Internet marketing is a pretty hot topic. It can include any and all of the growing forms of online messaging and branding options. Usually, the Internet marketing mix includes some combination of your website content, organic SEO, local SEO, social media channels like Twitter and Facebook, PPC advertising, online video, blogs, and email marketing campaigns.
Having a business Facebook page or putting up random thoughts on a blog isn’t necessarily marketing. At least not the most effective approach.
Effective Internet marketing needs to be strategic, targeting specific goals and laying out a course to achieve them. We like to work in phases.
During the first phase, we will analyze the competitive landscape to determine how best to compete. We resist the urge to make judgements based on obvious factors like website aesthetics, or weak domain names. We focus on facts and set out to learn how things are vs. how we think they are. Here are a few of the key factors we take into consideration before planning an online marketing campaign.
- Estimate the traffic potential for your website based on search engine ranking potential and actual search volumes for every target keyword (phrase)
- Assess the major competitors in your market to determine where you stack up compared to other market leaders
- Determine which competitors, if any, are running strong campaigns and quantify their strengths and weaknesses
- List the critical success factors required to compete effectively in that environment
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At this point, we will be dealing with known factors rather than making guesses or playing hunches. Now it is reasonable to establish goals–so we do. Depending on the nature of your business and what your competitors are doing, we’ll lay out exactly what we want to happen and by when.
- Search engine rankings
- Click-through percentage by keyword
- Estimated traffic volume by keyword
- Conversion rates
- Revenue targets and ROI
- Onsite factors; bounce rate, avg. time on page, percentage of new visits, etc.
- Many, many others…
Essentially, we are performing a gap analysis by comparing where you are to where you want to be, and making a plan to fill in what’s missing. It is very common, even typical, that websites are created and published without any real plan to attract visitors. This is where we fix that.
During this time, we accomplish two things.
- We establish all of the tools we use to measure the key success factors we use to make decisions and keep track of how we’re doing
- We design or redesign your website, write new content, establish social media accounts and brand them, set up email marketing campaigns, the list goes on…
Our goal is to establish the baseline digital environment that will grow over time. Speed is far more important toiling over every pixel, because every round of revisions delays Google and other search engines form indexing new content.
Ideally, we are able to do whatever we need to do and go live within 3-4 weeks. That gives us as much time as possible to focus on building traffic and increasing sales or generating leads.
We use a lot of tools that provide details about your onsite and offsite performance. We constantly evaluate keywords and make adjustments, add and replace content, pursue linking opportunities, run email campaigns, engage through social media, etc. Guided by the overarching strategy set forth in the beginning, every online marketing activity is selected and adjusted based on performance.