There are two critical pieces in any marketing effort: traffic and conversion. One without the other is useless. If you drive a ton of traffic to a website that doesn’t convert, you get no leads. On the other hand if you drive no traffic to a website that converts well, same deal.

So when we speak of online marketing, we’re referring of different ways of generating traffic. Typically that traffic is destined for a website but it could just as easily be a phone call.

Pay Per Click

Ever since the first banner ad was displayed and was wildly successful (I believe in 1994), people have been using ads on web pages. It’s a good business model for Google. Every time someone clicks on one of the ads on a search results page, Google makes money.

Depending on your market, this is the absolute fastest way to get traffic. It’s called “Paid Traffic” for obvious reasons. Examples of pay-per-click traffic include Google adwords and Facebook Ads.

It’s not difficult in concept. You find the keywords that you want your ad to show up for. You create your ad. You create the target page that you want the ad to go to. You set up a price that you are willing to pay for each click. Then you just let it run. Simple, right?

Well the concept is indeed simple and for some markets, that may be all it takes. Here are a few reasons you need an expert:

  1. Keywords aren’t as easy as they look – you need to find keywords that are being sought and you need to set up the keywords so that they don’t show up for people who aren’t really looking for you. For example, if you’re selling Computer Support, if you use that as the keyword, you’ll bring in people who are searching for Computer Support Jobs.
  2. You need to stand out. If your ad looks like all the others, you won’t grab the clicks away from your competitors.
  3. You need to organize them the way that Google likes them. If you have an ad that uses too many keywords, it won’t show very frequently.
  4. If you’re not careful you’ll get very expensive non-converting traffic and you’ll blow through your budget very quickly without the benefit of leads.

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Email Marketing

If you have a list of existing customers or prospects, this is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to drive traffic. Send an email to a prospect with an offer of something that they are likely to be interested in and chances are OK that they will click to find out more. The trick is to make the offer compelling and related to what the prospect really wants. Single-blast emails rarely work well. Usually what is required is a series of emails or an email campaign. But when carefully crafted and analyzed, an email campaign can drive a high percentage of your list to a landing page on your website.

At that point the trick is to make the landing page equally compelling so that they fill out a form and get into your sales funnel.

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Follow Up Marketing

Let’s say someone fills out a form on your website. Now what? You need a follow-up plan. Are you going to call that person? What conversation do you want to engage them in? This is what follow-up marketing is all about. When done correctly, a sequence of events is mapped out. Each of these events can be an email, a phone call, a letter, you name it. But the point is to craft it in such a way that the prospect is engaged in an ongoing conversation that leads to a goal – be it a purchase or a registration.

When you create a follow-up sequence like this, you need to test it and tune it. To do this with any accuracy, you need to be able to test different elements for each of the steps and see how they do in comparison with others.

Long story short – a good follow up sequence dramatically increases the conversion of prospects to customers.

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Search Engine Optimization

If you’re not showing up on Google, you’re missing the boat. Consider if someone is searching for you and they don’t find you but they find your competitor. Guess who they are more likely to do business with. This is why, for the most part, it is critical that your website is properly structured and that the content takes into account BOTH the end user and Google.

As I’m writing this, what is critical for search engine rankings is good relevant content and about 12 other things. This only makes sense. Google’s mission is to provide relevant search results. If you have content that the end user is looking for and they stay on your site for a while, Google figures they did a good job. So Google is looking for good, unique and fresh content. So a primary feature of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the creation of good, unique and fresh content.

And then there are those 12 other things. And then there are the ever-changing rules since Google is constantly refining their algorithms. Put those together and SEO while simple in concept is a lot of work. We do it well.

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