Top tips for the budding online marketer

02 May

With Mother’s Day coming up fast, it’s no wondering that Pinoys are turning to the internet to ensure they get the date right and track down the right gifts for their mothers. A look at Insights for Search shows that searches for ‘Mother’s Day 2012’ and ‘Mother’s Day’ rose, as did searches for ‘bouquets’ and ‘balloons’.

Clearly, Filipinos are looking to give their mothers something to remember the day by. So what can a business to do reach this audience? Why not tap on the power of the internet? The web offers savvy marketers the opportunity and free tools to help grow their business. Whether big or small, firms can easily leverage these free tools to successfully run and reap the benefits of an online marketing campaign. Here are five key questions and tips to help you plan and execute your online marketing campaign like a pro.

Five Key Questions to Ask Yourself
1. What is the goal of your campaign? Sounds basic enough, but specifying what you want your campaign to achieve can really help you narrow down the whats and hows of your plan. While you may have a number of marketing goals, focus on the most important one to start. For example, a small shoe store may identify “selling 100 pairs of shoes in one month” as their primary goal, or an online gadget store may aim to “gain 1,000 unique visitors a week”.

2. What are you trying to market? Pick out the product or service you want to market. This may be your best seller or one of your lesser known products or services. Picking too many products or services can lead to an incoherent and ultimately, ineffective, campaign.

3. Who is your audience? It is important to identify who your audience is, as this criteria will help refine what actions to take to implement your marketing strategy. Is your product or service best suited for women from 20-30? Or are you looking to attract new customers from a specific demographic?

Once you know who your intended audience is, you’ll be able to understand their online behavior and shape your marketing plan accordingly. For example, if your intended audience uses search engines to look for information on products and services, then a search marketing campaign may be just what you need to engage with them.

4. How is your audience accessing your site? It’s important to know whether your audience is looking for you via desktop devices or using mobile search. Google’s data shows that around 66% of shopping-related searches are coming from mobile. And Filipinos are increasingly turning to their smartphones for answers as well. Research shows that around  64% of Filipino households already own at least one smartphone and more — over 35% — Filipinos intend to purchase smartphones this year.

So even if you have a great desktop website, you may still be missing out on potential customers by neglecting to create a mobile-optimised site. Test whether your site is mobile ready using this easy tool by Google, which shows you how your current site looks on mobile and provides a personalised report on what’s working, and what could be improved. You can also quickly build a mobile-friendly site by using a tool like Google’s mobile site builder.

5. What’s your budget? Your marketing plan will affect and be affected by your budget. Find a balance between what your needs are — perhaps you don’t really need that banner ad and instead a smaller text ad may do the trick — and what you can afford to optimize your investment.

Five Tips to Reach Your Audience
1. Rank higher in search engine results. Want your website to rank higher in search results? If so, then search engine optimization (SEO) is the right strategy for your business. One key factor in determining your website’s rank in results, is the presence of useful and information-rich pages with content that is concise and relevant to viewers.

It also helps to make sure that your site is available for indexing. For example, you can submit your website to Google for indexing. You can even get reports that contain information like which keywords trigger results that include your site from the Webmaster Tools section.

2. Tailor your messages. People click on ads that give them what they’re looking for. When building a search marketing campaign on a platform like AdWords, identify the relevant keywords by anticipating your customers’ search behavior and choosing those that are most likely to lead potential customers to your ad. To get the best results, your keywords should be directly related to your product and the content of your your ads. The better the ads are at giving people what they’re looking for, the better the returns for marketers.

3. Don’t make your audience work for the information. To increase the likelihood of a sale, make sure the URL in your ad directs people to the specific page within your website that clearly displays the product you offered in your ad. Typical Internet users make quick decisions about whether to stay on a website, so don’t leave them guessing.

4. Make it easier for your audience to find you offline, online. Want people to visit your brick and mortar store? Nearly 97% of people search for local businesses online. Make your physical store more visible in search results by adding your address, map and pictures on Google Places for Business, for free.

5. Harness the power of data analysis. Monitor your campaign with free web analytics tools. Whether you are looking to generate higher website traffic or increasing online sales, looking at the data can help you better target your campaign. Use conversion-tracking software to determine which keywords are leading to clicks, and which clicks to sales. If something isn’t working, retool and try again.

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Posted by on May 2, 2012 in Google



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