Online Marketing – The how’s and whys

Online Marketing – The how’s and whys

Marketing your business online gives you access to a massive audience which would otherwise be untapped, even if it is only to drive customers into your bricks and mortar store on your local high street, you can benefit from marketing your business online.

Online marketing a big business, with companies such as Calgary Internet Marketing providing all of the required services under one umbrella, allowing them to take care of all of your needs.

What’s actually involved in online marketing, what’s required?

An online presence

Firstly you’re going to need a web presence of your own, whether that be a website of your own, or simply a social media profile, as long as you have a way for your target audience to find you online, you’re well on the way.

It’s also good practice to be present – if you have a website, post regular updates or deals, if you have a social media profile then interact with your followers/page members. If you never interact with your audience then the old saying “out of sight, out of mind” can easily sneak into play, with people forgetting you exist and going to more active competitors.

Search Engine Optimisation

Whilst having a website is better than having no website at all, a poorly optimised website will not give you much of a return – it is unlikely to appear anywhere in the early ranks for searches on the major search engines such as Google or Bing, and therefore is highly unlikely to get much traffic.

The best way to sort this is through search engine optimisation – ensuring your site is attractive to search engines to make them see your site more valuable than the next, and thus rank you better. There are many factors involved in SEO, the simplest and least costly method, which you can perform by yourself is what’s known as “on-site” or “on-page” optimisation, this involves ensuring your web pages are well written, well structured and have a good amount of content. You can also make sure your URLs/links on your page are search engine friendly, and include the keyword you’re targetting.

Keeping your site fresh with new blog articles is a great way to get the search engines to take notice – if you build a site with a few pages and leave it to stagnate, Google can assume that you’ve lost interest in the site, and if you’re not interested, why would anyone else be? If the site is seen to have no value then the rankings are going to suffer.

Another side to SEO is the off-page side of things, link building and other external promotion techniques – these are seen as “grey hat” or even “black hat” (that is, techniques which are in a grey area in terms of the search engines terms & conditions/rules, or in the case of blackhat, strictly forbidden).

Venturing into this side of things by yourself without the correct knowledge can lead to your site being penalised and dropping ranks, or even worse, being completely removed from Google – it’s best to leave this to the professionals if you’re in any doubt.

Paid Advertising

Paid advertising, done right can be very effective, but on the other side of the coin, badly executed paid advertising campaigns can be a costly lesson, with your advertising budget being blown for no return. If you’re not sure on how or what to go about setting this up, you’re better to pay a company to manage your advertising campaigns, or at least set them up.

The three main types of paid advertising are CPC, CPM and CPL/CPA

CPC – Cost Per Click

This advertising format involves you being charged for each “click” the advertiser sends to you – in simple terms, every time someone clicks on an advertisement served by your chosen advertiser, you’ll pay a fee out of your pre-loaded credit. The cost per click varies wildly depending on the keywords you’re targetting, with some clicks costing as little as $0.01 with others being in the $100’s range. Generaly the cost of a click is worked out based on how competetive the keywords are – if you’re entering the law market then expect to be paying through the nose for visitors!

CPM – Cost Per 1000 Impressions

The CPM advertising format involves paying a set fee for every 1000 times your advertisement is displayed, depending on your market and the websites you’re advertising on, this can either be great, or rubbish. You may have your advert shown 10,000 times and not get a single visitor, or you may have it shown 10,000 times and (although extremely unlikely!) get 10,000 new visitors to your website.

It’s important to understand exactly what you’re getting for your money when using CPM advertising, and be sure that it suits your business model, otherwise you may just be spending money for nothing.

CPL/CPA – Cost Per Lead/Acquisition

Perhaps the most likely to convert, CPL involves buying leads from a third party – the leads will be people who are actively looking for your product or service, all you have to do is make contact and try to convert them into a sale – because most of the hard work is done for you already, CPL is often more expensive than any of the other options, but if your forte is closing sales, then this could definitely be an excellent option for you.

So there you have it, if you don’t do any form of online marketing then you are missing out on all of the mentioned revenue sources, so what are you waiting for? Take the plunge today!

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