14 Internet Marketing Ideas
Internet marketing or digital marketing is not just good web design. Put simply, it refers to making money from your website by either selling products on-line or gaining business exposure and leads for your services. Good website design works together with online marketing systems and techniques to deliver your specific outcomes.
Below are 14 helpful and proven internet marketing suggestions to make the most of your website. They will generate more hits, gather more analytics, gain valuable business leads and promote your business to a much larger audience.
1. WEBSITE DESIGN:
The graphic content of your site must be in line with your company image. It projects the same, consistent visual identity in line with your branding.
With websites, clean uncluttered pages that are easy to read and navigate work best. Designs today must be flexible and responsive. Able to work on all digital devices. Overly clever websites you need to download programs for, or that take more than 2 seconds to load are annoying. Fonts that are hard to read or images that are too large to load are also very irritating to the average visitor.
Flash animations were in vogue but no longer deliver any real value for internet marketing. Often the viewer perceives them as nothing more than a gimmick and they can detract from the site’s main message. Because using any graphics on a website can substantially slow it down, the relationship between information content and visual content is tenuous. So, like all specialist jobs, it is often best handled by a professional.
Your website design should be flexible enough to grow or adapt for quick responses or testing your internet marketing ideas. For example we now see many articles that presents great content delivered in a story format with images, graphs, video and parallax overlays.
2. FREE INFORMATION, OFFERS AND COMPETITIONS:
As discussed in our article Websites that Work, providing free specialised information to a niche market is an invaluable draw card to your site. Promote it as a free service, and not only does it gain you a higher ranking with search engines, it gives your business credibility. Keep updating your information and your potential customers will return for more.
And show me someone who doesn’t like something for nothing! You can offer a free trial period of a product, a free bonus gift with every sale, or an on-line competition for offering two customer leads. Your special offers are only limited by your budget and imagination!
Free information often leads to higher end premium offerings, the difference is that your followers now know more about you and trust the value of the information you are giving them.
3. BE CREDIBLE:
Nobody in their right mind would buy anything from your site if they felt you weren’t a legitimate business.You need to provide this information, including company numbers, street address and land lines (not just a PO Box or a mobile number). Also including client testimonials or case studies from satisfied customers or well known clients will add to your credibility. Some websites even use photographs of their premises to alleviate any customer fears that they are not giving their credit card details to dubious fly-by-nighter operations! Images of staff and offices also helps show how you work and even how it feels to be in your environment. I have often seen many support videos and training from other businesses that makes me want to be there and a part of that business.
4. ANSWER BULLETIN BOARD QUESTIONS:
Interactive sites such as small business advice websites invite discussion forums with their visitors. By responding to questions relating to your industry not only demonstrates your knowledge, it is also another marketing opportunity to include your name, business and website details. If your response was particularly enlightening and informative, you may just have generated more visitors to your site and potential business for little effort. Another internet marketing idea could be to set up an maintain an FAQ from your customers most often asked questions.
5. WEB CONTENT:
Good web design can make your site look attractive, but it is still the content that gets the real message across. For this you may need to invest in an experienced website copy writer to deliver your information if you are having difficulties. How many times have you visited a website and not had a clue what is was about, let alone consider doing business with them. It is critical that planning, research and content are all up to a high standard to have a successful website. Great content is also consistent in the tone of voice, the type of images you use and delivery of video and other digital marketing ideas.
6. MONTHLY NEWSLETTER:
Just as a published newsletter can do the job, an e-newsletter can also be an effective and even cheaper way to promote your products and services to existing and prospective clients. To generate a subscription, promote your e-newsletter on your site, inviting viewers to insert their email addresses to receive their copy.
Points to consider are:
• make it a valuable resource, not just one long ad
• keep it exciting with discount offers, competitions and giveaways
• make clear reference to the privacy of their contact details
• don’t abuse the relationship with constant advertising, once a month is acceptable.
Remember, you always need the recipient’s permission to send an e-newsletter, otherwise it is just another form of unwanted spam.
When you see great examples of businesses doing this keep it on file for reference or better still subscribe or pay for the better offerings. This way you get hands on experience that you can model and possibly fit into your online marketing activities.
7. KEEP IT FRESH:
You may have a fabulous looking website, well promoted and getting lots of traffic. So don’t ignore it, it needs constant monitoring. Frequently check it is in good working order, with links going to the right destinations, pictures loading quickly, and outdated information and competitions promptly removed when completed.
If a visitor sends you an email, respond to it within 24 hours. If you receive an order, dispatch it in the set delivery time. And as frequently as you can manage, update the information content. Add new customer testimonials, recent case studies or staff appointments, and announce competition winners with a picture if possible. Basically, a good website has to look like the lights are on and someone is home!
8. PROMOTE YOUR WEBSITE WITH SEARCH ENGINES:
Surprisingly the easiest and cheapest method of gaining real traffic to a website is by submitting the relevant information to the popular search engines. A search engine will direct a user to websites that are relevant to the key words that you have submitted. By registering your site properly and gaining a high ranking, a user will find your site when commencing a search with one of the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo or MSN.
But be warned, there are distinct methods to registering your site and if you do it incorrectly or before your site is search engine compliant, it can actually harm your chances of being ranked! So for more specific information, read our expert tips on Search Engine Optimisation.
9. PRESS RELEASE:
Is your website particularly interesting and useful to a certain demographic or industry? Send out press releases to relevant newspapers, magazines and trade journals promoting your website as a service. Highlight its unique features and benefits. You really have to be convincing that this is something new and different, because thousands of websites go on-line every day.
If you need help putting together your press release, look at our feature article Your Press Release Kit, it gives some excellent tips on how to stand out.
10. CREATE WEBSITE LINKS:
Linking your website to other topic related sites is a valuable cross-promotional relationship on-line. It can also greatly enhance your ranking in search engines if you link back and forth to reputable and well promoted sites. – Just make sure there is a mutual benefit to both parties when cross linking. The pitfalls of this however are if someone can come into your site from a link with another, then they can just as easily exit your site and forget to come back!
11. ADVERTISE ON-LINE VS OTHER MEDIA:
Popular and well trafficked sites offer banner advertising, column ads, small click on ads, shopping malls, directories… the list is endless. Offer these websites the opportunity to cross link with your much smaller site and they will laugh at you!
Advertising on-line may seem like the most logical way to promote your site, but do your homework first.Recently a client looked around at promoting a site whose niche market was mothers of young children.
There were two popular sites offering very different advertising options. One site listed her for free in their trade directory, with an option for paid banner advertising as her marketing budget grew. The other site sold her a discounted column ad on the side of their feature articles for $700. After one month, both methods of advertising generated the same amount of hits on the website – and one was free and the other very costly.
Research is essential, so speak to others who advertise on that site before you buy advertising and see if they are happy.
One area of promotion that is sometimes overlooked is your personal promotional material. It should scream out your website address! Your business cards, letterheads, brochures, packaging, it must all clearly show you website. And don’t forget to include your website address at the end of your standard contact details of every email you send out. A hyper link that leads directly to your website really does generate more hits.
12. USE EBAY, APPLE OR AMAZON:
If you are selling a product you cannot ignore the potential of selling on Ebay, the worldwide on-line auction service or Apple and Amazon for books, podcasts and apps. Place a listing and you are instantly showcasing your product to dozens, if not hundreds and maybe even thousands of potential new customers. Utilise these extremely cheap services and redirect traffic back to you website. The exposure is potentially limitless, and many profitable full time businesses have been marketed solely on these platforms. It’s well worth taking a look.
13. ON-LINE FEEDBACK:
Ever wondered what people think of your site? Well ask them! Short viewer polls or a feedback section with the enticement of a competition will get those emails rolling in!
14. WHAT’S IN A NAME:
And last but not least, your website, your business or blog needs a good name. One that is relevant, easy to remember and relates back to your business name. However if this makes it too difficult to remember or spell (for instance some difficult surnames that Accounting or Legal Firms like to use), it should then relate to the industry. Today you can should even extend this to branding or claiming, by consistent usage, a social #hashtag that reflects your product(s), event or brand.
Marketing your business through a website is easier than ever for a new business and while these articles give you some great ideas, it is always better handled by talking to experts. By clearly identify your needs and requirements, with the best internet marketing solutions, will you reach your desired outcomes. If you would like to see what Icon Innovations could do for your business, either contact us or look further at our services.
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