Here are some very important things one must understand about online marketing before taking a business online. I often explain these things to my clients who are offline business owners already, so I thought I’d post them here as I’m sure many others will benefit from the understanding.

Online shopping is vastly different from offline shopping

Online users search for different products and service than they would offline and the use different ways to search for them. Based on this premise, the first step in any online marketing campaign is to find out how the online market thinks, what it is looking for and what online niches will be profitable to engage.

Search engines are rapidly losing their leadership in driving traffic

With the advent of social networking and social bookmarking sites, which is the online equivalent of business breakfasts and social circles, more and more traffic is directed at websites from mega-sites, in which there is some built-in mechanism for implied trust, sharing and reciprocating. Therefore, a good online marketing strategy examines the online social vibe, as well as search trends.

Website content and structure are critical to having a profitable website

Unable to Connect error on FirefoxBringing traffic to a site that does not convert visitors to business leads is a waste of money. Whether it is link creation, paid advertising or newsletter marketing, having a focused website with quality content reduces the costs and increases the effectiveness of the online marketing by at least a factor of 5. Therefore, work should be done on the website itself to prepare it for the off-site promotion work.

The local game is not the same

The Internet is everywhere, so the best online business is one offering products or services to the entire world. Competing in a local arena requires specific focus and a totally different set of strategies in order to avoid getting too much “noise” and wasting money on visitors who will never become clients.

Therefore, it is best to acquire knowledge of the local market and possibly couple the online effort with an offline promotion to raise awareness and start a local “vibe”.

The Internet is ever changing

No matter how much effort is spent promoting a website, incoming links will always “fade”, as the number of links on referring pages grows, the number of pages on referring sites grows, the referring pages move away from the top of the referring sites and more sites are created on the Internet.

If this is not enough, there is a disruptive change every 18-24 months in the world of technology, which either puts “state of the art” methods in the baseline or makes them obsolete. Therefore, online marketing is an ongoing operation, much like offline marketing is.

As always, if you need any clarification on these things or you want my help to take your own business to the Internet, you are more than welcome to contact me.

7 responses to “Online Marketing Fundamentals”

  1. Often, web marketing staff and content creators become very concerned with making everything SEO Friendly!

    • That’s actually a good thing, because business owners and site operators generally aren’t concerned with SEO enough and eventually miss out on the benefits. SEO is just the beginning, but without it, a lot of other things don’t work as well as they could.

      Also, it’s a good thing for affiliates like you…

  2. online business is the future of making money. the rising number of internet users would mean that there would be more online transactions and online business oppurtunities.

  3. It also means things will be a lot more difficult to keep up with, which means a good Internet marketing consultant will be well worth the investment.

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