The secret to internet marketing can be boiled down and concentrated into a couple of phases. Yes, there are important SEO techniques, product placement algorithms, hosting decisions and other endless tactics you will need to implement; however, what really determines your success online is your overall strategy. A solid strategy will keep all your internet marketing efforts inline and focused towards a common goal. A successful strategy for running a business online should include these major phases:
1) A Well-Designed Website. Before you start worrying about traffic or conversions be sure your website design fits well with the genre of the market you are aiming to be a player in. A well-designed website should take in account not only form, but function as well. Navigation, forms, checkout, and any other processes a visitor might go through on your site should be logical, easy to complete and blended seamlessly into the design. Your website should be pleasing to the eye yet easy to navigate. All websites, regardless of which type of market, should have professionally written text, free of grammatical errors and have a unifying theme or focal point.
2) Increase Traffic to Website. Once you have a well-designed website its time to introduce it to the masses! Implement a Search Engine Optimization plan for keywords that are attainable through organic search. For keywords that are beyond your SEO budget use pay-per-click (PPC). PPC is a great tool to get capture traffic that comes with those particular keywords that prove elusive to your SEO efforts. Other online advertising tools you can use to connect to your customer base are banner ads, social media, and e-mail marketing. Remember what works for one business might not work for yours. Be sure to craft the right mix these tools to get the optimal amount of traffic.
3) Increase Conversions on Website. Now that you have your traffic numbers up its time to increase your conversion rate. Whether you are selling items through an eCommerce store, selling ad space on your website or just looking for viewers to fill out a contact form to get leads, the goal of most websites is to increase conversions. This can be accompished by the strategic placement of ads, contact forms or products. Maybe its the call to action or other site text that needs to be tweaked. Increasing conversions on a website requires careful analysis and testing of almost every aspect of your website.
Having a well thought out overarching strategy to success online separates the businesses that succeed from those that fade out into oblivion. Sun Tzu put it best: “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat”.