Website, social media and listings

Internet Marketing 101 – Setting up your Site, Social Media and Business Listings

In the last post (Internet Marketing 101 – How to Begin and Options), we discussed:

  • Why you should start internet marketing (we looked at some astounding data that reinforced the reasons why to begin internet marketing),
  • How to start by looking at your objectives and how you intend to find quality traffic.
  • Options available on how you can get to your target audience through a website, blog-site, social account or simply by listing your business information in review websites and directories.

Now, let`s see how you can effectively set up your website, social media accounts and business listings.

Setting up your own website

To set up your own website, you will need the following

  • Domain

Get a domain through a domain registrar such as Godaddy or Hostgator. There are plenty more registrars available.  The domain is basically the name/address of your website. Get a domain name that works well for you.

There are many TLDs [top-level domains – .com, .net,  .org and other country coded domains eg. .co.uk (UK), .com.ph & .ph (Philippines), .br (brazil)] that you can choose from, don`t fret if something you like is already taken. You just have to be creative.  Try and keep your domain relevant to your business, it should be as short and memorable as possible.

  • Server

While the domain is an address, servers are like “hard-drives” that keep all the digital information for a website. The domain although appears to us as a “name”, it is infact a numerical address. When this numerical address joins the numerical address of the server, they start to work as one for the needs of the website.  You can also configure the server and domain to start your own unique email with domain system. All you will need is a webmaster to help you with this. Sometimes, your site-developer can do this for free for you. You can get the server of your choice at Godaddy, Hostgator or Rackspace to name a few.

  • Website Layout

Get a web designer or developer to design and code your website. In case you feel that their prices are beyond your budget, consider downloading either free or paid website layout templates that may work for you.  You can get them at squarespace.com, wordpress and even blogger.

Setting up social media accounts

All you really require to set up social media accounts is an email address. You can get free email accounts at Gmail, Yahoomail or Hotmail.

Gmail is preferable in my opinion because later down, you will see that you will need a Gmail or Google account for various other free tools such as Google Places Listing, YouTube, Google Drive and more.

Free Google Products using Gmail

There are many social websites where you can choose to work in. Some of the most popular ones are:

  • Twitter
  • FaceBook
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Plus or G+

All of these social media sites have an easy registration process. You will be up in social media in no time. After these accounts are made, you can start

  • Connecting with friends, family and people in your contact list. Most of these sites have fabulous features that allows you to massively upload email addresses into them, so that you can start connecting with these contacts in the different social media websites.
  • Making Pages – pages are different that personal profiles. When working in social media, it is more favorable to work in them from both perspectives i.e. personal and company accounts. Use company pages to highlight the very best of your won and other people`s content, while with the personal account, you can be more adventurous, bring out your own unique voice and build actual social media relationships. Read more about bringing your Uniqueness in Internet Marketing.

If you want further direction on how to start social media for business, read how businesses use Social media effectively.

Getting Listed

Sometimes, you may just want your customers to find you listed in review websites like Google Maps, Google Business and Yelp. Getting listed on other directory websites like Yellowpages can also be useful .

For Google listing products and services, all you will ever need is a gmail address to get listed along with a few requirements such as business name, address and phone.

There are many benefits to getting listed correctly. Google local seo, favors local businesses that build reputation in review websites and directories. By doing just so, there is a chance that you may just rank for a keyword or keywords in Page 1 of Google.

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Internet marketing 101

Internet Marketing 101 – Where to begin, how to start and what options are there to choose from?

WHY DO INTERNET MARKETING?

Right now, 40% of the world’s population uses the internet and this continues to grow at an alarming rate. A good example of this is the online shopping industry. Businesses belonging in this niche use different online channels to get the information they need from their target markets.

  • 89% use direct type-ins into the browser
  • 45% get their information via email
  • 26% utilizes referral websites
  • 09% relies on search
  • 65% depends on different social media platforms; and
  • 64% use click on banner ads

If you want more insights about what is happening within the internet marketing industry, I suggest that you read through these resources:

The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics

Best Digital Marketing Statistics Sources in 2016

HOW DO I START?

When you do decide to pursue internet marketing for your business the most important factors that you should consider are the following:

  • What are the end results you want to achieve in your internet marketing campaign?
  • How much can you afford to spend?
  • How much time can you allot for your campaign?
  • What are the other resources you can dedicate in internet marketing?

The first goal you should aim to achieve when you start your internet marketing campaign is to garner quality traffic. This is why you need to know where you can get such traffic from.

If you are in the shopping industry, there are a lot of benefits in using search marketing and harnessing traffic from referral websites. Referral websites can give your page a lot of traffic because these are the kind of sites that allow marketers to showcase their products and services. Examples of these sites are Yelp, Yellow Pages and other directories.

On the other hand, if you are in the business-to-business (b2b) industry, it would be most preferable for you to focus more on Content Marketing, Social Media, Search Engine Optimization as well as Search Engine Marketing.

Lay out all your options and carefully strategize how you would want to move forward in your internet marketing campaign.

WHAT OPTIONS DO I HAVE?

The options you have in starting internet marketing and increasing your online presence depend largely on the resources you currently have. This includes your time and money. You have to evaluate the cost VS the benefits before choosing the right option.

Allow me to enumerate a couple of options you can choose from:

You can get your own website with your own domain. – This is probably the best option for you if you really want online presence for your business. Having your own page not only allows you more opportunities for customization, but it can also help your business greatly in building its brand identity online. The downside of this is that you have to constantly maintain it and it can be costlier compared to other options.

Get a free website. – If you don’t have a lot of financial resources to begin with, you can always settle for a free website since it’s every bit as good as a website with your own domain. The only difference is there’s not much room for customization. Websites such as Weebly and other pages the offer free templated websites can be of great help. The greatest advantage of using free websites is that it reduces the cost of building an online presence for your business.

Start a blog. – If you are headed more in the direction of Content Marketing, then blogging can be your best bet to ensure a successful campaign. You can start with either WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr or other free blogsites.

Focus on Social Media Marketing – Your Facebook company page as well as your Twitter and Google+ accounts can be of assistance when you do Content Marketing. Plus, it is also a great way to create awareness about your brand and direct a lot of traffic back to your website or blog.

Get your business name, address, and phone listed in Google and other directories. – If being in the internet means that you only need people to find your phone and place of business, then the best option for you to take is to get your business’s details listed on Google Places, Yelp, Yellow Pages, and other directories and review websites.

Internet Marketing can be very challenging especially in today’s highly competitive online market. This is why planning your internet marketing strategy thoroughly is important. Explore other internet marketing options you have before deciding on pursuing on a specific strategy and make sure that the approach you set your mind to do is an option that fits well in the business you have as well as on your specific target market.

OPtions for internet marekting

Internet Marketing Options for Business

What sets Internet Marketing apart from other types of marketing is that you can customize and create your own plan for your business. The success of your campaign doesn’t depend on whether you utilize every single segment there is in Internet Marketing — all you need to do is determine the best strategy that you can use to get your business started.

There are six segments of Internet Marketing that can stand alone. Allow me to discuss it briefly one by one.

Email Marketing

Email Marketing is an effective strategy to pursue because in a way, it can greatly enrich business communications between you and your target market. It is also very cost-effective compared to other strategies. However, even if it appears to be quite a simple strategy, it is important to be mindful with the kind of approach you do in sending updates to your subscribers.

Too little and they might end up losing interest; too much and you might be categorized as spam. To avoid this, inform your visitors beforehand about the important details they would want to know.

It is essential to let possible subscribers know what’s in it for them when they do decide to give you their email address. Will you be able to give discounts or freebies? How will subscribing to your newsletters be of benefit to them? Also, make it a point to let them know how often they’ll be receiving your updates.

Social Media Marketing

In today’s society where social media websites thrive, opting to utilize platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn for marketing campaigns can be a good strategy to help your business gain more leads.

Make sure you have a clear vision on who your target audience will be and what message you want them to send. Being able to plan a good social media campaign can help your business in a lot of ways. Not only will it be able to increase your website’s traffic, it can also be a great opportunity to build conversions, create and raise brand identity and awareness as well as improve the communication and interaction between your business and key audiences.

Classifieds

Using classified ads in internet marketing is a great strategy if your aim is traffic optimization. Free classified ads are a very important and helpful tool in the online marketing business. They don’t cost anything and can start giving results as soon as they get posted online. However, you must keep in mind that using free classifieds for SEO has to be done cautiously.

A classified ad contains three important parts:

  1. A well-thought of headline that contains relevant keywords which can generate interest and bring in a high number of leads.
  2. The details of the product or service written in a way that would make the viewers see how availing it would benefit them. Weave in attractive offers that would catch the attention of potential customers such as ‘Special discount’ or ‘Limited offer’.
  3. The contact details which are the ads’ call-to-action. – E.g. “Contact Now” or “Buy Now” buttons.

Search Engine Optimization

Optimizing your website for search engines is very important especially in today’s competitive market. If you have your own website, blog, or online store, then it is a must for you to invest in SEO to help your business grow.

The purpose of SEO is not only for the benefit of search engines, but also for the improvement of the user experience and usability of a website. Majority of the people using the internet trust the results that major search engines provide, so being able to gain a top position in the results page can greatly increase the possibility of your page getting higher traffic, and potentially higher conversions.

Search Engine Marketing

Similar to SEO, Search Engine Marketing is another effective way to grow your business. This strategy is done by using paid advertisements that appears on the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs).

By bidding on specific keywords, marketers may be able to showcase their ads on the results of certain search queries that web users enter on these search engines. These ads are more commonly known by the term pay-per-click ads. The biggest advantage of this type of strategy is that it gives marketers the opportunity to display their ads in front of people who are ready to buy or avail for a product or service at that exact moment.

Content Marketing

The main vehicle that is used to jumpstart a campaign that focuses on content marketing is through blogs, podcasts, as well as video and social media sites. Producing content may be easy especially if you have copywriters to do all the writing, but it doesn’t mean that it can ensure the success of your strategy.

Remember that at the end of the day, the quality of the content you provide will always be more important compared to how many blogs you publish. Aim to provide high quality and valuable content that will be able to attract, inform and engage your audience while at the same time promoting your brand.

The above strategies can be exclusively done or may also be tactically combined in a way that you, as the business owner, feel is the best way to go for your Internet Marketing campaign. Personally, I know a lot of companies that rely 100% on having a mix of email marketing and social media marketing. On the other hand, I’ve seen some businesses thrive with strategic Search Engine Marketing (SEM), while others grew entirely from organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

THE QUESTION IS, WHAT INTERNET MARKETING STRATEGY IS FOR YOU?

Ideally, it’s best to do a little of everything while at the same time focusing on one or two more than the others. I know it goes against my first statement when I said that the success of an internet marketing campaign doesn’t rely on the use of all the mentioned segments, then again, the end decision will still depend on you since you’re the one that knows your business inside out.

The reason why I suggested doing a little of all these strategies is due to the multiple opportunities that lie in each of these segments of Internet Marketing, which you will only be able to see as you progress further in your campaign.

A HYBRID STRATEGY FOR EMAIL MARKETING

If you decide on pursuing Email Marketing as your campaign strategy, one important aspect that you have to give high regards to is your contact list. If you focus on this segment alone, pretty soon you will be marketing to the same people over and over again. And this can be very risky for any type of business.

When it comes to Email Marketing, you have to make sure that you constantly add new contacts and leads to your list that you can email to. The best approach you can do to achieve this is to utilize the opportunities that Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing can provide. A combination of these three segments can be a great way to target potential clients and new email addresses to market to.

SEO/SEM, SOCIAL MEDIA OR EMAIL MARKETING

If you are ranking and getting a lot of visitors to your website, not having contact information of these visitors is a waste of opportunity. You want to keep a thread of communication alive with them so that you can “re-target” them via email or social media.

Your motto in SEO/SEM should be – “Don’t just get visits, convert them.

Conversion is hard to define generally since different industries have their own unique customer purchasing behavior. Business to customer (B2C) purchase decisions are made faster or is even instantaneous as compared to business to business (B2B) purchases where decisions are made after weeks or months of careful evaluation.

The best conversion model to have in your internet marketing is to have leads opt for different things. If the visitor is 100% interested in the product or service you offer, then they may fill up and submit a “Contact Us” form in your website. However, this isn’t always the case.

Sometimes other web users may just be slightly interested or is just looking around — this is why you need to have an effective approach on your call-to-action. A good idea could be a copy that has this kind of slant:

Can’t find what you are looking for? – Fill this form and we’ll do our best to help.

Although this is what all entrepreneurs aim to achieve, the goal of Internet Marketing is not solely for the purpose of converting leads into sales. Internet marketing needs to be done step by step. Being able to convert a web user into a customer during their first site visit is every marketers dream, but in reality that doesn’t always happen.

The next best thing to get out of the people that visit your page is their contact information. They browsed through your site for a reason and if you can find out why they were there, it can be a way for you to figure out how to move forward by communicating with them even after they leave your page.

 

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