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  • 08Apr
    Web Site Usability Comments Off

    Top Web Design Trends For Small Business In 2010
    A website is a great branding and marketing tool for any small business. It is also essential for a business strategy to ensure its brand, location and products are  found in search engine listings.

    In 2009 it became easier to design your website. Businesses had the choice of do-it-yourself website builder’ tools or open source software like WordPress etc. The open source software may require some initial setup help unless the business owner is technically savvy. In 2009 ready-to-use templates also got more sophisticated in the appearance of the finished product, i.e, the published web site, and at the same time got easier to use for the end user. Another new trend for 2009 was getting a design for your website or logo as a contest through “crowdsourcing” with sites like 99 Designs, CrowdSpring and Genius Rocket.

    For businesses that do not yet have a website, their goal for having a website in 2010 should be:

    * Discovery: Make sure your business can be found on the internet by users searching online for a business in search engines, maps and local
    * Engagement: Save your customers time by providing them an easy way to get information on your business.
    * Sales: Get sales and leads from engaged visitors
    * Service: provide information and tools for website visitors who have already made the purchase

    2010 will be the year of both the website owner and website visitor. Businesses will rediscover the marketing power of their websites. Users with an extensive choice of information on the internet will give their blessings to simply designed sites with easy to find information. Search engines will bless sites that are updated more frequently with ranking blessing. Social media integration will help websites spread their information far and wide and savvy website owners will use analytics to continuously tweak their websites based on visitor behavior. Entry pages, bounce rate, click paths will become easier lingo to follow and use for business purposes.

    2010 will be a call to action to those business owners who used the build –it-and-forget it policy for their websites to wake up and get the online marketing and brand engine going. If you don’t believe me, search Google for your competition or look how your customers are reviewing you on social sites like Yelp.

    2010 Trends for web design

    Find me on the Internet: Year of the Web presence

    As 2009 comes to an end and small businesses look to 2010, and an online presence will become important. Highly competitive businesses use technology like websites, online marketing tools etc to succeed (Small Business Success Index June 2009). With over 47% of small business not online 2010 will be an important year to get their business online and have a web site.

    Low cost or no cost ways to get a web site increase

    With the enormous variety of web site tools available for small business, it may be easy to start a web presence for almost no money at all. Hosting providers offering free websites tools, blogging software providers like Blogger, Wordpress etc also let you start a web presence easily. Small businesses could try these free tools to experiment and then advance to a customized hosted option. A hosted option with your own domain name would be more credible and more brand friendly for your business.

    Updating frequently. Realizing the power of a Blog as a business tool

    In the previous years Small businesses had set up websites and did not update them often. Even if they are not online businesses in 2010 these businesses will pay attention and update the content of their websites more frequently.

    More businesses will add Blogs to their existing websites. This will give them an additional way to interact with customers. Customers can comment and give feed back on the blog. An added bonus is that these businesses have a better chance to be in search engine results as blogs are updated more frequently and search engines like blogs. Customers will like this as they get a chance to comment and also get to know the business in a very friendly and conversational way. See Lisa Barone’s  tips on cleaning up your website.

    Flashy out;  practical in

    2010 will be the year of simplicity. Information on the internet is already overwhelming for users. Websites that quickly provide the information without too many flashy promotions will get more visitors. Of course the exception is if you are in the entertainment business.

    Personalized experience

    Greeting your visitors when they visit your website will become expected in 2010. Giving them a personalized experience based on their interests will make them WOW your business. No longer just limited to sites alike Amazon, show visitors what they looked at and recommend products they may like or content that is related.

    Are you for real?

    Security is increasingly a concern and the importance to establish credibility will continue to be important. Visitors will look for security seals, ssl certificates, secure forms (using https:) and also validation seals. This is even more important if you are selling products online and collecting information.

    You should make sure you add your website to the web master tools of Google, Bing and Yahoo. Security of your website will be very important against hackers and malware. To prevent this keep your website software always updated.

    Do you know who is knocking on your web site door; Web Analytics are a crucial tool

    Websites without analytics is like running a business without accounting. Websites will focus on using web analytics tools to learn which content is more popular, who is visiting and from where. Tools like Google Webmaster tools will be important to find stats for indexing.  Read Clate Mask’s article on using Web Analytics tools.

    Widgets and Apps

    Widgets showing collaboration between your website and other properties will become expected for websites. Some examples of using widgets is adding your latest Twitter comments, best selling products, most popular articles. This will extend to the ability to share the content using widgets like Share This, Add this allowing the website content to be shared by the visitors to their own networks.

    Some great info on Lisa Barone’s post here.

    Can I call you now? Adding Interactivity to your website

    Chat and calling buttons on your website will be back. If people find something interesting on the website, features like ‘Click to Call “and chat or send a message will reemerge. This will also be an important analytical tool so as to track where the lead came from by using different incoming phone numbers. Earlier, these tools were only affordable by large corporations in 2010 these tools will become affordable by more small businesses. More website owners will start using  Skype , Google Voice or several commercially available options.

    More Multi-media will be added to web sites

    Videos and photo galleries will form part of websites . Small business will use cheaper and convenient options like FLIP HD cameras to tell the behind the scenes stories of their business and products. Uploading them to video sites like YouTube, Blip.tv etc for videos, and Flickr for Photos and embedding them in their own website and will have the advantage of being seen in both the website and the photo or video network.

    In 2010 using websites like BlogTalk Radio businesses will show their thought leadership through podcasts and even their own live TV show using web sites like Livestream.

    Links links links

    Websites home pages will morph into portals to cater to a wide audience visiting them. Links between websites and other local community websites, events, news will be part of the website content strategy. Media rooms i.e sections of the website where small business owners can showcase coverage of their business will be an essential part of the website. Business websites will show their support to local and community causes. Content will include links to industry trends and news.

    In summary if you are a small business owner you should be prepared in 2010 to show personality in your business by using your website and multi media tools to tell your story to your customers and prospects. Keeping an ear to the ground to learn about the conversations about your business like product reviews etc will become very important. You may get media and press attention by exposure of your business in social media channels. Any effort in 2010 you invest in your website will be highways to your getting more traffic customers and a better bottom line. 2010 is the year of the small business web site.





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  • 08Oct
    Viral Marketing Comments Off

    B2B Marketers Do It, Too

    They use viral marketing by e-mail as a marketing tool… what did you think I meant? Viral marketing can work well for B2B providers, as long as the following is true:

    1.    The product or service has to add value for the sender, as well as, the receiver.

    2.    The offer has to be deliverable. You don’t want to offer a product that you can’t deliver if demand grows rapidly.

    3.    The offer has to be easily transferable to others. E-mail and Web pages provide the best medium to facilitate this.

    4.    The vest viral marketing campaigns use existing networks to move the message along.

    The basis of viral marketing has been around for a long time. The idea is that you incite your customers or referral sources to pass on something about your business to their network of colleagues and friends. Those that pass on your information get something in return. The something might be a gift or service related to your business.

    Using e-mail makes it incredibly easy to pass information on to a friend or colleague, especially if it involves something fun or free. With millions using the Internet worldwide, the potential for exponential growth is tremendous. The great things about viral marketing are that it is free and works virtually by itself. Once you make an offer and provide the facility for referrals, viral marketing spreads like… well… a virus…but the good kind.

    To implement viral marketing at your business; first, start with your customer base. Incite existing customers to refer new ones. Second, go to your referral sources. Service providers, your outside network and colleagues can be encouraged to provide referrals that lead to business.

    If your customers are stressed business owners, offer a reward that provides relaxation and leisure… like a weekend away.
    B2B Marketers Do It, Too





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  • 28Sep
    Internet Marketing Comments Off

    Tracking the Results of Internet Marketing

    As with any marketing campaign you may run to assist your business, it is important to track the results of your Internet marketing campaign. This should be done on a continual basis so you can ensure the strategies you are utilizing are working. It can also help you to determine when a strategy is not working so you do not continue to invest time and money on a strategy which is not beneficial to your business. This article will discuss some of the options for tracking the results of your Internet marketing campaign.

    Business owners who use banner ads have a simple way to track whether or not their banner ads are effective. This is possible because they can place code in the banner ad which will supply them with feedback each time a user clicks on the banner ad. This information is transmitted to the business owner so he can evaluate which of his banner ads are generating the most interest. If the business owner is currently using two different styles of banner ads on comparable websites he can use this information to determine which design is most effective. This is important because if one style is significantly more effective than the other it might be worthwhile to convert all of the banner ads to this style or to make changes which will make the two different styles more similar.

    If the business owner is using the same banner ad on a number of different websites, the feedback can help him determine which websites are generating the most traffic for him. If he determines some websites are not generating a great deal of traffic it makes sense to discontinue the banner ads on these websites as they are not cost effective.

    Business owners who utilize affiliate marketing during their Internet marketing campaign may also be interested in tracking the results of their affiliates. This is necessary because affiliates are often paid according to the results they generate but it is also useful for determining which affiliates are most successful. This information can be useful if different ads are running on different affiliate websites because it can be an indication of which websites are most effective. Tracking the results of affiliate marketing is similar to tracking the results of banner ads. You can place code in the ads which appear on the affiliate’s website to provide you with feedback each time a user clicks on the ad.

    Another way to evaluate the results of an Internet marketing campaign is to simply closely monitor your own website traffic and sales. This is especially important when it is done in consideration with the type of marketing you are currently running. For example if you launch a new banner ad campaign with ads appearing on numerous high profile websites concurrently, you may notice an almost immediate increase in website traffic and sales. This information most likely indicates the banner ads are successful.

    However, the problem with using this type of evaluation is it does not pinpoint successes or failures. If you launch your banner ad on five different websites at once you may notice an immediate increase in traffic and sales but will not be aware which websites are the most effective. For example, your advertisement may be running on five different websites but only one of these websites may be attracting attention for your business. Similarly if you are running several different styles of ads, some styles may attract more attention than others but you will not be able to differentiate simply by evaluating your website traffic and sales. The other four may only be generating minimal interest in your products or services. If you wish to use this method for evaluating the feedback on your Internet marketing efforts, it is worthwhile to only make one change at a time so you can more accurately determine what is working and what is not. Alternatively you can ask customers to fill out a survey stating where they saw your advertisement so you can solicit feedback on your marketing efforts.
    Tracking the Results of Internet Marketing





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  • 27Sep

    Starting an Affiliate Marketing Campaign

    Some business owners opt to start an affiliate marketing campaign as part of their overall marketing strategy. In most cases the affiliate marketing campaign is only a small portion of the overall marketing strategy but there are some business owners who opt to rely exclusively on this type of marketing. The main purpose of doing this is to save money while still achieving valuable advertising. However, once a business becomes more successful they should consider being more proactive and combining affiliate marketing with other types of Internet marketing such as placing banner ads and orchestrating an email marketing campaign. This article will take a look at what affiliate marketing is and will provide insight into why this is popular and how it can be used effectively.

    An affiliate marketing campaign is essentially a situation where other website owners place ads for your business on their websites. These website owners are known as affiliates. It is important to understand how this type of marketing works. In general the affiliates are given code for your banner ad to place on their website and given the freedom to promote their own website as they see fit. In promoting their website they are also attracting attention to your website because of the banner ad directing visitors to your own website.

    One of the most appealing elements of affiliate marketing is the affiliate is only compensated when he produces a desired result. This means the business owner is not obligated to pay the affiliate unless the affiliate is successful. Success may be defined as generating traffic to the website, resulting in a sale or even resulting in the Internet user registering on your website or filling out a survey. The compensation for affiliates is generally based on cost per click, cost per lead or cost per sale. Cost per click and cost per lead are usually paid in terms of a flat fee which is awarded to the affiliate each time an Internet user either simply clicks through the banner ad on his website or performs a specific action after clicking through the ad. Cost per sale may result in the affiliate being awarded a flat fee or a percentage of the sale depending on the agreement between the business owner and the affiliate.

    The most effective use of affiliate marketing is to actively seek out affiliates with a proven track record of promoting the businesses which they support. Most affiliate programs are open to anyone with a website and it is not necessarily damaging to allow those who are not particularly knowledgeable about marketing to run your banner ad but it is far more worthwhile to seek out affiliates who are quite adept and generating website traffic to their own website. This is important because the more visitors they receive each month the more likely your website it to receive interest from visitors who click on the affiliates banner ad.

    Another aspect of affiliate marketing which can contribute to success or failure is the design of your banner ads. It is important to remember affiliate marketing is viewed the same way other types of marketing are viewed and care should be taken to create banner ads which will be appealing to your target audience. This means everything from the colors of your ad to the size and style of the font should be carefully considered to create an appealing advertisement.
    Starting an Affiliate Marketing Campaign





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  • 27Sep
    Internet Marketing Comments Off

    Placing Banner Ads

    Placing banner ads can be a highly effective way to market your business on the Internet. Banner ads are essentially advertisements which appear on a website, usually in the form of a combination of graphics and text, to encourage Internet users to click through these advertisements to your website. The most common form of banner ads is an advertisement which appears on the top of a website and spans the width of the webpage. These advertisements derived their name from the similarity to a banner but technically banner ads can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. This article will take a look at the effectiveness of banner as well as methods for placing these banner ads.

    Banner ads can be highly effective if used properly. However, placing your banner ad all over the Internet with very little consideration to whether or not the location is likely to be beneficial to your business is not a good idea and can be a tremendous waste of money as well as other resources such as time and effort. Therefore business owners who are considering using banner ads to promote their business should spend some time to learn how to use banner ads effectively and to find ideal location for placing their banner ads.

    The most ideal location for a banner ad is prominently displayed on a website which receives a great deal of website traffic and also complements your products and services well without providing direct competition for your products or services. As an example consider a business owner who specializes in selling athletic shoes specifically for runners. Buying banner ad space on a website which offers advice on training for running events and provides information on upcoming races would be an excellent idea. This website attracts visitors who have an interest in running and are likely to purchase athletic shoes but does not sell running shoes directly. This means the website attracts members of your target audience but does not compete for your business.

    In addition to purchasing banner ad space, some business owners opt to join banner ad exchange groups. This is an alternative in which the business owner does not pay for their banner ad to be placed on another website but in exchange they agree to post one or more advertisements on their own website. This is a very affordable option for placing banner ads but it is not always the best strategy. This is because the business owner often has little input into where their banner ad appears and has limited input into the banner ads which appear on his website in return. In most cases, business owners have the ability to decline to host advertisements which they deem to be offensive but cannot specifically choose the banner ads they must post.

    Finally, when posting banner ads, business owners should be aware of the effectiveness of the ads they place. They may choose to post different designs for their banner ad on different websites but they should monitor the results of their advertising to determine if one style is more effective than another. This information can be very important. If one style is enjoying a great deal of success while the other style is not, the business owner may wish to use the more successful style for all of their banner ads or to redesign the less successful style to make it more appealing to Internet users.
    Placing Banner Ads





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  • 26Sep
    Internet Marketing Comments Off

    Participating In Banner Exchanges

    Business owners who want to take advantage of Internet marketing strategies such as banner ads but are on a limited budget may find banner exchanges to be quite useful. The ideal use of banner ads would include placing your banner ad on a website which receives a great deal of traffic and attracts an audience who will likely be interested in your products or services. Additionally, this website should not directly compete for your business. This scenario may be difficult to find and even when a business owner is able to find this type of situation, purchasing advertisement space may be expensive especially if it is a highly competitive niche. These business owners may find banner exchanges to be an affordable alternative.

    The most appealing factor of banner ad exchanges is the cost effectiveness of these situations. Most banner ad exchange groups are free to participants. Unlike placing a banner ad independently, there is no financial cost for the appearance of the banner ad on another website but the business owner does have an obligation to fulfill. Most banner ad exchanges will find another website to post your advertisement without charging a fee but they will require you to post at least one banner ad, and sometimes more, on your website in exchange for having your banner ad displayed on another website. Many banner ad exchanges will work to attempt to match your banner ad to a relevant website but this is not always possible and your banner ad may wind up on a website which is not relevant to your products or services. This will likely mean that the banner ads will generate very little interest in your products and services. Similarly the advertisements you are asked to post may not complement your website well. You will likely have the opportunity to reject advertisements in particular categories you find to be offensive but will have little control beyond that to moderate the banner ads on your website.

    Another very affordable option for placing your banner ads on the Internet may include starting an affiliate marketing campaign. This is an Internet marketing campaign in which website owners, or affiliates, post your banner ad on their website and attempt to promote your products and services for you. The banner ads typically include graphics and text which entice Internet users to click through the ad to your website and also include embedded code which provides you with feedback detailing which affiliates generated the website traffic. This information is necessary because affiliates are typically not paid unless they achieve a desired result such as enticing Internet users to click through the banner ad or make a purchase. The affiliates are typically compensated either on a cost per click basis or a cost per sale basis. Cost per click means the affiliate receives a predetermined amount of money each time a user clicks on the ad. Cost per sale means the affiliate receives either a flat fee or a percentage of the sale for each sale generated by the affiliate. Affiliates may also be paid on a cost per lead basis which means they are compensated when a user performs a specific action such as registering with a website or filling out a survey. Most people favor affiliate programs because it is a cost effective way to place your banner ads online and because they only have to pay affiliates who are successful.
    Participating In Banner Exchanges





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  • 25Sep
    Internet Marketing Comments Off

    Marketing Your Business Online

    If you are not already marketing your business online, it is time to start. Although there are a few exceptions, just about every business can benefit from online marketing. There are just so many advantages to this type of marketing. First of all, it is extremely affordable to market your business online. Other advantages to marketing your business online include the ability to reach a large target audience, the ability to reach potential customers all over the world and the ability to customize the marketing for different sectors of the target audience.

    The affordability of Internet marketing is one of many reasons why many business owners are turning to the Internet for advertising. Advertising online is incredibly affordable especially when you consider how many potential customers a business owner can reach with an online marketing campaign. Most methods of online advertising are quite affordable and some of them do not have any direct costs. For example, you may choose to market your business online by participating in industry forums and posting links to your website whenever it is appropriate to do so. In this case the cost of creating and maintaining the website is insignificant in comparison to the number of potential clients you could reach through online marketing. Additionally, the costs associated with posting links to your website are incidental. You could consider the cost of having access to the Internet as part of the cost but you most likely require Internet access for other reasons as well so it is completely worthwhile.

    Reaching a large target audience is another very worthwhile reason for marketing your business online. You may have spent a great deal of time and energy doing market research and determine who your target audience is. You may have also spent a great deal of time trying to figure out the best way to reach this audience. This is a very sound marketing principle but as it applies to marketing on local television, radio and print media it only allows you to reach a limited audience. However, when you take your marketing to the Internet you automatically drastically increase your potential target audience because you now have the ability to reach members of your target audience around the world.

    This ability to reach customers around the world is another major advantage to marketing your business online. Regardless of where you live and operate your business, you have the ability to reach those who have an interest in the products you sell or the services you provide no matter where they live. This makes it possible for you to do business with customers around the world.

    Likewise the fact that the Internet is available 24 hours a day is also very beneficial to those who choose to market their products or services online. Shopping for products and services in person can be very difficult especially for individuals who work long hours or those who work unusual hours. These working conditions make it difficult for these individuals to do business and make purchases of products and services they need during regular business hours. However, business owners who have an online presence are much more convenient because unlike stores and calling centers, the website never closes. This convenience gives potential customers the ability to view products and services, compare these products and service to the ones offered by competitors and make a purchase at any hour of any day.

    If you are a business owner who is reading this article and you do not already have a strong online presence, you need to immediately start learning more about the world of Internet marketing. This is so important because if your competitors are marketing online, you may find they are gaining a steady advantage and are becoming more appealing to potential customers. Before too many of your potential customers become loyal customers of the competition it is time to start figuring out how you can market your business online and keep up with the competition.
    Marketing Your Business Online





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  • 25Sep
    Internet Marketing Comments Off

    Learning about Internet Marketing

    Internet marketing is not overly complicated but it is also not a process in which anyone can excel without making attempts to learn more about the subject. Business owners who do not know a great deal about Internet marketing but who wish to implement Internet marketing into their overall marketing strategy should carefully study the basic principles of Internet marketing before launching their online marketing campaign. Fortunately for these business owners there are a variety of options for learning about Internet marketing. These options may include online research, reading published books and studying successful Internet marketing campaigns.

    Researching Internet marketing online is one method which can be used for learning more about this topic. This type of research can be very informative and can provide the business owner with a great deal of advice and other information. However, it can also provide the business owner with a great deal of misinformation. When researching any subject online it is very important to note that not all of the information available online is accurate. This may be due to a variety of factors including content which is written by those who do not have a great deal of knowledge about the subject matter as well as content which was written years ago and is outdated. This can be frustrating but fortunately business owners can still learn from the Internet. This just means they should be more cautious about accepting information as being accurate and may wish to verify the information they obtain before implementing an Internet marketing strategy.

    Published books are another valuable resource for learning more about Internet marketing. There are a variety of books available which focus on this subject and provide a wealth of useful information. When selecting a book for use as research material it is important to seek out a book which received independent reviews which were positive. It is also important to seek out books which were published recently. This is important because the Internet marketing industry is evolving continuously and a book that was published only a few years ago may be outdated and may lack information on some of the new developments in the industry. The appeal of using published books to learn about Internet marketing is you can keep the books on hand for easy reference when you launch your Internet marketing campaign.

    Finally business owners can learn a great deal about Internet marketing simply by studying successful Internet marketing campaigns. Try the Internet marketing blog at www.jeremyburns.com/blog for some great starter tipe. If your business offers products and services in a particular niche consider entering relevant terms in popular search engines and studying the websites of some of the highest ranking businesses. This can provide you with a great deal of insight into what these business owners are doing which may be contributing to their success. Examining everything from their website design to their search engine optimization strategies and even the content on their website can help you to determine why they are more successful than you. You should also consider how they are marketing their website which may include banner ads, affiliate marketing programs or other types of advertising. Armed with this information you can take the opportunity to implement changes to your own website and marketing strategy which may help you to gain a greater degree of success. Care should be taken to not copy anything directly from your competitors but to rather try to emulate their degree of success in your own way.
    Learning about Internet Marketing





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  • 25Sep
    Internet Marketing Comments Off

    Know Your Audience When Marketing Online

    Internet marketing is quickly becoming one of the most popular advertising options available. The Internet reaches a worldwide audience and is available 24 hours a day. For this reason more and more potential customers are turning to the Internet for a variety of reasons including researching products and services and making purchases. As more and more consumers turn to the Internet for these reasons, it is important for businesses to establish an online presence. This is so important because failure to do so may result in their competitors gaining an edge over them in competing for sales. While it is important for business to begin Internet marketing campaigns it is also important for these same businesses to realize basic advertising principles still exist and they cannot neglect these principles. Most importantly those who advertise online have to be aware of who their target audience is and how to reach this audience.

    As with any marketing campaign, business owners should do some market research before they launch their Internet marketing campaign. Ideally this will involve hiring a research consultant with a great deal of experience in conducting and evaluating this type of market research. The results of this research should determine the basic demographical information for the target audience. The results should also include information on how to reach this target audience. A business that cannot afford to hire a consultant to conduct this market research should still make an effort to obtain this information on their own. This can be done through informal polls of current clients. This information may not be as comprehensive as the information obtained in a more formal study but it can still provide a great deal of insight into the best way to reach the target audience.

    Once this information is obtained, it is important to tailor the Internet marketing campaign to appeal to the target audience. There are a number of different variables which can be modified to ensure the right message is reaching the right people in a manner they can understand and in which they can relate. Some of the ways in which your Internet marketing campaign can be tailored in this way include the aesthetics of your website or advertisements, the wording of your copy and the use of more advanced design features such as audio and visual or interactive tools.

    The aesthetic appeal of a website can greatly contribute to how the website is viewed by the members of the target audience. A website which is designed to attract the attention of an older generation with more conservative tastes should include muted colors, clean design and conservative graphics. This will help to ensure the target audience enjoys the website. Conversely if you are looking to appeal to a younger audience with more liberal viewpoints you might chose to design the website with bold colors, eye catching graphics and creative design features.

    The copy you include on your website should also take your target audience into consideration. Consider the examples of a conservative and a liberal audience listed above to create a better understanding of how the copy on your website can appeal to the target audience. When marketing to a more conservative audience, the copy should be tailored to use formal language and use facts to back up viewpoints. However, when you are marketing to a more liberal audience or a younger audience you can consider using less formal language which is likely to appeal to the target audience. You can also focus more on emotion to express viewpoints.

    Finally, when a website is created for the purposes of Internet marketing it is important for the design of the website to appeal to the target audience. You may wish to include audio and video clips on your website but these clips should appeal to the target audience. For example if your website sells skateboards you might consider incorporating audio clips from punk rock bands as opposed to country music bands. There may be some skateboarders who enjoy country music but in general punk rock music more closely represents the skating culture. Keeping these details in mind is very important for Internet marketing.
    Know Your Audience When Marketing Online





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  • 25Sep
    Internet Marketing Comments Off

    Is Internet Marketing Working For You?

    Determining whether or not your Internet marketing campaign is working for you is a very important part of the advertising process. This is so important because while there is a great deal of Internet marketing which can be done without a great deal of expense, other types of Internet marketing do have financial costs associated with them. Also, in both cases there is a time and energy burden to orchestrating the Internet marketing. For all of these reasons it is important for business owners to continuously evaluate their marketing techniques and strategies to determine what is working and what is not. This will help the business owner to focus his efforts on marketing strategies which are providing positive results as opposed to those which are either not providing results or are only providing lackluster results. This article will examine a few different marketing strategies as well as how business owners can evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies.

    Affiliate marketing is certainly one of the most cost effective Internet marketing strategies available. This marketing strategy involves having other website owners known as affiliates post an advertisement on their websites to direct Internet traffic to your website. This marketing strategy is cost effective because in most cases the affiliate is only paid when he produces a desired result such as enticing an Internet user to click through the advertisement or to purchase a product or service once they click through the ad. While the business owner is only paying for the advertisement when it produces a desired effect, it is still worthwhile to evaluate the effectiveness of these ads to determine whether or not they are working well.

    Fortunately affiliate marketing ads have a natural feedback mechanism which makes it easy to evaluate how well the ad is working. This feedback is provided in the form of code imbedded in the advertisement which specifies which affiliate generated the website visitors. This information is provided for the purposes of issuing payment to the affiliate but it can also provide the business owner with useful information on which affiliate ads are the most effective. This information is especially useful when the affiliates are posting different ads. The business owner may conclude the ads posted by the more successful affiliates are more appealing to potential customers and may opt to use this style of ad for all of their affiliates.

    Business owners who use Internet marketing strategies such as posting on message boards to promote their business might want to consider asking customers to complete a short survey when making a purchase. This survey can include useful demographic information which is always helpful for marketing as well as information regarding where the customer learned of the products or services you offer. Including the message board web address as one of the responses will give you a good indication of whether or not the message boards are helping to drive customers to your website. You may also have some unofficial feedback in terms of the response to your postings on the message board. If the general consensus is in support of your posts, you may infer you are generating some interest in your business or website through this tactic.

    Finally, an Internet marketing strategy can be evaluated by studying website traffic results as well as sales receipts. Anytime you implement a new Internet marketing strategy or technique it is worthwhile to study your website traffic reports and sales receipts carefully to determine whether or not there is a spike in either traffic or sales immediately after the marketing effort. For example, if you send out an e-newsletter to those who have requested additional information about your products or services, you may notice there is an increase in traffic or sales soon afterwards. This is a good indication the e-newsletter was well received and effective. However, if there is not a marked increase in traffic or sales subsequent to the e-newsletter it indicates the marketing effort was not effective.
    Is Internet Marketing Working For You?





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