Every website owner investing resources in Internet marketing wants to know when they will see a payoff. Some online marketing tools can yield fast results while others may take longer.
It is important to consider both the timeline and the return on investment when deciding your online marketing strategy.
Marketing plan 20.1: Fastest Results
If you are selling a product that has a short lifespan you need fast sales. To do this, consider Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns. PPC campaigns can drive traffic to your website within minutes. It is the fastest results you can expect from online marketing.
The downside is that PPC campaigns can be quite expensive. You are paying for every click to your website from the search engine regardless as to whether or not they convert to a sale.
Some search terms have a low cost per click like $0.10 per click but competitive terms are typically anywhere from $5 to $200 per click or more. This means your PPC campaign can become quite expensive quite quickly.
Marketing plan 20.2: Social Media & Content Distribution
Social Media Marketing (SMM) is a way to drive targeted traffic to your website. By engaging potential customers on sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter you can drive them to your website.
SMM takes time and energy but it is something you can potentially handle in-house which means the only cost associated is the value of your time. Make sure you factor in the value of your time when doing a cost-benefit analysis.
Article and press release distribution is another way to bring targeted traffic to your website. A well-written article or press release that includes a link to your website can bring you targeted traffic. The only costs associated with this are the cost of distribution of the press release and the writing costs, if any.
Marketing plan 20.3: Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a very cost-effective way to bring targeted traffic to your site but it also is one of the slower ways. Typically SEO is part of a long-term online marketing plan.
SEO includes a series of tools and strategies that when implemented will help your site rank higher in search results on the search engines. It can take several months or longer before your website starts to rank better though SEO, but once you do there is no cost per click.
Analyze your options and associated costs and you can determine your best short-term and long-term Internet marketing strategy.
Landing pages are the most important pages on a website. It is vital that your Internet marketing efforts include the creation, testing, and tracking of landing pages. You can directly equate the success of your landing pages with your conversion rate so your attention to detail is important when it comes to your landing pages.
Marketing plan 21.1: Testing Landing Pages
The best way you can test landing pages on your website is to create multiple versions of the page to be tested. Your pages should differ in style, content, offers being made, images, etc.
Once you have your landing pages set up you should install Google analytics on them. The analytics will help you see how traffic is responding to the various landing pages you set up.
Create a PPC campaign on Google that sends traffic to all four landing pages and run the campaign for at least 4 weeks. Make sure each of the landing pages is receiving around the same volume of traffic.
Marketing plan 21.2: Seeing the Results
Examine the results to make a determination about the success (or lack of success) of each landing page. You want to see your bounce rate (the lower the bounce rate the better), your conversion rate (the most important statistic) and how long people spend on each landing page.
Start to identify your most and least successful landing pages. Look for similarities among the most successful pages and the least successful pages. This should help you start to identify what does and does not work.
Marketing plan 21.3: Adjusting the Landing Pages
Put together a couple of different variations of your most successful landing pages to run the experiment again. Pay careful attention to things like what images are being used and where, what if any video is being used and where, calls to action, etc.
Run the campaign for another 3 to 4 weeks and analyze the results in much the same way you did earlier. At this point you should be able to pinpoint what is and is not working on your landing pages.
Create your final landing pages based on what worked the best and run them for at least 8 to 12 weeks. After approximately 8 to 12 weeks you may want to create new versions of your landing pages and test them again. You will have “fresh eyes” at this point and may identify new things to improve the success of your landing pages.
Writing for the web is a skill that some writers have and other writers do not have. You want to keep some simple rules in mind when writing website content, blog content, online articles, etc.
Your ability to stay within some simple rules will help you write effectively for the web.
Marketing plan 22.1: Website Content
Website content (the text on your site) has to be written for two distinct “audiences”. You are writing for the people who visit your site and you are writing for the search engines. Both are important audiences.
First and foremost make sure your content is well-written or your website visitors will lose confidence in your company. The search engines may not know the difference between good and bad writing but the visitors to your site will.
You typically want to write on a reading level between 6th and 9th grade. Keep your sentences short and clear. Paragraphs should never be longer than four sentences and your content must flow.
Your content should include keywords. Keywords are the search terms that people would enter into Google, Yahoo, etc to find you. You should use keywords on all of your pages but do not cram them in. If you overuse keywords you may get your site penalized by Google as SPAM.
A good rule of thumb is to keep your keyword density around 3%.
Marketing plan 22.2: Blog Content
There are similar rules for blog content. In addition to the rules for website content you also want to make sure you do not exceed 400 – 500 words for a blog posting. You can write a concise and informative blog posting between 200 and 400 words in most cases.
Make sure your blog has links into other pages of your site and is written in a conversational tone.
Marketing plan 22.3: Article Writing
Perhaps the most important rule for writing articles is to write articles that have value. Writing words for the sake of writing words has no value and the impact will be negligible for your business.
Article writing can be an effective form of Internet marketing. Distributing well-written and informative articles will enhance credibility and provide you with valuable links into your website. If you are not a good writer you should consider hiring article writers for your site.
Consumers that read concise, well-written articles will reward you with confidence and loyalty. Make sure you keep this in mind when writing for the web.