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The Most Important Web Marketing Principles


May 3, 2012 by Jason OConnor

A colossal and common mistake people make after deploying a new or re-vamped website is to assume that if they build it, people will automatically come. This is simply not true. Think of your website as a new brick and mortar store that you just had built in the middle of the Amazon rain forest. No one, and I mean no one, is going to find that store. (Well maybe a wandering aborigine or two, but they probably won't have credit cards.)

You must plan on getting the word out about your site which is accomplished by marketing. If this was a re-vamp of an existing website, then you may already have existing traffic, but you’ll probably need more to offset the cost of re-building it. And you'll want to make sure that the traffic is converting to sales. Whether it is a brand new website or a re-vamp, plan on implementing a Web marketing campaign to drive qualified traffic to your new site, otherwise the site will rot alone forever.

You may decide to do your Web marketing yourself or assign it to an employee, or you may ask your Web vendor to do it. But beware; many Web firms are not expert online marketers, so be sure to determine their expertise before hiring them. For example, there are many Web designers or programmers out there who claim to know Web marketing, but they are woefully inexperienced. They may be super designers, but know next to nothing when it comes to marketing.

If you decide to hire an outside firm for your website marketing, be sure to follow these steps. Ask them for previous client references that they've done Web marketing for. Ask them to provide exact numbers of increased traffic. In other words, how much monthly traffic did their clients get before they marketed the site, and how much was the monthly increase after they did a campaign. Also inquire how much of the traffic converts to actual sales. If possible, ask them to provide website statistics from their server logs.

The Internet is full of unscrupulous snake oil salesmen masquerading as Web marketing gurus and experts, so be especially careful who you hire and who you give your money to. Your goal is to hire a reputable Web marketing company or professional that can create and manage an integrated online marketing campaign for you over a period of time.

Web marketing is not a one-time affair. To truly get the most of your website (which in our business world means getting the most profits), then you must commit to ongoing or at least periodic e-marketing campaigns.

Let's look at some of the most important Web marketing principles that are timeless. These fundamental Web marketing principles ought to be in your mind at all times.

Web Marketing Principles:

  • People need to be given a reason to visit a site.
  • People don’t care about you, your business or your website; they only care about what your business, through your website, can do for them.
  • People won’t give you a thing for nothing in return – if you ask them for their personal information for example, be prepared to give them something in return.
  • People are motivated first by emotion.
  • One-to-one marketing is a reality on the Web.
  • The Web is interactive by nature. Therefore it’s easy to ask your visitors what they think, what their needs are and what you want to know about them. This in turn allows you to respond to their needs more accurately.
  • A Web marketing program is always dynamic. As the data comes in about the success or failure of the program, adjustments need to be made for continual improvement.
  • The Web offers immediate and exact feedback about Web marketing initiatives’ success, take advantage by analyzing the data constantly. Use server Web log files and website analytics programs (such as Google Analytics) to help you analyze your website’s activity.
  • Driving traffic to a site is often not enough, the traffic needs to be qualified traffic that converts into paying customers. Measure traffic, but more importantly, measure conversions.
  • People crave useful, free and relevant information online, give it to them and they will be more loyal to you.
  • The less you tout your company, product or service in the useful information you’re offering your website visitors (or email list), the more people will trust you and be loyal to you.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it highlights the basic tenants of online marketing. Whether you are doing your own website's marketing or you're working with a third party, bearing in mind these principles and ensuring they are followed will make a huge difference in the efficacy of your marketing efforts.

By Jason OConnor 2012

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