What is online marketing and how does it work?
The internet is changing every day. New technologies, tools, programming languages, ways to communicate and perform daily tasks, are introduced every few months and so online marketing has to adapt and stay up to date, in order to be successful. New online marketing techniques, ways to promote brands, products and services are also invented daily. A technique that used to work a few months ago may not work today and a new technique that works great now, is introduced. And the interesting thing is that most of them do not require a lot of money in order to be put to motion. This is where online marketing differentiates from traditional marketing. Traditional marketing requires constant exposure to the media and constant funds to be allocated in order to be successful, while online marketing can make use of clever new approaches and techniques that, other than the cost of the service provided by the online marketing specialist, is not costly in general.
In order to be successful, an online marketing campaign, has to take under consideration the current Internet trends, technologies and tools and make use of, as many of them, as possible. The result is the sum of all those actions, other than just a marketing spot that plays to all kinds of media, in the traditional marketing. Several techniques, approaches and actions have to be taken in order to be successful, like:
It is the evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of current and potential competitors. This analysis determines the online marketing actions taken by the competition in order to identify opportunities and threats. It also provides offensive and defensive strategy to strengthen and improve our customer’s position, increase traffic and conversion. At the end, a competition analysis report is produced including all the above and a meeting with the customer takes place in order to explain the situation and decide the best course of action.
Competitor analysis is essential for corporate strategy. Most companies do not conduct this type of analysis regularly. Instead, many companies operate on impressions and intuition gained through the bits of information about competitors. As a result, they are at risk of dangerous competitive blind spots due to a lack of a solid competition analysis. For the above reason, we propose to perform a competition analysis at least every year, in order to be able to adapt to the actions taken by the competition. Contact us today for your free competition analysis.
The internet is always in need of original, relevant and useful content. The main focus of a successful website is to provide that kind of content. Our work starts by researching what is available on the internet and we build and improve on that, to the point that we produce original content that is in demand. We have to emphasize the fact that we do not write content intented for search engines. The content we write is mean to be read by humans. However, we optimize and follow guidelines in order to make it search engine friendly. As a result, receiving high ratings by the search engines, is the welcoming side effect. We also give special attention to the existing content and we improve and optimize it as well, because the content in a website is the most important thing. It is the purpose of its existence, so we make sure that there are no pages without the right content, because they will hurt our targeted results.
Website performance optimization
It is the work we perform in order to optimize all the performance aspects of a website. The tasks we take are:
Resolve all problems and errors
You will be surprised how many errors websites have, that go unnoticed. However these type of errors, create problems to our visitors and hurt the search engine ranking.
Resolve all design issues
In many cases there are design errors that prevent the visitor from normally view and understand the content of a website and in some cases prevent them form performing certain tasks. For example, the color of the background in some menus could not contrast enough with the color of the text and in some screens, the text wil be difficult or impossible to be read. In many cases, the cart or the order button are not accessible in some screen resolutions, due to design error. All the above and many more can discourage the visitor continue on your website, or with the order, will increase the bounce rate and conversion rate, dropping sales and success ratio. It will also hurt the search engine rating.
Resolve blocking scripts and CSS problems
Besides creating problems with the operation of a website, they significantly increase the loading time of a website. A slow loading website will be dismissed by the majority of the visitors, as they would think that it is not working and go to another website.
Most of the people just take an image and use it on a page, but there is much more to that. We resize all images to the right size. I picture that is bigger and is scaled by code, hurts the website's loading time and the search engine rating. We lossless compress them to the optimum, according to Google's image optimization guidelines. Finally we make sure that they all have ALT text so that it is easier for search engines to index them.
Minify and compress
Make use of the browser's cache
A page that is loaded before, doesn't have to take much time to be loaded again.
Make use of a Content Delivery network (CDN)
Using a good CDN, significantly improves your website's content delivery and loading speed, because there are more networks that are delivering at the same time.
Make use of Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
We support and make use of Google's initiative for faster mobile internet and so we make sure all our websites make use of that technology.
There are many other tasks we perform in order to improve the performance of your website, that it is impossible to write them all in this article. In most of the cases however, we shave a lot of loading time of your website and the result usually is a website that was even taking 30 or 40 seconds to load, it loads in less than 10 seconds, or even less. There are examples of websites that we manage to make them load in 1 to 3 seconds. Is your website loading slowly? Contact us today for a free study and evaluation of your website's performance optimization.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
It is the work performed by a Search Engine Optimization Specialist, in order to improve the visibility of a website in the search engines' unpaid results. You may have heard those results as organic, natural, or even earned results. That is because it takes a lot of effort to produce them and the effect is permanent. It is very unusual for those websites that earned a high natural search engine results position to drop, if the SEO Specialist has done a good job. Read more...
Search Engine and Social media advertisement
Search Engine Marketing, also called SEM, is the work performed, utilizing Google's AdWords, or another search engine's advertisement system, in order to promote a product, service, or offer. You see this type of advertisement when you search in Google, before, or after the search results, or at the right of the screen and is marked as ad. The job of a SEM specialist is to find the best way to run an advertisement campaign and produce the best results possible, using the minimum possible budget. A similar job is performed with Social Media Marketing, also called SMM, where a SMM specialist runs a similar campaign in Social Networks, like Facebook, Twitter, etc. In both cases you can select the audience, the campaign targets and limit it with various filters, like age, gender, education, area, etc...
Advertisement is essential, however it works much better to an audience that is interested in the promoted products or services and has given its conscience to it. So developing a relevant and loyal audience, is essential to all business that want to stay in business and expand. It is well known that we live in the era of social media, so a large part of that audience should be from there. There rest can be Newsletter subscribers, RSS subscribers, etc. Regardless where the audience comes from, in order to maintain and evolve it, you basically need to do certain things:
Reaching out frequently but not as much that you will make them tired and unsubscribe. A good time interval can be once a month.
Keep them interested by offering free and interesting information that they can use.
Send them promotional offers that they need, but again not too many, so they will consider it as spam, because you will loose them.
Whatever you do, keep in mind one thing. People need brief and useful information and combining it with an offer, you have a good conversion chance.
This is one of the earliest ways of reaching an audience, by sending massive e-mail to them. However, by taking advantage of today's technology, you can personalize the newsletter to each person you reach. That way you can offer products and services that are relative to each person and by providing useful information you can keep them interested and increase the trust level towards your business, thus increasing the chances of conversion and sales.
It is no secret that links to relevant websites bring visitors and increase website traffic, conversion and sales. Also, links by relevant high ranking websites will improve your website's ranking with the search engines and push your website higher to the search engine results. It is a job that is important and essential, however it must be performed by a specialist the right way, because the wrong way can damage your website's reputation and your ranking and it will be much harder to recover from this...
Mobile devices optimization
The internet is not what it used to be a few years ago. Today's visitors use a number of different devices to browse websites, such as tablets, smartphones, smart TVs, game consoles, etc. It is essential to optimize your website to work well with all devices. Read more...
Web Technology and web Standards
Another thing that is really important is keeping your website up to date in terms of web technology and web standards. Not keeping a website up to date can result in security risks, losing the rank with the search engines, and prevent visitors from experiencing and operating your website correctly. That will result in lose of sales and audience. The same thing will happen if you are not keeping up to date with the web standards, and / or not following guide lines, or having web schema errors. Read more...
This is a very important job of online marketing. What is the point of promoting something if you don't really know what works and what doesn't. There are many tools available today for analytics. Each one provides a set of features that make it easier to perform this task. One of the most important one is Google Analytics, but it's not the only one. There are tools online and extensions you can install in your Content Management System, that can really help you understand what is going on with the visitors of your website and help you resolve all the issues that prevent you from converting and/or make the sale. Get an instant quote on how to do this, now.
Conversion targets, conversion funnel and conversion rate
In order to run a successful online marketing campaign, we need to set some conversion targets and meet them. The success rate of the conversion is what defines the conversion rate. The higher the rate is, the more efficient a campaign is, however that is not always the case. Some times you can meet your targets, although the conversion rate isn't very high, simply because the audience you run the campaign on is not well targeted, or cannot be be well targeted. Conversion funnel is the path a customer takes through an Internet advertising or search system, navigating a website and finally converting to a sale, or any other targeted result. The funnel as a shape is used in order to describe the decreasing number of visitors passing from each step of the process, to the next.
Is what online marketing is about, sales? And at the end of the day, this number is what counts more. If all the above goes well, sales is the end result. However focusing just on this could make us loose the whole picture. Online marketing is much more than sales. Sure, by converting a visitor to buying customer is what we what the most, however developing a loyal audience that can buy in the future and having a good and useful website is more important. It is the sign of a healthy business that is here to stay.
The good news is that online marketing success can actually be measured in real time and in real numbers with today’s tools and can be improved by tracking exactly what happened with previous attempts. Every business, brand, product or service has different needs and requires different methods and techniques to be marketed successfully on the Internet. However, it all comes down to one thing. One thing that truly measures the results of an online marketing campaign and a successful website is visitors. But is this what truly matters? Partly yes. If you have no visitors, then of course, this is a poor result. On the other hand, what’s important is conversion. Conversion is a target for driving more visitors to a website. It could be a sale, a quotation, a contact message, a newsletter subscription. In other words, a specific interaction we aim for. And in order for this to happen, we need to drive relevant visitors to our website. And by that, we mean visitors who are really interested and have the capability to purchase now. We need to find the Internet user who is looking for the product or service that we have, in order to buy it now. If we manage to do that, we will have a high conversion. However, there is a way to even increase that to the point that it will be almost 100%. How? In order to answer that, we need to answer why a visitor who is interested and has the capability to buy, will find our product or service web page and will not buy eventually. Will bounce, as we say in online marketing. The reasons are the following and if we eliminate them, the sale will be a sure thing.
7 Reasons why visitors bounce, instead of completing an order.
Slow loading time
Trust and security
The page does not display well on the mobile device
Inability to find the order, or complete order button
Inability to find the preferred payment method
Inability to find the preferred shipping method
Offering too many alternative offers or intrusive ads
Contact us today for a free analysis of your bounce rate.
12 reasons why online marketing is better than traditional marketing.
It is cost effective.The cost of the online marketing is much cheaper. Consider that in Traditional marketing there are various costs and limitations that don't exist in online marketing, like printing, in case of newspapers and magazines, limited broadcast time, in case of radio and TV stations, etc. All that contributes to an significantly increased cost if you choose to go with the traditional marketing solution. For example, in order to reach an audience of 2,000 people by mail, you will require around $1,000 with traditional marketing, while you could achieve the same result for less than $100 with online marketing. That is 1000% cheaper with online marketing.
It targets specific audience.When we advertise via traditional marketing, we have very limited ability and freedom to target selected audience. On the other hand, with online marketing, we can target the audience with accuracy, like location, age, gender, occupation, education, interests, etc. It's not hard to understand that by targeting the right audience we increase the campaigns success rate, conversion and sales.
It is real time.Online marketing works in real time. From the moment you initiate it it starts spreading your message to the world. You can even pause it and make changes, or adjust it while it is running. So if something is not working or you made a mistake, you can immediately fix it. Traditional marketing needs time to create and publish it and errors that are printed or broadcasted need time and some times money, in order to be fixed.
It supports real time metrics.With online marketing, you get better reporting results and statistics, and measure the traffic to your website, the level of engagement your audience has on your social network pages, track your conversion goals, and can even study the visitors' behavior, helping you to improve your future campaigns and eliminate errors and problems with your existing website.
It takes advantage of visitors behavior and online culture.Latest statistics show that 4 out of 5 smart phone users, use it to shop online, use social networks and the majority of them clicks their ads. Mobile marketing ranks at the top in terms of media consumption, even higher than TV, with 1.8 hours per day. People also read a lot online. Sure there are newspapers, but many people are reading their news online. Where does your audience is getting their news from? Is your website mobile friendly? Make your website mobile friendly now easy and with low cost. Contact us now for a free analysis and proposal.
It is Inbound.In other words it is not intrusive. It targets people who actually are interested in it, at the time they are, like when they are performing a search in Google.
It is bidirectional.Could you believe a few years ago that you would be able to communicate in real time with your audience? However this is real nowadays. A good example is the social media.
It allows testing and adjusting.Online marketing allows you to test and adjust your campaign. It allows you to track so many more elements, test and compare in real time and even run multiple tests at once, in order to find out which one works best. For example, how can you tell which headline would be more efficient for your any of your landing pages, if you don't run multiple tests and see what delivers the best results? Online marketing enables you to adapt your campaign in real time, since you can tell with certainty what works and what doesn't, so you can tune and optimize your marketing strategy, even when the campaign is running, in order to produce maximum results.
It operates on a global reach scale.If you sell products or services online, your target audience could be the entire world. It is limited only by your selling policy.
It has faster return of investment.Because online marketing is cheaper, immediate and you have better control over it, your investment will be returned faster and the results will be immediate.
It generates after campaign gain.In traditional marketing after the end of a campaign, there is none or very little gain. On the other hand, with online marketing the results could be permanent. You will eventually need to follow up with a new campaign, but only to adapt to new technologies, or techniques and / or make new offers. The results are more permanent, because after an online marketing campaign, the website gets a new rating with the search engines and so, it appears higher in the search results. Of course, this means that it will keep its position, unless things change (as mentioned before) and it will result to more visitors in the future.
It builds loyalty.For all the above reasons, online marketing helps building a more loyal audience and customer base. Visitors will more likely register to your website, or to your news letter, since it offers what they are looking for and so online marketing helps producing more traffic and sales after it is over.
Our online marketing technicians have helped many businesses over the years to increase their activity and conversion. Here are testimonials from our customers.
The Internet works 24/7. Take advantage of it. There is no better time to improve your web business, than now.
Contact us today for a free study of your online presence and an online marketing proposal.