Internet marketing can be confusing, specially for beginners and business owners. It has many sides and specialities, and there are zillions of articles on the web that in theory "explain everything" yet in practice may even leave you more confused than in the beginning.
So I wrote this article to help you understand how things work. It is just an introductory article, but at least it is written in simple terms.
In Internet marketing, everything starts with an objective
When you start a website, you have a goal in mind. That goal may be anything under the sun, from getting sales to just speaking your mind through a blog, yet that does not change the fact every web page on the Internet was made with a purpose in mind.
Therefore, the first and utmost goal of any online marketing work is to help a website owner achieve those goals. How? There is only one way: by getting clicks. Without clicks, nobody sees a site; and without clicks on the right buttons, there is no way to get results.
Every Internet marketing work should be focused on helping you get clicks the right clicks.
How do you get clicks?
People come to a website by one of these six ways.
- They know the URL address, and typed it
- They found an advertisement and clicked on it
- They found a link to your website on another web page, and clicked on it
- They found the web page on a search engine results set, and clicked on it
- We managed to "steal it" from a website that has more audience, by motivating the user to click on the link we placed there; or,
- When your site already has some audience, they clicked as a response to one of the messages we sent to our subscribers
So, the approaches are different depending on what kind of effort that is required:
- To have people learn our URL address and type it, we usually include it on our "offline" advertising efforts, for example our leaflets or business cards.
- To advertise, you need to analyse where and how much money you are going to spend in each advertising media, and how what results we are getting in return of that investment.
- To get found by links on other web pages, you need to invite and convince other webmasters to provide a link to your site… although they can also find your web page and consider it interesting enough to give you a link without your intervention. Anyway, public relations and negotiation skills are important in this link-building area.
- To get found on a search engine, you need to run a series of optimizations on your website that are collectively known as SEO (which stands for search engine optimization).
- To "steal" clicks from another website that already has it, there are many tactics you can use, yet those are beyond the scope of this article.
- Lastly, to send messages to your subscribers you need an e-mail marketing software and some wisdom on how to build your lists of subscribers.
All specialities and sub-specialities in Internet marketing are born from all the above-mentioned activities.
How should I start in online marketing, then?
In ideal terms, and to get the best results, any Internet marketing process should work as follows:
First, speak with a SEO specialist. He will be able to analyse your market, and determine the best structure and content for it.
Then, speak with the website designer (and/or programmer) so they can have the website done for you.
Then, go back with your SEO consultant, so he can optimize the website when it is published on the Internet.
Then onwards, your Internet marketing team should be able to take care of the rest of the promotion activities. If your company is small, and you do not have an Internet marketing staff, then outsourcing would be the best option.
Is Internet marketing something I can do by myself? To be honest, not if you do not know what you are doing. I would advise against trusting your Internet marketing efforts to anyone with less than three successful years of experience.
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