In today’s computer-savvy world, the internet has become a very resourceful tool
for both business owners, (who can use the internet as a platform to advertise their
products and services) and shoppers (who enjoy an exceptional online shopping experience).
It is no wonder many businesses utilize different online strategies to impel customers
to their websites.
Small businesses depend on these promotional tactics as an effective
online marketing tool, and this helps to balance the competition between themselves
and much larger corporations. In the same respect, new business owners resort to
these different online strategies, so they are able to compete with worldwide companies
without having to expand their advertising and marketing budgets. When done correctly,
traffic can be easily generated to a company’s website, and a fast and promising
return on investment can be made.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements
Search engine optimization and pay-per-click marketing are two important online
strategies used by many businesses when persuading potential customers to their
website. In the search engine optimization approach, business owners research and
select effective targeted keywords or “title tags” that can be used when prospective
customers conduct search results. SEO can also help improve the ranking of a company
during such search; therefore, more traffic to a particular website can mean more
potential company revenue. For example, an antique furniture store can be found
online using targeted keywords such as “American-style antiques” or “American antique
furniture.” Collectors will often flock to the site that appears in the top ten
search results and give business to companies that utilize this search engine optimization
Pay-per-click advertisements can be used in conjunction with SEO, whereby advertisers
pay a company a fixed amount of money when an advertisement is clicked to visit
the advertiser’s website. PPC advertisements are a great way for companies to raise
their profile and the profile of their affiliates, since both parties are advertised
on multiple sites. For example, a popular travel website that sells competitive
airline tickets and vacation packages can post hotel advertisements on their website.
Depending on the contractual price and number of visitors who clicked on the advertisement,
the travel company can make money from the hotel and vice versa.
2. Social shopping
Social shopping is a new online phenomenon that has become extremely successful
in the past few years. It combines two very popular online pastimes: social networking
and bargain shopping.
Entrepreneur marketing on social shopping sites have overtaken
other forms of marketing, including direct marketing promotions. Many new business
owners are finding more advantages to social shopping as a cheap and effective means
of advertising when compared to the costs and process of traditional marketing.
For many entrepreneurs, social shopping has become a much needed extension of one’s
e-commerce experience. Social shoppers can register at one of many different social
shopping sites, where they can network with friends, create wish lists, provide
shopping suggestions, and simply write online reviews of different products and
services. In a recent study conducted by PowerReviews.com, it was discovered that
approximately 65 percent of 1200 surveyed social shoppers actively seek customer
reviews when deciding on a particular purchase. These results are a clear indication
of just how important product reviews are in influencing the sale of a product.
Many retailers can use this innovative method to their advantage as well as provide
similar customer ratings/reviews of each of the products on their company’s website.
An example of social shopping can be found in many department store websites. For
instance, a customer who is interested in purchasing a high-definition television
can simply visit the electronics section of that department store’s website. They
can browse through many different makes, models, and sizes. If they find it difficult
to decide between two different televisions, they can simply read the customer review
section of each product. Based upon this type of consumer feedback, an individual
will be influenced to purchase a product based upon customer review and avoid purchases
with poor ratings.
3. Post marketing advertisements in blogs
Another way in which companies can improve their online business is through the
use of blogs. Retailers can easily advertise their company by linking photos and
detailed information about their products and services when they post a blog. In
return, readers can write comments and feedback about their own experience with
the company’s products. Not only do blog advertisements raise the profile of a new
business, but they can also increase the company’s rank during a search result.
For example, an author of suspense novels can publicize his/her new book in a blog.
Fans of this author can further advertise the book through other marketing outlets.
Many loyal readers will be aware of the new release and purchase the book immediately.
They can communicate with other online communities by writing a review of the book,
further promoting the manner in which the book is publicized.
4. Website maintenance-
Many consumers are proven to become repeat customers if they encounter a positive
online shopping experience. Their positive online transactions can simply attract
new customers by word of mouth. In order to properly produce a delightful online
shopping experience for new and existing patrons, business owners must have an effective,
professional-looking website detailing their products and services. The website
interface should be user-friendly in order to assist with a good shopping experience
and easy checkout. In addition, the website should always be continually updated,
mentioning any new products and having the primary page design tailored to holidays,
events, current promotions, etc. For example, a popular shoe store can have the
competitive edge by having a webpage that is easily comprehensible and accessible
to all visitors. During winter season, they can feature all the different boots
and snow shoes they are selling and include any promotional offers that are exclusively
available online. Their competitors, who may have a more outdated site and expired
promotional offers, will not be as highly valued as the one that is more current
in content and design.
5. Web metric analysis-
Another way to improve online marketing strategy for new companies is the implementation
of web metric analysis. Through this approach, the number of sales, user origin,
and site visit duration can all be tracked. Depending on the findings, the company
may want to adjust their marketing campaign accordingly. For example, a florist
may use web metric analysis to find out why his/her online sales had dropped in
the previous month. Through this metric approach, s/he discovered that visitors
remained on his/her site only briefly. After determining the advertisements on the
website may not have been created effectively, s/he decided to change the advertisement
completely. Upon that modification, the company was able to successfully make up
for their losses in the following month.
The overall goal of online marketing strategies is to generate traffic and sales
to a website; therefore, these advertising tactics can easily serve as an effective
tool in luring new customers to their sites. Social shopping, search engine optimization,
and pay-per-click strategies are only a few ways in which a company can take advantage
of internet and e-commerce technology. In addition, the use of blogs, web maintenance,
and metric analysis are other ways in which businesses can successfully optimize
their websites. Online entrepreneur marketing has risen vastly in the past few years
and has even surpassed traditional marketing methods. By resorting to these marketing
strategies, an entrepreneur will be able to gain recognition and achieve profitability.