Whether you have an existing website or you are attempting to develop new web real estate, a well-designed and well-implemented marketing strategy is key to your website’s growth. Starting with a few basic questions will help to determine your marketing needs and the amount of resources necessary to make your Internet presence a success.
- What industry are we in?
- What industry should we be in?
- Who are our major competitors?
- What geographic location do we serve?
- How are we branded?
The key to developing your business’s marketing approach will ultimately be defined by your target consumer. A simple “everyone” approach will be ineffective and leave your website among the millions in a pile of unknown digital garbage. Decide exactly
- who your customer is,
- what your customer is looking for,
- what they would look for instead of your business,
- how your customer wants to find your business, and
- what other products and services are your customers looking for when they finally find you.
We will start by looking at Internet marketing from two different approaches: the existing company and the new company.
Let’s start with the existing business. For example, say you have a lawn service in Georgia. Obviously, your target consumer is isolated to those close to your geographic area. If your business is located in Atlanta, your customers are only those people who reside in the Atlanta area.
Taking this into consideration, you will want to generate content that specifically targets homeowners in suburban areas of the city. You will want to be able to address specific concerns of the residents of the city, including financial abilities of the customer, the neighborhoods of the customers you service, and your history of service in the city.
Now for the new kid on the block. One of the biggest mistakes in Internet marketing is the desire to repeat the successes of others. That being said, if you are trying to develop a new web hosting company, search engine, mp3 or movie website, you may want to reconsider your business’s overall plan. Without the billions of dollars and thousands of employees, it is unlikely that you will have the ability to compete with Google and GoDaddy for market share.
Be realistic. However, if you think you have an idea that provides your company with a niche advantage, target your market appropriately. Be sure to generate content for your website that uniquely identifies and distinguishes your company from its predecessors.
Ultimately, content is the most important aspect of Internet marketing. In order to generate traffic to your website, you must provide a product, service, or information that is unique. Most customers are not going to visit your website because they found it on the 50th page of the search engine results. In order to accurately portray what your company has to offer, you must know exactly who it is that you are trying to market your website.
Once you have identified a target customer, generate information that the customer wants to know about. If you own a lawn service, write articles and essays about grass types and grass care specific to the region in which you are located. Once you think you have written or included enough information to make your site valuable, generate more.
When a person searches the web for a service, they typically are actually looking for the most information from the most reliable sources. Without information for your customer, your website will never become the digital home you were dreaming of. This is the most overlooked facet of search engine optimization. Your brand and your website must target your customer.