Internet marketing ties together creative and technical aspects of the Internet, including design, development, advertising, and sales. Effective Internet marketing requires a comprehensive strategy that synergizes a given company's business model and sales goals with its website function and appearance, focusing on its target market through proper choice of advertising type, media, and design.
How to get a business to succeed online?
It’s a common myth that as soon as a site is on the internet, the search engines will automatically index their site allowing people to start viewing it. One of the basic necessities for an online business to succeed is adequate WEBSITE PROMOTION.
How to promote a website:
The various ways to promote a well designed website include search engine marketing (SEM), banner ads on specific websites, e-mail marketing, and Web 2.0 strategies.
The most important in the list to achieve customer engagement with your brand is SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING.
For example: If I were looking for the NBA playoff schedules online; the keywords I type in on Google / Yahoo should immediately throw back the link for your website amongst the top few listings.
Oftentimes, if the order of the keywords is interchanged or if certain words in the search string are replaced, your website may not come up in the search list, resulting in you missing out on those clients.
This is where Search Engine Marketing comes in to ensure maximum viewership.
What is SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING?
Search engine marketing, or SEM, is a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages and get listed in near the top. The term covers the spectrum of activities involved in performing search engine optimisation, managing paid listings at the search engines, submitting sites to directories, and developing online marketing strategies for businesses, organizations, and individuals. These activities are undertaken to help your site get listed in near the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs).
SEM methods include search engine optimization (or SEO), paid placement or Pay per click (PPC) Marketing, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion.
1. Pay-Per-Click Marketing is more like traditional advertising – you pay to be shown in the search engine listings for specific keyword phrases. But unlike traditional media, you don't pay for impressions; you only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad – hence the term "pay-per-click." When you make a 'keyword buy', your listings are shown in the blue area below.
With PPC, you’re not paying for a promise, and you’re not paying to load an ad onto a page. You’re paying for an actual result, a click! With PPC, you don’t pay if nobody sees your ad, and you don’t even pay if someone does see it but doesn’t click. You pay only when someone clicks your ad. In addition to guaranteeing that a client's Web site will be indexed, paid inclusion may ensure that the search engine's software (Crawler) visits the client's site more frequently, and may also give clients the option to submit information about their pages more often.
Pay Per Click - Benefits and Challenges
Internet connection Specific: Can work only if the customers are internet savvy (which classifies majority of the households today)
Minimal inconvenience: No software need be installed by the customers to access your website.
Fast: For the company marketer in a hurry, you can have traffic coming in tomorrow, and maybe appointments the week after
It Works: Many companies have increased their turnover by £1,000s a month using AdWords and similar pay per click.
Predictable: You can easily estimate likely traffic, and therefore calculate your spend. You can start planning your winning campaign today.
Inflationary: As more and more people catch onto AdWords, the cost per click goes up.
2. Search Engine Optimization – or SEO for short is the process of increasing the volume of traffic to a website from different search engines. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) makes it easy for a website to be picked up by search engines such as Google or Yahoo or MSN. Using keywords and key phrases with particular relevance to the business and demography will increasingly attract crawlers of search engines.
SEO is more like public relations. You cannot buy 'publicity' for your site; you have to work for it by undertaking specific techniques and strategies. Generally, these activities include making changes to your website to include targeted keyword phrases and increasing the quality and number of incoming links to your website. When you conduct SEO, you are attempting to get your site listed in the the unpaid or organic listings. Please refer to our detailed article on SEO.
Search Engine Optimisation - Benefits and Challenges
Delivers free traffic: Visitors cost you nothing. What could be better. And why pay for all the visitors who don’t buy or enquire? Why pay at all?
Takes time: Nobody got to the top of a Google search overnight. Expect to spend 3 months before results start to show. Search engine optimisation is an ongoing analytical process so it pays to take the 12 month view as well as the 3 month view. Search engine optimisation never really ends.
Takes money: Getting top rankings requires a lot of professional skill and technological expertise, which will cost you money.
Long lasting: Generally, once you’ve achieved a high ranking it isn’t too hard to keep it. And the longer you keep at it, the more likely you can win that elusive but all-valuable number one spot. Search engine optimisation delivers long term value
3. Paid inclusion is a powerful, critical component of a comprehensive search engine marketing campaign. With paid inclusion, merchants pay a fee to have the content of a web site included in the editorial listings of a search engine within 10 business days and have the content refreshed every 48 hours. Paid inclusion does not guarantee that the pages will appear in a particular position within the search results. This means that all content submitted through paid inclusion must be optimized to have a chance to appear in the top positions.
Paid inclusion comes in three varieties: directory inclusion, URL inclusion and trusted feed inclusion. With directory inclusion online merchants pay an annual fee to have their web site reviewed by a human editor for inclusion into the directory under the category of their choice.URL inclusion is ideal for owners of small web sites. It involves the submission of individual web pages for guaranteed indexing into the search engine database. Trusted feed paid inclusion is the most efficient and cost effective way for large sites to get their products listed in the Yahoo! search index.
Paid Inclusion - Benefits and Challenges
Flexible: Improves the relevancy of search engine results due to the indexing of pages formerly difficult to access.
Versatile: It also proves to be particularly useful for dynamic Web pages.
Inaccurate: Risk of only being able to achieve high rankings with payment, and therefore skewing search results so much as to make relevance ranking obsolete.
4.Contextual advertising is targeted to the specific individual visiting a website (or page within a website). A contextual advertising system scans the text of a website for keywords and returns advertisements to the webpage based on what the user is viewing. The advertisements may be displayed on the webpage or as pop-up ads.
For example: If the user is viewing a website pertaining to movies and that website uses contextual advertising, the user may see advertisements for movie-related companies, such as theatres or memorabilia dealers. Contextual advertising is also used by search engines to display advertisements on their search results pages based on the keywords in the user's query.
Contextual Advertising - Benefits and Challenges
Caters to the right audience: You will have the opportunity to reach only those who are interested in what you have to offer. This will drastically cut back on the time you would normally spend marketing to people who have no interest.
Pay per click:. This can cut back on your expenses by eliminating a wasted ad. There are going to be ads that are not as successful as others, but at least you will not have to pay for them.
Mistaken for spam: People are realizing that they can just as easily do a Google search for what they are looking for rather than click on some random ad.
Limits viewer options: Most serious people will do a Google search for a specific keyword and see what results come up. This allows them to choose from a list of millions of results as oppose to clicking on a single ad just because it is in front of them.
There are millions of potential customers out there who may be searching for a product or service just like the one your business provides: the trick is having them find you. Having a search engine friendly website does not mean you ignore the user. Your site, above all, has to be user friendly. The content needs to be rich (not just stuffed with keywords) and appealing to visitors - they are looking for specific or interesting information and will leave your site if they don't find it. Also, having text and ignoring graphics won't appeal to your visitors either.
Any text will be picked up by search engines, so feel free to have graphics and images to enhance your website's appearance. After all, once a search engine picks you up, it is the customer who will be buying from you. Having an attractive, clear, and easy to use site helps.
Having solid, relevant content and then having that content optimized is the best way to get noticed by both search engines and customers. A commitment to search engine management can help your business succeed in the competitive internet business world.
We have outlined more strategies specific to promoting your web site in our Website Sales Promotion Strategies guide.