknowledge you). Many of these agencies, and other organizations like the Better Business Bureau and the local chapter of the Chamber of Commerce and other civic organizations will likewise link to your site and acknowledge your company (the linking is usually through a logo, banner, or medallion that includes a hyperlink to your site. It doesn’t hurt to ask, and you can’t be found if you don’t ask.
Post a short description of who you are on as many local listings, directories, and local social media sites as possible. Always include your address and phone number; this is how your site will show up in the local Google Places/Maps listings. (Make sure you use the exact same business name in every post, and it should be the same as your Goggle Business Page.) These postings not only create local awareness, but they are helpful in getting organic listings in the search results rankings. These rankings can bring lots of traffic by people seeing the listing/ranking and clicking through to your site. There are literally thousands of local listing sites and directories you can post in. How do you find them? Simply do a search for your important business keywords and they are likely to show up somewhere in the search results (local searches, not non-location general keywords, i.e., “bay city pool builder”, not “pool builder”). The more people click through to your site, the more Google will recognize it and start ranking it in the search results.
Your website itself is a big part of effectively selling:
- Have you tagged your pages, i.e., title tag, meta description, and image tags?
- Is there content, i.e., words, to support your important keywords (when doing postings, link to the page that has the content, not the home page)
- Is it easy to navigate your site and find everything? If not, do a redesign. The increase in conversions will more than pay for the redesign (one measure is to look at the “bounce rate”, i.e., people who one page and then leave your site, Google Analytics will provide these statistics. If your bounce rate is over 50%, look to see what you can do to increase interest, improve navigation, and have appropriate content on your pages; if it’s over 70%, do the redesign now.). Think of it this way. For every 100 visitors, if you have a 40% bounce rate, you’ve engaged 60 of the visitors; if 70%, you’ve only engaged 30, 50% less. All other factors being equal, your website sales will be 100% higher with the lower bounce rate.
When you’re designing your emails, test them yourself before sending to your mailing list. If you set up free accounts on Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, AOL, Hotmail, etc., you can send your email to these accounts and check how they look. The different email services render emails differently, so you need to know how they appear, at least for the major services. (Of course, if you code them in HTML, these resolves most issues. Some of the mailing services like Constant Contact and MailChimp resolve this for you.) Your engagement or sale is lost if your message is garbled. We would be glad to discuss creating professional emails for you and conducting your email campaigns.
Setting a schedule for an email campaign is important. Open rates vary by the time of the day. Again, don’t waste your time sending one email (unless you have a truly special offer). You want to send emails on a regular, periodic basis and plan to send at least five (ten is even better). We recommend no more than once every other week and feel monthly is even better, unless you have a super copywriter who can create interesting, engaging content. Personalize as much as possible. If you know their first name, use it. If you are offering personal services, add a picture of yourself or someone in your organization who is photogenic, and sign the emails with a name and contact information. “Your Customer Service Department” is not a personalized name. If you follow a regular schedule, you will build an expectation that they will see it. This is good.
If you refer to another party or site, make sure your link is a “do follow” link. You can look up how to check to see that the link is “do follow”. Always be sure to check that any link you use is “do follow”. These are the links that have “juice”.
Use analytical data to see how your site is doing. The obvious choice is Google Analytics, but there are others you can use. What this software does is give you a better appreciation of how much your work is helping, where it is helping so you can identify areas that need to be improved (Google Analytics is NOT the best software for showing this); and where your visitors are coming from, how many pages they are viewing (remember the earlier discussion on bounce rate), how long they stay on your site, and other important factors.
Questions you want answers to: where is your traffic coming from; what pages are they landing on; how many pages do they view and how long do they stay on the site. Over time, you can develop trends and start to get a fell on the impact of the online marketing that you’ve done.
To get ahead of your competitors, know what their online profile looks like, how they rank, and what internet marketing are they doing. Some of the best software that does this is SEMRush and Ahrefs. Free software that provides some of this information is Small SEO Tools, Screaming Monkey, and some Chrome plug-ins like SEO Quake and Web Rank.
Evaluate your competitor’s websites. How do their sites look? More importantly, do their sites have more and better content, are they easier to navigate, and do they have search or other features that your site doesn’t. If so, adapt. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Doing internet marketing right is a business strategy that can expand your online footprint and brand as well as create sales opportunities for your business that you might not reach off-line. The most important aspect of online marketing is not a single effort but a regular focused effort. This is what will create the gains and increase your business. What you do is less important than simply doing something to take advantage of the enormous audience online that you can tap into.