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How To Start And Run An Online Business

Article: 17. Make Your Web Site Known, A Marketing Overview


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Internet marketing is something that you should consider even before your web site is up and running. The term internet marketing or online marketing is used loosely for many techniques and strategies of marketing a web site, and ensuring that it receives the traffic it deserves. Very rarely do internet users know the web addresses of the web sites that they want to visit and usually they resort to using a search engine to find what they are looking for. Internet marketing, and search engine marketing in particular, ensures that when a relevant search is made your web site appears high on the search engine results and thereby receives majority of the traffic.

There are plenty of ways that need to be considered to increase the visibility of your web site and to make it known to the right audience. In fact it is estimated that only 40% of traffic is directed from search engines and the rest from sources such as banner ads, links and social networking sites. From articles and content that use the appropriate key words and phrases to linking and PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns, all internet marketing techniques need to be used to make your web site visible. Internet marketing is a specialist task, one that needs a through understanding of the basic principles of online marketing and their use.

Advantages of Internet Marketing

  • Internet marketing increases the traffic of your web site and hence the sales on it.
  • It requires a much smaller sales force and yet the sales can be higher than when you sell offline.
  • *Once you have your internet marketing strategy in place it works for you even when you aren't working. Internet users will visit your web site at any time of the day or night and make purchases.
  • An internet marketing campaign is far cheaper than offline advertising and marketing of the same information. Also the number of people who are affected by the campaign are larger and ever growing.
  • There are many different internet marketing strategies that can be used to increase the traffic received by your web site and you can make use of all of them or only a few.
  • While your offline marketing campaigns may have a local or national presence, your internet marketing has a global reach and your clientele increases automatically.
  • Since the internet can be accessed at anytime of the day or night your online business works for you 24 X 7.

You need to decide whether you wish to handle the internet marketing of your web site by yourself or wish to out source it. If you intend to do it yourself, then it is crucial that you develop the right skills for the task. The internet marketing of your web site is primarily what will decide the traffic it receives and the ROI (Return on Investment). Thus, you really can't play around with it.

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Why Out source Internet Marketing?:

Experts recommend that you out source internet marketing to professionals who have the experience as well as the expertise to make your web site a true success. It may be a better idea for you to focus on your core business process and leave the internet marketing of your web site to the specialists. Internet marketing requires dedicated efforts of professionals who have a sound understanding of the internet and internet marketing. Rather than waste time analyzing and trying to decide on an internet marketing strategy that 'may' work for your web site, it is far better to select a reputed internet marketing company and out source the task. A big advantage of out sourcing is that not only do you not need to bother with this task but that the company will also provide you regular reports of how your internet marketing campaign is benefiting your web site in terms of the Return On Investment (ROI).

The Importance of Branding in Internet Marketing:

Branding is a very important concept for any business. To be visible and easily recognized it is vital that a brand image is created and established. Your company, business and the product or service you sell should be easily recognized by customers and potential clients. The more visible and well established your brand is, the more are the chances that people will think of your business when they want to buy the product or service you specialize in.

Branding is particularly important in internet marketing as there are thousands of businesses on the internet vying for traffic and attention and to establish your online business it must be easily recognized and associated with. The success and life of your online business depends largely on the branding of your web site. The crucial factors that you need to focus on when branding your web site include the name of the site. It is important that it is easily recognized and interesting. Sometimes it may not even be a word, think Yahoo! or Google. Next, it is crucial that you spend time and thought over the logo for your online business and ensure that it is clearly visible on your web site as well as in offline communication. Thus, your logo should appear on business cards and all types of written business communication. To establish your brand it is critical that it is repeated often and also that it is associated with values that the business and customers hold dear.

The Importance of an Internet Marketing Strategy:

Internet marketing is not something that is just 'done', it requires a lot of preparation and thinking at every stage of web development. It is vital to have an internet marketing strategy in place. You need to identify your target audience and accordingly create an internet marketing strategy. Do remember that internet marketing is not just about getting the traffic to the web site but also about getting them to purchase a product or service, or provide information, such as signing up for a newsletter, so that your conversion rate is high.

Internet marketing is quite different from conventional marketing as it is vital to note that everything to do with the web site including its content, design, programming and navigation in some way or the other contribute towards marketing the web site.

The 'P'rinciples of Internet Marketing

Patience:

Internet marketing is an on going process and it is difficult to see immediate results. It is a process that constantly needs work and is not like an offline campaign that is created and done with. It has to be followed up regularly and tweaked up, if required. It is important that you are patient when it comes to internet marketing, there is no sure shot formula for success and there are many techniques that need to be considered.

Persistence:

Persistence is a key ingredient for internet marketing success. The internet marketing of your web site needs to be analyzed regularly to ensure that you know what is working for your business and what is not. Accordingly changes may need to be made. It takes a while to establish online presence and your brand and also requires a lot of work. You would need to ensure that submissions are made to search engines and directories regularly and that your web site content is updated regularly.

Perseverance:

When you start an online business, be ready for the long haul. It is not a matter of setting up shop and making sales overnight. There is a lot of perseverance that is required, and it pays off. Your online business could be the best thing that ever happened to your business, and the benefits outweigh the efforts that are needed to make your web site visible for all the right reasons.

Preparation:

Your internet marketing has as much to do with your web site as with your business. Thus it has to be synchronized with the same. It is because of this that internet marketing experts suggest that they should be consulted from the time you begin to plan a web site, choose a name and create the structure for the web site. The internet marketing of your web site should be in tune with the content of your web site and also its design and navigation.

Posting:

You need to make regular submissions to search engines and directories. Also regular posts on your web site in the form of blogs or articles will ensure that it receives a good search engine ranking. This will also generate interest amongst your target audience and motivate them to visit your web site regularly.

Publishing:

Publishing is the most important thing that drives traffic to your web site. Content is king, and without quality content internet users will probably not opt to visit your web site; and this will affect your ranking in search engine results. Publishing, however, doesn't only have to do with the content but also how it is coded and the navigation that your web site. Internet users like web sites that are easy to open and navigate through, and search engines like happy internet users. It is important to ensure that your web site has a clean code that is easily scanned by search engine spiders. This is one of the reasons why internet marketing experts prefer to avoid using tables to display information.

The six 'P'rinciples of internet marketing will determine the success of your online business and should be kept in mind at all times.

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