Internet Marketing Information

Internet Marketing covers a variety of techniques such as website positioning, advertising, email marketing and market research. Website positioning is discussed in more detail on the search engine optimisation page.

However it is worth mentioning that Internet marketing cannot be done in isolation from conventional marketing - in reality there should be one total marketing plan. This may include direct mail, press releases, and advertising. All company communications should contain your website address for people to find out further information. Therefore your letterhead, business cards and email signatures should all contain your website address to increase its visibility.

Internet Advertising

Internet advertising has included methods such as banner advertising and popup windows - two strategies that often cause great annoyance. If you get annoyed with popup windows, then download some software to stop these from appearing (one such useful tool is the Google Toolbar). If users can prevent popup's from appearing, then they are not a very good advertising tool (unless you wish to annoy potential customers). Most banner advertising also falls into this category.

Affiliate Programs

A more useful form of internet advertising is through Affiliate Programs. Affiliate Programs pay commission to other web sites in exchange for promoting your products or services with a link to your site. These work well for some kinds of products such as software. Cornish WebServices are affiliates for Depositit - an online backup service that we ourselves use to ensure that as a company we always have a reliable backup of all our data (including email).

Pay per click advertising

The most successful internet advertising is pay per click advertising. You pay a fixed amount every time someone clicks through to your website based upon keywords they have selected. Provided you choose a good set of specific keywords, this means you are only paying for visitors who are interested in whatever your website has to offer. Cornish WebServices provide pay per click (PPC) management services for businesses and organisation of all sizes.

In some market sectors there is great keyword competition and the cost per click can be high. But there are techniques for keyword targeting than help improve the return on investment of pay per click advertising. Many businesses ar currently paying far too much money on pay per click advertising through poorly focused keywords.

The advantage of pay per click advertising is that the results are almost immediate. PPC campaigns can be set up quickly to gain increased numbers of visitors to your website. The skill in managing a successful PPC campaign is to ensure that these are relevant visitors and that the costs of acquiring them are less than the benefits received.

Pay per click advertising works best with a search engine optimised website. Unlike PPC, the benefits of search engine optimisation are ongoing, and over a long period of time the ROI on search engine optimisation is usually great.

Pay per click advertising is a growing business, and many companies such as ourselves provide PPC management services. When choosing a company to manage your PPC account it is important to ensure that the actual people handling this task are suitably qualified and experienced. At the very end of 2004, Google launched a Google AdWords Professional exam. From 1st January 2005, Cornish WebServices have had a policy of only using staff who have passed the Google AdWords Professional Exam to manage client PPC accounts. This ensures we can offer the highest standard of service to all clients.

Email marketing

Email marketing has received a very bad press recently through the large number of unsolicited spam. There is now new legislation in place that affects how and when you can send marketing emails. Basically you need to opt in to any such email contact list, and the email list should never be passed on to anyone else. There are differences between B2B and B2C email marketing.

Email marketing is still be a powerful marketing technique, especially for repeat sales. The big advantages of email marketing are its low cost and its flexibility. It is possible to test market with a small number of addresses, and then extend or alter the message as appropriate.

Many email clients now make it easy to generate HTML emails. In the same way that early website editors produced poor code by default, the same is true with HTML emails. The optimum type of HTML code to use within an HTML email is very different from the optimum HTML to use within a modern website. Poorly written HTML emails get rejected as Spam by many email clients. Our Spam filters regularly reject large numbers of HTML emails, many from reputable businesses.

The recent legislation on email marketing includes certain requirements that must be present within any emails sent. Cornish WebServices can advise on this and create HTML or non-HTML emails for marketing. We can also manage a total email marketing plan including tracking the ROI of each programme. For further details see our Email marketing webpage.

Newsgroups and on-line discussion forums

These tend to focus on a particular subject, and can provide a very effective form of advertising rather similar to getting free press coverage. Often direct advertising is not allowed on these forums, but it is still possible to submit informative articles and papers on relevant topics. Cornish Webservices often make use of this type of advertising for clients as part of a general search engine optimisation and marketing package.

This type of Internet Advertising is ideal for organisations that have plenty of time but a small (or zero!) budget for Internet Advertising.

Market Research and Visitor Tracking

Market Research can be a large topic in itself. However if you have a website and you have access to your webstats (all decent hosting companies provide this free) you already have access to quite a bit of information about the people who view your website.

The webstats give you information on the browsers and operating systems - from which can be gleaned information on the age of the computers and the type of user. You should be able to discover how they are arriving at your website - through the search engines (and which ones, in which countries), through directories or through reciprocal links.

The webstats data are extracted from the log files and these contain the raw data on visitors to your website. A decent hosting company will allow you access to these log files which can be downloaded and analysed in more detail using an analysis package. Cornish WebServices are able to analyse a range of different log files. These contain far more data than can be presented graphically.

Further information about your website visitors can be obtained through visitor tracking. This usually requires implementing extra code on your website to track visitor movements. Almost all such systems will not work for every visitor - most use javascript which up to 10% of web users have turned off (possibly to stop tracking!). But the information received is of huge benefit for improving the ROI of larger websites. Such systems also provide the basis of many of the PPC ROI tracking. Visitor tracking does not (and should not) allow you to identify the exact person who is visiting your website. This information can only be obtained if the visitor completes an online form or registers on your database.

A website can provide a feedback form - which may give some useful comments. You can add in some other information into contact or order forms, although a balance must be struck between collecting useful data and putting off potential customers by making forms too long to fill in.

Market Positioning or targeting specific market segments

The Internet provides the ideal medium for small niche product suppliers as it is very easy to specifically advertise at certain market segments. This is true with all forms of Internet Marketing, but is most obvious with PPC advertising. In PPC advertising it is possible to target specific countries and even local areas (geographic segmentation), and specific interest groups through content advertising and careful choice of keywords.

The Internet also makes International Marketing possible for many organisations. Tourist websites are one example of where the target market may be from another country or language group. E-commerce is another example, and by taking online payment by credit card it is now easy to receive and process money from other countries. This significantly increases the market size for your product, and the Internet Marketing should reflect this. Cornish WebServices have experience in creating both tourist websites and websites that sell-online and specifically target an International Market.

Content is King

Content is King - this highlights that it is the content (or the text or page copy) that is the important part of the website. This also includes the text descriptions of images. The content is the reason people are looking at your website. To keep them and encourage them to look at other pages you need to provide good content that is easy to find.This can be about anything at all, although it makes sense for it to relate to the product or organisation you are promoting.

Website visitors can be divided into first time visitors and repeat visitors. A website full of good content will not only attract first time visitors from the search engines, it will also encourage repeat visits and increase the effectiveness of your website.

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