Ryan Chaffin wrote me an interesting guest post about how to leverage the web to create a successful marketing campaign. While he does put the steps in its most basic form, it's important to not overlook these steps prior to spending any money on online promotion. Ryan can be followed on Twitter @RyanChaffin.
“It’s easy to make money on the internet!” We hear that a lot these days don’t we? I feel it’s safe to say you’ve heard that line before. If you hadn’t, why would you be on a website reading about Internet marketing? My guess is that you have a product or service you want to sell, and you have a website to sell this product or service, but you aren’t seeing the results you thought you would. Follow these simple steps to run a successful Internet marketing campaign that will boost your revenue.
Before you can do anything else, you have to select keywords. Keyword selection is very important, as it will determine how successful the rest of your campaign will be. Let me give you an example. Let’s say that I have a website that sells calculator watches. I would start brainstorming what keywords prospective customers would type into a search engine to find my product, and make a list. Once the list is five to ten keyword phrases long, use Google’s Keyword Tool to start doing your research. Look at a few things within the keyword tool. If you are selling a product and will ship anywhere, you will want to look at the global search volume. If you are selling a local service, you will want to focus on the local search volume.
See what keyword phrases including the keywords you brainstormed get the highest traffic, and then scope out the competition by going to Google or Bing, or any search engine, and type in the desired keyword phrase. Once you have a feel for the competition, you will want to select a keyword phrase, or two, that has the highest search volume to lowest competition ratio. Now, back to the example. For a site selling calculator watches, after brainstorming and checking out the competition, I would select “Calculator Watches” for my keyword phrase.
2. Drive Traffic
Now that you have your keyword selected, which basically means your audience, it’s time to grab their attention, and bring them to your site! There are two ways to do this. These two options are often referred to as paid listings (PPC) and organic listings (SEO). Paid listings like PPC means you pay-per-click and are bidding for search engines to show your ad. Organic listings are results of search engine optimization (SEO). Both are highly effective in driving traffic to your site. PPC is an effective way to quickly place your ads in front of a large relevant audience. It will cost you more money up front, but the return generally makes it worth it. SEO takes longer for the results to be seen, but can be more cost effective, and relatively inexpensive, if you do it yourself. Almost every effective campaign will use both PPC and SEO together, to bring the best results.
Now that you have a targeted audience, and you are driving them to your website, your site needs to be optimized for conversion. Lead your prospective customers to buy the product or service you are selling. Have a call to action. For example, to sell more calculator watches, I would put a clickable button on the site that says, “order today and receive free shipping” with free shipping really big (click the link above and look at the right side of the website. That’s what I’m talking about!) If you are selling a service, you should have a call to action with your phone number in big letters, and it should be the first thing they see. Conversion optimization is just as important as driving traffic to your site. You do not want to spend all this time and money driving traffic to your site, just to lose customers when they actually get there, because your site is confusing and not clear. Keep it simple; make the call to action clear, and you will see results.
Once again, go ahead and follow Ryan on Twitter @RyanChaffin.