Online Marketing Strategies and Common Mistakes to Avoid
Ever hear the stories of how an average guy, one who used to make only $20,000 or less per year, is making making $200,000 or more per year with a small investment? Sounds too good to be true, huh? Well, the fact remains that there are people, and a lot of them, who in fact are earning 6, 7, even 8 digits or more per year with their website.
What are they doing that newbies aren’t? What do they know? I am going to explain the steps to getting traffic to your business and to convert the traffic to buyers.
First, in the “old days” of brick and mortar businesses, there were a couple of key factors into having a fair business or a booming business. The very first factor was location followed by product selection, pricing, etc., etc. In the competitive world of online marketing, that isn’t so much of a factor. The first and foremost factor to building a successful business is finding your niche, or finding the area where you excel. Once you find your niche, you should do keyword research and make sure that it isn’t an over searched area. For instance, if you wanted to build a site around Gibson Les Paul guitars, you should realize that there is lot of competing sites that you are fighting with for traffic. Instead, you would want to target your niche and keywords around an area that doesn’t have that kind of competition.
NOTE: Your target keywords should have less than say 100,000 competing sites. You can even venture into the 1,000,000 competing sites area, though, I wouldn’t advise this to start with.
Now that you have your targeted niche and several keywords to work with, it is time to start building a site. If you haven’t registered a domain name yet, it is the time to do so. Keep in mind, though, if your niche is satellite telephones, you don’t to register a domain name that is pertaining to football or anything else. I say this because I received a spam message in my email just moments ago that was exactly that. You would want your domain name to be relevant to your product(s) for Search Engine Optimization purposes.
Once you have this, it is time to build a site. If you have built websites before, or have knowledge of html programming then you will do just fine through here. But for those of you who don’t have this knowledge, there are many places to get website creators, content management systems, shopping carts, etc. on the web. Simply search for these things and you will find an abundance of them.
The most common misconception that online marketers have is that once they build their site traffic will flood their site. WRONG! Once you have created your site and installed it on your webserver, it is time for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is where an online marketer, especially, optimizes their site to rank high in the search engines. If your page is ranked on Page 25 of Google, don’t expect to receive a whole lot of traffic to your site.
So the rigorous work of getting your site to page 1 must begin. I especially like this part, it is sometimes a challenge. I am going to give some keys to get your site there though:
- Use heading tags h1, h2, h3, etc.
- Provide keyword rich content – again if your page is about satellite phones, you want to have your page filled with appropriate content
- Use Search Engine Friendly urls and page titles (Note: if you are using a php script, it may be difficult for you to create the SEO friendly URL’s on your own if you have no programming experience. You find it easier to consult a programmer or developer to mod the script for you.)
- Use meta tags appropriately – Fill out the Meta keywords and description tags for your site. It may take longer but in the long run, it is worth it.
Next, make sure that your site is user-friendly as well. Are the pages that you really want to promote in a location on your home page where your site’s visitors can find them? Make sure you don’t clutter up your homepage and other pages with junk. This can be your worst enemy and cause some 90% of your targeted traffic to bounce away from your site.
Finally, create backlinks to your site. This isn’t hard at all. Simply enter a link back to your site in your blog, myspace and/ or other social networking sites, free classifieds sites, and finally contact webmasters with sites that are relevant to yours and see if they will exchange links with you. For instance, if your site is about fishing tackle then you might contact either boat sales sites, fishing resorts, and even other fishing tackle sites (mostly the ones that aren’t direct competition) and simply ask to exchange links with you. The worse thing they can say is no.
You can also use viral marketing techniques which is where you write a short article and email to people on your mailing list. I don’t advise buying mailing lists for email marketing because the majority of the leads that you buy are going to label you a spammer and some may even tell you off or report you for spam. Just not a good idea. If you don’t have a mailing list, mail it to your friends. Leave a note that if they find it useful, mail it on to their friends. Eventually, it will spread like wildfire and it will have link back to your site. This is a great marketing technique!
Try video marketing to attract even more visitors to your site. Post a video on any or all of the video sharing sites with links to your site in the video. This will get even more traffic to your site.
You can also use Search Engine Marketing which is pay per click. I wouldn’t advise this to brand new marketers until you have made a few conversions on your site. This will ensure that your site is going to perform. I advise you to have friends and family look your site over and without bias, tell you whether or not they would buy what you have to sell or would stay on your site to read what you have to say.
Now that we have covered getting traffic to your site, let’s go over how to get these guys to convert. An old saying where I grew up is, “I can sell a ketchup popcicle to a man in a white suit.” In online marketing, you don’t have to be the best salesman to get a conversion. However, you probably should know a few key points to get more conversions.
- Offer a free gift to have your visitors opt-in to a mailing list. This will prove vital because statistics show that a customer will visit a site 10 times before converting to a sale. And that goes for the converting customers. The other 90 visitors usually click away. This leads me to step 2.
- Place java code into the head of your script that prompts your visitor to confirm that they are clicking away. Most internet marketers who use this tactic have reported conversion increases up to 50%.
- Write compelling salescopy – You don’t have to be an English major, or copywriter to write the salescopy but merely write about the product itself.
When it comes to salescopy, there are a couple of things to consider. First of all, if your site is a shopping cart with multiple products you aren’t going to need really long salescopy. You can keep it short and to the point. Depending on your products, you can write a brief description of what the product is that you are selling and some of the key benefits of me owning it. Then you should briefly tell me why I should buy it from you, i.e., your prices are lower or I can save 20% on my next order.
On an auto parts website of mine, I was able to sell more cases of oil by offering a free eBook on how to change oil with the customers purchase. It can be something very small that can make the world of difference.
If your site is selling one product, you need to consider writing a long salescopy. When you write long salescopy, here is kind of the general rule to achieve conversions. First, you want to capture the reader’s attention by building a problem. Explain to your reader how they have this problem along with the rest of the world. Once you have the problem described, explain how your product can make the problem go away like there was no problem at all. After you convince your reader that your product is the savior, then and only then do you mention the price. Never mention it in the beginning of the copy! That is not good.
Once you convince your reader that your product is the only product that they need, then the price doesn’t seem so bad after all. Especially if your product actually does deliver what it promises too. So, keep that in mind. Never start the copy out saying, “For $499, the world won’t end for you today!” Just not smart internet marketing Advise Marketing.