Search Engine Marketing is one of the most cost effective and wide reaching forms of advertising today. This form of online marketing reaches huge markets while providing the ability to zone in on very specific targets. Promoting websites and products through SEM can be done very inexpensively relative to other forms of direct marketing such as TV and print. With more than 90% people using the internet to search, and over 70% online shopping, it is more imperative than ever to budget for SEM. Below are the top 5 reasons:
Consumers Shop Online
With the progression and improved security in e-commerce, consumers are exponentially buying online (approximately ¾ of internet users buy online). The expediency, copiousness of options, and plethora of information (particularly product reviews) available online, make it incredibly easy for consumers to buy directly online.
Drive Traffic to your Website
Search Engines are the most widely used source for website traffic with more than 80% of traffic coming from engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. No matter what device- mobile device, tablet, or computer, consumers use search engines to find information about companies, products, and reviews. Search engines have become the top resource for consumer questions or impulses.
Increases the Bottom Line
Return On Investment – The granularity of information available in this form of marketing allows specialists to optimize and individually manage campaigns, improving ROI. Search Engine Marketing provides control and efficiency unlike any other marketing tactic.
Cost Effective Direct Marketing – SEM offers an array of broad to very specific options for targeting. This makes for extremely cost effective marketing with minimal waste.
Pay-Per-Click – The best part of Paid Search is the ability to structure campaigns to only pay for clicks on your ads. Along with efficiency, this confirms each dollar you spend is targeted to the point of interested consumers willing to click. Providing additional branding value for free, this is a key benefit. Those who see your ad (impressions) but don’t click are still aware of your brand and may help prompt them at a later date to remember your name.
The ability to measure the results is an extremely beneficial aspect of any form on online marketing. General marketing metrics relate including reach (impressions), engagement (clicks, time spend on page, etc.), share of voice, and return on investment. The immense amount of data accessible in search campaigns makes it possible to set up key metrics to gauge the success of every campaign from month to month, or any other time frame required.
Consumers today use the internet for just about everything, from shopping to financial services. Without a presence, consumers will become discouraged, skeptical, or completely unaware of your brand. In order to remain above the competition and in consumers’ minds, it is important to budget for paid search campaigns.
Choosing the correct niche market for your own online business is extremely important to success in online business. By selecting the right niche market you will be able to target your advertising and marketing content to that market effectively. Building a good following across social networks requires you to select your niche market based off of interests that people may have so that you can work on expanding your customer base and becoming more successful as a business.
One of the first things that you can do in order to help you choose the right niche market is to imagine a customer that would enjoy your product. By picturing your ideal target customer you can work at creating a flowchart for other interests that may be related to your products. Say you have created an online marketplace to sell iPad accessories, you’ll also want to target your products directly to iPad resellers, people interested in Apple products, people interested in tablet computers, online applications and more. By expanding out a list of interests that people might be searching for online that could draw traffic into your website or online business, you can work to develop keywords that will help to attract people to your content.
Mapping out your market and selecting a number of related content to your niche is an excellent way to find people across social networks as well. Because many users on social networks will list their interests, you can directly search for people who are interested in topics that relate directly to your business and then try to contact them and engage them to have them look at your products and how they could benefit them.
Ultimately some of the strongest online businesses are those who do appropriate keyword research and establish a great niche market that is popular. If you are simply looking to start a business that will allow you to sell a large volume of products, it’s very important to establish a need or something that could benefit a large amount of people. Successful online businesses involved doing research for your needs as well as the most popular niche markets that you can get into.
Before starting your business you may want to look into viable options for business that will allow you to sell large volume or high ticket items with ease. Using affiliate marketing on popular products can also help you to generate more sales and get more marketers interested in your project especially if it is in a popular market to begin with.
Targeting your products to your market also includes web design. Any of the stock images that you might have on your website or promotional material might want to reflect the market you are targeting to. If you are targeting to a younger crowd you may want to get some young people to create videos or promotional material for your website so that they can better identify with your niche market.
Overall choosing the right market for your online business that is popular as well as marketing your materials to that niche market is extremely important to online business success.
Whether you have an existing business or you are planning to start a new business, the business of web marketing should be high on your list of priorities. The Internet as we know it is vast, ubiquitous and, thanks to mobile computing, it’s in everyone’s pockets. If your business isn’t marketing its services on the web, you are likely losing out on serious revenue. The time to market your business online is now. The following is a short checklist that will help you get your business Internet marketing presence up and running quickly.
Without the proper market research, even the most well-thought out business web marketing strategy will likely fail. A business must know its audience through and through and, furthermore, there must be a demand for the brand or the products and services that brand promotes. In the past, the business of marketing was much more difficult. To conduct the proper search, you would have to hire focus groups and design polls in order to put a finger on the pulse of your future prospects. Today, we have social media which makes the entire business of web marketing much easier.
Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and popular online forums are great ways to get into the minds and aspirations of your prospects and customers. The business of web marketing requires you to get to know the men and women you will be marketing to. What better way to get to know your prospects and customers than by monitoring their conversations or even engaging them directly?
Thanks to the tools most people use to keep in contact with friends, family and (good for us) their favorite businesses, products and services, we now have a window into the lives of the very people we will be marketing to. What a time to be alive as a business-to-business or business-to-consumer Internet marketer.
To effectively market a web presence online, you must conduct the proper keyword research. Knowing which keywords to use in your marketing materials will help you rank higher in the search engines thanks to search engine optimization (SEO). The proper keywords will also be used in future PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns, which are essential for maximizing your business web marketing efforts.
Google AdWords is one of the most widely used PPC platforms and there is a built in keyword research tool that is free to use. Business web marketing experts from all over the world use this tool to find those keywords that are highly searched for, but that offer the least amount of competition. By competition, we are referring to websites and other online materials that may be using those same keywords in an attempt to garner attention from the search engines through SEO.
Notice how we haven’t even begun to discuss a website or even graphics, which is typically where the beginner wants to begin. Right now we are merely discussing concepts, ideas and the concepts and ideas that your customers will go gaga for. This requires extensive research, both market and keyword, but it also requires you to research your direct competitors.
When you find the keywords that you plan to use in your business web marketing campaigns, start looking those keyword terms up using Google or similar search engine. Start researching the first few listings that each term yields. These are the websites and pages created by your direct competition. It is recommended that you take what works from these sites and make them better. Now you are ready to market your small business with a website and other materials.
Web Design and Development
Many people think that the business of marketing relies mostly on sight. It’s the images that count, a business-to-business Internet marketing beginner might say. That online marketer might have a point to a degree. The design of your site does matter, as do the colors. Certain colors have been known to elicit certain responses in people and if your website looks like trash, most people aren’t going to bother to stick around.
That being said, your business web marketing presence does not need to be flashy or laden with the best videogame-like graphics. Your website should be simple, pleasing to the eye and the entire presence should mesh together into one cohesive element.
If you are not artistic or if you don’t know PHP from HTML, it’s recommended that you hire someone to do this part for you. While there are many do-it-yourself open source web design platforms online, if you don’t know what you’re doing it’s usually going to show. Don’t skimp on the design. Let the experts do it for you and wow your audience with a design that flows with your overall message.
A business web marketing site should be filled with content that is useful, well-produced and to-the-point. Nobody wants to read a website filled with a lot of fluff, nor does anyone want to read one that is filled with grammar and spelling mistakes. Keep your information short and sweet, go for shorter paragraphs as opposed to longer ones and always have a call-to-action.
State Your Goals
In the business of marketing online, you should always write down and memorize your goals beforehand. With so much information out there and so many techniques to choose from, it’s easy to get sidetracked. When you know where you’re going, you’ll be more likely to get there.
The goal of your website may be to garner more leads, sell a product or service or it may be a squeeze page designed to capture valuable information from your online visitors. Whatever the case, your business web marketing presence should always have a clear call-to-action so that your audience and web visitors always know what to do.
Marketing is like an unspoken language. Anything can be marketed and success can be achieved once done effectively. The desired effect is obviously success so let us work backwards for a minute. That can be achieved by having a flexible plan that has a starting point and an obvious ending. As you have gathered by now, it includes a plan. In the beginning I spoke of marketing being like a language. In any language communication is key. Same thing in marketing. Communication is key. Most people don’t like being talk down to. It can be condescending. Talking ‘up to’ has a similar effect. Most people prefer someone who speak ‘with’ as oppose to at. A good communicator should have an excellent command of the English language and uses words that don’t need a person to have to ‘look them up’ in a dictionary. Simple word that have the same meaning as their bigger cousins. The art of communication is the essence that flavors a good communicator. Something that forms the core of any good marketing campaign. It can make you or break you. An part of any well structured marketing agenda. Notice i said ‘agenda’ as oppose to ‘plan’ because i firmly believe that a plan is an idea as oppose to an agenda which is a course of action. We have now changed directions from having a plan to having an agenda so let us go ahead.
The marketplace is dotted with several ‘mom n pop’ businesses that have sprung up overnight. I commend this bold move and know that our support is needed if they are to stay in business. That is why i am devoted to lending my marketing skills in this way. Perchance someone reading my article can be inspired and pick up one or two points.
Google is indeed a great web search tool. It is my choice but others tend to disagree. They use Yahoo, Bing etc. To each his own. There are a number of searches to make before the marketing process can begin.
1. Find an inexpensive web building site equipped with domain name and adequate hosting capabilities. There are several options available. Be very diligent in your search and eventually you will make your goal. The expensive way is to retain the services of a professional web site builder. This is advisable if the degree of difficulty is great. Remember, ‘ a stitch in time saves 9′. Time is precious and for some, time is money. If you choose to go the second route, make sure that you choose the right Template and the proper color schemes. One that is inviting and user-friendly and does not ‘ lose ‘ the message in the process.
2. Naming the site is important. Choose words that adequately describe what you do. I can not stress this enough as this not only describes your function but serves to put you higher in the search engine ranking. You are on your way. Meta tags and spiders are terms that you should get used to as that is the means by which your website is found by search engines (on Google, Yahoo, Bing etc). To enhance web Site Optimization, certain ‘ key words’ are used on your site and in your title. As i said before, the use of these words or phrase are key on your site as it increases your chances of being found thus increasing traffic to the site, giving you a better Marketing presence. Persons who do this function are referred to as SEO’s and are very prevalent in today’s marketplace. Their job is to propel your web site to ‘the top of the class thus maximizing on all Internet traffic. IT is another department you will notice. Their function is basically to pinpoint Internet trends and point you in the right direction. Personally, I don’t care for neither (SEO or IT) as a good marketer should embody both skills.
3. This section has a lot to do with content. It has been proved that sound and pictures (Pinterest) are by far the most effective ways of grabbing someones attention. The old saying that ‘ a picture paints a thousand words’ is true. Having grab someones attention is only the half. Keeping it seals the deal. In today’s world, too much reading serves as a distraction. Being straight to the point and not being long-winded is key.
As you can well imagine, there are various ways of Marketing. Internet marketing is by far the newest and most effective. It embodies several forms of internet usage. The most important and more widely used is e-mail marketing. Marketing to many is merely getting the word out and is often confused with advertising. There is a thin line that divides the two, however there is a line.
One of the most important factors to consider is the product itself. Several questions have to be asked.
1. What is the product?
2. Who does it appeal to most (primary market)?
3. Who make up the secondary market and tertiary (third) markets?
Just like in advertising, Who,What,Where,Why comes into play.
Once markets are identified, THEY ARE FURTHER SUB DIVIDED into Male / Female, age groups and sometime demographics. Sometimes it is better to work from the inside out (this is called Niche marketing). Starting from the core and working out. Sometimes it is better to use several means of marketing / Advertising to get the message across. For example, a concise Internet program coupled with a good flyer campaign and the good old word-of-mouth or in some areas TV and radio with news paper. As you can see the Marketing campaign depend on several things and demographics and advertising availability has a lot to play in deciding your course of action.
A marketing budget should go hand in hand with an advertising one. They are inseparable and carry the same aim except that the marketing budget is geared towards the business and its product. The advertising budget is geared towards exposure through promotion. Having tried to draw the line, i must admit that i am sometimes confused about the two however I never lose focus.
Marketing is truly an art in itself and when you realize that anything can be marketed (a person in Dubai is selling small plastic bags of New York garbage to those who can’t go to NY. Small pieces of the Berlin wall are even for sale). Once it exist, it can be marketed. The old saying that a man’s garbage is another man’s treasure is so true.
Niche Marketing as mentioned earlier is as it describes, ‘niche marketing’. It involves finding that core of supporters that are supportive or appreciative of your product and who is directly responsive to it or your ideas. A niche can be anywhere but when it is established / found, it should be exploited and given the chance to grow exponentially. The beauty in marketing is that every product has its own niche and they often overlap with other niches. This makes the marketing process exciting and an adventure often leading to collaboration or cross marketing opportunities.
Advertising as i alluded to before, goes hand in hand with marketing. Several social media web sites like Facebook, twitter and the like allow a certain degree of ‘free’ advertising among clients but cater to paid advertising ‘en mass’ on a bigger scale. The ‘per click’ system allows you to control both your audience and your budget. Much like Google Ad Sense among others. The best form of adverting today is ‘celebrity endorsement’.
We are creatures of habit and it has been prove that just like sheep, if the ‘top ram’ chooses it, we will follow. We play a game of follow the leader that advertisers know very well. ( I guess we have learned since back in the times of Noah’s Ark)