Fresh cooking ingredients

What key ingredients are missing from your marketing strategy?

One of the most talked about parts of a marketing plan is the internet.

Many entrepreneurs will tell you it’s the most influential tool, and will invest the majority of their time and money in testing it, developing it, building it and then testing it again.

Internet marketing includes a company’s website, a blog, a Facebook page, online adverts, a Twitter account, comments you make on other sites, articles you submit to online directories, and probably loads of other things I’ve not mentioned.

So how do you make sure your internet marketing strategy is effective?  How do you stay focused on your key messages?  And how can you avoid getting distracted by the latest trends and fads in ‘social media’?

Luckily for you, I’ve spent the last 6 months developing an internet marketing strategy for a company I work for, and have learnt a few lessons along the way about what to do, and what not to do.

1.  Have a call to action.  Always

People won’t buy just because they visit your website.  You need to tell them what you want them to do, and make it straight forward for them to do it.

Do you want them to subscribe to your newsletter?  Or request a sample?  Buy a product?  Request a call to discuss their order?  Whatever you want them to do, ask them.  Have a clear ‘call to action’ on each page, a button for them to press, a link to take them to the checkout.

How to build links to your website

Generating links to your website, or 'link baiting', is key to any internet marketing strategy

2.  Generate links to your website

Having your website linked to from other sites is a powerful marketing tool.  But how can you get more links?

Offering good quality content is one way to get people linking to you and sharing your content.  ‘List-posts’ (like this one) are popular, and so are tutorials and tips.  Just make sure you keep it readable and jargon-free.

There’s an extensive list of link-building tips here.

3.  Choose your keywords

‘Keywords’ can be defined as the specific terms used by someone to search for something online.  They’re of interest if you have a business website because by using these words in paragraphs and titles on your pages, your site is more likely to appear in the search engines when potential customers are looking for what you offer.

If you’re a wedding photographer in Cornwall, your keywords may include:

  • wedding photography Cornwall
  • professional wedding photography
  • wedding photos
  • wedding picture packages
  • wedding venues
  • professional wedding photographer
  • wedding photography prices
  • wedding in Cornwall

Pepper these terms and phrases throughout your site to improve its position in the search engines.

Check out Wordtracker for more info on keywords.

Screen grab of pay per click on Google4.  Pay per click advertising

Pay per click is where you pay to have your ad appear on search engines when people type in a particular search term.

The ads appearing on the right of the search listings in the picture are all paid for by advertisers, competing for popular keywords.  The more competitive the word, the more you will pay every time someone clicks on your ad.

Popular search terms like “weight loss” or “designer bags” go for over £1.30 per click while less competitive phrases like “handmade bags” cost less than 30 pence per click.

This site has some PPC tips if you’re interested in finding out more.

5.  Article marketing

This is a great way to drive traffic to your site and can boost your website ranking.  Write content that is useful to your customers.

Going back to our wedding photographer example, articles on her website may include:

  • tips on how to take great photos
  • the essential images every bride needs to remember her big day
  • examples of different photo effects
  • a printable calendar on planning a wedding.

As well as publishing them on your website, you can submit your articles to online directories, forums and on related websites.  You should also tweet them on your Twitter page, ‘like’ them on your Facebook page and share the link with friends on Facebook.

Your turn…

Do you use any internet marketing tools I’ve not mentioned, that make a difference to your sales?  How do you drive traffic to your site?  Share in the comments below.

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