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Archive for web marketing

Website vs. Blog: There is a Choice.

Having an internet presence is essential in this business environment.  As a business owner, you must have a web presence.  But when you are developing that web presence you have many decisions to make.  Here are some of the things you need to consider:

  • What is the goal of my website:  Is it to make money?; Is it to create an online brochure?; Do I want it to be interactive?
  • How much control do I want of my site?  Do I want to pay someone to update the site regularly?  Do I have regular content to update?  Do I have the resources to update my site?  Do I want to interact with my customers and prospects on the site?
  • What do I want the site to look like?  What are the branding colors of my company?  Can my logo be included on the site?
  • What other online media do I plan to use with my company?  Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, other social media?  How will my site easily interact with these other online media sources.

When you are putting together your web presence you need to consider all of these things, and probably a few more too.

So, let’s look at each more closely:

What is the goal of my website:  Is it to make money?; Is it to create an online brochure?; Do I want it to be interactive?

There are several different types of websites that you can use.  The most common is a branding site, like this site.  It has information about the company, the leaders, the team etc.  It also includes info about the products and services and they may be for sale on the site.  There are also store fronts that are online that offer a wide array of products or services and that is the site’s main function.  The two other sites that I use are sales pages and squeeze pages.  To see one of my sales pages you can look at:

http://www.entrepreneursvipcoaching.com This page talks solely about my coaching program and the components that are included with it.  It has one purpose — to sell coaching.

http://www.strugglingsmallbusiness.com is one of my squeeze pages.  It has one purpose and that is list building.  If I am working to build my list then I work to drive my web traffic to this site and then once someone has signed up on my list I can send them links to my branding site or my sales page.  But when I pay for traffic, I want information that I can use again and again to build a relationship.

As you build your web presence you might decide to use muliple sites as well.

How much control do I want of my site?  Do I want to pay someone to update the site regularly?  Do I have regular content to update?  Do I have the resources to update my site?  Do I want to interact with my customers and prospects on the site?

As you can see from my site.  I like to have lots of control.  I do work with outside vendors to customize the site, create the look and feel of the site.  I also use Virtual Assistants to add content, articles and set up services or products that are for sale on the site.  But I do maintain quite a bit of control and I know how my site works.  Part of this is largely due to it now be hosted on a WordPress Blog Platform.  Yes, this site is a blog.  And, many of my other sites are moving in that direction as well.  I encourage people to look closely at WordPress because it gives you so much control, AND, you WANT to be able to add content to your site regularly.  Content and information is what makes a site work really well.  Heck, that’s why you are here!  You are reading my “content”, my “information”.  You are deciding if you like me, if you think I know anything.  When a site is built and you don’t add new content to the site, then it becomes stale.  There is little reason for visitors to return to your site. Word Press allows you to control the content, keep it fresh and more (which I will get into in a minute!).

The other aspects of this question are do you have content?  I would challenge that you do.  You have information that you can share with your prospects that will aid in building your business relationship.  Resources, do you have the time and energy to add the content yourself, or do you have the resources to pay someone to add the content?  These are both critical questions.  You need to answer these for yourself.  And, keep in mind that it might change.

What do I want the site to look like?  What are the branding colors of my company?  Can my logo be included on the site?

Yes, your site should help to brand your company.  On this site, we are still working on the branding pieces.  But overall, the branding of the site does fit with my company brand — our colors are orange and red/maroon.  I use a compass as my logo.  Do you see those colors here?  The logo here?  When putting your site together you will want to look at those pieces.  I also have my compass logo in the header.  With Word Press you are able to buy themes that are customizable and you are able to find themes in the free theme directory that are customizable.  Many people become concerned with using a template or in the world of blogs a theme, that other people might be using. 

I believe that if you customize the theme to be yours, then using a pre-built theme or template is cost effective and still accomplishes your goals. I use a customizable theme that is available in the word press directory.

What other online media do I plan to use with my company?  Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, other social media?  How will my site easily interact with these other online media sources.

This is the biggest reason that I use Word Press for my site.  It is interactive.  I can easily connect my site with Facebook, Twitter and I can set up so that you too can “tweet” my posts or “ping” them or send to an array of social book marking sites.  I receive traffic back to my site from my posts on these other sites.  A blog also allows multiple types of “Plugins” that give it different functionality.  And, allows visitors to subscribe, comment and be part of the site.  For me, these are all advantages that my typcial website did not provide.  Yes, I had a blog on my site, but now my whole site IS a blog.  That means when I update a page, it “tweets”, and when I add a post, it “tweets”.  Each of these strategies add to my exposure on the web, and that is what I want!

Web Presence is essential.  It is the HOW that you must decide on as a business owner.  The blog format offers you some versatility that a typical website doesn’t.  And, it offers you a Web 2.0 platform that is interactive and can be co-creative.  Your priority is to be on top of creating a powerful web presence that actually adds to your business.

Strategic Tools For Web Marketing

There are almost no Internet operations or management activities independent from the use of web marketing tools. We use software tools to track the most relevant keywords, to increase traffic, to monitor web performance, to create statistics, to analyze competition and so on. The marketplace is enormous and without automated devices and technologies to conduct most of the transactions, functionality would be an impossible dream. Not all web marketing tools available are a must, but some of them are an investment any web developer should consider making. When you have the right software to run programs, then these tasks become a lot easier.

Web marketing tools could make the online business experience stress free or nearly stress free. The human factor just supervises management and makes sure to set the right functions of the programs. A major problem is that of choosing the right web marketing tools when the offer is so varied and extensive. Online shopping guides could be a solution, but they are biased too given the fact that they are used as an advertising material most of the time. The best information on web marketing tools can be provided by an expert in the field of web marketing who has tried lots of programs and has seen many applications running.

There are also published materials that have the unique function of narrowing down searches. They represent the best web marketing tools according to several categories and they provide the pros and cons of each. The most common types of web marketing tools are keyword research softwares, SEO programs, optimization softwares, AdSense managers, advertising platforms, statistical tools, email blasters and many others. Before buying any web marketing tools it is important to define your goals and strategies and create the budget. Then, you need to see whether it is worth investing in a software program as compared to the variant of hiring a professional company to run the web marketing part for you.

Unless you are going to manage most of the aspects related to the web presence of a business, there is no point in investing in web marketing tools. Depending on how complex the software is, the prices could climb up to more than $5,000, and who can afford to pay such a small fortune? Corporations will certainly invest into everything that has to do with software for marketing support, but their financial situation is definitely superior to the average Internet marketer who sells products and services. Think twice and choose once! That’s the best shopping advice you can get here!

Evaluating the Web Marketing Company

If Internet marketing was easy to handle and put into practice in the form of different strategies, there wouldn’t be so many web marketing companies selling their services for very good money. A reality of the electronic market, web marketing consultancy is often the element that makes the difference between business success and business failure. The thing is that the world wide web is incredibly complex and all sorts of creative and technical aspects have to be covered, which is not exactly part of the average developer’s skills. Advertising, design, web development and sales, these are distinct fields of activity that require separate knowledge and experience.

How many of the business owners that activate online have marketing or web design studies? Very few. The rest of entrepreneurs either try their luck on their own with rudimentary tools and information they play by the ear, or they rely on the expertise and professionalism of web marketing companies. Experts study the market, the business they have to promote, the eventual competitors and come up with the strategies made to increase the return on investment rate (ROI) and enhance the number of relevant visitors. Such progress would inevitably translate into more money for the business in question.

Web marketing companies work will all sorts of experts, from marketing specialists to web designers and IT software programmers. The complexity of professional teams is understandable given the multitude of tasks required to make an online business profitable. When people choose the services of web marketing companies to build the web site from scratch, everything will be covered from the web design part to the search engine optimization and the permanent monitoring of the business performance. What would be the role of the business manager in this context? Although it is simple to leave all the work to experts, a good manager will always want to be in control.

Web marketing companies provide services patterned according to one’s business needs. The business manager is the authority that receives updates and is constantly informed on the evolution of the company. Moreover, no agency or service provider can take decisions for you unless you give them this right by contract. It seems that the highest rate of success comes with people who although uninitiated in the secrets of web marketing, still make efforts to learn about the basic mechanisms and are able to understand strategies and methods when they are exposed to them.

Marketing On The Web

Marketing on the web involves a whole range of strategies, techniques, tools and competences that combine in different ways depending on the business model a certain business follows or is committed to. Some companies specialize in lead-based sales, others in affiliate marketing, while a lot try e-commerce or the selling of goods and services either directly to consumers or to other businesses. Any new business that starts to work on the Internet could have a different approach and an individual model for marketing on the web. This domain is in permanent motion, constantly reinventing itself and getting richer every day.

Marketing on the web is not easy at all, and lots of entrepreneurs have learned it the hard way. One common mistake is the attempt to reach a very broad demographic sector. Very often this could be the end of a business if it is not strong enough to cope with a failure once in a while. The correct alternative is the use of marketing strategies that rely on the consumers’ interest or behavior. For instance, if you sell bike accessories you can post ads to advertise on cycling web sites, because only web surfers interested in cycling will access such pages.

Another possibility for marketing on the web is by geo targeting methods. This means that the activity of a business is conducted so as to catch the attention of visitors from a geographically determined location. Let’s say that you have a small organic farm and you advertise on the Internet; you have all the interest to address the needs of the neighboring community, because they make the market for your products. At present, there are all sorts of softwares used for geolocation and they have become tools for various strategies of marketing on the web. Any business owner should evaluate the benefits of such an investment in technology.

Once you understand the basic mechanisms of the electronic market, you’ll see that marketing on the web will be a lot easier to put into practice. The main advantage of online promotions is that they involve much lower costs and the possibility to reach a wider audience that searches for the kind of products or services that you offer. Moreover, it is very clear that online business can be immediately efficient with rapid results that are noticeable by the day. Work, lots of persistence and plenty of advantages unwind if you learn how to operate with the marketing campaigns and adjust them to the business objectives.

Web Marketing Strategy

When you don’t have a generous budget and you want to find a good web marketing strategy for business promotion, you should definitely be innovative and learn how to track the most effective solutions. Mistakes are common in the history of any company, but the important thing is the context in which you make the mistake and what you learn from it. The first step towards finding the right web marketing strategy is to learn what is worth spending money on. You can only decide what strategy, approach or web marketing model works for you by analyzing and comparing several possibilities.

Flexibility is one good point for strategic web marketing. Your patience will certainly be tried at the maximum, but the effort is worth making if you track the web marketing strategy that can lead you to success. Without careful investigations you may end up with a marketing strategy that takes money and generates a low revenue, totally insufficient to cover the expenses. Strategic marketing is what most companies do, which includes your competitors, and lots of marketers actually hire experts in order to get assistance. You can do the same if you can afford the constant payment of a complex service of development, maintenance and monitoring.

What are the benefits of a good web marketing strategy? Well the elements that define the strategy are in fact the ones that allow for the measuring of your efforts, the targeting of a precise market sector and the positioning of your business in search engines. Many methods and techniques contribute to the increase of relevant traffic in support of the web marketing strategy, and the very concept of strategic marketing revolves around search engine optimization and advertising models. Getting visitors is just the first step of implementing strategies, next you have to convince the web surfer to become a returning customer.

What do you want visitors to do on your web site? This is the kind of thinking required for the careful design of a web site that wants to be user friendly and user catchy. There are all sorts of operations or transactions that web surfers can perform online, from downloading files and reading informative content, to subscribing to newsletters and making purchases. Some web sites do not allow access to their content unless the viewer registers or subscribes to a newsletter. While registration is legitimate, subscription to newsletters should not be compulsory. Analyze such aspects wisely when you decide on the customer approach web marketing strategy because with the wrong choices you could lose lots of prospects.

Web Marketing Services

Web marketing services have become a necessity for the business owner that needs to grow a company online in the conditions of very tough competition. Online reputation, the return of customers, solid profit and good future prospects represent the main objectives any web developer considers when starting to work online. Some marketing projects are more difficult than others, and here is where the influence of web marketing services could make a difference. If we consider traffic improvement and the increase of sales, the average web marketing services would include website design, web analytics, usability evaluation, SEO (search engine optimization), advertising, statistics and monitoring.

By relying on good web marketing services, a business will increase in web page positioning, and it will develop its functionality. Moreover, the implementation of various advertising models will also require professional assistance, and the including pay per click advertising service would be of great help for many web investors. Last but not least, by means of quality web marketing services you can develop a very good online reputation and the possibility to extend your business by using web visitor behavior analysis. There are many companies that provide free evaluation of a company’s web performance as a support for the possible web marketing services necessary.

Most sales and branding strategies rely on the extended use of web marketing services. There are large companies that even organize web marketing departments to create a valuable presence on the electronic market that would convert at a certain point into more profit. SEM or search engine marketing therefore is the fundamental concept of all web marketing services regardless of the provider. Anyone can use such assistance and consultancy regardless of the business evolution and specificity at a certain moment. Many people start using web marketing services when they are in trouble and can no longer handle the evolution of their company.

Lots of effort, time and money would be saved if developers would hire web marketing services in the early stages of business planning. They would thus benefit from the best assistance possible for a whole range of issues, such as web design, that are more difficult to correct when they are ready in the final format. Moreover, it is also money-wise to rely on techniques, methods and concepts that have been verified and validated by extensive experience in a domain. Therefore, trustworthy web marketing services could make the difference between good and bad business.

The Design of Your Web Presence — Make it Good

Web marketing design is costly and the lower the budget, the less likely to get a professional job done. Most businesses do have a budget, but if what you are ready to pay seems to be way below what various web designers quote for the same task, then, you could be asking too much for too little. Pricing has some very peculiar rules, and going for the highest quote is not a solution either. There has to be a middle way to creating a good site without ruining your bank account. Here are a few things you should know about the financial details of web marketing design.

First of all, you’ll probably come across free web marketing design services, and although they sound tempting, they could be tricky in terms of quality. Or in case you want to find a volunteer to build your site, that will be even harder to get, in the conditions of a very tough market where time and money rule. Low rates for web marketing design are up to $10 per page, which can tell two things about a business: either the designer is a freelancer who tries to get contracts and make a name, and in that case you’ll get a job well done, or the results are not exactly high quality and you’d be wasting your money.

A fair but moderate quote for web marketing design services would be somewhere between $25 and $50. In case your site requires advanced graphics, lots of programming and even content writing, then the prices could be even higher than that. Very high charges of $500 per page are not always justified, which is why you should ask the web design company for an explanation of what services are included at such a rate. Programming will most certainly be your answer. Up-front payment could sometimes be required for the services. However, if the sum is low, then the payment is one of good faith, but if you are asked for half the sum in advance, don’t pay it because it could be a scam.

Make any web marketing design agreement formal by signing a contract. Specify details such as dates, deadlines, total estimated cost with all the payment dues and even litigation solutions in case of legal problems. It is important to discuss the way work would be handled in case the initial cost estimate is not correct, and you have to pay for more. Some web marketing design companies have standard contracts, but you should be able to work things out with them if something does not please you. If they are not willing to make the changes, then, you should consider working with someone else.

Web Promotion Marketing

Advertising makes the most important part of web promotion marketing. The success of an Internet business begins with the design of the website, because the web pages are the ground on which the future web promotion marketing strategies can be implemented. How can you spread the word about your business? Strategies cover different possibilities: email marketing, pay per click marketing, affiliate marketing and so on. Some business owners choose to manage online campaigns themselves, while others prefer to hire marketing experts. Let’s take a few examples and see what any developer will need in terms of web promotion marketing according to the different strategies.

Email web promotion marketing for instance is suitable for almost all business categories. Newsletters make the most important way of keeping in touch with customers. Depending on how large your mailing list is, you can choose to invest in a special software tool that would generate customized but automatic newsletters and messages to all the business contacts. This kind of product is highly useful even when you have just some hundreds of clients in the mailing list, because the manual operation of email marketing campaigns is very time consuming. Web promotion marketing via email is a really cost effective way of spreading the news about your products and services.

Pay per click campaigns represent more expensive web promotion marketing strategies, but on the average, they make the most popular choice. You create ads that you post on different web pages; the ads include keywords that are relevant for your business. Every time an ad gets clicked, you will be charged with the amount you bid on the keywords. Pay per click search engines are really worthy to work with, and they allow for a better management of the costs, while also providing good web promotion marketing solutions. Google AdWords is the most expensive of all, and you should not try it unless you have a large advertising budget.

Affiliate web promotion marketing relies on a combination of strategies that cover email and pay per click marketing alike. In the affiliate program system, a business promotes products and services belonging to another party. The profit results from commissions that are established and paid according to the stipulations of a contract. Web marketing promotion is not easy for any of the models we’ve presented here, but mention must be made that the list of possibilities is much longer. Even so, despite the differences in strategies, there are very many common points between the various models and methods.

Web Marketing Solutions

Run a simple search online and you will see that there are hundreds of web marketing solutions available for a countless number of applications. Some are provided for free while others need a minimum of financial investment in consultancy services. All sorts of classifications could be attempted for web marketing solutions but the most general would be that of small and large business categories. The strategies, techniques and methods used by corporations can seldom prove valid and valuable for the small business environment and the problem appears mainly because of the target market, the budget and the higher or lower access to resources.

Internet marketing solutions for small businesses often include the use of niches, blogs and other online forms of representation. Search engine optimization, valuable content rich in information, advertising and the constant monitoring of keywords performance would be among the main ways to support web marketing solutions for an emerging business. Budget is often restrictive when you start from scratch, but you can generate a revenue even if it is a small one at first. Product and service promotion for small businesses can be well conducted through various pay per click engines that have low rates, and here we do not refer to the giant Google Adwords that has some of the highest prices on the market.

The Internet marketing solutions for large businesses require a different approach because corporations often come with a history, a returning number of clients and a whole range of strategies that are constantly improved by teams of experts. In such cases, the Internet marketing solutions usually apply to the development of new market sectors by the launch of new products and services. The promotion of new elements is usually the major concern of large companies, while still preserving an ascending return on investment for the older product platform.

There are some Internet marketing solutions that represent a common core or system shared by all businesses regardless of their size. Thus, pay per click campaigns will always be conducted by bidding on the most relevant keywords; traffic will always be generated by incentives and correct targeting; monitoring will allow for rapid decisions and improvement of strategies and the list could go on. The common grounds for all the Internet marketing solutions therefore comes from the basic mechanisms that define the workings of the electronic market and of search engines in particular. If you know how to use such things in your favor, you’ll get the money flowing!

Web Marketing Company

Lots of people turn to the services provided by a large number of Internet agencies that provide assistance for a whole range of tasks related to online promotion. The choice of a good Internet marketing company to work with could be an issue particularly when you search online, but there are ways to identify the real professionals to collaborate with for business development.

Even when you find a web marketing company that provides very convincing features for very convenient rates, don’t jump to signing a contract right away. The first thing to do is check the company’s background and history. References are essential for determining the reliability and the professional achievements of a web marketing company, and it is important that you may contact former clients and see how satisfied they’ve been with the services.

First contact with the people who run the web marketing company could be relevant to eliminate your fears or make them worse. Once you decide who to work with, you should move on and discuss your marketing plan. You have to be informed on the strategy the web marketing company intends to use and on its implications for the growth of your business. If your ideas and the plan promoted by the company do not coincide, do not sign a contract because it may be a failure in many ways.

It is difficult to hide information on the Internet sometimes, and bad reputation really haunts one. Therefore, if there is something dubious about a web marketing company that you need to know, it should not be difficult to bring to light. There are two more things to consider for a good collaboration with a web marketing company. It is wrong to constantly assume that the people you want to hire are wrong all the time when they don’t support one of your marketing plans.

If you don’t have professional marketing training, it is very possible that the strategies you have in mind are not adequate or correct for your business. If you keep receiving the same answer from several service providers and experts seem to contradict you in relation to the marketing vision you want to implement, be a little more critical with yourself and see whether you are wrong. All in all, a good collaboration with a web marketing company requires open communications and the possibility to freely discuss all the potential problems you may have.