The 10 Must-Have Elements Of Successful Online Marketing
There are hundreds of different methods and tactics involved with Internet Marketing.
With all the options, the hardest part of Internet Marketing is figuring out what tactic will work. And, what tactic will work best for your business.
The ultimate goal for Internet Marketing is:
- Drive traffic to your website.
- Capture leads.
- Convert those leads into customers.
- Create repeat and referral business from those customers.
Here's 10 things you must have to be successful online.
Element One: Design Matters
Designing a user focused website is the most important element in internet marketing.
The goal of your website should be to convert visitors into paying customers. The first step in doing this is building trust.
A nicely designed website suggests to visitors that you take pride in the way your site looks.
Have you ever heard the saying: "Look Good, Feel Good"?
Same thing applies to your website. The design of your website is super important, don't be sloppy. Your success depends on it.
Element Two: Strategic Content
What does "strategic content" mean?
In a nutshell, it means creating content that drives the user to a specific goal.
Each and every page on your website should have one goal or desired task you want users to take.
Your goals and desired tasks could be a number of things:
- Purchase a Product
- Sign Up for Email Updates
- Download a Document
- Watch a Video
- Click a Link
- The list goes on and on.
Getting your visitors to complete these desired tasks is the job of your content. Your content tells people what to do with your website. And, more importantly, how they can do business with you.
Each word of your content should have a purpose. Remember, you are building trust with your future customers. Trust = Sales.
Make your content easy to read. Make your paragraphs short. Long content doesn't get read.
The most important thing to realize about strategic content is that you shouldn't use one webpage to sell your products. More on this later.
Element Three: Give Things Away
What does your business do? What problems do you solve?
Give people a sample of your product or service. This doesn't have to be anything physical… give people your knowledge.
When you give people free content that solves their problems, you also help them understand your company and position clearly—which ultimately leads to the sale.
Let's use the example of Bobby Flay, the famous chef.
If you do a Google search for his recipes you get 2,400,000+ results! Each of his recipes are free. And yet, Bobby Flay continues to sell untold copies of his recipe book.
So what do you think Bobby Flay gets in return for giving away his recipes?
Let me just tell you, getting a seat at one of his restaurants is very difficult. ;)
Element Four: Make It Simple
There is a number of reasons why your business and your products are not selling as you envisioned.
The main reason is your content and your marketing materials are not working together. They are actually confusing your customers. Confused people don't buy.
When your customer is confused—when they're faced with too many decisions and too much information—they do nothing. Analysis paralysis. Prospect lost.
Take a look at your product offerings. If your website offers a myriad of services, you're offering too much. Time to simplify.
Let me give you an example. Let's take a look at In-N-Out Burger… a hugely successful fast-food chain that operates mainly on the West Coast.
Their menu might be the smallest menu of any fast food chain. Here is what they offer:
- Double Double
- French Fries
That's it. I have never been to an In-N-Out restaurant without a line. Ever. They make it simple to order, and their products are outstanding.
You can do the same thing with your business.
Element Five: Teach Your Visitors
Don't you love it when you answer the phone and it's one of those telemarketer guys selling you a product that does this and that? Yea, neither do I.
People don't want to be "sold" to.
If you actually want to sell your products and services, concentrate on delivering value to your visitors. Teach them what you know.
Education is what works online.
Make it easy for your prospect to see herself using your product.
Selling online is about education and clear communication. Make sure your prospect knows exactly what you want them to do. Sell your benefits and big ideas. What are you really selling?
Element Six: Nurture, Support and Encourage
If you have used strategic content to get your visitors to take a specific action, you must now follow-up.
This is what we marketers call "nurturing your list".
How many people are going to buy your products and/or services the very first time they visit your website? The answer is not many—if any at all.
But you will get a lot of leads: People who will gladly give you their email address in exchange for valuable information.
What we do with these leads is nurture them, support and encourage them.
Nurturing your list means you send content geared toward solving your customer's problems. The goal is to build authority over time and connect with your prospects.
This strategy works.
Element Seven: SEO
Here's the bottom line: Search engine optimization is not that hard.
It is time-consuming, but you don't need to be a rocket-surgeon to figure it out.
If you'll remember that Google values the experience they are providing to each searcher you'll have no problems. Google wants you to rank well.
Find keywords that best suit your business and start working on them. Build content around these search terms and spread the word.
Ranking in Goolge is time-consuming. You have to earn it. There is no easy way in.
How fast you climb Google depends on a number of factors:
- Strength of your competition.
- Quality of the content on your website.
- Number and quality of backlinks pointing back to your website.
- On-page SEO and clean code.
- And more.
Element Eight: Make Google Happy
Let's not beat around the bush: Google rules the web.
If you want more traffic and sales, you need to rank better on Google's search page.
This includes SEO and keyword optimization, but there's more you can do to improve the quality of your website on Google.
Improve your page load times. Google has made several announcements related to page load times. To improve your page load times, write good HTML code, compress or resize image files and take advantage of caching plugins if you are running your site on a content management system.
Make sure you are using Google Webmaster tools and Google Analytics.
If you don't have a Google Local listing, make one.
Pay attention to Google and do the things required to expand your Google reach.
Element Nine: Find Out What Works
How do you convince visitors to spend money on your products and services?
The answer is by creating an excellent marketing strategy that is well executed.
Realize the effort, thought and strategy behind building a successful marketing campaign and strategy.
The most successful online marketing campaigns did not start-out as an excellent marketing strategies.
Creating invisible marketing is a long-term project. It's not something you put up one day and you're done. Successful marketing is tested, re-tested and tested again.
The best online marketing doesn't look like marketing. It's like good web design, it looks easy, so easy, you hardly notice—if you notice at all.
Element Ten: Expand Your Circle Of Influence
The last element is social media.
The entire goal of your social media strategy should be to get people to your website by expanding your sphere of influence. You want to use social media to get the word out so you can get new visitors back to your website.
Read that again.
The number one mistake I see business owners make is spending too much time on social media. If you are spending all day on Twitter and Facebook how much time are you spending on your website?
Your time should be spent writing blog posts, creating videos and strategic content for your business website. Use social media to spread the word.
The updates to your Twitter, Facebook and other accounts should be done through an application so you can save time.
Focus on your business, let social media spread your communications.
About Bullsprig: We are a company dedicated to helping professionals and businesses get the most out of their internet marketing efforts. We offer products for businesses and "do it yourselfers". Click here to learn more about Bullsprig.