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Online Marketing – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions related to Web Design, SEO and Online Marketing:

  • Why should I have a website?
  • I have a website. Why it cannot be found on Google?
  • Why should I register my business domain name as soon as possible?Why do I need to promote my website?
  • Why promoting my business online is vital to my business survival?
  • What are keywords and why do I need keyword research prior to designing a website?
  • How search engines deliver search results?
  • How  website position in the search results affects my sales?
  • What is web page rank?
  • What you need to do to get my website to the top of the search results?
  • Why it is important to monitor my website traffic (or the lack of it)?
  • What is a visitor conversion ratio?
  • Why is it important to have an online marketing strategy prior to designing and promoting a website?
  • Why do I need more than one online marketing strategy?
  • How to get visitors to my website?

 

Why should I have a website?

More searches for products and services are now done online than in traditional media, such as telephone books, newspapers, billboards. If you don’t have online presence, it is likely that you losing  a substantial portion of your potential customers to your competitors.

I have a website. Why it cannot be found on Google?

For the website to be found in any search results, it has to be indexed, search-engine optimised and properly promoted. Search Engines don’t know about your website unless someone “tells them” about it by linking to your website and/or advertising it.

Why should I register my business domain name as soon as possible?

A domain name is a unique identification label given to your website, so it can easily be found among millions of other websites on the internet. The domain name consists of 2 parts, the name e.g. coastaltours and an extension e.g. .com . The domain name plus an extension must be unique, so it is first come, first served basis.  If you don’t register your business domain name as soon as possible, someone else might snatch it.

Why do I need to promote my website?

imagine the internet as a big pile of advertising flyers and brochures, stacked in a heap, one on top of the other one. Promotion keeps your site nearer to the top of the stack and therefore makes it more likely to be visited by your potential clients.

Why promoting my business online is vital to my business survival?

The way people shop has changed drastically in the last few years. Research shows that more than 40% of purchases are either conducted online or influenced  one way or another by the information that is found online.

We search for product information in online directories or the search engines, conduct background checks on the companies and their products, ask our Facebook buddies for recommendations, read the Tweets, scan Forums and Blogs for ratings and complaints – yes, these days your sales are less dependent on your floor salesmen and more on your company web presence and its reputation online.

As the world is turning faster and faster, we look for instant information and immediate solutions. eCommerce is becoming a fact of life and the proliferation of iPads and smart phones makes online shopping even more convenient.

Whether you like it or not, this trend unfortunately is not going away. Just look at the statistics. In 2010 there were 1.9 billion internet users and this number is growing exponentially every year.

If you don’t get on line now, you will miss the boat… or at least you will have to pay a premium price to catch up with your competitors.

Online Marketing - world internet usage statistics

 

What are keywords and why do I need keyword research prior to designing a website?

In the “offline” world people page through Golden Pages or ask questions. The questions are usually posed as full sentences. eg. Where can I buy yellow widgets?  The person who answers usually assumes that they want to know a recommended local supplier of yellow widgets.

In the “online” world things are a bit different. We seldom use full sentences, we just use keywords.We therefore type : “yellow widgets Dublin” or “Dublin yellow widgets” or “supplier yellow widgets Dublin” or “yellow widgets for sale Dublin”.

The problem is that although we searched for the same thing , by using different keywords we most probably received four very different results.

What does it mean to you? It means that if you are trying to market your products or services online, unless you use the same keywords people are using in their search to create your website content and to optimise your website, your website will never be found by your potential customers.

It is therefore very important to do keyword research and decide which keywords are worth targeting before you embark on designing your website or launching an online marketing campaign.You can find out more about Keyword Research here.

How to get to the top of the search results in Google?

There is no great mistery in how to get to the top of the search results. You simply need to have a better website than your competitors. Better website means – better domain name, better optimised content, more pages, more links, better links and so on.

Google ranks pages in the search results based on close to 200 different factors, such as content, relevancy, popularity, page loading speed, the level of search engine optimisation and even where your website is hosted.Getting to the fist page of the the search results is frequently a long and arduous process, but the end result is well worth the effort.

If you do your own search engine optimisation and link building, you need to remember that it takes time, consistency and painstaking monitoring of your competitors. Although you can optimise your pages using free software, this method is so time consuming , you will soon give up. If you insist in doing it yourself, invest at least in some page optimisation software, but remember that SEO has become very specialised and it is best left to the professionals who know what they are doing.

Online Marketing Basics – Why it is important to monitor your website traffic (or the lack of it)?

Your success in Online Marketing depends largely on your ability to test and measure the results of your marketing efforts. In online marketing you should never assume anything – test and measure everything.

For instance, imagine that you are running a Pay Per Click Advertising Campaign for dog training.Do you really know which ad is better?

It is not just a case of which ad brings in more leads, but which ad provides a better return on your marketing investment.

Compare Ad 1 vs Ad 2Tired Of Wet Carpets? Dog Training Tips! Any Breed, Any Age xyzdogtraining.comEasy dog training! Dog Training Tips! Any Breed, Any Age xyzdogtraining.comFor example Ad 1 brought 100 leads at $1.5 per lead and Ad 2 only 90 leads at $0.71 per lead.

Which ad, in your opinion, performed better in the end ? You would not know an answer to this question unless you set some success measurement criteria and some targets for your online marketing campaign

If your target was to generate as many leads as possible, then the first campaign was the winner. However if your objective was to generate leads without exceeding a €100 budget, then the second campaign was the winner.The same approach should apply to everything you do online. Set up targets and performance measurements before you launch any marketing campaign.

Your choice of web analytics is very important. You should measure what matters – how many visitors your website gets? Is the trend upwards or downwards? Is your position for specific keywords improving or getting worse?Where the traffic comes from? Which keywords bring the most of your visitors? What is your convertion rate and so on.It is shocking to see how many websites are out there without any analytics installed… Trust us, you will get nowhere online unless you know your numbers.

If your site doesn’t have analytics code installed, contact us. For a small monthly fee, we can install analytics on your site and monitor your traffic, conversion ratios and other statistics. We can also alert you when things are not going the way they should.Once you have analytics in place, you are no longer shooting in the dark. You can pinpoint the areas that need to be improved and make informed decisions on how to allocate your online marketing budget.

Online Marketing Basics – What is a visitor conversion ratio and what affects it

sample website heatmap
A visitor conversion ratio is a number which tells you how many people perform a desired action on your website (eg download a file, leave contact details or go ahead with a purchase) in comparison to the total number of people who visit your website.If one in 5 of your visitors buy or leave contact details, your conversion ration is 20%.The higher the conversion ratio, the better it is. Conversion rate or conversion ratio should always be one of your website performance measurements.

A conversion ratio can be affected by many factors:how relevant is your website content to the search termhow compelling is you sales messagehow your content is placed on the pagehow good is your navigationhow good are your calls to actionhow appealing is your web design

Conversion rate can be improved by analysing your website, making some changes to it and testing and measuring the response. A heatmap is often used to determine where your most important content should be placed.If you would like to improve a conversion ration of your website, contact us.

Why is it important to have an online marketing strategy prior to designing and promoting your website?

An online marketing strategy is nothing more than a plan of action for driving visitors to our website and convincing them to take action –  to read your offer, leave their contact details or make a purchase.

However, in order to define this strategy, you need to know, at least in theory, what keywords you are going to target, what traffic generation techniques you have at your disposal, what results are you likely to get and what costs vs returns can you expect from each marketing channel.

If your target is to get 100 leads for your new product, you need to define how you are going to achieve it. Hit and miss approach can prove very expensive, so defining your online marketing strategy before you blow your budget is advisable .

You can find more information about online marketing strategy here.

Online Marketing Basics – The Conclusion

In a nutshell, online marketing follows a simple model:

website + traffic + conversion = sales

Unfortunately, most small businesses get hung up on website design, spending silly amounts of money on designing and endlessly tweaking it, rather than focusing their efforts on creating quality content, generating traffic and improving their visitor conversion.

For your online marketing to be effective, you need to create a synergistic plan of action – a website is just one element of it. If you need some help with creating an effective online marketing strategy for your business, contact us.

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