Internet Marketing: More Than Meets the Eye
There is more to internet marketing than meets the eye. It’s like a cocktail of various different drinks but when mixed together properly can taste very nice indeed. As a small business owner your time and resources are limited. Therefore, these are some of the most important tactics that you and your staff can use. It’s only a summary but I will go into detail on most of these topics in later weeks and also in our newsletter (subscribe in the sidebar).
Okay so here goes, I really would appreciate it if you would please add your extra suggestions in the comments.
Internet Marketing Strategies for a Small Irish Business
- Use an Analytics package like Google Analytics (it’s free). There is no point in attempting to do proper Internet marketing without testing and measuring. It’s all about the conversion rate.
- Don’t spam on forums or other peoples’ blogs. This is the number one way to destroy your online reputation. Instead, post quality information and try to help people. Your signature with a link to your site will get traffic and it’s not spamming.
- Have good content that helps people on your site. This will motivate people to tell their friends about your site. It gets social network “likes” plus bookmarks on the social bookmarking sites. These are important.
- Have a clear idea of your sales funnel. How are you going to get people interested in your sales message? How do you blend the quality content on your site with your sales pitch as seamlessly as possible?
- Use an autoresponder. Email marketing is very important. By not having a sign-up form for a newsletter or autoresponder you are like a fisherman with a huge hole in his net.
- Write an ebook. I have some of the best traffic from the ebooks I have written. Ebooks are a great way for you to show your expertise on a topic. They can be shared on social reading sites like Scribd and DocStoc plus they are often emailed between friends and colleagues. They are a great viral tool. They can also be used as a reward for people who have opted into your mailing list.
- Use Pay Per Click ads only after you have worked out your conversion rate with free traffic. This allows you to plan your ad spend from the start.
- Constantly run two ads against each other and monitor the Click Through Rates (CTR) of each. Try to constantly beat your best ad. This saves you a lot of money, because if you have a high CTR, then you can rank higher without spending as much per click.
- On the social networks try out successful PPC ads as Cost Per Thousand View (CPM) ads. Use whichever costs you less.
- Encourage human interaction on your site. Search engines are now looking for human interaction like comments etc. Have content that makes people comment. Ask for visitors’ opinion. Once you get comments stoke the fires and keep the conversation going.
- Make sure you have an RSS feed. Use Feedburner, it’s owned by Google (Hint: A little bird told me that Google uses Feedburner RSS stats to gauge human interaction on websites).
- Do your keyword research. There are plenty of tools available for this from Google Keyword tool to Wordtracker. Look for easy opportunities in your market. Low lying fruit and all that…
- Make sure you Blog. Make sure it covers interesting events in your industry. Try to make it a “must read.”
- Use Google Webmaster Central and the equivalent for Bing, Yahoo etc.
- Have a site map and notify the search engines about where it is and what it’s called (via Google Webmaster Central).
- Be remarkable. Hum drum and boring inspires nobody. Try to get people to tell their friends about you. They won’t tell anybody about a boring site.
- Jump on a trend bandwagon. Try to tie what you do in with newsworthy events or even celebrity gossip. It will encourage discussion. It’s worth doing every now and then with blog posts.
- Basic labeling and tagging. It’s fundamental, but it’s important not to forget about it (meta tags. heading tags, alt tags etc).
- Run a competition for people to get their friends to follow/like your social networking pages. e.g. Get 25 friends to like our page and we will include you in a draw for a holiday in Vegas.
- Add your RSS feed and blog to RSS and blog directories.
- Keyword optimize press releases and submit them to several free press release directories.
- Use paid press release sites to get on Google News for important releases.
- Research your competition. Know who is linking to your competitors and more importantly why they are linking.
- Create pages on HubPages and Squidoo. This will help you lay digital bread crumbs to your site.
- Re-use your blog content in the form of articles and syndicate them on article sites. However you need to have a lot of articles for this to work. I would say 100+ to see any significant traffic.
- Get links form local bodies and trade organisations. For instance, chamber of commerce etc.
- If you sell stuff think about using free classifieds sites like craigslist or similar local directories.
- Use Yahoo Answers, Google Groups and LinkedIn Answers to get credibility and drive traffic.
- Run an affiliate program. You can do this yourself, or use one of the major affiliate sites (commission junction etc.). This will help you recruit affiliate marketers to sell your product for a commission. However, make sure your onsite conversion rates are up to scratch.
- Be nice to people. If you think someone or something is good say it on your blog.
- Have trackbacks enabled on your site. This will encourage others to link to you.
- Use Facebook connect on your site. It will show how many of a visitors’ friends like your page.
- Submit to DMOZ thats highly regarded by search engines particularly Google.
- Put “how to” videos on YouTube and other video sites.
- Vlog your industry.
- Think about a podcast or an audio blog.
- Court controversy. This is a tactic that will get people talking. As a result, lots of links to your site. Remember, if you don’t do something comment worthy no one will comment.
- Experiment with new things. You may find the next Internet gold mine. Make sure you tell me if you do!
As you can see, there is quite a lot you can do to improve how your website is performing. Yes, it does take time, but in the long term it’s worth it.
If you want any help with getting more sales online, drop me a line (info | at | imarketingireland | dot | com) or fill out the contact form on this site. I am looking forward to hearing your extra tips in the comments.