The term ‘Internet Marketing’ (IM) is an umbrella term that covers all your online sales and marketing activities.
The Core Elements of Marketing Online are;
Sources of Traffic;
- A lead generating website
- Targeted Paid Clicks (PPC)
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
You then need Conversion Strategies to turn your Traffic into Customers;
- A home page that works
- On site video
- Free give away’s
- Quality content to email regularly
- A consistent sales funnel strategy
There are three Basic Myths about Selling Online:
- Build it and they will come
- More traffic = more sales
- Organic traffic generation without a sales funnel is the answer
How Successful Websites Work:
The first element is your website. You need a website of blog that will convert your visitors into leads, enquiries and sales.
The home page of your site needs to capture your visitors attention, by offering something your visitors can’t say no to. A captivating video is ideal to get your initial message across but its not enough on its own.
You also need a free giveaway, download of offer that you can give, in exchange for the visitors email address.
Once you have an email address, you can drip feed high quality, useful information to your subscribers which will work to build a relationship with your readers, converting them into customers and bringing them back to your website for repeat visits.
Your website needs to have an end point for your visitors/subscribers to reach. This can often be a staged process for example:
Stage 1 = sign up for free tips newsletters
Stage 2 = sign up for low cost monthly subscription e.g. “how to do it yourself course”
Stage 3 = sign up for full bells and whistles high ticket service
**Basic Internet Marketing Rule No.1**
“There is no point having a website with no traffic.”
Web traffic or visitors to your site are ultimately the key to your success. You need a regular supply of new, targeted people to find your site, visit and like what they see.
Traffic congregates online in many places and your task is to get your website in front of those people in those high footfall areas, with a compelling offer, giveaway or deal that will encourage large numbers of people to come to your site.
The main focus of traffic generation should be on the following;
Search traffic through the major search engines, Google, Bing and Yahoo, by people who find you by searching your keywords related to your goods and services.
The largest paid traffic source is Google Adwords (PPC). You set up an account with your Ads, and choose the keywords that you want to appear for. You then bid to appear high up in the results, and pay every time someone clicks on your Ad.
Social media is used by millions of people everyday providing you with a great opportunity to attract the attention of large volumes of people interested in your business. The most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
Each platform has different pro’s and con’s depending on what you are selling, so initially it can be a prudent action to have a foot in each camp until you have the change to gauge how each one works for your business.
Remarketing is a relatively new concept whereby you can set up banner Ads to track past visitors to your website as they surf the web.
Using a cookie, anyone who visits your website, will then be shown banner ads when they visit sites that are set up to display banner advertising.
This has several benefits for you. Many visitors window shop in the first instance, and while they may really like your products, goods or services, they don’t make a purchase on their first visit, but leave, intending to return later. (Many of these never return again!)
Remarketing allows you to remind them to comeback for a second visit and make a purchase.
There is a well known saying amongst online marketers that ‘the money is in the list’ and that is very true.
Think about how many large businesses, Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Groupon etc, send you emails, ‘reminding’ you to come and visit them…… They know that their money is in their list of email addresses.
Building a list for your business is vital to your long term success and profitability. Many businesses have different lists for different types of visitors, for example, you might have a list of customer email addresses, and can target them with email content knowing that they have already bought from you.
A second list might be ‘prospects’ made up of everyone who has downloaded a free giveaway on your website. You know these people are interested in your goods and services, but they haven’t bought from you yet.
Once you have lists of email contacts, you can then set up automated email newsletters, offers, tips, insider hints, offers etc to encourage them to return to your site and ultimately to purchase from you.
You can schedule email courses to deliver content at set times after someone subscribes, so each subscriber receives the same content in the same order at the same time schedule, regardless of when they sign up. This is a very powerful tool to build your customer base.
**Basic Internet Marketing Rule No.2**
“There is no point driving traffic that doesn’t convert.”
Traffic is expensive. There is no getting away from the fact that however you generate traffic, there is a cost involved, either financial or time related.
The key to online success is to extract the maximum possible from your traffic so that you get the best possible return on your investment (ROI).
Conversion is the process of turning visitors from window shoppers into paying customers.
Regardless of where you are currently with your conversion rate, there are many steps you can take it improve your conversion rate & simultaneously reduce your cost per customer.
In a utopian world, everyone who visits your website would make a purchase, but of course that is never going to happen. Even the online giants such as Amazon have a large number of ‘window shoppers’ who don’t complete a purchase.
The key is to convert as many as possible.
There are different levels of conversion:
- Ideally your visitor would purchase
- Next rung down is an enquiry – by email or phone
- Base step is to give you their email address
- Bottom rung is for your visitors to like, share and retweet your content socially.
If all your visitors give you something then your site is well on the way to profitability.
Many website owners start by driving some traffic to their site, which very often produces few or no sales.
There second step is to drive larger volumes of traffic, thinking that numbers will solve the problem, however, if 100 people visit without a sale occurring, it is very likely that 100,000 visitors will behave in the same way.
There is NO point driving more traffic until you improve your conversion metrics to a point of profitability.
The Maths of Conversion
If 100 visitors come to your site and you make 1 sale then you have a conversion rate of 1%.
If you make £100 profit per sale, and each visitor costs you £1 to acquire, then you will break even. (Not really, because this doesn’t allow for your running costs, but let’s keep it simple for now.)
The first thing to look at are your website statistics, to see what your visitors are doing when they arrive on your site. Your should look to see what your ‘bounce rate’ looks like as the first indication of whether your visitors like what they are seeing.
Your bounce rate indicates how many people hit the ‘back’ button soon after affiving on your page. (each page will have it’s own figure)
As a rule of thumb, if your bounce rate exceeds 55% then you need to take steps to reduce it.
In reality, you only need to have a bounce rate that is better than your competitors in order to avoid any Google penalty, but because you can’t see what your competitors bounce rate looks like, aim instead for less than 55%.
Bounce rate indicates the relevance of your content to the search being carried out. For example, if someone searches on Google for ‘Coffee Granules’ and you appear in the listings because you sell oil paints, one of which is ‘coffee granules’ coloured, then everyone visiting your site from the coffee granules search will in all likelihood hit the back button because you don’t sell what you are looking for.
The rule is that you need to concentrate on ‘targeted’ traffic that is actively looking for what you are selling.
The less targeted your traffic, the higher your bounce rate will be and the worse your site will perform in search.
If you are confident that you are attracting targeted traffic to your site and the majority of your visitors are staying on your website, looking at your content, reading it, watching videos, and clicking through to second, third and fourth pages, but you still have a low volume of sales in relation to your traffic volumes then you need to start working on addressing this issues within your content flow.
Analytics allows you to see how your visitors behave on your site. Where they arrive, what they look at, which links they follow and where they leave.
Quite often it is a relatively straightforward process to identify where your traffic abandons you. Are they adding products to your cart but not checking out? Are they not adding many products to your cart at all?
Look for bottlenecks that are hindering your sales process and make a change so you can monitor the differences in behaviour.