Online marketing for an eCommerce website must address all areas of the customer buying cycle to be as effective as possible. The customer buying cycle follows the general stages of awareness, consideration, purchase, service, and loyalty. While many will recognize that it is important in online marketing to ensure a brand is visible on many platforms, consideration must also be given to the continuing relationship a customer has with the brand, to achieve not only sales but a rise in popularity for the brand.
Awareness: The awareness level of online marketing includes the most basic internet-based ads, where users can find a brand without actually searching it out. However, brand awareness can also be achieved through more sophisticated internet marketing techniques, such as using social media to create a word of mouth effect, giving credibility and a sense of desirability to the brand.
Consideration: Online marketing must also account for the customer’s tendency to research products and brands online before a purchase is made. Once again, social media is useful in building a popular image for your brand, and for propagating customer reviews. Your internet marketing cannot possibly control every representation of your brand that is present on the web, but encouraging a strong online presence builds an image of your brand as reliable and trustworthy. Featuring in-depth blogs that educate the buyer on your website is another effective online marketing technique.
Purchase: The customer has made the decision to visit your online store and make a purchase, but your internet marketing strategy is far from over! Full consideration must be given to the usability of the website, encouraging quick purchases. Make online forms easy to fill out, with directions for the user set out. Ensure that all terms of sale, such as delivery costs and return policies, are visible and not deceptive in any way.
Service: Many products may need ongoing service, and while this is often looked on as a nuisance a good internet marketing strategy views it as an opportunity to build an ongoing relationship with the customer. Help services can be conducted through online messaging or email, both of which encourage the buyer to return to the website.
Loyalty: Customer loyalty can be built through online marketing techniques such as blogs, newsletters, and social forums. The aim in this area of online marketing is to construct an interactive community of fans, who will, in turn, contribute to the continuation of the cycle, by increasing awareness of the brand.
Internet Marketing Strategies For Online Business
The advent of the internet changed the marketing strategy of every business. Ecommerce and online business have made things faster and easier for both businesses and consumers. For people looking to start home businesses, the internet has been nothing short of a revolution. Tapping into this medium involves new skills and tools, the most important of which, is internet marketing strategies for online businesses.
Advertising a brick-and-mortar business often required a great deal of cash. Television spots, billboards, yellow page ads, and more were both expensive and time-consuming. Fortunately, the internet has made advertising online businesses more cost-effective and even more efficient. By engaging in a few internet marketing strategies for online businesses, business owners can see an increase in their traffic and their ROI often in as little time as a few short months. Three areas should be focused on as you start-up your online business marketing campaign.
- Search Engine Optimization: More commonly called SEO, search engine optimization is a series of tools implemented by website owners to increase their search engine result rankings. Content, layout, keywords, and placement are used to attract the spiders that search engines send out to ‘crawl’ websites and rank them. A well-thought-out SEO campaign will be designed to make your site visible on the first page of searches for the products or services you offer.
- Sponsored Search (PPC): Pay per Click advertising involves the placement of ads targeted on specific keywords while the ad space is bid for a keyword by keyword. This applies both to Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) as well as Social Media sites. Properly managed, PPC can drive targeted traffic to the advertiser’s home page or landing page.
- Affiliate Marketing: This method of marketing is favored by many online businesses due to the allure of “paying per acquisition”. The advertiser pays the affiliate site only when a sale or a transaction (lead) takes place. The most important factor in affiliate marketing is acquiring good affiliates. This can be done by paying one of the large Affiliate Networks such as Commission Junction or Linkshare.
Developing internet marketing strategies for online businesses does require a degree of expertise, skill, and finesse. Even something as basic as selecting keywords upon which to base your campaign is both a science and an art. Because of this, many online business owners are turning to professional consultants to implement a marketing campaign. SEO consultants are often able to help develop, implement and maintain an all-encompassing strategy that includes all of these elements and more. As a bonus, you will not have to spend your valuable time working on your advertising campaign and instead focus your efforts on running your business.
Google AdWords – Online Marketing Strategy
Are you attempting to tackle Google AdWords (Also known as Sponsored Search or Pay Per Click) but have done it incorrectly? Innocent mistakes can have serious consequences with your creditability with Google.
The mistakes can have you banned from having a Google AdWords account and cause you to lose many sales. So how do you ensure you have a good Google AdWords Strategy?
Google is the king of making things easy. They do it so well that people spend 4 times more money than should on Google AdWords campaigns. Google makes the process extremely easy to give them your money but bury the facts that can mean all the difference to your bottom line.
So what are the secrets that can make AdWords a profit generator for you? There are many things in and outside of Google that will ensure you make a profit from pay-per-click campaigns. The priority here is to stop you from making the key mistakes that will have you banned from Google with little or no warning. So here they are…
Read the Google AdWords guidelines. They do spell out what you need to have in place to stay in the good books. It’s not too hard and can be read quite quickly.
Conduct a thorough keyword discovery and prioritization of exact keywords qualified to your business; group them into similar words or phrases.
Have specific “landing” pages on your website that target each ad group. This will maximize your chances of getting high content quality scores with Google.
Create Google ads for each group of your keywords and have them link directly back to your target pages. Do not point all your ads to your home page!
Ensure your Google settings are correct so minimize spend but maximize return/conversions. Geography targeting, bid amounts, advertiser network, match, and conversion settings can save you 75% of your budget versus going advertising with the default settings.
Do not have menu clicks that go to different websites or even sub-domains. These are called “bridging” or “doorway” pages and can have you banned immediately. Additionally, ensure you have good content on your pages so the focus is not on a click that will take the visitor to another website.
Ensure your website is secure. PCI Compliance is mandatory, especially for eCommerce websites. It is your responsibility to ensure wherever a visitor enters information on your website, that their private information is safe.
The last point above counts because Google is interested in sending people to quality content websites. The better the quality the more people will click on Google Ads. Security is one of the elements Google keeps an eye out for in assessing Google AdWords users.
Lack of regard for the above is exactly why the websites in trouble are in the position in the first place. Take the time to read the guidelines and set your ads up correctly and you will have a strong foundation to grow your results. So I do wish and hope that you do not make the same mistakes so you can grow your business and not be stopped by innocent mistakes.