What is Web Marketing?
All too frequently, companies and individuals decide that they need to 'get their business on the web'. Just like that. They get somebody to do some webpage design and make nice pages, sit back and wait for business ... which then seems slow, patchy and hardly in line with the success stories they have heard about making money on the web.
The bottom line is that designing a website should follow the same basic rules as any good marketing exercise, and needs good information or research, clear objectives, a sound sales model, and supporting systems to either back it up or to complement it.
Web marketing is all about applying these formal traditional marketing techniques to your web strategy. It's about clarifying objectives, understanding the market and looking at what options suit your business best, before you waste money building a website which looks pretty but fails to attract business.
A key question for any business today is .. who are your best customers? Who are the customers who generate most profit, have the highest life-time value, or contribute most to your long term success? They may be looking at your website now, but will they buy from you ? The objective of web marketing is to understand this better - so that when we use tools such as search engine optimisation or content development we can generate more business from these best customers. This is why we believe in the concept of 'Total Website Marketing' - making sure that all the elements of your website strategy are working in harmony to achieve better sales.
Can you see your best customer ?
A typical website marketing review will look at some of these questions:
- How do you define the customers that you are targeting ? (age groups, language, buying habits, nationality)
- What is the average value per customer, and what is their life-time value?
- Are there any seasonal changes in target group?
- Who are your best customers and how can you find more of them ?
- What are the best customers looking for in a website?
- What are the sales cycles and payment cycles?
- What are your Search Engine Marketing (SEM) options and strategies
When you can answer these and other questions you can start to develop other strategies such as Search Engine Optimisation(SEO), webpage and content development for your online efforts; but also ensure that you develop complimentary strategies for the offline activities.
Fortunately today there are many sources of data which can help to analyse web based data .. which websites are popular; what your competitors are doing and the ability to look at other sites and identify good features.
If you already have a website then it is possible to analyse the activity logs, and find out more about your potential customers...when they browse, what pages they look at, what pages they ignore. The activity logs are an area that is often ignored by managers yet by carefully installing simple visitor tracking software you can gain access to a goldmine of marketing information. By constantly reviewing this data, and making minor inline adjustments, you can really edge yourself into a position of domination within your webspace.
This sounds time consuming and expensive!
The biggest cause of website failure in small companies is the failure to do some simple research and base your plans on the answers that it gives. If you do no research at all, you stand to loose far more money than some simple consultancy would generate. .. An initial review, plan and analysis for a small business is unlikely to take more than a few days, and the results can usually be quickly turned into actions. By taking the web marketing results and implementing a few simple actions you will be able to address the needs of you customers more quickly, improving your cash flow and ultimately helping you to a stronger position in your market.
How research can effect your website
It is relatively easy to discover which keywords are being used in the searches that your potential customers are using on the web. By taking this data and doing some simple analysis one company identified three keywords, linked to it's main services, that were not being targeted by its competitors. By simply inserting these into the text of its website it was able to propel itself to number one in these searches, with little competition, and generate more traffic in this way.
Another example relates to a company who put several facilities on its website not related to its main business. These ended up generating more traffic than the 'real' customers that they were targeting, and they were forced to increase their monthly hosting contract to handle the extra bandwidth. In this case they had allowed the designer to incorporate 'eye-candy' and 'toys' into the website which rather than generate business, was increasing their fixed costs.
Can our service help you?
If you think that you website is not delivering the leads, the customers or the orders that you expected, contact us and request a free-of-charge initial analysis of your website. We will quickly analyse your website against our ten-point model and advise you of possible strategies for improving the performance of your website.
To request a free analysis fill in our enquiry form and we will get back to you with your free report.