Before we talk about how to develop your website marketing strategy, let’s just consider how we might measure the success of any Internet presence.A definition of a successful website:
- A site that meets the organization’s business objectives and the target market’s expectations. Those objectives could range from selling products or services, persuading or educating, collecting or disseminating information, improving processes or providing customer service. Your audience’s expectations are that you supply all the information they need to make a buying decision, or everything they need to support their earlier buying decision – when and how they need it!
Or in very simple terms:
- A site that either gets you customers
- Or helps you to retain existing ones!
Or we could put that another way:
- A site that increases your revenues or reduces your costs or both.
After all, companies measure the results from their offline marketing activities to make sure they’re getting a return on their investment. It’s perhaps even more important to measure the results from your online marketing. This is your shop window, but unlike a real bricks and mortar shop, the customer is completely in control and very impatient. Online you have between 2 and 8 seconds to convince your visitor they’re in the right place. Fail to do this and they leave and go to your competitors!
In a nutshell!
In a nutshell, to succeed with your Internet Marketing you need:
- Budgets – set aside 4 budgets: one budget for strategic planning and research, one budget to build your site, one budget to market the site, and one budget to track and monitor what is happening and make changes. If you only have a budget sufficient to cover the build cost, then don’t spend it on Internet Marketing. It is estimated that there are over 30 billion web pages out there so it’s easy to disappear among the crowd.
- A Strategic Plan – know where you want to be and have a plan to get there. Your Internet Marketing Plan must be a part of your overall Business Marketing Plan.
- Research – you must know who and what your online competitors are doing. You must know who your target audience is and what their needs and problems are. Profile your most important customers.
- Build and Content Manage – Build your site so that it meets your customer’s needs. Make sure it is easy to navigate and has all the information prospective customers need to make a buying decision. Use a Content Managed System so that you are in control of your content and can add/update quickly as conditions dictate.
- Market your Site – with over 108 million websites online, if you don’t market your site it’s unlikely to be found. It’s vital to drive the right sort of traffic to your site. Use whatever marketing methods are most appropriate to your site: Search Engine Optimization, Paid Advertising, Link Building, Article Submission, Social Networking sites etc.
- Track and Measure – you must know how much traffic your site is getting and what that traffic is doing once it arrives – how much of it converts into customers? What ROI are you getting? Most sites only convert between 1% and 2% of visitors. Use Conversion techniques to increase your conversion rate. Change what isn’t working.
“A successful Internet Marketing Strategy is a Process, not an Event”!