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Internet Marketing March 27th, 2012
Many business owners and enterprises have adopted the fact that an online presence is essential to sustaining and growing your business, this is especially true as more consumers look to the internet for products and services. While there are still consumers that are influenced by print, radio and billboards, the most effective rate of engagement is found online. Businesses that do well online run their online activity much like they would run a store, except that in most cases they don’t do it themselves and come to companies like TechWyse. Businesses that don’t do well online simply find the cheapest website they can and avoid internet marketing altogether. The following article will make analogies between stores vs. internet marketing, web design vs. retail design, website optimization vs. re-merchandising, paid search vs. conventions and P&L vs. measurement.
Some companies don’t feel like they need to be connected through internet marketing, but it would be the equivalent to not having a store for a product or service you were trying to solicit. How is this a fair comparison? In both cases you are not allowing your business to be found, or have invested in the real estate to show it off and portray what makes you a trust-worthy seller of your products.
There are some companies that have decided to invest into a website only for the sake of having one. In many cases these websites are out of date and poorly designed. Like a store that is poorly merchandised, dusty and not kept, the visitors you do have are less likely to stay and do business. Having a conversion friendly website will encourage visitors to stay, engage and make purchasing actions.
Many retailers as a rule of thumb routinely, on monthly or bi-monthly cycles, re-merchandise their stores. Manikins are redressed, electronic displays are moved around, or the new product is displayed in the front of the store, or in high traffic isles. Typically the rationale for this is to drive sales of new products, boost overall sales, and to give visitors something new to look forward to. It’s a refreshing characteristic.
Interestingly there are two ways this is achieved online. Some companies like TechWyse will test newly designed (sales funnels), or change different elements on a page, from the colour of a button to the headline about the product offering. Secondly, updating text content on a site and submitting blogs are other ‘remerchandising’ effects. Activities of this nature bode well with Google, and sites that actively make improvements and updates to their site will reap the rewards of great visibility through rank and conversion.
What would be the point of opening a retail outlet or office if it was nearly impossible to find, or not in a place to attract new business? I agree, it wouldn’t have a point other than to justify a website on a business card. Taking advantage of Google Places, Search Engine Optimization, and Pay Per Click spaces on Search Engine Results Pages is the equivalent to having multiple store fronts in popular cross sections of town. However, it is even more targeted insofar as the visitors you’ll be exposed to are those already thinking about products and services you offer.
Imagine being in a mall, where the only people entering are the thousands of people in the market for what you have to offer. In no other way can this be achieved than online. After all, retailers use malls or store fronts as lead generators… the only difference is that often the cost per lead/sale is higher, and it’s physical as opposed to virtual.
Paid Search or PPC (Pay Per Click) is like paying a premium to be a in location where you will only meet customers in a buying mindset already interested in what you offer.
Often times, different businesses will attend conventions to attract the interest and attention of consumers looking to buy their product. They’ll pay for space, staff, printed material and a display because it is worth the extra expenditure to be present for those searching for their product. Likewise, paid search allows businesses to bid for position on Google but don’t pay for exposure, only clicks. Paid search also affords the advertiser the ability to geo-graphically target searchers and input different advertising texts, and rotate between what works best.
Sometimes companies will attempt Google AdWords and be disgruntled when the results of the expenditure don’t pan out into new business. This is often because AdWords requires time, expertise and a destination for visitors that encourages purchasing actions. In mere seconds I can find countless sites that continue to advertise and spend money, but are not achieving the best value for their advertising dollars because users are entering and leaving because the merchandising and upkeep of the site does not impress. We call this bounce rate, and a good company works at reducing this.
If money and time are factors that are important, then we must focus on conversion. It’s the difference between having a sales person that hardly interacts, versus a sales person who is focused on driving that customer to the point of purchase.
Measurement with a dedicated analyst is like having an office manager with an accounting background running your store.
Every small and medium business has something called a P&L (profit and loss) report that serves as a health report for the business. It measures costs, revenues and profit with broken down metrics for all contributing factors. This is an important practice to understand how to conduct business on-going. Surprisingly, the investment into online marketing efforts often go unmeasured, when doing so would serve as continuous education and guidance for the best returns. Having a Campaign Analyst to use measurement tools and make recommendations for progress is a vital component that will ensure the health of your marketing efforts and business health.
In conclusion, take your online work seriously. Leveraging your online options will help your business reach more people and increase transactions if you can create a conversion friendly environment, capitalize on the traffic that’s out there and understand your results through measurement.
Questions, or Comments? I’d love to hear from you. (416) 538-8466 or you can email me: firstname.lastname@example.org