The Internet is a very powerful tool and when used correctly can act as your business or organisation’s automated sales person. In order to do this, you need a quality website and effective internet marketing.
So what’s a ‘Quality Website’ and ‘Effective Internet Marketing’ you ask?!
Your website should do 2 things;
- Someone (ideally already interested in your service or product) lands on your website.
- The web design converts this visit into a sale or sales lead.
It’s as simple as that but I’m amazed how many web development companies miss these two critical points! I see so many websites that act as some artists showcase and others with animations all over screen but they’re not doing their job!
Simple?? How do I do this?
A quality web design isn’t about quirky graphics and animation – it’s about quality content.
- The text, image and video content has to be clear, non jargon and has to tell the visitor the benefits of your product or service. It’s normally a good idea to focus on the results or benefits, than an in depth description on your product or service.
- Images are important, you can convey so much in a correctly chosen image.
- Photos of people can help to associate a sense of trust.
- Keep it short. It’s tempting to keep writing but most people will lose interest and go elsewhere.
- Video is also very important now. Video can communicate a product, service or concept in a far more powerful way than text.
Search Engine Optimisation
Your website needs to be designed and content written so that search engines crawl and index the maxinum number of pages possible.
- This is a very complex subject but include your important search keywords for your niche market in your content (but keep it readable for humans).
- Use keywords in you page Titles (again though, it needs to be human friendly!)
- Use a sitemap and use CSS menus, not Flash.
- There’s so much more to SEO but I’d have to write a book.
Calls to Action
These are simply something that helps the visits make an action. They range from a simple ‘call us now on..’ text to email marketing capture boxes and lots more! Do a search online for Calls to Action and you’ll learn most of what you need.
Testimonials or user reviews (if you’re running an online store) of your customers (don’t make up testimonials…it will hurt you later) helps gain trust. Video testimonials are great as well.
A bog helps show your customers/visitors updates and can help them coming back for more. It’s also important to have a Latest News section on your Home page. This helps your visitors and SEO.
You can effectively get free marketing, if you can integrate social and video sites, such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube within your web design.
When your potential customer clicks on your website via search engines ‘organic’ (the free) results or your Internet advertisements, they need to be sent to a landing page. This is a page written for what the person was searching for and will help convert them into a sale / sales lead.
EFFECTIVE INTERNET MARKETING
You need to get targeted traffic to your web design. These are people who are already interested, in some way or the other, in your product or service, improving the conversion rate (the % of people that visit, who are converted into a sale / sales lead)
OK, I understand what targeted traffic is but how do I do GET targeted traffic??
This is simpler than it sounds. You can use one of the many keyword research utilities or websites (just search for ‘keyword research’ and you’ll find various options) and you can check your competitors websites. You use these keywords within your website and also your various Internet advertisements.
When search engines find links to your website from other popular websites and websites in your niche market then it will (help) rank your website higher – which means more visits – more sales.
It will take a long time. Start slowly and only do a few links a day.
Don’t use companies that do 1000’s of useless links.
Some ways of adding links are;
- Search directories
- Some blog comments (although a lot are NOFOLLOW now, so they won’t help your ranking but they can help drive human traffic)
- Forums (but never spam links in your forum posts. Become a valued member before posting any links and even then, keep the link within a valid useful post)
- Articles (again, always write an article that gives real value to the reader)
- Product reviews
- Agreements with other websites.
Research your Competitors
Check what your competitors are doing for their websites and Internet ads. You will probably learn something that can help you.
Pay Per Click advertising (EG. Google AdWords) can be a cost effective form of advertising, as you only pay when someone clicks on your advert.
This is a very complex subject and I’d only recommend you do your own PPC campaign if your market isn’t competitive at all (ie. not many of your competitors are doing PPC ads or they’re doing them very badly!).
Unfortunately it’s far too easy to setup a PPC campaign very badly and this will simply cost you so much more per click, it will make PPC non cost effective.
I suggest you use a reliable PPC / Internet marketing company to create your PPC campaign. If done correctly, the initial setup cost they charge will pay for itself.