Internet Marketing Primer
Your online presence should be aimed at one thing: online profits. Leave your web site unattended, and it will never do that. Use it as a selling and advertising tool, and it will always bring you money. Know and employ the basic internet marketing concepts that you should guaranteed to yield results:
Any internet activity that makes the general public aware of the existence of your business. Online presence is not limited to web sites. Anything from email to posting or commenting on blogs, social networks, forums, chat, being listed in online directories, appearing in search engine results, etc. is online presence.
The segment or segments of the general public that you chose to address with messages about your business. Internet is the largest level playing field in modern days. Virtually everybody from anywhere in the world can be online at a given time. Modern technology makes it so that you can chose who, when and where to address, based on specific caracteristics such as age, gender, occupation, location, interests, affiliations etc.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Yes, it is part of online marketing. Has your webmaster talked to you about it? On the internet, people use words to find what they’re looking for. If your business is offering what they are seeking, their search words should become your web site’s keywords. This is only the first step, but the most basic, that will bring you closer to your customers. Search Engine Optimization is a way to implement those keywords throughout your web site in such a way that search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. will index your web site properly and display it in their search results when that potential customer is looking for what you have to offer.
SERP (Search Engine Results Page)
Intrinsically tied to SEO. It is the page, or the string of pages displayed by a search engine upon a specific word search. Expert Search Engine Optimization will help bring your web site within the first listings on the Search Results Page. However, that is not be the deciding factor in how “high” on SERP your web site will rank.
It is the information within each page of your web site, in your emails, in your social networks. It comes under the form of text, links, media (pictures, animations, video). It is the main factor that decides your web site’s ranking in search engine results, or that captures the interest of your potential and existing customers. Your content should always be compelling, descriptive and true. Expertise in creating and presenting content is the key in all your marketing efforts.
Also known as Unique Selling Proposition (USP). The main factors that set you apart from other businesses offering the same products/services that you do. This should be the prevailing theme of your content, online and offline. A unique selling proposition could be lower prices, better terms, better quality, better customer services, closer distance to your customers, discounts, giveaways, anything that you consistently do in order to convince your audience to use you, instead or your competition, in order to meet their consumer needs.
The main action through which anything gets done on the internet. Clicking is now present everywhere: your web site, your email, your social networks, it is in your text, your images, your videos, etc. Clicks are your online way of guiding all those exposed to your content towards a specific goal. Clicks are also becoming an online commodity, entire markets being in existence these days for trading, buying or otherwise acquiring them. They are measureable and allow you to track and improve the behavior and actions of your online audience to serve your specific goal (see Tracking and Core Metrics, below)
Online Marketing Campaigns
As with any traditional marketing techniques, online marketing campaigns are the planned and controlled release of specific message within a pre-established timeframe, aimed at obtaining a specific action from the target audience. The online campaigns could be conducted through advertisments on specific web sites or networks, placement on search engines, social networks, email, online videos, etc.
Call to Action
The message, or part of it, that entices the reader/viewer/listener to take a specific action towards a pre-established purpose. More often than not, the online call to action is associated with the click. Buttons, or simple text with messages such as “Click Here”, “Buy Now”, “Subscribe”, “Ask”, “Like”, “Share”, etc. are the most common calls to action on the internet.
The most popular and comprehensive online tool for advertising your products/services and increasing your online presence. Many online advertising campaigns limit themselves to Google Adwords. Google offers advertising space in their search result pages, and their display network (web sites associated with Google or their partners). The ads could take the form of text, images, or videos. Google adwords offers comprehensive tools to track and analyze the exposure and impact of the ads on their networks, but the success of any advertisment depends on the advertiser’s understanding and proper use of their tools.
You could consider this Google Adwords in reverse. When you register your web site with Google, you become part of their display network of web sites. You have the chance of cashing in on the visits to your web site, that you get through Google, Yahoo, Bing or any other means you employ in your online presence. Opening a Google Adsense account will let you put a specific piece of code on your web site, where pertinent ads will be displayed, depending on the related content of your pages. However, Adsense can only become a significant source of profit when you consistently get a high number of visitors to your pages (web traffic).
On the internet, almost everything is trackable. Technology makes it possible to record and follow internet activities such as how many times a page was visited, how long the visitor stayed on that page, or what links or buttons they clicked, to name only a few. Tracking is very important in online marketing, as it is the main way of controlling and improving the impact of your advertising messages, and your overall online presence.
Knowing what to look for when you are tracking online activities, be those on your web site, emails or social networks is the surest way to stay in control of your online campaigns. Tracking allows you to see a multitude of aspects of your online presence. There are ways of quantifying those aspects, with specific metrics, that will further allow you to analyze in as much detail as you chose, the behavior of your audience. There are a few basic metrics that any online marketer will always be mindful of:
- total of number (per day, week, or month) of visits to your web site, or views of your message on other online channels (email, social networks, video);
- number of unique visitors or viewers (some people might come back repeteadly to your web site, or view your messages repteadly, that is why number of views/visits should never be confused with number of viewers/visitors);
- time spent on a web page/message; where the visitors came from and where they went to, after leaving your web site;
- what they clicked;
- most visited pages/links;
- broken links.
Analyzing these core metrics will allow you to identify and modify trends and patterns in the way people interact with your online presence. Google offers a comprehensive array of tools that allow you to analyze various aspects of your web traffic, email and social marketing campaigns, etc. It is called Google Analytics. You can learn more about the role and use of each of these specific metrics and how to properly analyze them, by subscribing to eBiz Miami’s newsletters.
CPC, CPM, CMS, ROI
Yes, the basic mumbo-jumbo of internet marketing. These are terms tha apply specifically to online advertising campaigns, and they let you quantify your investment in a specific online marketing campaign. They are, as follows:
- CPC (Cost per Click) and CPM (Cost per Thousand): two of the most common ways of paying for an online advertising campaign. When your ad is displayed as a result of a specific keyword search, or on a specific web site, you can chose to pay only for those ads that are clicked on by the viewers. Depending on the budget you set for a campaign, ads are commontly displayed tens or hundreds of thousands of times on a multitude of web sites or page results. You can choose the second method (Cost per Thousand) to pay only for the times your ads are displayed, regardless of how many times they were clicked.
- CMS: Content Management System. A specific computer program or online application that allows streamlining and centralizing the creation of content on a web site or several online platforms (social networks such as Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, blogging platforms, etc.) As the messages and channels that a business uses online multiply and diversify, there is a need of managing everything from one place. CMS platforms allow just that. They also often come with integrated tools that facilitate measuring, analyzing and optimizing web site activity.
- ROI: Return on Investment. A well established business term. When used in online marketing it refers to the way of measuring the profitability of a specific marketing effort (Adwords campaign, email campaign, etc.). In most cases, Return on Investment is related to a specific formula: Campaign Gains, minus the Campaign Costs, divided by the Campaign Costs.