Getting Started With Online Marketing 101
If you’re looking to get your first online marketing efforts going, there is no time like the present to get started. With so much business generating from online and mobile searches, if you don’t have an online marketing strategy in place, you’re already behind the curve. Fortunately for you, we have the six essential online marketing steps that you need to take in order to get your campaign and efforts up and running in no time.
Six Vital Online Marketing Steps for Internet Marketing Success
Regardless of your product, service or overall intended outcome, these eight steps to online marketing success will help you bring your goals to fruition, from inception to the market, helping you increase your bottom line by bolstering your online sales.
1. Defining a Keyword Strategy. In the most simple explanation of how online marketing works, people use keywords to find your site which increases your sales. Of course, it’s much more complicated than that, but that does give you a sense of just how important your keyword strategy is. Keywords are the words that people type into search engines to find what they are looking for. If you’re a dog grooming company in Boise, some of your keywords will be “Boise” and “dog grooming”. But because you’re probably not the only groomer in Boise, you’re going to have competition out there for those keywords. That’s where your keyword strategy comes into play. The goal here is to find keywords that have a high search volume but low competition. This means that people are searching for these keywords, but your competition hasn’t optimized their sites for those words. By using keyword tools such as Google Keyword Planner from AdWords or Wordstream’s keyword tool (both free), you can research and plan your keyword strategy effectively.
2. Optimizing your Website to Increase your Online Presence. Once you have your keywords, it’s time to use them in order to optimize your website. Optimizing simply means creating a website that is more easily found by search engines. To do this, you’ll need to sprinkle your keywords throughout the content on your page, including video titles, tag lines, your URL, alternative text, in your subtitles, etc. Basically, you want the keywords to show up so that when a query is entered, when a search engine crawls your site and indexes your pages, it will understand that your site is relevant to those keywords, and in turn, your potential customers. The search engine will then direct traffic to your site, thus increasing the chances that you make a sale, which is the goal of online marketing.
3. Creating a Blog and Content Marketing. Part of the content on your site that can be keyword optimized will be your blogs. Blogs are a form of content marketing, or content that has the specific goal of driving sales. In fact, all content on your site should be driving sales as per online marketing 101, but it should also present some value to your viewers. This will keep them interested as well as attach value to your product, service or good. Plus, blogs have a few additional benefits such as creating fresh content (which helps you rank higher and stay relevant in the eyes of search engines and customers) and having the ability to go viral. An item that goes viral (most likely through social media, but sometimes email and other mediums), will increase the reach of your brand and message.
4. Promoting your Content through Social Media. Social media is a huge and free online marketing platform that is a must-have for anybody looking to increase their online sales. If you aren’t on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest already, you need to be by the end of the day. Social media allows you to connect and interact with fans and clients, tailoring and delivering your branded message for free while creating more in-roads to your website and keeping you fresh in the minds of your customers-and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The bottom line is that social media is the most popular online marketing tool nowadays.
5. Turning Leads into Conversions. Once you have leads coming into your site, you want to have a sales funnel structure that constantly pulls customers further towards making a purchase/signing up/downloading/etc. This is vital to the success of your online marketing efforts. To do this, your website should provide an easy-to-use customer experience that doesn’t distract them from the final goal (the conversion). The customer should receive increasing value at each step of the way, further pulling them into the sales funnel. The site should also make it clear what the customer should do through the use of clear and concise calls to action.
6. Analyzing and Refining Your Strategies. Finally, you need to constantly monitor, analyze and refine your online marketing strategies. You can do this through a number of free sites such as Google Analytics and Google Webmaster. Monitoring how successful your site is by analyzing your keyword strategy’s effectiveness and metrics such as your bounce rate will allow you to change and refine your online marketing strategies as you go, with the ultimate goal of optimizing your traffic and conversions in mind. You want your message to get more and more targeted to reach the exact customer base that you need to in order to maximize sales, the overall goal of all online marketing.
Furthering your Online Marketing Efforts for More Success
After you’ve implemented these six online marketing steps, most of your groundwork for online marketing success will be laid. Of course, it’s important that you understand online marketing is an ongoing effort-there is no passive action that can lead to true internet marketing success. You have to constantly analyze and refine your marketing campaign strategies, as well as provide fresh content if you want to stay relevant in your niche.
And while there are both simple and complicated ways to do these things, the bottom line is that they need to get done. Which path you take depends on your online marketing goals and the time and energy you wish to spend. Of course, you can always outsource these jobs, but regardless of whether you want others to do them for you or you want to handle everything yourself to cut down on expenses, there are some key points for moving forward with your online marketing efforts that you need to understand.