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Learn Internet Marketing

New to Internet Marketing? Looking for some insights into where to start building your knowledge? Look no further! Interleado have put together an overview of the main internet marketing components that should be used in any conversation related to internet marketing strategies. We're going to build up the internet marketing layers piece by piece until you have the full view. Let's start with the Marketing Strategy!

1. Internet Marketing Strategy

Internet Marketing Strategy

The foundation to really understanding how to learn internet marketing is to understand that everything has to sit on an internet marketing strategy. This strategy should cover the main elements of how a business is going to promote it's brand online and should include the following components

  • Website/Blog configuration
  • Keyword Analysis
  • Website Usability
  • Content Optimisation
    1. Text
      Video
      Images
  • Content Syndication
  • Call To Action Strategies
  • Local Search Strategy
  • Link Building
  • Social media Strategy
  • Advertising Strategy
  • Sales Strategy
  • Communications/PR
Some of these components overlap and integrate with each other and some elements may be more important than others for different industry verticals. As part of your internet marketing strategy though all should be at least considered and discussed.

2. Website/Blog Configuration

Internet Marketing Strategies

This should be a relatively staight forward part of the strategy right? Think again and ask the following questions:

  • What will your domain name be - brand or keyword focused?
  • What is your target country?
    1. Do you have multiple target countries?
      Are you going to purchase multiple domains for your brand? .com, .net. .co.uk, .ie, .com.au...etc
  • Are you going to need a Content Management System (CMS)?
    1. How big is your organisation? Will you need an enterprise level CMS?
      Are all CMS's the same - unfortunately not - how customisable do you need yours to be?
  • Do you need a website - in the traditional sense anayway? Can you setup a CMS as your website - e.g. Wordpress, Joomla, Moveable Type
  • Where will you host your website? Does it matter - Do you want local support? Is your website mission critical?
  • Do you need to host your servers? Do you need a cloud solution - are your looking to scale fast? Amazon, IBM, local provider?
  • Will a shared hosting platform do? VPS? What's the trade off in performance/bandwidth?
  • What server OS are you going to use? Does it matetr e.g. Unix, Linux, Microsoft, Ubuntu?
  • Do you need database functionality? How big will your database be? MySQL, SLQ Server, Oracle
  • Do you need a failover/recovery strategy?
  • Management of web server(s) Outsource or In-house
  • Data Back Up Strategy - Daily, Weekly, Monthly - Never??
  • Price! - Can you afford what you want/need? Will you have to make a trade-off? Are all the risks known?
A lot of considerations and normally involves getting different skill sets involved. Be aware though, your internet marketing strategy starts with these questions. Failure to address they correctly can casue long term brand damage that ultimately leads to lost sales!

3. Keyword Analysis

Internet Marketing - Keyword Analysis

Choosing the right keywords is essential to a successful internet marketing strategy. There are a number of reasons why this is so;

  1. You want to know exactly what keywords your potential clients are using
  2. Choosing a mix between very competitve and not competitive keywords is ideal
  3. Your competitor analysis will be largely influenced by the keywords you choose
  4. Your advertising costs will be directly impacted by the keywords you bid on
How do you find what keywords you should choose to target? There are several keyword research tools that can be used:
  1. Google Keyword Research Tool in Adwords
  2. Keyword Discovery - integrated into the SEO Workbench!
  3. Market Samurai
  4. Wordtracker

4. Website Design / Usability

Internet Marketing - Website Design and Usability

Good design and usability can be critical to a users experience of your brand and ulimately can impact on your bottom line. While good design and usability may be subjective there are ways you can mesaure elements of good design. Test your websites code against;

  1. W3C Html Validator
  2. W3C CSS Validator
There is a great article over at Key Relevance on Website Usability

5. Content Optimisation

Internet Marketing - Optimising Your Content

At this stage you are ready to focus on your content and optimising it. This should be an ongoing process and any new content that is uploaded to your site should have an element of optimisation about it.
Now - I believe there are two distinct though processes on this - you either believe that SEO is a valuable excercise and you stand a better chance of getting visibility for your target keywords by optimisting your content or, you use social media exclusively and ignore the search engines when it comes to attracting new clients.

A recent study by Nielsen Ratings showed that Search Engines are still the primary channel for people looking for new things, as shown by the image below;



Internet Marketing - Search Engine Usage

What this obviously shows is that having a social media strategy is also critical - more about that later.

In terms of optimising your content you can use Interleado's SEO Workbench to benchmark your website to see how well optimised your content is. As part of the content optimisation process, Image and Video Search should also be part of your internet marketing strategy.

6. Content Syndication

Internet Marketing - Syndicating Your Content

Once you start developing and publishing your content you want as many people to get access to it - the best way to do this is though syndicating your content. In terms of how you go about snydicating your content, the following content types are most suitable:

  1. Blog Posts
  2. Social news
  3. Forums
  4. Videos
  5. Audio
  6. Press Releases
  7. Articles
You can find out more information about content syndictaion from a recent blog post on Interleado's blog.

7. Call To Action

Internet Marketing - Call To Action

Understanding your 'Call To Action' is critical to your process of learning about internet marketing. When thinking about your call to action you should be asking three questions that the Eisenberg brothers famously wrote about in their book, Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing ,

  1. Who are you trying to persuade to take action?
  2. What is the action we want someone to take?
  3. What does that person need in order to feel confident taking that action
So, what are the different types of 'Call To Action'? The may vary from industry to industry and from product and service types, but may include some of the following;
  1. Sign up for your newsletter
  2. Subscribe to your blog feed
  3. Bookmark your website
  4. Buy something directly from the website
  5. Email you to ask a question
  6. Call you to ask a question
  7. Follow you on Twiiter
  8. Conenct to you on Facebook
  9. Connect to you on LinkedIn
  10. Leave a comment on your blog
  11. Open a free trial of your software
  12. Forward/recommend your website to someone
  13. Watch a Video/Ask for a Demo

8. Local Search

Internet Marketing - Google Local Search

Local search is in it's infancy but it making dramatic inroads into certain verticals, especially the hotel and leisure sector. Let's looks at an example for hotels in London. Below is Google search engine results page for the keyword term, 'Hotels in London'.



You can see from the image that there are no organic listsings above the fold in this scenario. If you hover above the local search results in the image above you can click through to an article that explains how these websites got listed in the top 10 for this local search result. Local Search is going to have a significant impact on your internet marketing strategy, especially if your target keywords have a geographical related reference.

To find out more about developing your Google Local Search profile please read these two articles:

  1. Google Local Search - Part 1
  2. Google Local Search - Part 2

9. Link Building Strategies

Internet Marketing - Link Building Strategies

Getting good organic visibility in the search engines relies heavily on having a website that has built a lot of authority over time. So what does website authority actaully mean? It refers to the quality of backlinks that a website has pointing to it.

How do you get other websites to link to your or your clients website? Here is a short list of ways to go about getting backs links

  1. Get back links naturally by having great content that people speak about and link to
  2. Develop Lists! The Top 10 Ways to ..., 100 Top Tips for....
  3. Syndicate your articles, learn how to syndicate your content.
  4. Get local business directory listings
  5. Yahoo Answers and Google Groups can be a good source of links
  6. Make it easy for people to share your content, i.e. ensure your website is Web 2.0 enabled
There are many many more techniques, be creative!

10. Social Media Strategy

Internet Marketing - Social Media Strategy

The use of social media, as part of your overall internet marketing strategy, is without doubt one of the most important elements of developing and engaging with your prospects and customers online. Gone are the days when companies broadcast their message to a waiting consumer base. Consumers have forced companies to engage with them using social media. If people are talking about your brand/products/services online, then your company better have a strategy in place that allows you:

  1. Find the conversation
  2. Engage with the conversation
  3. Start new conversations
Find our more about your Social Media Checklist over at ClickZ.

11. Advertising Strategy

Internet Marketing - Advertising Strategy

Advertising online is probably the most measureable way to spend your marketing/ad budget! Google Adwords has perfected the way their ads are shown on their search pages and on their content network. This can be a great way to build your brand quickly and gets tons of traffic - but when you stop paying, you stop playing, i.e. your ads won't appear anymore on the search results pages.

Another draw back of using Adwords is that you have to pay for much more taffic to get a conversion when compared to Organic Search. If you are going to run a Google Adwords campaign make sure you do the following:

  1. Use Adwords as a testing ground to see what keywords convert! Use those keywords that do convert as part of your Organic Search strategy.
  2. Develop unique targeted landing pages, i.e. if I search on 'hr services' and I click on your ad, make sure the page is about 'hr services' and not some generic page that will likely see me hitting the back button!
  3. Use Google Optimiser to see what Calls To Action work best - ABT - Always Be Testing
  4. Set and stick to a budget!
  5. Know exactly how much each conversion is costing you
  6. In most cases, getting a professional to do it will result in a better overall results - more sales, less cost
Aonther part of your advertising strategy might be to develop banner ads and run them on websites where you know your target market hang out. Banner ads have a notoriously low click through rate (CTR) and are used mostly for brand development.

12. Sales Strategy

Internet Marketing - Sales Strategy

The sales strategy is often one of the most overlooked aspects of internet marketing strategy. Not that most companies don't have something to sell on their website, more that there is no real effort put into understanding how to measure the conversion rate of a site, and how to implement a strategy that continually looks to drive the conversion in the right direction. Your online sales strategy should be answering the following questions:

  1. What are the sales goals of yoru website?
  2. What keywords are converting best into sales?
  3. Is your organic search strategy aligned with your sales strategy?
  4. Over any given month what websites are sending you the best traffic, i.e. highest conversion
  5. Are some pages performing particualrly badly and having a major impact on sales? - Bad bouce rate?
  6. Are some countries driving more sales than others?
  7. Is organic traffic performing better than traffic from social media sites, adwords traffic, by how much?
  8. Do you test different 'call to actions' on your goal pages?
  9. Is there any multivariate testing done?
As part of your data gathering excercise you really need to be segmenting your analytics data to find the real answers to the questions above. If you looking for some resources on this key area I suggest you read some of the work from Avinash Kaushik.

13. Communications/PR Strategy

Internet Marketing - Communications/PR Strategy

A lot of the elements in the strategies above will encompass how you communicate with your audience. When it comes to PR strategies you'll want to be aware of the following;

  1. Only send our press releases when you have something genuine to say! Sounds like common sense, but...
  2. Try to embed keywords in the press release, a) so that you can connect with your target audience b) so that the search engines can put the article in context
  3. Ideally, hire a professional who will get you the maximum exposure
There is a good article on the difference between internet marketing and online PR here, worth a read as part of your online quest to learn internet marketing!

Learn Internet Marketing Summary

Learning how to scope out, develop, evolve and implement a strategic internet marketing plan takes an increasing amount of knowledge and skills. They are rarely, if ever, found in just one person. Anybody telling you they can implement a complete internet marketing plan on their own, either take this statement with a large grain of salt, OR KEEP THEM!

The best way to learn about internet marketing is to get involved with a real life campaign - see what works and what doesn't. No two campaigns will be the same. Different approaches work better for different verticals, different cultures, different search engines..etc.

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