Online strategy tips for 2012
Thu 03 May 2012
In the early days of the Internet it might have been possible to make a lot of money with a very basic website and virtually no online marketing. The most simple web site handed you new opportunity. As a result you might win business across the state, the country, or internationally just by the virtue of having an online presence. It was funny to watch the worst designed home made websites doing business and at the same time providing an important guidepost to the future.
Today, the game has changed and a full web strategy is the obligation of every business.
If you have not considered each of the strategic points in your Internet presence then you are missing out.
Here are some pointers
1. Effortless design
I have always been a fan of minimalist design and even more so now. Traditional design firms still go to great lengths to massage your ego with outrageously complicated design at great expense. While your heart swells, your bank account is being emptied. The profit imperative demands that web design is simple and clear navigation draws customers through a process to ultimately buy your product.
My advice: Simplify the design and don't hold up the project because a pixel is out of place.
2. The online transaction
It's so important at that point of sale that the customer feels extremely relaxed. They have to commit to the purchase, supply credit card and must have zero resistance to doing so. Otherwise, its is not going to happen. This is not to say that you require complicated payment gateways and/or PayPal.
My advice: Get the credit card details, process it later.
3. Product information
Along the way to purchase the customer will be looking for every clue they can get about your product, and look for a reason not to buy. My experience in surveying online purchasers is that they WANT to buy online. The road blocks are created when they can't get adequate product information, photos from every angle, review information from independent parties, shipping times. All their questions MUST be answered.
My advice: Provide large amounts of product imagery. Hard products need photos from every angle. Tourism needs spherical panoramas of accommodation or experience. Build additional lofty heights of purchaser emotion with a video showing the product at work.
4. Search engine marketing
Google is still the number one place for most businesses to find new customers and will remain so for some time yet. When launching a new product line, web site, or business you are going to have to pay to have Google to place your offering at the top of searches, and this has to be done with pin point accuracy or it will cost you as much as traditional media � and that is what we are trying to avoid. At the very same time your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) must be implemented so that in the weeks or months after launch, your offering rises to a page one position on the most important search phrase... and there is simple means to find out what that is. In a 2011 project, the launch of a second domain name was the secret to getting the new web site onto the first page of search results inside 2 months. The Google adwords spend was initially high, but has now been tapered, as the free search position takes over.
My advice: Plan to spend big on Adwords at the outset, but initiate your Search Engine Optimisation strategy today so your reliance on paid ads reduces over time.
5. Social Media
Facebook is undeniably important for todays online marketing. The ability to get friends telling friends about your product in this environment is invaluable and potentially low cost. Loyalties can last just minutes in today's online world, so inside that time you need to have it work for you. Meanwhile, you don't want to put all your marketing eggs in the Facebook basket. Too many businesses have acted on hype and allow marketing staff to waste precious man/woman hours engaging in frilious Facebook effort for little return. At the same time, there are some simple things that can be done to net a large following for subliminal campaigning. One recently created Facebook entity has 2700+ friends in a target market... and growing.
My advice: Minimilise Facebook marketing to effort that will win business. Think about building a following in the region of your market space and then slip your product in front of them.
This marketing update and just a few of the secrets for modern day online success was written by John Nayler. Career IT professional, Internet consultant since the advent of the World Wide Web. Proprietor of eCentral, John has produced web sites and strategy large and small, for business, government and organisations. MyWhitsunday.com?, www.TheFrenchCellar.com.au, Toscanaairliebeachaccommodation.com and ChannelWhitsunday.com are just a few examples of current projects.
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John can be contacted on 0407 15 13 11 for advice on all aspects of online business.