Internet Marketing Positioning

Internet marketing is becoming the major way that customers find your products and services. However, it should be integrated into your traditional marketing activities.

Building traffic to your website is a process and not a single event. Your internet marketing and traffic driving strategies brings visitors to your website. Then your unique positioning, website design and website content must be able to convince your visitors to take action.

Each of these must be in place for you to maximise the potential of your web strategy.

Unique Positioning

Your unique selling proposition (USP) differentiates you from your competition and is part of your business marketing strategy. Develop the reasons why a visitor will remain on your site, have an interest in what you are saying and come to you as opposed to any other company.

Your website needs to communicate this USP through; 

  • The traffic you attract 
  • The design that you create 
  • The calls to action you use and 
  • The content you develop

It sets you as the only obvious choice for your products and services in your prospect’s mind

Unique Content

Your content should give facts about your products, your customers, industry trends, industry research, Q&A’s, tips and guides. The format can be varied such as white papers, customer testimonials, case studies, video, newsletters or press releases.

Along with your USP your content must appeal to the visitor. It should: 

  • Be attention grabbing, 
  • Be interesting and valuable, 
  • Be credible, 
  • Create desire to know more and 
  • Compel your visitor to take action.

Creating “sales-free” content that educates your visitors is the primary way to get people to return to your website and recommend others as well. Some content that you can develop could relate to:

  • Research Data: There are always searches for industry data. Surveys, studies and papers by experts in your field provide a rich source of facts that will bring visitors to you all the time and have them return for more. You also portray yourself as knowing the industry, the issues and the solutions that drive your customers' business. 

 

  • Education: Be a source of facts. You can provide your industry definitions, glossaries, presentations or links to other relevant industry sources such as government bodies and associations. The medium that you use can be video through Youtube, online seminars, online tools that the visitor can interact with such as calculators, PDF white papers and PowerPoint presentations. 

 

  • Product Overviews: Walking visitors through an overview of your products makes it easy for them and conveys your message clearly. Use pictures, video and documents to make sure that your products and benefits are well understood.

    Comparison tables can differentiate you from your competition. Graphs, charts and product snapshots will help your positioning and expertise.

 

  • News: News about yourself is often not as important as general Industry news. Visitors are looking for independent, relevant material and bringing that together in a single area will be of value to your visitors. 

 

  • Case Studies: Highlight the solutions and benefits that you have brought to your customers through case studies and success stories. These can be very compelling if done with a video of your customer within the case study. 

 

  • Your Expertise: Question and Answers combined with Blogs and Forums can highlight your expertise. Q&A’s should be able to cover not only your products, but a variety of industry topics and issues.

    Blogs allow you to interact with your customers and prospects giving them a direct response to the issues that they may raise. Forums too bring together many people with similar interests to discuss topics and issues relevant to them. 

 

  • Rich Media: You need to consider the behaviour of all types of visitors. Some like to read, others prefer pictures, listen, watch a video or interact online. A variety of rich media can help you create your unique content, making it easy for your visitors to understand your message. Rich media may involve any combination of graphics, audio, video, animation and text. 

 

  • Interaction Devices: The visitor experience can be enhanced by targeted interaction. This can be a calculator, survey or questions that lead to advice – specific to your visitor. 

 

  • Special Offers: Knowing what your competitors are offering allows you to be different. For example if an offer of an analysis is being made by others, why would a visitor need a similar one? Be creative!

Calls to Action

Your content on each page must drive your visitors to action. This can take a number of forms. For example:

  • ECommerce: The primary CTA throughout the site will be “Order Now” strategies that will provide a visitor the ability to add an item to a shopping cart and begin the checkout process.

 

  • Lead Generation: Ask a visitor to complete a registration form to accept an offer (generally free) with the implicit understanding that this may lead someday to a sale. Offers might include white papers, webinars, coupons, price quotes, trials and/or samples. These offers may be distributed throughout the site on pages relevant to the content to be downloaded.

 

  • Branding & Education: Engage visitors to examine or interact with the content of the website. For example, post to a message board, engage in a blog, answer a survey or take a poll.

 

  • Subscription: Develop a relationship with a visitor and build a database of “opt-in” subscribers to receive communications on an ongoing basis. These may be emails, an RSS feed or a print newsletter. Although the ultimate goal is to develop a commercial relationship it may be implied but not overt. The key to success will be the ongoing value and relevance of your content.

Once you have your website structured to convert, driving traffic to it is a continuing process. Web marketing is far more complex than simple submissions to search engines. It is more detailed than just ranking in Google or Yahoo. Internet marketing must be balanced in the ways visitors reach your website. The right mix should be:

  • Search Engine Traffic (33%) 
  • Referring Sites Traffic (33%) 
  • Direct Entry Traffic (33%)

Search Engine Traffic

Search Engines can generate large volumes of qualified traffic to your site. It may involve paid search through bid ranking or organic/free traffic. Both require some work to get the most benefit from this area of internet marketing.

  • Search engine positioning requires making titles, descriptions and page text that are keyword rich. You focus on the keywords found in your keyword research analysis. As search engines see web pages, not websites, you should make sure that you optimize every single page of your website for your keywords. Website optimisation gives the search engines the facts needed to determine the relevance of your site to keywords.

 

  • Bid ranked search engines allow you to precisely control the amount of money you will spend. Google Adwords is one such bid marketing engine. You only pay when a consumer clicks on your ad, which means you control how much you want to spend in marketing with Adwords. It can also confirm the actual traffic available to you and whether the keywords you have chosen are correct for your demographic.

    This is a fast start method of getting traffic. Be aware that research shows that this will only attract up to 10% of the available traffic to your site. 

 

  • Organic or free traffic from search engines takes time and effort. Your goal must be to position yourself at the top of the first search engine page for your keywords. The number of visitors you receive from search engines is a direct result of this position. Consider your own internet search behaviour – how many references do you click on before refining your search terms?

    Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) influences how relevant the search engine sees your web page and its content. The quality of other web pages that refer traffic to your web page and the competition for the selected keywords determines where you will be positioned. A linking strategy of relevant web pages to you is vital to your positioning.

Referring Sites Traffic

Referring sites influence two areas of traffic volume. Firstly, search engines see the relevance of your web pages based on the quantity and quality of the sites that refer or link to you. Secondly, these sites also bring traffic directly to you. Finding websites relevant to your industry, your products and your services is critical to your online marketing strategy.

  • Trading links with other websites that share your market is vital to internet marketing. It can increase traffic to your site, but it also helps your link popularity. Your search engine position is influenced by the number of relevant links to your web page. 

 

  • Other websites will also link to you if you are recognised as an expert and have valuable and relevant content.

 

  • Web Directories are managed by people not software robots like search engines. There are many web directories large and small. The most important are Yahoo and DMOZ as search engines such as Google use them as a reference source. Using your keywords, research directories and submit manually to the relevant ones.

 

  • Online auction sites like eBay directly promote your products to online shoppers. 

 

  • Free classifieds submissions provide classified advertising and a link to your website. There are submission services that for a fee will continually submit your advertising to a network of free classified ad listings 

 

  • Most market segments can be found on the Internet through vertical portals. They are a resource for well-targeted advertising for your site. Most vertical portals are free, and some offer paid advertising. Often they have free resources to promote your website, like listings on their directory of industry resources, or in their vertical search engine. 

 

  • With experience you can use Impression ads like banners, skyscrapers, buttons, pop-ups and pop-unders. They help online-branding but be aware that the click-through rate can be quite low. 

 

  • Permission based email newsletters sell commercial ad space. Click-through rates are much higher than banners.

 

  • Affiliate programs recruit other websites to promote your product or service by linking to you. This is a formal program that gives a small percentage of every sale to the referring website. It can be seen as a commissioned sales force of websites. 

 

  • Submitting your press releases to online sites and your white papers and articles to article or Ezine sites shows your expertise and generates your own relevant links.

Direct Entry Traffic

Your online marketing strategy is a part of your business marketing strategy. By including your web address in every form of traditional media you are creating the opportunity for visitors to directly access your web site.

Your URL should be included in your business cards and brochures, telephone, TV and radio advertisements as well as direct mail.

Your website can become a measurement tool for your offline marketing activities. It may not give you 100% results, but it will be a key indicator of the success of your activities.

For example, have you wondered why companies with a special offer on TV have their URL as www.company.com.au/tv? This is an opportunity to measure the effectiveness of this campaign. Similarly with print media, companies may have an offer in magazineX. To take advantage of that offer you must go to www.company.com.au/magazineX.

Brand marketing can also be measured to a certain extent. For example, if Company X specialises in internet marketing, a reference not knowing your URL using search engines keywords to find you may search on “Company X internet marketing”.

Your base of clients might also refer people to your website – another direct entry. Most people today, before they contact you, will look at your website, either directly or through a specific search engine query.

Developing your online marketing strategy around the three areas of search engines, referring sites and direct entry traffic will give you the best opportunity to maximise the traffic you receive.

Getting traffic is an important part of your internet solution. Converting visitors once you have them is by far the true measure of your website and your online marketing strategy success.

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