The 7 Strategies to Internet Marketing Success
An 8-Part Series? Really?
You better believe it. I want all of you out there to know how important this stuff is. this article + 7 strategies articles. This is the CORE of Internet marketing, what it’s all about. This is how I look at all online promotion services.
It’s a system. And if you stick with me through these 7 Strategy articles, I guarantee that you’ll look at Internet marketing differently – and, if you implement even some of what I outline here, probably add thousands of dollars per year to your bottom line profits.
It’s not just about traffic, it’s about sales and repeat customers.
Most clients of mine (before they become clients) focus exclusively on SEO and getting visitor traffic. Here at Think Around Corners, we focus on all strategies that help you win. It’s not just about traffic; getting people to your web site is only the first two strategies of seven.
In this eight-part series, we focus on our specialty; creating an overall strategy for website success. In this first article, we’ll give you an overall of the seven strategies, and tell you why all seven strategies are important to employ if you’re going to have a winning online presence.
95% of a car is a piece of junk.
What is a car without a few critical components? What is a car with even one component missing? It doesn’t work. Internet Marketing is like that. Getting traffic to your web site is an important step, yes. But what do customers do when they get there? Often, they leave. Immediately. Without viewing more than one page. When this happens, it is said that a customer “bounces”. And that doesn’t help you at all.
So, after your customer lands, you have to keep their attention. You have to give them content that is interesting for them to read. But that’s not all you have to do-you also have to be compelling in your argument to buy your product or service. You have to lay out all the convincing reasons that someone needs to make a decision about purchasing.
And sometimes customers, even after their decision is made, can’t buy a product. They just don’t have the money at that moment. That means they have to leave your website, and come back later. And sometimes, they will forget all about you-they might not remember the name of your website. They might even forget that they made a decision in the first place. What happens then? Well, you don’t make a sale.
And what about repeat customer purchases? We all know that it takes about 1/7 of the energy to sell a repeat customer, than a new one. So if you don’t work on your repeat sales, then you’re missing out on a vast amount of bottom-line profits.
And, of course, even in this world of Internet Marketing, word of mouth plays a big factor in future sales. That means that your website not only has to be compelling, but so compelling that potential customers will tell others about your product of service. This is Viral marketing.
We hope we’ve shown you in just a few moments that Internet Marketing is not just about traffic, but about repeat traffic, compelling argument, and viral marketing. And you need all 7 strategies to win. So, let’s give you an overview of what we’re going to be talking about.
And overview of the seven strategies.
Let’s talk about the overall of the 7 strategies. Each strategy is a step in the process.
1. Get noticed.
The first step in online marketing is to gain visibility.
But say you had a brick and mortar store. You might have great stuff inside, but if you didn’t have a sign out in front, no one know what you sell.
Content is king.
Visibility requires search engines to lock onto page content, and that means you have to have text. Text equals Google food. If you don’t have text on your website, then you cannot be ranked by search engines.
Search engine optimization is a key component in taking the text that you have written and “conditioning” it for search engines. This involves the use of keywords, and those keywords are what people put into search engines to search for what they want.
Social Media Marketing.
Of course, search engines are not the only game in town now. There are many social channels to choose from. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media channels are very important for your overall marketing success.
What your customers really want? You should probably ask them. You can do this through mini usability testing; you just grab a person off the street, ask them to navigate your website, and see if they find your website lacking. What would they like on the web site that you don’t have? This, in a very real sense, is the foundation for new content for your website.
2. Drive traffic.
But just getting ranked isn’t everything.
You must compel customers to click through to your website from the search engines. That means you must be creative in how you explain your products and services, and how that information shows up inside the search rankings.
Write good copy.
There’s a difference between describing what you sell and convincing others that it’s interesting stuff. You can modify the Meta tag information to pique and others interest. For instance, there is a difference between saying…
- I am a plumber.
- I fix small problems before they become big ones.
See the difference? The first line tells a person what you do. The second line tells a person how you help them, the benefits that you give them.
Creative writing isn’t the only game. To encapsulate what you do in an image or logo is a powerful process and can transform the way your customers think, and you think, about your business.
For instance, take a look at the image to the right. Now let me ask you a question: what is this logo all about? You might have thought of…
Car enthusiasts, cruisin’, auto restorationists, car clubs, hot rods, car lovers, hotrodders, gearheads, auto enthusiasts, motorcyclists, Friday night, etc.
See what we mean? A well branded logo sums up what another thing is about. It embraces the concept of tribes, and in a very quick glance can give you fast amounts of information about what product, product line, or service is about, and can invoke an emotional response.
3. Be sticky.
Keep their customers glued to the screen.
Once your customer is at your website, you must compel them to stay. This means your content has to be interesting. Once again, branding and creative content comes into play. But being sticky is about more than writing about what your customers want to read.
Landing page optimization.
When a person lands on your website, they have a decision to make: stay or go. You must structure information so that it is easy to read, easy to navigate, and easy to understand the page they’re on is about. If you fail in this, most people will leave the web site immediately, never to return.
Discreet bits of information.
If the page your customer lands on is not about the topic they were looking for, they’re going to search elsewhere. So, if you have a big page with lots of content, consider breaking that page up into multiple pages. Then create links between those pages that are logical. Two things happen; one, you get more pages, and 2, people will leave.
4. Build trust.
Content is not just about compelling, it’s about convincing.
It’s great if you have interesting content, but it doesn’t do you any good unless it’s convincing. You must convince your customer that your product is beneficial to them, and is better than your competitor’s product.
Most product or service web pages lack for direct comparison to competitors. This means you should researcher competitors, and find out how you can beat them with visuals.
If your customers have fears, reduce them. If your customers have vague notions about how your product can help them, show them the benefit. If your customers have problems understanding what your product is, diagram how your product is used. This is where visuals come into play.
5. Stay in touch.
As stated before, sometimes customers do not buy immediately. Therefore, you have to stay in touch with them.
Offer a newsletter for your customers to stay in touch with you. Make sure that your newsletter is compelling to sign up for. Offer incentives, use the word ‘free’, and be sure to tell them that you will never share their information with anyone.
We talked about RSS feeds before. Whereas newsletters send a pulse of information compiled over time (like a week or month), RSS feeds serve up new in developing content on your website immediately, as you write it. You can offer specials that are time sensitive, which draws the customer back to your web site periodically. Staying in touch with this method builds a rapport and helps in branding your product and company. People remember you more if you get in front of them 12 times a year as opposed to just once.
6. Generate sales or leads.
It’s where the rubber hits the road; people can add stuff to your shopping cart all they want, but if they don’t buy it, it doesn’t really matter.
Shopping cart abandonment.
Shopping cart is scary for some people, and if they throw the rhythm off the purchase process even a tiny bit, you have a reduction in sales. Every concern must be removed, every question answered.
Generating calls are leads with calls to action.
What can you offer your customers, right now, that will make them call? There are many ways, but professing friendliness, professionalism, and great customer service are very easy ways to convince someone to call. You can also offer them something free to call right now.
Make your phone number noticeable.
We just realized that our own website we missed this one, by the time you read this, we probably fixed it. If you can offer an 800 number, they could bolt, at the top, and in a different color that stands out.
7. Create referrals.
It doesn’t take much.
There are some tactics that you can employ with building referrals, but really, by having interesting content, covering all the questions that a customer may have, showing that you are better than your competitors, and providing great visuals is 70% of the strategy.
However, you can make it much easier for customers to distribute your marketing message by using the simple tactics.
Again, RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication, and comes bundled in blog programs, like WordPress. RSS allows you to “syndicate” your content. That means if customers are interested in finding out about new information from you in the future, they can “subscribe” to your RSS feed, and by e-mail, or RSS reader, get new information from you forever more.
E-mail marketing is also useful for building referrals. When people get your content in their e-mail box from your newsletter, they can forward that piece of information to others they think might benefit.
Social Media Marketing.
Social Media Marketing, much in the same way as RSS or e-mail marketing, allows others to refer you very easily. What’s more, they can “rank” the value of your content. That’s important –because we are barraged with information every day, relying upon someone else’s rating is a way to filter important bits.
Where is your business in the cycle?
How to identify where you are.
To identify where you are in the cycle, a program like Google Analytics is important. If you don’t have Google Analytics installed, stop what you’re doing and do it right now. Google Analytics allows you to monitor your customer traffic, were they come from (is a search engine, or social site like Facebook?) and how they click through your web site. If you know where they’re coming from, you know how to improve it.
Look for these indications.
Get noticed: do your ranking show up for certain keywords about your business are product engines like Google, Yahoo!, an MSN search?
Drive traffic: if you are ranked, are your results compelling? Would they make you click for to your web site?
Be sticky: once you get to your web site, would you click further through the web site? This can be very subjective, because you’ve seen your web site a million times. You know where everything is; you know where to find all pertinent information. Your customers don’t-they just look at a big mass of information and get confused. You need usability testing to ensure that your website is compelling, easy to read, easy to navigate, and intriguing.
Build trust: do your customers trust you? One way is to ask customers that you already have where your web site can be improved. This is a very easy way to find out which are missing in terms of building trust. Chances are, if an existing customer brings something up, there are hundreds of customers that left your website because the problem was not addressed.
Stay in touch: what are the primary ways to keep in touch with your customers? Do they have an easy way to remember where you are on the web? Can you, at an instant, notify your customers of a new product or service? How about a nice bit of information that they would like to know about? If you come up with nothing, here, then you’re not doing what you can to make sales.
Generate sales: once again, analytics comes into play. Through Google Analytics you can set up “funnels” to show where in the process of checking out where your customer abandoned the process. Then, you can work correctly on that checkout page and find out where the disconnect is. You can also examine your web site to find out how many clicks it takes to find your phone number, or e-mail. If it’s more than one click, change it.
Build referrals: you can’t just ask customers to give you referrals. You have to make it easy for them. If you don’t have RSS feeds setup, or are using social sites to spread the word, then get busy and get out there!
What is the result missing a step?
The weakest link in the chain is its breaking point. You need all seven steps to succeed. In the next seven Strategy articles, I will break down each step and show you all the tactics we use at Think Around Corners to accomplish each strategy. Stay tuned!
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