Website Marketing Strategy
How To Get Started
Here are some guidelines on producing a website marketing strategy.
The most important question is: what are the aims of your website marketing strategy? For example, do you want to:
- Have a good looking website to convey a certain image to potential clients
- Generate new leads/prospects for your business
- Sell products through the internet
- Derive income from the website itself
To convey a certain type of image, your website marketing strategy will be centred around design. For example, when you give out your business cards you may expect potential clients to take a look at your internet site.
In this case, you should find someone who has a good eye for design and understands how marketing messages work - ie: you want a marketeer/designer, not a internet programmer.
NB: Fancy moving pictures may look good, but they often make a site perform poorly in the search engines (see below).
If you want to generate new leads through the internet, there are four basic strategies for doing so.
The first is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). This involves producing web pages that rank well in the search engines on relevant keywords. SEO is an art or science in its own right, so you need to find a good SEO consultant. For more information, see our article on website marketing strategy SEO consultants.
The second is advertising. A good scheme to get started is Google Adwords, which provides a low cost entry into the internet advertising market. Using such schemes does not require much technical expertise, but knowledge of how to get the best out of them could help you to maximise the return from your advertising spend.
The third is inbound links from directories, journals or other online publications. An inbound link is a link from that website to yours. Sometimes you can get such links simply by informing the directory of your existing or, in the case of online publications, writing original articles for them (in fact, we accept such articles at this website - see our contact page for more details).
The fourth is secret squirrel marketing. By taking part in newsgroups, forums, email lists etc., you can spread the news of your website by word of mouth.
What matters in all of these is the text. The best type of consultant to get to help is a website copyrighter, or a marketeer who specialises in writing text for the internet.
Selling products involves a different type of technology to conventional websites. There are lots of standard software packages that will do the job for you, for which you'll usually need a technical consultant or programmer.
If you want to derive income from an internet site, then you need to become an online publisher. To make money, you'll first need a plentiful supply of original articles or products, and then you can sign up to an advertising scheme such as Google Adsense, Yahoo Publisher Network or Commission Junction.
When you are producing a website marketing strategy for the first time, it is best to establish your aims first, and then seek help from a consultant best suited to those aims. That is:
|Conveying an image||Use a designer to produce a good looking internet site.|
|New Leads via SEO||Use a Search Engine Optimisation consultant to produce an internet site that ranks well in the search engines.|
|New Leads via advertising||For low cost entry, this is something you can Do-It-Yourself or use an internet advertising consultant.|
|New Leads via inbound links||Contact internet sites in your industry to get links.|
|New Leads via secret squirrel marketing||Take part in newsgroups, forums, email lists, etc. to advertise your site informally.|
|Selling products||Purchase and install a package that sells products, with the aid of a internet programmer|
|Deriving income||Produce or obtain original articles and sign up to an advertising brokerage scheme.|