Online Marketing Checklist For Beginners
Are you marketing on the internet? I'll bet you answered 'yes', but have you thought about how well you are marketing. Anyone who has a presence online is technically marketing, but there are many different basic approaches which can improve your marketing efforts.
The basic foundation to marketing online is having a website. This might be a website that is actively marketing a product or service, or might be a static site developed purely to promote the concept of the business being genuine, and to generate email addresses that are more professional than the free email providers such as Gmail. Many offline businesses constantly refer to their websites, but continue their marketing offline as well, therefore actively marketing offline, but passively online. In fact, many offline businesses can only be easily identified online via location based searches, or location based search results, such as "Local Business Results" tied to Google Maps.
Marketing in message boards and forums that are related to your business can also be effective as a link to your website can be included in your signature (two or three lines of personal data that appears at the bottom of any post you make) and you are potentially making contact with your target market. For example, if you are in the business of providing baby related products, and you post messages in a baby related forum, especially if you provide expert information to the forum users, then you will find that people who read your messages will follow your link to your website and see what is being offered. Even if you only frequent in these forums because you enjoy the conversations, by having a signature link you are still marketing.
Does your website capture visitors' email addresses and names, and / or feedback? Building a list of potential customers is a vitally important, and proven to be successful, method for developing a relationship with your potential customers for little or no effort, and then as you continue to market to them, you can improve the relationship until they feel comfortable enough to purchase your product or service. It is well known that it is very difficult to sell something on a first visit to your site, but after multiple marketing messages, the conversion rates noticeably rise. Feedback is also very important as it's basically your customers and potential customers advising you what is good and bad about your site, and enables you to clearly understand which aspects to improve, and which aspects to expand.
Have you identified the most effective and profitable keywords within your selected niche and applied then to your website and marketing efforts? Keywords are a critical part of any marketing strategy, and optimizing the website to enable the search engines to identify the most appropriate searches for your website is the foundation of being located through Google, Bing, Yahoo or any other search engine. Website optimization can be very complex if considered in detail, for example keyword density, LSI etc, but at the basic level, keywords will identify the websites main areas of focus and which searches it should appear for.
Have you set up backlinks and bookmarks? To help the search engines find your website, you can always set up some quick backlinks by joining some social bookmarking sites, like Digg, reddit, stumbledupon, and storing a link to your website in your account. Similarly, if you can write some articles and submit these to article directory site, like EzineArticles, GoArticles, Articlesbase etc. then you can also generate some good backlinks which will improve your websites position in the search engine rankings for your keywords.
These steps are all obviously covered at a very high level, but provide a solid checklist for you to identify the basic steps you need to consider. Take each step, research deeper, and compile a marketing strategy that will work most effectively for your website and your target market. There is plenty of information available online to support any research you might need to consider.