What is Web Marketing
Introduction to Web Marketing
The Basis of Web Marketing is a website. It’s a must for it to run on a website. Whether yours or not. Before choosing the right web marketing strategy, I advice that you must have a website. This acts as a source of information about your products and services and also the contact and transaction place for your potential clients.
Web marketing is an outcome of the electronic wave that is sweeping the globe. It has been successfully harnessed and this has resulted in various advantages like online buying and selling of goods as well as the generation of business leads.
Web Marketing Strategies.
There are various strategies that you can adopt for Web marketing:
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
In this kind of marketing, the website is made more search engine friendly so that when a specific keyword or search is typed by the user, the site will make it into the top search results. This type of Internet marketing is more appropriate method to attract the potential customers. SEO is done in two ways:
(a) Creating meta tags for use in the headings and taglines. These tags describe the site. Since search engines recognizes the titles first, the metas are indexed and become the cornerstone of the site. When the site is queried by search requests, the titles are queried first before going to the pages and posts.
(b) You can also make user friendly and meta-based pages and posts. For example, a page likehttp://www.adeahost.com/3189.html is not seo friendly. But http://www.adeahost.com/web-design is seo friendly. If one search web design, he will get the latter than the former (Though the pages have the same content)
Under this category, the advertiser pays the search engine certain amount to get the address of his website featured separately if a keywords relating to his industry of sector is typed in. The most popular pay per click engines are Adsense and Adwords (owned by Google), Yahoo, MSN, and recently Facebook started their Pay per click.
Google AdSense is a program that allows you to generate revenue by placing other people’s text or image ads on your website and in turn have your ad appear on the pages of sites related to your product or service. You can filter out your competitor’s ad so it does not appear on your Website. AdSense puts your ad all over the Web and creates links back to your site which increases your ranking in the search engines. These are not pop up ads that open a box or new screen while you are trying to read the text of a Website. Web page, the hyped up ad remains and may be hard to close. Pop up ads are annoying and along with spamming, they are the worst marketing schemes available.
3. Affiliate Marketing
It is a kind of marketing wherein a company hires other companies or websites known as affiliates and entrusts them with the responsibility of marketing the product. The affiliates are paid commission. The affiliates can host a website in which it may display the banners or logos of the company. If the visitor clicks on this banner, they are redirected to the sponsor’s site. The affiliate is paid a commission.
You can join a two tier affiliate program and recruit front line affiliates. Earn commissions every time they make a sale. Apart from being an Affiliate, You can also sell your own products which you have created through affiliate marketing programs. As you recruit affiliates they can market your products for you and make you more money.
4. Online Auctions
Online auctions are just as the auctions that take place in the real world. Items are put up for sale and the seller quotes the minimum price. Interested buyers then start quoting their price. And the item is sold to the highest bidder. The buyers in case of online auction can be form any part of the world
5. Banner advertising
Here banners of the advertiser are displayed on the website. The advertisers pay a certain amount of money to get the banner displayed on the website for a certain period of time. The banners are usually visually appealing to attract the potential customers. The respond it will get depends upon the website it has been displayed. Again there is no guarantee that the prospective customers will view it.
Banner Ads are usually animated, colorful graphics that go horizontally across the top of a Web page or vertically on the left or right side of a page. Both ads link to another Website and entice the visitor to leave the page they are on to see what the other site has to offer. These are losing popularity because people don’t enjoy being distracted by the movement. Ads that don’t move or talk are more effective.
6. Directory Listings
It is a service wherein sites are placed in special categories in a directory. Such kind of service can be free or fee based.
Online city guides or industry directories such as Yellow Pages feature businesses in a particular area. For example, if someone in Nairobi is looking for a toy store, they may use the search engine to browse the online guide and find all the toy stores within a 10 mile radius of their locality. In addition to the general listing which are many times free, you may purchase an ad for a related page.
The listing can be made in yellow pages or directories such as Yahoo. .
7. Online magazines/Newsletters
These offer ad space for a fee (depending upon the magazine’s popularity and traffic) and may appear for the duration of the current issue of the magazine. By selecting a magazine that relates to your product you are able to direct your ad to your target market rather than to a generic audience. You can take out a classified ad in an ezine. An excellent way for you to get the word out about your products is by publishing e-newsletters which have very targeted readers. If you publish an ezine some of these people could end up subscribing to yours.
8. Website Lead Generation
These provide you with qualified leads at a set price per lead. These are generated by telemarketing companies who do cold calling to find potential clients for you. Lead Generation Services guarantee a particular level of ROI (return on investment) and frees your staff of marketing efforts.
This is a great way to drive traffic to your blog and serve as search engine bait for additional traffic. Establish a blog of have your site linked to a blog. This ensures that there is resourceful information about your area of expertise. When people are looking for solutions online, they find them in resources (which you have submitted in your blogs) and then buy your products and services as a remedy. Provision of information online is a good way of advertising your expertise. When people realize you are an expert, they would like to do business with you. Then when you write these articles, you can bookmark them and share them in social networks like facebook.com, twitter.com, linkedin.com etc Also, write and submit articles to article directories. In every article you write include a resource box that contains a link back to your website. Do massive article marketing and brand yourself as an expert in your area of writing.
10. Participation in discussion forums & other blogs.
You should ensure that you submit relevant posts to forums and blogs of the same area. If you are in web design sector, you should be hang out in forums and sites that discuss the same. In your signature file include a link back to your website where people can learn more about you. Of course since they will be impressed.
11. Web Products Catalogue/Page
You should ensure that your products and services page in your website is the best. It should be precise, with adequate information and legible. It should have a link to the Contact Page incase the reader would like to get in touch quite easily. When developing the product page, consider the 4 P’s of Marketing. Product, Place, Price and Promotion. The Product details should be precise and clear. They should describe the product or service and highlight on the values and benefits. The Price should be indicated and where not possible, there should be a link to a Quotation request form. The Place is important and hence the page should show where products/services are accessible. Once I went online and found a very good pocket PC. The features and prices were right but it was only available for shipping in USA. Indicate your market area to capture the audience and also stop wasting time for the readers who cannot access your products. Finally, on Promotion, is the page well done? The way the products have been aligned, photos and text harmony and the page formatting. The presentation of the products and services online matters a lot.
12. Trade Linking
This is a unique marketing tactic. It’s a scratch, I scratch you. People who own websites and links usually trade links with other Internet marketers and do reciprocal linking. Each link trade gives you a back link to your site and potential visitors from it. This helps the people in the network to market each other. In the recent blogging systems like wordpress and bloggers, you will find options to activate this feature. They are referred to as Pingbacks and trackbacks. They link together posts from different websites with similar information.
2.0 Advantage of Web Marketing
1. No Geographical Limitation
Since the Internet has no geographical constraints; it is good tool for marketing. One can advertise the products on the web to attract the potential customers. One need not be physically present to deal with the client.
2. Global Market
Before the advent of the Internet, for procuring a business, one had to visit abroad, hunt for buyers and then finalize the deal. This proved a major hindrance for small and medium sized companies as it meant having huge financial capacity. Web marketing has become a great boom, as one need not travel anywhere for getting and meeting the prospective customers.
Internet marketing is proving to be a cost-effective option as compared to traditional methods of marketing such as print, and the audio/video medium. One only has to have access to the net in order to start up with Internet marketing. One also saves on traveling cost that is incurred if trade fairs and trade shows are attended.
4. Availability – 24 hours
Internet marketing can be done for 24x7x365. If a company maintains a website, this website can be viewed by customers any time during the day. For e.g. an e-store maintained by an electronics manufacturer. The prospective buyers can visit the site as per their convenience and will browse the product gallery. They can also go through the description of the product and gather more information related to the same.
5. Display of full information
In the traditional world of print and audiovisual, there is a limit to how much information can be passed on to a customer. In print the restriction is in the form of the size of the ad (Unless you want to shell out a huge amount!). In radio and TV ads one has the restriction, which is measured in seconds. These restrictions cannot be ignored. If a company is having a diverse product line, a website can be a more proper medium of conveying the information to the reader.
You can be able to bookmark a site that you find interesting for future referencing. This makes it easier for e-marketing to generate future sales through a single marketing initiative.
7. Increasing the returns on investment on a website
Web marketing increases the return on investment on the website. If the website is able to attract more customers and increases the sale volume, the website owner will be able to recover the expenses incurred on developing and maintaining the website.
8. Discovery of new markets
Many times it so happens that a particular market remains untapped by the seller due to his lack of awareness or due to geographical hostility. Under such circumstances, web marketing can serve as a great tool in tapping such markets. Since Internet has no geographical boundaries, it is easier for the buyer or the supplier to know and contact each other. This has led to the discovery of new markets. If customers from untapped markets come to the seller he will become aware of the existence of a new market for his products.
Web marketing is thus a new age marketing that provides the sellers with never seen before kind of opportunities. Since it is online, it is much cheaper than traditional methods of marketing and can be done by even a small-scale enterprise.
Most web marketing strategies lack personal interaction with the potential client. You must convey your message with words and pictures to sell your product. Therefore, your website needs to have a call to action. Ask the customer to buy your product or hire you. At the very least ask the visitor to click on a link and get more information. Make sure you have an easy payment system in place to handle credit card purchases. A frustrated customer will take their online business elsewhere. No matter what online marketing strategy you use, make sure it produces enough sales to cover the ad costs and make a profit. I wish you well in your business.