Why Your Business Needs an Online Marketing Strategy

Whether you own a local brick and mortar business or an online company, you’ll want to use the Internet to promote your products and services. The online community is a vast goldmine of potential consumers who log in each day to search for every good and service you could imagine. If you have a product or service, there’s a market for it online. Tapping into that world-wide reservoir of customers is a must if you want your business to not only succeed, but thrive. While word of mouth and certain offline advertising can be great revenue generators for your business, it is important that you implement an online marketing strategy and get it working for you and your business.

Just like any other task involved in the promotion of a business, you’ll need to come up with a solid, effective online marketing strategy, to ensure the best possible outcome – in this case, boosting your customer base, and therefore your business revenue. This doesn’t need to be rocket science, you just need to outline the steps you are going to take to promote your business online.

Promoting Your Business

The most important goal in an online marketing strategy is getting consumers to view your webpage; they can’t buy what they can’t see. This isn’t something that can be left to chance, as there are literally millions of websites online for customers to browse. You’ll need to find a way to direct these consumers to your website, via any number of effective tactics, such as search engines, email marketing, pay per click advertising, social media etc. That way, any time an online consumer is looking for something you provide, you’ll have a that much more of a chance of being their primary choice. Whatever your product or service, you want your business to be known as the market leader. The main factor to ensure in promoting your business is that you’re targeting the right market; if you sell antiques, don’t target a dog training market. While that is an extreme example, the principal still applies.

Where to Promote Your Business

There are many places where you can implement your online marketing strategy; from social media to local business directories, you’ll find that the sky is the limit. All that’s needed is finding the right market and you’re set.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)-One of the most common ways to get your site on the first page of major search engine results is through SEO. Find keywords that people are typing in online and target your website around these. Search Engine Optimisation is a very profitable strategy and should be used by most business owners.

Social Media – Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ offer extensive opportunities for online marketing. These sites have millions of members who visit their pages daily; having your business listed on here would guarantee consumer traffic to your website. Just remember though, social media is about engaging and not selling, so make sure that you build up a relationship with your potential market when you start using social media.

Advertisements – Banners are viewed daily across the web; find websites in your particular niche and place your ads within these pages. This is an under utilised tactic that can be very profitable for your business if you engage with the right audience.

Blogging – Blogging on a website like blogger.com is an extremely effective means of marketing your business, especially within niche related blogs. For instance, if you’re a cake baker and you write a daily blog describing a new type of cake you baked, or about a design you created, and show pictures within that site, not only are you going to generate a following of people wanting to learn how to do this themselves, you’ll gain a steady base of customers dying to have their next big day celebrated with a cake from you. Blogging not only establishes your name in the world of cakes, it can also provide you a following as a leader in your market.

Why Your Business Needs an Online Marketing Strategy

The above are just a few examples of where you can promote your website and what you can base your online marketing strategy around.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in the same location for 50 years; if you’re looking to generate greater exposure, and thereby greater revenue for your business, there is no better place to do so than online. And if you’re looking to market online, you’ll need to find an effective online marketing strategy to ensure your online success.

Remember, this doesn’t need to be complicated. Find out where your market is, and look to tap into a couple of these avenues. You don’t need to do every aspect of online marketing. Set a strategy where you are going to get the quickest return on investment. Remember to revisit your strategy every 3-6 months and adapt as necessary.

Why Your Business Needs a Web Promotion Strategy

The web is the preferred channel for increasing numbers of people who want instant access to information and services whenever it suits them. 72% of searches for products and services are now carried out online, it is the #1 research tool for businesses and half the UK population now go online at least once a day. On a single day in July 2010 Britons spent an eye watering £5 billion online and annual spending on the web is set to grow by 56% to £35 billion in the UK over the next four years (a year on year increase of 12%). Whether you love or loathe the internet, it is an inescapable fact that any small business without an effective web promotion strategy in this day and age is at a serious competitive disadvantage.

Your website is the powerhouse of your online marketing and as a small business owner the time and money spent developing your website will probably represent one of the most significant marketing investments you ever make.

But the sad fact is that 95% of websites fail to get traffic let alone leads and sales. It is simply not the case that “if you build it, they will come”. That is why before investing in a new website you need to have a clear web promotion strategy.

This involves:

Setting measurable objectives
Prioritising the actions that are going to deliver most value for your business
Establishing design requirements from a customer perspective
Carrying out keyword analysis to identify the key search terms that will drive traffic to your website
Building a site structure with search engine optimisation in mind
Analysing your online competition to determine how well positioned you are to compete effectively in your online marketplace
Developing a compelling and distinctive online value proposition that will grab visitors’ attention and make you stand out from the crowd.
Putting together a blueprint for engaging, relevant and high quality content.

Only when all of these elements are in place will you be ready to begin developing your website. Once the site is built you should then configure web analytics and learn how to use the tools and reports to monitor your web performance. Then you will have a way of checking that you are on track to achieve the objectives you set at the beginning and adjust your strategy as you go along.

If you follow this process you should ensure that your website is one of the 5% that are successful in attracting targeted traffic and converting your visitors to warm leads and customers.

Jan Willis is Director of WOW Consulting, an Essex online marketing and website design company specialising in helping small businesses increase their visibility on the web and generate more traffic and leads.

Tips and Tricks for Saving on Auto Insurance

Finding the best auto insurance rates can sometimes be tricky. It is absolutely necessary to be insured on the roads, though. In fact, it is required, by Illinois state law to have coverage. Some find auto insurance to be extremely expensive but, there are ways to help make it more affordable. Here are some things to consider to find the ideal price of insurance.

Shop Around

Get quotes from multiple insurance companies, including different types of companies. Also, realize that the lowest number does not mean the cheapest.

Consider Insurance While Shopping for Cars

Some vehicles have lower reliability ratings and other factors that contribute to higher premiums. While researching cars it is important to compare potential premiums for each of your options to ensure you are getting the best deal.

Increase Deductible

By increasing your deductible, you can decrease your premium. Just be sure that the deductible is manageable for your budget and that you have enough money saved in case you need to file a claim.

Bundle Insurance

If the insurance agency that you choose offers bundling, take advantage of it. If not, try to stay with the same company for all of your insurance needs. This results in discounts in most cases.

Keep Good Credit

Having good credit helps lower insurance rates. Researchers have found a significant relationship between your credit score and amount of claims filed. Insurance companies tend to rely on this correlation to define your financial responsibility.

Low Mileage Discounts

Research mileage averages and see if you fall below that. Do not be afraid to ask about a low mileage discount. This discount could also apply to you if you are someone who carpools.

Group Insurance

Some people fall into the category of people who receive insurance from their employer or other groups they belong to. Some insurance providers offer discounts on auto insurance to people who fall into this category.

Other Discounts

Ask your agent if there are any additional discounts you are qualified for based on certain qualities such as how you drive, etc.

Purchase 10+ days before you actually need it

By purchasing coverage before you need to use it helps drive down premium costs.

Pay in Full Up Front

If possible pay in full, rather than setting up a payment plan. The amount you save annually will add up.

Get New Policy When You Move

Especially out of state! Some states have significantly higher insurance rates than others.

Older Cars

Buying a brand new car, just released is exciting, but if your priority is lower insurance premiums it is better to purchase models that are 5+ years old. They are considered more reliable.

VIN Number for Quotes

The purpose of this is to see if you are eligible for a discount if you have anti-theft devices.

Go Paperless

Some companies value using less paper and offer a small discount to those who opt out of using paper which is not hard to do in this age if technology. It is a small offering, but it adds up.

Insurance Vocabulary

Be sure to understand what the verbiage means so that you have a good idea of what you actually need covered and what questions you need to ask your agent.

Automatic Billing

This is another way to save over time, similar to going paperless.

Education

Some insurers offer discounts based off of the level of education you have. For example, some offer discounts for college graduates.

Teen Drivers

Teen drivers are known to drive up insurance costs, since they are more accident prone. But, if they are in a college that is 100+ miles away without a car some insurers allow them to be temporarily taken off of the plan. Additionally, most companies offer a “good student” discount implying that they correlate this test of intelligence with responsible driving habits. Proof of a safe driving class can also save some money on teen auto insurance.