This article covers just a few elements of online marketing. We’ll discuss a general strategy, and then move on to one or two specifics.
On the general side, people often ask “What is the secret to getting lots of business online?” The simple answer is the is no one magic formula that will give you online success. It’s exactly the same with offline marketing, there is no magic bullet. Rather your online success will consist of many individual and smaller things you do that compound eventually leading to success. The key is to experiment – to try out different things, to rinse, and to repeat. Along the way, you will have some losses, but along the way, you will also have success. Time also plays a role – sometimes somethings works during a specific period (e.g. when it’s new) – other times the same things might just not work because time has shifted. So the key here is the general strategy of getting off your arse and start doing something. Experiment. Try new things.
Now on to specifics. There are certain fundamentals to be had when you’re doing online marketing. For starters, you need to refer prospects to a URL. Long ago that meant having a website, but these days entire businesses are found on Instagram and Facebook. The key, however, is you *must* have a presence. Even if you start small and add a little bit as you go on, just start somewhere. A website, Facebook page, or Instagram account is like a little garden. You have to water and grow and nurture it. Eventually, it will blossom, but only if you take care of it.
When it comes to SEO a lot of folks also think there is a magic bullet. A trick or tricks you can use to get ahead. There are basic to follow, and we’ll cover them here. First, make sure you cover the basics and then build it up from there. The tools and advice 🙂 available for online marketing is enormous. Just start somewhere and take it from there. So here are some of the things you have to be 100% sure about:
- Quality photos / imagery
Long ago search engines stopped looking at behind the scenes the source of the page for keywords and meta tags. Instead, they decided, god bless, that content is actually the most important thing. Well, that makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? Make sure you provide excellent content. Nobody has time to look over poorly curated content. Make sure everything you do to make the content high quality has been done. Review, check, and double check. Rather leave out incomplete content. Website under construction? Never use those words.
Quality photos / imagery
A fantastic product can be spoilt by a poorly taken photo. Don’t hastily take photos and upload them. Never ever upload out of focus photos. If you have doubt about your photography skills, rather ask a friend or a professional. Photographers have one of the most underrated jobs there are and there is a dime a dozen to chose from. Even a beginner can do a better job than most cell phones can DIY. A key tip here: Make sure the photos are the right size so that it doesn’t affect your website’s download speed.
Great content and great photos are more than half the battle won. Now you need to look at laying out the items properly. Make sure that the end product looks great. Think about visiting a club or a restaurant. If the restaurant is poorly laid out, would you feel comfortable there? If the club’s lighting is bad, would you want to hang around? Now imagine the opposite, a beautiful outdoor seating under lush trees with friendly waiter running up and down serving ice cool colorful drinks. Is that perhaps the place you would want to visit? Personally, I would go for this option. So think carefully about how you are going to lay out your beautiful photos and content so that people find it attractive.
Just because you have a Facebook, Instagram, or web page, doesn’t mean it’s just going to get traction. Building a site without a strategy on how to shout out to the world that it exists is like building a shop in the desert. Build it and they will come need not apply. Essentially now that you have an asset to promote your goods or service you have to think of ways to tell everyone about it.
Speed is critical in today’s world. People are inundated with information and don’t want to wait. Make sure whatever you do, from bringing your site to life to showing people around, to concluding excellent customer service is done with urgency. There is nothing more off-putting than slow service, and the same so for online businesses.
Here is the almost final tip. Keep It Simple Stupid. It’s much harder to break down than to add on. Thinking of adding “just one more thing?”. STOP! Rather take one thing away. The more complexity you introduce the harder it will be for your target audience to get the message. Build something simple to start out with, and evolve it gradually. Don’t give your target audience everything and the kitchen sink.
Pros and Cons of Different Website Marketing Mediums
|Medium||Pros & Cons|
|Very heavily based on imagery, photos especially. Very in with the younger generations. Huge following. Great to get random leads from all over the place. You probably need a bit of knowledge and strategy to work it right, but that can be learned. Good for marketing outside of your existing network.|
|Massive following, in a ‘closed’ sort of way. Very easy (and free) to market to your existing network. Once you take on the business advertising side, their wizard for buying ads is quite powerful.|
|Own website||Lots of work but you might be able to create a product that is exactly what you want. There are lots of wizards on the internet that can get you going but generally speaking building a website is a project that takes work. Tools such as WordPress make it extremely easy to get going though. Couple a great WordPress theme with WooCommerce and you can have an instant online shop. Just remember to design a proper website one needs quite a bit of time and dedicated resources, even if it’s just on a contract basis. It’s generally better to use a specialist unless you have both artistic and technical flair.|
Here is the bonus tip: The human touch. Don’t be one of those online businesses that hide behind automated systems. You are not Google or Facebook (yet) and you cannot hide from the fact that people do business with people. The more barriers you put up to show people that you are an automated business the more the business will feel impersonal. In the beginning, at least, make sure you have good and regular contact with your actual clients. Don’t hide behind a keyboard! Go out there and meet the people that want to give you money, that wants to use your services.
Basic Google Analytics Goals and Ecommerce Setup
Now let’s get our hands dirty. In this section, I’m going to show you how to create one basic goal for your newly minted website. The idea is that you start with a platform on which you can build. For our example, we’re going to use a contact form. All businesses want people to contact them. How much is it worth every time the phone rings for new business? $1? $10? Let’s quantify that by incorporating it into Google Analytics.
Login to your Google Analytics Account or create one if you haven’t yet got one
Make sure you the GA code that has been added to your website.
Once you have logged into Google Analytics, look in the bottom left-hand corner, click the cogwheel [image]
The next page show you a hierarical view of ‘everything’ you have in the system. The hierarchy is:
On the right-hand side, click Goals.
Click new goal
In the Inquiry section, choose to Contact us
For the goal description, stick the default name and leave the Type as a destination
Chose the thank you page of your website, e.g.: /thankyou.html
The name of the above page should be evident once you have completed a contact form on your website.
Next, Select value
Think about it carefully, what is one contact worth for your website? If in doubt, just put $1.
That’s it! Your first monetary goal for website conversion is set. You are now fully immersed in the world of e-commerce. Check back regularly how leads are converted into money.