To develop a successful online marketing strategy you will need:
If you’re reading this there’s a good chance you already have the first, are working or think you have the second, and you’re looking for the third.
So, where do you start?
A website that will convert visits into sales is essential. How do you get one? Make sure your site is easy to navigate, has clearly marked product sections and contact information (i.e. big phone number on every page). And then… test.
We call this conversion rate optimisation and one of the most important tools we use is called A/B split testing. The way it work is, we create two versions of the same page for your website, and then check on a live audience which one performs better over time. By repeating this process you can significantly improve the way your website works.
Before you’re able to do some serious testing on your website though, you actually need a steady stream of visitors already coming to your site and here comes the most important decision you will have to make:
There actually are multiple correct answers to this question. The most frequently chosen methods of acquiring online traffic are:
So which should you choose? Usually, it’s good to incorporate as many as you can into your online marketing strategy, but still you should focus on only 1 or 2 methods which will form the base of online marketing strategy.
For most businesses the two largest sources of online traffic will be SEO and PPC. Choosing between them depends on the type of your business and your goals.
PPC is usually a better short-term solution, while SEO outperforms PPC in most cases in the long run (and sometimes does this very significantly). Most businesses will do well starting with a mix, starting off with more funds allocated to PPC and then gradually moving away from it as traffic from search engine optimisation takes over.
The really tricky bit is doing both things (PPC and SEO) well. What you ideally need is either a team of Internet marketing geniuses in your company, or a good online marketing agency you can trust. The first option is usually quite expensive, as you will need not only to attract some smart Internet marketers to your company, but also invest in building tools and developing online resources for your SEO needs. This solution works well usually only for the biggest businesses. Most companies will do best using an Internet marketing company. The only trouble with this option is finding a good SEO agency you can trust.
There are a lot of companies doing SEO out there, but as you probably expect, not all do it well. Don’t get lured by companies that sell links, search engine submissions or “SEO software”. Watch out also for those companies that focus on promising top rankings. The fact is that what you really need is not links, submissions and not even rankings. What you want is good amounts of quality traffic and that is what your SEO company should be focusing on – bringing large amounts of relevant visitors to your website.
A frequent question asked when it comes to social media marketing is – where should we start? The beautiful answer is – you can start where you wish, be it YouTube, Twitter, Facebook or other places. The important rule to remember is: do it gradually. Start using only as much platforms as you can handle well. Be regular, be friendly, be fun and be as non-commercial as you can.
Definitely. The place to start is building an email subscription list. It’s much better to build your own list, then to buy one. You’ll get much better results and have less complaints if you do it this way. On top of that, if you buy your mailing list from an untrustworthy source, there is a chance of getting entangled into legal (spam-related) issues.
Start collecting email addresses as early as you can. Even if you don’t have an email strategy prepared, these will prove very useful at a point in the future.