Q: What is Internet Marketing and what will a marketer do for your site?
A: Internet Marketing or online marketing as some refer to it, is essentially creating a visibility for a website on the Internet whereby that presence can increase interest in the site’s products/services and result in potential for new sales and entry into new markets.
Q: To what degree will the marketer work for you?
This simply depends upon what you want to achieve. You must first decide on the level of visibility you want – do you want a basic internet presence, being found under one or two keywords/phrases on Google and Bing? This might be your first step to testing the potential of the Internet or you might simply feel that you could not cope with the demands that greater exposure would bring to your business. The latter is a very important factor and should be considered carefully. On the other hand, you might wish to consider the other end of the scale and believe that your business needs a strong presence on the Internet, particularly if export trade is an important factor for you. If so, your marketer is going to have to customize a programme of involved work to be undertaken over a period of time – ie. an Internet Marketing Plan.
This might for example include:
- extensive keyword research in order to identify the most appropriate terms to target;
- optimisation of your website for a selected number of keywords/phrases (based on results from above);
- targeting the top search engines – Google being the all important one (after that comes Bing)
- monitoring the rankings and studying traffic data to identify areas for improvement (we prefer to use Analytics)
- re-optimising the site if required when algorithms change and the site’s rankings drop (as they sometimes do);
- considering paid inclusions and sponsored/featured listings (an important consideration in today’s market, particularly if there is strong competition for a client’s business);
- considering pay-per-click schemes such as Google AdWords (again if in a highly competitive category);
- getting your main URL listed in key Internet Directories, many of which now require either monthly or annual fees to be paid, some substantial;
- implementing measures to increase web site traffic (secondary domains, incoming link building);
- helping to expand your website’s content and relevancyt with quality copywriting;
- helping to develop a presence in key social media sites (Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc)
- creating foreign language pages or even dedicated foreign language URLs;
- targeting selected foreign language search engines and directories
Such a level of marketing and promotion demands considerable time and expertise and so can prove understandably expensive. However, when one considers the average cost of a single, full colour advertisement in any national publication or magazine, be it weekly or monthly, then Internet Marketing that targets a current audience of well over 1 billion people (at the last count and it’s probably more by the time you read this!) is in real terms a relatively cheap option. Moreover, for businesses involved in export markets, they can enjoy global promotion without sending a single sales rep out into ‘the field’. The costs savings in this context are considerable.