Put simply, your website marketing strategy is a set of decisions that you make about how you are going to market your website and achieve your longer term business objectives.
If you are to have any chance of success, the purpose of your website and related business objectives must be crystal clear. The only measures of success or key performance indicators (KPI) that meaningfully apply to your website marketing strategy are those relating to how well it is helping you to achieve those objectives.
Website Marketing Strategy – Purpose
The purpose of your online presence is your business. Only you can decide what the purpose is and it may fall into one or more of these categories:
- Generate greater numbers of high quality leads that can be followed up and closed offline
- Accept and process orders for your products or services directly from your website
- Build large amounts of traffic around a content-centric website, or an authority site, where you can generate revenue by displaying relevant ads from the likes of Google AdSense or Yahoo! Publisher Network
- Have an impressive looking but passive brochure or showroom website where customers can become acquainted with your company and your products
Whatever your purpose and related strategic objectives of your online presence, the success of your website marketing strategy will largely depend on how well you have defined your target market, its needs and your unique value proposition. In the context of internet marketing strategy, this will have a major influence on your keyword research activities, which in turn is critical for the successful strategic marketing of your website.
The responsibility for defining your purpose and strategic objectives are yours. It would be a fundamental mistake to delegate this to outside consultants who couldn’t possibly share your vision, your passion and your investment in the business.
Website Marketing Strategy – Components
Once you are clear about your purpose and related longer term objectives, the success of your website marketing strategy will depend on how well you select and blend the key components of internet marketing to form your strategy.
Typically, these components would include such activities as:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – where individual web pages are designed to be ‘spider-friendly’ and achieve the highest possible organic or natural rankings on the key search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing.
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – where you use paid placement such as Google Adwords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, or Microsoft adCenter, or various forms of contextual advertising and paid inclusion.
- Inbound links: directories, journals, articles
- Engagement activities: social web – MySpace, Facebook, Linked-In, blog-Twitter combinations, email marketing, participation in groups and forums.
Website Marketing Strategy – coming up to speed
You may be the owner or manager of a small to medium sized business or perhaps you are a marketing executive in a larger company. In either case, your knowledge, skills and experience most likely center on the markets and technologies that define target niche.
This is good news. The internet provides an even playing field where small businesses can box above their weight and success depends on your creativity and adaptability rather than on your financial resources and your current position in the market.
However, there is a need to understand the ground rules when it comes to developing your website marketing strategy and claiming your share of the online market.
Unfortunately, this is a major challenge. The internet marketing arena is saturated with websites and non-stop email about the latest ‘internet marketing systems’. Some of them talk of taking your business to the next level. Most of them peddle the image of you earning twice your current income in only a ‘few hours a week’. Practically all of them expect you to read a seemingly never-ending web page that attempts to hypnotize you with non-stop promises, a constant flow of happy customer references and plaudits for the seller who has ‘changed their lives’, and of course, one compelling ‘bonus’ after another. They don’t tell you anything about the ‘meat’ of their system. Their goal is to get you to believe that you can be as successful as they are if you don’t try to understand the detail – just buy their ‘system’, follow the instructions to the letter (lots of scope here for you to get this wrong and thus getting them off the hook), and the business will flow. These guys call themselves ‘internet entrepreneurs’.
Yet you still need to learn the ground rules of internet marketing so you can decide on the best possible website marketing strategy for your business. This is exactly the area that Coburn Brothers specialize in. It is only appropriate that the author declare an interest here. However, I would encourage you to follow the links below and use the videos as a benchmark to help you select the best way to learn the ground rules and to confidently apply your new found knowledge to developing your website marketing strategy and overseeing its successful implementation.