internet marketing guide

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James Ward Digital Coach   Old Broadcasting House
                                                                                           DIGITAL COACH
148 Woodhouse Lane Leeds, West Yorkshire LS2 9EN    M 07787 977925

Internet marketing vs. traditional marketing
Traditional marketing tended to rely upon interruption to convey its message; TV adverts between programmes, display
adverts in newspapers and magazines and direct mail all attempt to catch the attention of the potential buyer whilst they are
engaged in a different activity. The downsides of this approach are:

• It’s difficult to target your marketing message (and spend) at just the people who are most likely to buy;
• Much of your spend is wasted because it reaches people who are not interested in buying from you;
• It’s impossible to track the effectiveness of your marketing activity and its return-on-investment;
• There is often a long lead time (especially for print advertising) and it’s usually impossible to change your ad copy once it’s

Internet marketing used to operate in a similar way; banner adverts on websites, pop-up windows, email marketing to cold
contacts. None of these methods have proven to be very successful. People become blind to banner adverts, they use a
pop-up blocker on their web-browser and they report uninvited emails as spam.

The modern way to market on the internet is to move to a permission-based model, where users choose to opt-in to
communications that they find interesting and useful. This means providing content and information which is of real value to
your website visitors / customers so that they happily subscribe to your marketing messages, in the knowledge that they are
in control and can freely opt-out at any time. This applies to blogs, emails and social networks.

Pay-per-click advertising works well because it adheres to the same principles. The adverts are small and unobtrusive but
they are presented at the precise moment that a user is searching for what you sell. The user can choose to click on them if
they look useful or just ignore them if not.

James Ward Digital Coach   Old Broadcasting House
148 Woodhouse Lane Leeds, West Yorkshire LS2 9EN    M 07787 977925

Pay-per-click advertising is a way of buying exposure on the results pages of Google and the other search engines. You will
see them identified as sponsored links or sponsored sites. They appear down the right-hand side of the ‘main’ results and
often along the top of the page too.

Advertisers choose the words and phrases that will trigger their advert to be shown to a searcher and they bid how much
they are willing to pay, should their ad get clicked. The ads are ranked and displayed according to the bids – and other
factors. The advertiser only incurs a cost when someone clicks on the advert and visits their website, by which time it is
highly likely that they are a serious buyer.

The main advantages of pay-per-click are:

• Your advert is shown to people who are actively searching for what you sell;
• Your advert is shown at the precise moment that they are looking for
• You only pay for the clicks you receive;
• You are in total control of the budget – you set a daily limit (of any amount
  you choose) and your adverts stop running when this is exhausted;
• The whole campaign is measurable. You will always know exactly what is
  your return-on-investment.

James Ward Digital Coach   Old Broadcasting House
148 Woodhouse Lane Leeds, West Yorkshire LS2 9EN    M 07787 977925
Search engine optimisation

The aim of search engine optimisation is to achieve a prominent position in the ‘main’ or ‘organic’ results of the major search
engines for specific, targeted phrases that relate to a particular business.

In determining which websites to return for a user’s query and the order in which to rank them search engines consider
hundreds of factors (or signals). These break down into broadly three categories:

• site structure;
• site content; and
• in-bound links.

Site structure refers to the way the site is built. It includes,
amongst other things, how the underlying html code is
written, are the meta tags populated and with what data,
how the internal pages of the site link to one another and
whether the structure creates duplicate content.

Site content refers to what the site says. It includes the
actual words within the site, the volume of pages, choice
of headlines, frequency of updates.

In-bound links contribute to the site’s search engine
results because each link from another domain to your
site is counted as a ‘vote’ for your site. The more votes a
site receives, the more important it appears to the search
engines. A rough measure of your site’s importance is Google’s PageRank™, a number from 0 to 10 that Google applies to
each page in its index. Although by no means the only (or even the most important) factor in SEO, PageRank (PR) is a useful
indication and it is certainly true that links from a page with high PR are generally worth more than links from pages with low

Optimising a site for search engines involves researching which keywords are the best ones to achieve a good position for,
studying the websites that are currently ranking well for those keywords and phrase, and then making the right changes to
the site structure, content and in-bound links to overtake their position.

James Ward Digital Coach    Old Broadcasting House
148 Woodhouse Lane Leeds, West Yorkshire LS2 9EN     M 07787 977925

Why you might choose to have a blog
When people deal with you in person they expect to have a human interaction with you. I’m sure that you and your staff talk
to clients in a friendly manner and you engage in a relationship with them. Websites can often miss this personal element if
they only offer information about the company and an electronic means of making contact.

Maintaining a blog on your website is one way to create the same relationships with customers within your website as you
naturally create in real life. It is a platform through which you can promote your knowledge, your connections and your

Blogging enables customers to see ‘behind the scenes’ and lends your website an authentic voice. It allows you to connect
directly and personably with your visitors, buyers and suppliers.

What is a blog
A blog is like an online diary, with entries arranged sequentially, usually with the most recent entry at the top. Entries are
usually ‘tagged’ with keywords which relate to the topic being discussed - in the case of a kitchen equipment supplier, for
example, these tags might be names of microwaves, restaurants, chefs, etc.

Importantly, a blog also has something known as an RSS feed. This is a piece of code that lists your latest entries. People
who are interested in your blog can subscribe to this feed so that they receive your updates automatically without having to
visit your site to see if there is anything new. People can also subscribe to your blog via email so that they receive an email
every time you post a new entry.

Both these methods of maintaining contact rely upon the users’ permission. To continue to enjoy this permission you need
to provide content that is genuinely interesting and engaging. You will know best what subjects are likely to appeal to your
audience but here are some ideas for what you might write about:

• Your industry
• Product news
• What’s happening in your company
• Your successes (and things you learned when something didn’t go so well...)

James Ward Digital Coach   Old Broadcasting House
148 Woodhouse Lane Leeds, West Yorkshire LS2 9EN    M 07787 977925
Social media

Why you should take social media seriously
It’s a big and growing area of the internet, where your customers are spending more of their time. Facebook is the most
popular social network at the moment and currently1 has 200 million user worldwide and the fastest growing group on
Facebook is women aged 50+. It’s not just for teenagers anymore...

What is social media
The phrase ‘social media’ covers a wide range of sites, but they are all defined by some common values and attributes. The
internet research organisation Universal McCann defines social media as:

“Online applications, platforms and media which aim to facilitate interaction, collaboration and the sharing of

It includes social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, social bookmarking sites like delicious and StumbleUpon,
content sharing sites like Flickr and YouTube and microblogging sites like Twitter.

Businesses wanting to use social media for marketing key need to really understand the nature of this medium - it’s all about
the users, not you. If you enter this space and try to sell, or broadcast your advertising messages you will be ignored (at
best) or banned (at worst).

Social media marketing requires that you invest in real relationships with its users, by identifying a niche of people who are
passionate about something in your field and offering them something of value that speaks to them. You can use humour,
offer advice, be a platform for discussion of a shared interest and offer rewards for their attention, with exceptional, personal
service and by demonstrating their importance to you.

Social media marketing doesn’t necessarily take much money, which is one of the reasons why so many companies are
seeing it as a good way to make their marketing budget stretch further. But it does take time and creativity to get it right, and
the returns you can expect are not guaranteed.

1   April 2009
James Ward Digital Coach   Old Broadcasting House
148 Woodhouse Lane Leeds, West Yorkshire LS2 9EN    M 07787 977925

Opt-in marketing
Everyone hates spam email. We all recognise the obvious spam messages – such as the Nigerian banker who needs to
move money out of the country or shady ‘pharmaceutical’ products – but the definition of spam is much wider than this and
includes emails which you might consider to be legitimate.

To give your company the best results – and the best possible reputation – your marketing emails should:

• be sent only to recipients requested it;
• arrive in a timely manner;
• be relevant to the needs of the recipient;
• allow the recipient to quickly grasp who sent it and what it's all about; and
• have means by which the recipient can stop getting the emails easily and any time

Emails sent to a ‘clean’ opt-in list can be very effective at driving traffic to your site and generating sales by highlighting offers
that will be of interest to your customers and providing them with a convenient means to click-through to your website for
more information.

You also gain the advantage of maintaining the relationship with your customer that you started when they visited the site. If
you can persuade visitors to opt-in to your mailing list when they first visit the site, there is a much higher chance that you
will get a return visit in future months as people will receive a reminder of your products and services. Without this prompt
there is a high probability that people will forget about the site, unless they happen to find you on search next time they are in
the market for what you sell.

James Ward Digital Coach   Old Broadcasting House
148 Woodhouse Lane Leeds, West Yorkshire LS2 9EN    M 07787 977925

Google Analytics
Whichever marketing methods you choose it is essential to track the response. To do this you need access to detailed
analytical data. Google Analytics is a powerful – and free – package that will provide you with a wealth of information such

• who is visiting your site;
• from where (both geographically and which other websites);
• what keywords they are using to find you;
• what purchases they complete on your site; and
• where they leave your site.

The data is very powerful but also easy to interpret and instantly accessible. You need access to your data and the ability to
understand what it is telling you.

James Ward Digital Coach   Old Broadcasting House
148 Woodhouse Lane Leeds, West Yorkshire LS2 9EN    M 07787 977925