How to Plan an Online Marketing Strategy

Online Marketing Strategy Planning and Development

To develop a successful online marketing strategy, you need:

  • A good product or service
  • A website that sells your product
  • Internet advertising that brings heaps of good traffic

If you are reading this, presumably you have the first step done.  Now, you need a website that sells, meaning, your website converts visitors into customers.  In addition, you need internet advertising that brings more visitors to your website.

So, where do you begin?

A Website that Sells  Converting Visits Into Sales

A website that converts visits into sales is essential. How do you get one? Make sure your site is easy to navigate with clearly marked product sections and contact information (e.g. big phone number on every page). And then… test.

We call this conversion rate optimisation, and one of the most important tools we use is called “A/B split testing.” We create two versions of the same page for your website, and then check on a live audience to determine which one performs better over time. By repeating this process, you can significantly improve the way your website works because you have the data and audience feedback available to know what changes to incorporate.  You want to work smart, not work hard.

To further refine what the data and audience feedback reveals, you need to increase the number of page visitors.  This leads to the next step….

Internet Advertising  Increasing Web Traffic

Fortunately, there are several methods to increase web traffic and the methods can be used in conjunction with one another in a customised set most suitable for your website. The most frequently chosen methods of acquiring online traffic are:

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Pay-per-Click Advertising (PPC), i.e. Google AdWords
Social Media Marketing
Email Marketing
Ultimately, you want your oline marketing strategy to incorporate all methods of internet advertising.  However, in the beginning, focus on one or two methods listed below to form the base of your online markting strategy.

SEO and PPC

For most businesses, the two largest sources of online traffic will be search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC). Choosing between them depends on the type of your business and your goals.

PPC is usually a better short-term solution, while SEO outperforms PPC in most cases in the long run (and sometimes does this very significantly). Most businesses will do well starting with a mix, starting off with more funds allocated to PPC and then gradually focusing more on SEO as traffic from SEO exceeds the traffic from PPC..

The really tricky bit is doing both SEO and PPC well. Ideally, you have either a team of Internet marketing geniuses in your company, or a good online marketing agency you can trust. The first option is usually quite expensive, as you will need not only to attract some smart Internet marketers to your company, but also invest in building tools and developing online resources for your SEO needs.  This solution works well usually only for the biggest businesses.

Most companies will do best using an Internet marketing company. The only trouble with this option is finding a good SEO agency you can trust.

There are a lot of companies doing SEO out there, but as you probably expect, not all perform SEO well. Beware of companies that sell links, search engine submissions or “SEO software,” promising top rankings. The fact is that what you really need is not links, submissions and not even rankings, but rather, quality, relevant content. When SEO focuses on quality traffic, search engines such as Google reward your efforts with higher page rankings.

Social Media

social-media-strategy

A frequent question asked when it comes to social media marketing: “Where should we start?” The beautiful answer: you can start where you wish, be it YouTube, Twitter, Facebook or other places. The important rule to remember is to do it gradually. Start using only as much platforms as you can handle well. Be regular, be friendly, be fun and be as non-commercial as you can.

Email Marketing

E-mail marketing is one of the most cost effective marketing communication methods you can utilise for Internet advertising.  Start collecting email addresses as early as you can. Even if you do not currently have an email strategy prepared, these will prove very useful at a point in the future.

E-mail marketing campaigns give you the opportunity to distribute information to a wide audience of specific, potential customers at a relatively competitive rate. A 2009 report has shown that e-mail marketing  has one of the best returns on investment (ROI) ratios, surpassed only by search engine optimisation.

Definitely the place to begin is by building an email subscription list. It is much better to build your own list then to buy one. You will get much better results and have less complaints if you do it this way. On top of that, if you buy your mailing list from an untrustworthy source, there is a chance of getting entangled into legal (spam-related) issues.

How can Matter Solutions help you with your mailing campaigns?

We can offer you a full service e-mail marketing package, which will include composing the messages and sending them. We will plan out your campaign, set up the mailings and auto-responses, and you will be able to monitor the results through Google Analytics.

If you want to run your own campaign we can provide you with professional training.

Contact us today or call us on (07) 3117 2300 to discuss the best online marketing strategy for your business.

 

Update (19/02/2016) We are pleased to see that Mark from Digi Flip was inspired to make his own infographic after reading this article.