Basics of Web Marketing

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Basics of Web Marketing

What does successful web marketing require?

  • Display a clear yet, innovative website that undoubtedly conveys what you are offering
  • Possess a web presence that can be easily located online through search engines
  • Create & maintain your announcements on multiple Internet mediums
  • Utilize various campaigns to increase traffic to your site
  • Review analytics and tracking mechanisms-in order to examine which marketing tactics get you to achieve your goals

 

Web Marketing Fundamentals:
In the past, the notion of creating a website on the Internet was:  “Build it and they will come!”. However, these days are long gone. Today, there are literally billions of web page content out there and so it is essential to create a site that presents your business to viewers in a favorable light amongst the crowd. When getting started it is important to establish for what purpose you are going to build a website (or redesign). Of course a reason in itself is solely because in this day and age you need one, but that can easily turn into mimicking competitors and may result in something bland. Once you decide the major motive in creating the site, you can then brainstorm ideas. Essentially there will be the general “laundry list” of things that must be on the site.

Define your necessary goals. After those areas are specified, all involved with the project must get together and have a brainstorming meeting. All interested parties should have the chance to suggest their concepts and ideas, not just shareholders. Never have the mentality that an individual doesn’t have something to offer (creativity wise). This is only the experimental stage; each person has a different role and with each person’s various background comes the real unity of collaboration- something unique. After the team’s “envision session”,  think about the concepts in a more sensible manner.

Compare/contrast with your defined goals and toss out things that just aren’t suitable. A fundamental idea of beginning with web marketing is creating a niche market. If you have numerous products and services then that means you will also have a vastly diversified market. Consider organizing these variables into more specific categories in order to better reach your target audience. This empowers you to generate a site with a well-defined central focal point. You want  a site that will easily provide precisely what your client is looking for. The website should be tailored for a highly focused group. Ideally it is best to select the most lucrative product/service matched with the most affluent sector of the market and start from there. Once you begin to profit from this niche online and start to become  well trusted with your product/service it is then much easier to expand your horizons further down the road.

When designing the website you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. You need to follow some basic web marketing principles and then work on integration. Defining a color scheme should be your first priority. Print color is created using colored ink, whereas web color is produced using the hexadecimal system. There is a wide variety of resources online that aid in creating a color scheme taking print colors and enabling you to find similar ones bringing them to life on-screen. You want to refrain from a broad variety of colors and really just select a few. The best number to work with here is five. It can cover the basics: text color, background color, link colors, and artwork. Neutral colors such as black, white, and gray, are all shades and don’t count as one of the five. Another useful tip is recognizing outdoor web use (mobile devices) require high-contrast so make sure you choose your colors wisely. Once you’ve successful deciphered the basic color scheme of the design and layout, you want your site to be user friendly. You need a few key ingredients to mesh together the look, feel, and friendliness of your site.

Once all the creative content has been placed on the site you want to develop a web marketing checklist. Check all the links, you want to make sure that they work and are sending you to the right pages. Does your sight load relatively quickly? It should load in under 12 seconds (worst case scenario) and that is done with proper optimization. People have a very short attention span and things must be working promptly. Does the site have a special offer easily viewable? You want to prompt the viewer to click and become a part of the community you are trying to create and secure as your clientele. This is called a “call to action”. Whether selling merchandise or requesting contact information for a newsletter or mailing list. Each web page should have a “call to action”. Can the user easily navigate through the site? If you use a drop down menu with solely icons for that creative customized look, make sure you have redundant text-only links too. You don’t want it to be confusing sending customers away to a competitor’s site. Is the content easy to digest on the palate? Too much content text can be a bad thing. A good tip is to convey specific messages in headlines while also incorporating bullet points and bold text. Professional writing isn’t necessary, but you also don’t it to be gibberish. Within the pages of the site be sure to include popular keywords specific to your sector that people will type in search engines. Is there consistency amongst the pages? You want there to be a common theme and feel amongst the differing pages. If they are vastly different the user may think they’ve moved on to a new site. Does the site appear complete or is it missing content? You want to make sure all “Coming soon” notifications on the site are up to date and that deadlines are being met. The most important part of the entire page is what is viewable immediately when the site loads, without scrolling or “above the fold”.

Make sure no images or text is cut off at the fold. Similar to a newspaper, it is the top half of the website. This is the area for the must-see information. Here is where you grab your audience’s attention and essentially try to blow them out of the water. They are their with a problem and you want to show you have the solution they are looking for!  Integration includes: customized photoshop images (logo & branding), audio/video content with Flash, interactive pages with JavaScript, collecting information with forms, gathering and embedding live data, and unifying social media platforms.  The next course of action is to implement a budget and timeline. When starting out, budgeting time and money is a relatively difficult task in itself. Parameters that are established can always be changed due to deadlines not being met or having to be moved up.  Deadlines need to be clearly established early on. From the website designer’s perspective: clients need to be responsible for delivering materials needed in the allotted time frame. If they don’t arrive on time the designer can’t proceed. From the client’s perspective: be realistic with the expectations. When creating a proposal make sure both sides are being met and then get everything in writing to avoid differences later on. A useful tool that can be used to check on the overall progress of the website being built is something called “usability testing”. The implementation of this tool allows interested parties to test in real-time at key milestone points how the design process is moving along and allows for feedback to be put into action. 

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In an office full of awkward computer nerds, Stevie helps us connect to our clients. She will be your first point of contact if you have any issues and reminds us to look up from our computers every once and awhile. She has experience in marketing for companies such as Mercedes Benz & Perfect Vodka and keeps our company human while we’re working on all the pixels that make your digital designs perfect.

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