Internet Marketing For Online Businesses – The 2 Essential Keys to Success
Build it and they will come. That might have worked in the Field Of Dreams but unless you can arrange for a little divine intervention that marketing plan will not work for your online business. If you are new to internet marketing for online businesses then let me be the first to welcome you to a medium that can be exceptionally lucrative but can also resemble the Wild, Wild West in many ways.
The internet represents a fantastic marketing opportunity with its enormous global audience and the potential to reach hundreds of millions. For the first time ever small businesses have access to a huge base of potential customers. And that’s also the biggest challenge for any internet marketing plan. Over 70% of all visits to a web site originate as a search and there are literally billions of searches conducted each month.
The question is how do you get your fair share of those billions of searches? How do you get people to find your website?
The answer to these questions revolves around two elements of your marketing plan, the Message and the Media. While internet marketing has technical differences from traditional print or broadcast media, the basic principals of marketing have not changed. You have to identify your market, offer a product or service that they need, and find the most effective way to inform your market that the product is available.
It really doesn’t matter what kind of product or service you are offering, in order to sell it you have to have the visitor perceive some value that makes your offer better than your competition’s. This is called a unique selling proposition. Ask yourself the question, why would anyone buy from me, and then write down the answers. If it comes down to just price then you’re probably in trouble because somebody will match it or beat it once they are aware of it.
You need to focus on what makes you different. Most importantly, how does your product or service solve the visitor’s problem or need? Is it selection, free shipping, customer service, money back guarantee, or one of the most effective, a bonus package with every purchase.
Once you’ve decided what your unique selling proposition is, then you have to figure out how you want to use it to both draw quality traffic to your site and to serve as a call to action once the visitor arrives.
Obviously you need traffic to your site but keep in mind that not all traffic is created equal. The beauty of the internet over traditional advertising is you can target specific inquires and you can advertise and design your site to get the traffic for those inquiries.
How you target those inquiries is going to determine if you are a success or a failure.
The basic objective is to be on the first page of a major search engine like Google when someone enters a search phrase that is relevant to your site. For example if you sell pet supplies you want to be one of the top ten returns when a person enters “small dog beds”.
So how do you do that?
It’s really a two part strategy. The first is to optimize your site for the search engines (SEO) so that they recognize that you have content regarding “small dog beds”. This is a task that you can do yourself if you invest in the time to learn how, or you can outsource. If you outsource, do your due diligence as there are literally thousands of SEO companies looking for your business.
The second part of the strategy is to develop a web presence. A web presence is defined as anything that exists on the web that is hosted by somebody else that has a link back to your site. This can be a signature that you use in a forum, or social networking bookmarks, or article marketing, or email or newsletter links or even other sites that you own that you link back to.
The examples listed above are free. Well they don’t cost money but they do cost your time. An alternative to these techniques is paid advertising. Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising has become very popular because it is targeted advertising. It is also an excellent way to go through your advertising budget rapidly if you don’t know what you are doing. If you decide to go this route, start small and test, test, test. When you find an ad that gets traffic and converts, then scale up and spend your money. This method of internet marketing requires constant vigilance or you could waste a good deal of your time and resources.
The best advice for persons new to internet marketing for online businesses is to find someone that you can trust. Like any business you can’t just open the shop without having a clue how it works and expect to succeed. If however, you had someone who has already been there to guide you along, then the entire process is far less stressful and way more profitable.