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The Challenges Of Online Marketing

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By Author: Rob Seolas
Total Articles: 12
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Online Marketing is a hot topic on everyone's to-do list lately. Understanding where to focus your time and attention will help you get the best return on your investment. Also, knowing what challenges you may face during your marketing efforts will assist you in managing your time more effectively.

The first quandary you most likely will face is how to get consumers to visit your site. Not only getting that initial visit, but retaining them as a loyal customer is your key to success. Many websites have learned that using sales to promote their products help. Constructing a limited time offer will often help create a sense of urgency to not only visit, but purchase your product. Everyone loves a sale. Always having a different sale up and running can do wonders for the amount of traffic you receive.

Drawing the customer to the site is definitely vital, but once they get there make sure not to scare them away. Whether your budget is big or small, make sure the look and feel of your website is professional. The public wants to make sure their hard earned dollars are safe with a professional company. Bad ...
... wording and grammar mistakes do not reflect kindly and should be avoided at all costs. If you are doing the work yourself, have someone else read over and edit your work. Also, ensure that you have a monitoring system in place to that any downtime won't hurt your business.

Shortcuts are great when it comes to locating an online business. Through hosts such as Google and Yahoo, your company can be seen instantly by anyone in the world. Although you may want your company to appear on the first page of a consumer search, that takes time and money. Another great approach to this is getting your website linked. Having the popular sites take note and add a link to your site will greatly help in attracting traffic. If you can't get this done, you may want to consider posting in associated forums. This takes a great deal of time and effort, but also can help pay off in the end.

If the budget allows it, have someone directly responsible for driving your online marketing efforts. If possible, hire someone who can do it for you. Having a knowledgeable professional driving your online business will undeniably speed up your business in a hurry.

Over the past few months the online community has been abuzz with various challenges started by many very successful online marketers.
The first salvo was fired by the 15K Challenge by Dan Rain and was quickly followed by some amazing failures like the 30K Challenge or even the 1Million challenge.
The 'secrets' given by all those sites are fairly simple; get traffic to your site and the rest will follow. Creating a loyal following of readers was sometime enough to get the ball rolling, (although they will never admit it).
And this is where most challenges fail, they simply could not get enough users to visit their sites, and if you don't have enough visitors, you will not sell enough to meet the challenge.
This is what every marketing site does, over and over, promote to their user base and with a few clever marketing tricks, (creating a sense of urgency for example), they result in sells. Some marketers also offer an 'invite' system where the users themselves will help to grow the marketing base."Invite 4 friends and get this amazing offer free".
Another problem faced with most of the challenges is the technical aspects.
When marketing online, you not only need to be able to sell ice to Eskimos, but you must also be able to build and maintain a boat to ship it to them.
Dan himself admitted that more than half of his challenge was actually spent creating scripts to manage the site itself.
Everything from email gathering to various levels of membership, (from the free 'silver' members to the paying 'platinum' one), then there was the dealing with friends requests and much, much more.
To succeed in your own online challenges, the rules are simple.

A websites so receive your visitors, (no free site!)
Some offer to give away, (that the visitor can keep).
Setup a payment system, (you need to receive the money)
Setup a response system, (so every time there is a sell the user is redirected properly).
A mailing list to promote your site to.
Add an invitation script to run a viral campaign.
So the challenge is not that hard to meet really, the real challenge is to set everything up in the self imposed time restrictions.
Motivated new and small business owners claw and scrape to get their businesses off the ground. However, online marketing decisions can often be challenging. Whether it is search engine optimization, custom or basic web site creation, online marketing campaigns or design, these costly and discretionary attributes can be overwhelming.

Are web sites necessary? Most people would instantly say, Absolutely While they are probably right in most cases, I do feel that there are exceptions to the rule. An amateur web site can negatively affect your company's competitive edge even more than not having a web site at all! With the identity theft, phishing, and pharming epidemics that currently plague the World Wide Web, customers only feel comfortable using sites that look and feel professionally implemented. This is especially true when it comes to purchasing services online.

I think it is most important to remember that if your firm is performing any sales initiatives, you name and company name should be prepared to be Google before most companies will even entertain your product and services.

Google is a popular term that refers to someone searching your name through the Google search engine to see what comes up, and what is said about you. In many knowledge based service businesses it is important for you to share your knowledge within the community. If you are sharing information, it will be apparent when your company name is searched. A good example of this is posting on mailing lists or forums that help other industry professionals with problems. This is not a costly process, in fact, it is free. If free is your budget, this may be a good way to enhance general publicity.

If you are interested in creating a web site to help market your product, here are a few things to keep in mind:

 Keep it professional. If you are not a writer, make sure to hire someone who is. Grammar mistakes and awkward sentences will not be tolerated by prospective clients. Make sure that all content is to succinct and puts across the correct online persona for your organization.

 Budget accordingly. If you are not going to have a large budget, stick to content management systems that you can easily update on your own, and do not overly modify the templates that they provide. This will keep your cost low and the look of your web site basic, but professional. This works well for corporate web sites that are not used as an overt sales tool.

 If you are planning to have an online store, make sure it is professional looking, user friendly, and secure. Advanced Secure Sockets Layers (SSL Certificates) are necessary. Because and online store is its own business, these should be professionally done.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is another conundrum. Every company wants to show up on page one of a Google Search, however, SEO can range from $60 - $4000 a month. Although most would expect that this kind of heavy investment would allow instant success, do not expect that your sales will be based on search engine traffic just because you are paying $4000.00 a month for optimization.

Google and Yahoo index sites at their own discretion. While many search engine optimization professionals can get you onto page one for search strings that apply to your business, it will take sbrome time to get there. There are multiple factors that go into this process. The best way I have heard it described is, your site has to be popular the cool sites need to link to you. Cool sites are sites with a great deal of traffic, and targeted content.
If you do not have a site that you think people would link to, don't worry. There are other ways to move forward. As I aforementioned, you can post in forums or publish articles on sites that discuss topics you are familiar with, and include your URL in the text. Another way forward is to include more text within your site that discusses your products and offerings. For example, if you sell apples, you can write a story about the history of the apple. This will probably include the word apple (your keyword) many more times, and will increase the amount of content on your site. This process really helps.
This can also be accomplished through the use of third party content. This can often be done through partnerships with other similar web sites. However, you cannot just take their content right off their site! Copyright laws require third parties to ask permission to reproduce content. This process can be easy, as many sites will allow third parties to repost the body of their article with proper a tribute (often a link to their site accompanied by a short blurb).
Overall, I think that the most important thing to keep in mind is that starting an online marketing campaign can't hurt. You are creating a way to generate leads, and alert prospective clients to your services and products that may have never known your organization existed. However, if you do get involved, be cautious about allocating funds. Consult with online marketing professionals, because there are numerous ways to increase your online presence if you have the time to invest in the processs.
Part of the branding and traffic issue is figuring out where to spend advertising money. Radio and TV are effective media for building brand strength. Traffic, on the other hand, is often generated by external Web site links and alliances, such as having a dedicated button to your site or a banner ad on the pages of a Web portal such as Yahoo or Excite. Traffic seems to flow from these alliance deals as well as from targeted e-mail to customers who have asked for specific information on future product promotions, not just blanket spam.
"Personalizing Internet marketing is the hardest thing to do right now because it's the least familiar," Hanson says. Historically, this was the job of the sales force. Now it is the marketer who must understand when people want personalized products and when they don't. "It's important to match the type of personalization with the type of product that you sell," adds Hanson. Whether you're Avon or Amazon or Ford Motor, whether or not it's profitable to personalize depends on a couple of variables, including the so-called "spread of lifetime customer value." In other words, will personalization keep customers coming back for more over a lifetime?
Author Detail: -

The author Rob Seolas write here about Challenges of Online Marketing. It is very crucial to understand these. You may need to keep a constant watch for success in it. For this you should keep watch on site visitors thru Website Monitoring, Web Server Monitoring, Website URL Monitoring, Tracking Pixel Monitoring.

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