Online marketing strategies for your businesses
When you are doing business online your customers don’t come in from the street. You need to make yourself visible for people to find you! That is why it is so important to the right online marketing strategies so that your online business can succeed.
Marketing you website will property be the one area where you are going to spend the most money the first many years after starting up online. There will be a great difference in what online marketing strategies you will get your moneys worth. Also, every beginning will have some expensive lessons to learn, before you find out what works for your business. The goal of this article is to give you an overview of the many online marketing strategies that exists. In later articles, I will dive into some of the marketing tools in more detail.
Online marketing strategies
In the following we will have a look at these online marketing strategies:
- Affiliate marketing.
- “Swop” marketing.
- Marketing in portals.
- Free links.
- Permission marketing.
- Other marketing.
How to market your online business by SEO
The better you are placed in the search engines the more visitors your online business will have. It’s that simple. As you probably know SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and cover the organic searches (non paid) made in search engines. About 70% of the searches made in Google comes form the organic index. It is therefore very important that your ecommerce website is search optimized.
When your eCommerce site is ready to launch you need to register it to the search engines. When you do this you need to be thorough, as it is hard to change any errors you make. Therefore you need to know the theme keywords of your site and how your audience are before you register.
Here are the search engines that your should consider registering at:
- Google. https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/submit-url?hl=en&continue=/addurl&pli=1
- Dmoz. http://www.dmoz.org/docs/en/add.html
- Yahoo. http://search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html
- Altavista. www.altavista.com/addurl/default
- Ask.com. http://asksupport.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2742/session/L3RpbWUvMTMzNTE2OTE4Mi9zaWQveGFCRWhsV2s%3D/session/L3RpbWUvMTMzNTE2OTE4Mi9zaWQveGFCRWhsV2s=
When you are doing SEO for your online business you need to be patient. There can easily go up to 6 months before you see any results of your work.
SEM – Paid traffic
As mentioned the most Internet traffic is generated through the search engines so you need to be visible here. SEM means Search Engine Marketing and covers the part of the Internet traffic that are not organic but that you need to pay for. Google is the most used search engine so start with marketing your website here. Later you can move to some of the other search engines. Googles SEM tool is called Google AdWords and is a must for most online businesses. Your ads through Google AdWords are show in the top or right side of Google. Your ad is shown when a person enters a keyword that relates to one of your ads. With an Google Adwords Campaign you pay when a person click on your ad (called cost per click). You can read more about getting started with google adwords here: http://support.google.com/adwords/?hl=en. I related articles at the bottom you can find more info on how to set up your Google Adwords Campaign.
Affiliate or partner marketing
Affiliate marketing covers exposure on other sites than your own. Like Google Adwords, affiliate marketing is performance based. This means that you pay for what you get. Typically, the advertiser pays a provision as a lump sum or a percentage of a sale. Another example is to pay a lump sum, when a lead is generated or the visitor sign up for a newsletter. To a wide extend you decide how much you are willing to pay for your leads, sale etc.
This may sound as a perfect way of marketing your website but many affiliate programmes have some standards of how well your products should convert before they will accept you. That being said if you products convert well, and you are willing to pay a high commission, there’s a good chance that many affiliates will use the your affiliate campaigns.
Cooperation with other e-commerce can be a important element i your online marketing strategies and the best thing is that it does not necessarily have to cost a lot of money. The concept is simple: you market another eCommerce website in exchange for them marketing your site. Of cause this requires that you have somebody with whom you can exchange marketing and that your partner have a product that you somehow can be connected with. It won’t make sense if you run an online business with children toys and you want you swop marketing with a shop selling rowboats. So be sure that your have the same audience.
Example where “swop”/cooperative marketing can be used are:
• Cooperative e-brochures.
• Marketing material send out with your products.
Marketing in portals.
Portals contain links for different Internet shops the same way as a shopping center contains different shops. The quality and seriousness of a portal very a lot. Some portals have a lot of good written articles, debates, product discounts etc. and are also doing a good job of search engine optimization. Other portals do not have that much to offer. The most important thing to be aware of when choosing a portal is that you have the same audience. And remember, a lot of visitors to the portal do not mean a lot of visitors for your online business. If the visitors leave the portal before looking through the categories, nobody will ever find your webshop. What you need to be aware of is:
- The number of new and returning visitors.
- The audience. Do the portal share the same audience as you?
- What do the portal contain (links, banners, articles etc.)
- Is the content exceeding enough for the visitors to stay?
- Updates. Do the portal update your banners with your products or do you need to keep it updated.
A way to marketing your website is to use some of the many websites where you can submit your URL for free. This will also benefit your SEO as back links is one of the ways in which you can reach a higher SEO rank. Try to google “submit url”, “free links” etc.. You can also see what backlinks your competitors have use by using some of the many tools on the market. I can recommend Market Samurai – you can get a free trail period here. This tool is also very good to estimate the competition on keywords which is very important for you SEO ranking.
Some firms offer permission marketing for online businesses. These firms have built a large database of users that are categorized into different target groups and interests. The users in the database have signed up for a newsletter often containing weekly discounts. In permission marketing you often pay per click, sale or action.
Advantages in permission marketing are:
- The users have voluntarily said yes to the newsletter.
- The newsletter are targeted a specific audience.
- Often you only pay for the response you get. No cure no pay.
- You can track the response.
- It is often a very effective way to reach a lot of potential customers and the user will react on your add if they are interested.
Your newsletters are the direct way to your customers. This is an effective and cheap form for marketing. Therefore you should make it easy for the visitors on your site to sig up for your news letter. Users that sign up for a newsletter on your site will often have an interest in your product or services and will therefore be relative easy to convert to a sale. In a later article I will look into what you should bear in mind when writing your newsletters.
PR is short for public relations and covers communication with the public. It can be very hard to get PR for your products but if you get it, you will get a lot of new customers. You don’t have to be big to get PR for you product or service. To a wide extend it is not who you are, but how good your story is, that counts.
There is a lot of other ways to market your online Business besides the ones already covered. Here are a few others to consider:
- Blogs. Here you can help people that ask question related to your niche. But remember to give them good quality advice and not a sales speech on why they should buy a product or service from you.
- Tutorials. A good way to brand your website is to give your customers relevant knowledge on different subject related to your product.
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