LESSON 5: BUSINESS MARKETING
You can have the best-looking website, the lowest price on the internet on the most popular items of today along with being the fastest site on the planet, but if you don't have any customers that can find your website, you won't sell anything. I have seen some ugly sites, that have not been updated in 20+ years (slow and hard to use) do millions of dollars in business year after year. The question is why? Well, it all boils down to one thing, they have a huge customer base. Customers need to know how to find you, which is where marketing comes in.
When it comes to marketplaces like eBay, Amazon etc, marketing doesn't have as much impact because those marketplaces already do all the marketing for you and drive customers to your products. However, when it comes to having your own website, marketing is going to make the difference of success and failure. When you launch a new website, you have to let customers know you exist and what it is you are offering.
To take the tech lingo out of it, think about your domain name (www.yoursite.com) as your street address, and then think of your website as your building (store) you have built on the land belonging to the address. Imagine your address is in a new area that doesn't really receive much traffic yet because up until now there hasn't been any reason for anyone to drive down the street because the area has just been an empty field. This is where marketing comes in to drive traffic to your location.
I have to say that after talking to thousands of customers over the years, this is probably the area most of them know the least about. That is a serious problem for website owners, or customers that are thinking about building a website. Getting a website launched and successful can be a very expensive task, and usually the less you know about how it all works the more expensive it can become, there are a lot of companies out there that make a lot of claims but never successfully deliver, so I am going to try and explain how it works so you have a better understanding and you will know what you can do yourself, what you can get done for free and where you would be smart to spend your money.
I am going to break this into 5 marketing groups in an effort to keep it simple.
1. Organic SEO
3. Affiliate Marketing
4. Social Marketing
5. Target Marketing
Out of all your groups organic SEO is probably the top of your list to make sure it is done correctly, the reason is because this is what gets you found on search engines, and also plays a big part of where in search you are found. Some websites come with organic SEO done for you, and some do not. Most of the ones that are done for you, are done in a way that does not focus on your store and business model specifically, but just focuses on basic information that relates to all business types, whether you are an ecommerce store selling products, or if you are a information site that isn't selling anything. And if you have any custom information you need to get out there, it won't unless you spend thousands of dollars to some of these SEO companies that come in and do the organic SEO, the sad part is they charge you a lot of money monthly for something that can be done one time and coded so that anything new you add is done automatically like it is with our turnkey websites.
With our turnkey websites that are included with our Multiverse Pro package, we do all the organic SEO mentioned below for you for free. Here is a breakdown of what we include (even if you don't have your website through us, you want to make sure the following is done for your site). Here is how it works for all products and categories on your website as well as for all your information pages including ones you may create later.
A sitemap is just like it sounds, a map of your website that all the search engines will read and that is how your website and all the pages and products will become searchable on the search engines like google. However, like any other map, you have a basic map that provides very limited and basic information, you want a good custom sitemap that provides the search engines with comprehensive information about your website, every product and category you have etc.
A Basic sitemap will tell google (or any search engine) you have a RCA DVD Player for sale, it will generally only provide the item title and the link to the product (URL).
A good custom sitemap will provide the title, the price, the image url, the UPC code, the MPN, Model Number, Color, Brand, sizes, weight, link to the product, description and much more detailed information. (this is what we provide for our turnkey website customers)
Rich Snippets is the term used to describe structured data markup that site operators can add to their existing HTML, which in turn allow search engines to better understand what information is contained on each web page.
Custom URL Keys
Your url key is how the link that the product or page is located on is written. It can either be friendly or unfriendly to search engines. Friendly URL's is what will get found and processed better.
Unfriendly example Before organic SEO
Friendly example After organic SEO
The titles to your products have to be converted to meta titles, basically put between <meta> tags so the search engines can read it. Also at this time additional information can be added to the title before it is converted to a meta title to make it friendly.
Example of unfriendly meta title
Portable DVD Player
Example of friendly meta title
Black Panasonic M55 Portable DVD player m55-91-41 $49.99
(the color, brand, MPN, original title, part number and price are all joined to make a search engine friendly meta title)
meta descriptions take the first 150 characters of your descriptions and encloses it in meta tags so the search engines can process them. Nothing extra is really added here as you only want to provide the product description
This is where you can add additional meta keywords to help fine your products. For example, let’s say you are selling a laptop computer and the title reads, Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop. You can add the following keywords to the list
Computer, Notebook, Personal, etc.
Once all the above is done your website will be able to be found on google, there are other factors as well that affects your placement in search like the age of your domain, how many backlinks you have, your online reputation etc. But when the above is done correctly, it will give you the biggest benefit when it comes to where you will show up in search.
A backlink is a link you will post on a 3rd party website (we will go over free options here, but we will go over paid options later in the targeted marketing section) that links to either your home page or any specific page on your website like a product or a promotional page etc. To create the link all you need to do is navigate to the page where you want the link to go to (This should be where you want your customers to land when they click your link). Next, copy the website address from the address bar of your browser, this will be your link and you can paste it wherever you choose. The higher the quality the website is where your link is posted, the better it will be for you. You never want to add a backlink to a questionable website as this will hurt you and bring you down in search.
Examples of a questionable website
Pirate movie websites
Pirate Music Websites
gambling websites etc
Examples of a good quality link
Any popular legal website
Here is an example of a good quality backlink that you can do for free.
Do a google search for a product of your choice, but for our example I am going to use a Dell Laptop Computer. So, I am going to do a google search for "How fast is a dell inspiron 15 laptop", this will bring up several blogs and forums where someone is either doing a review of the laptop, or they are asking a question as a potential customer. You would then go to the site, and if it’s a blog you will look to see if you are able to leave comments, leave an in depth comment on the subject (at least a paragraph or two) and then leave a link to your dell inspiron products (you would do a search for "Dell Inspiron" on your website, and when the page loads, copy the web address in your browsers address bar. Remember you will just change the search to whatever it is you are writing about.
If it is a forum works basically the same way, just make sure to write a good paragraph or two answer that is relevant to the customers question, this way it is not deleted as spam, and then at the end of your post a link to either a specific product, or the search results for the product if there are multiple products.
HINT: When doing a search on google to find places to post, the sites that show up on page 1 or 2 are usually going to give you high quality backlinks.
This is a very cheap marketing technique with a lot of benefit. How this works is simple, you create an affiliate link for your customers (our Multiverse Pro includes this feature) and they can email the link, post it on their website, social account, blog, forum etc. When a customer clicks on a link that has been posted by one of your affiliates the customer will be brought right to your website to make the purchase. If the customer (end user) purchases the item, then you will pay your affiliate member 1% (or whatever amount you set) for sending you that sale. This method potentially has the ability to send a ton of customers your way.
With affiliate marketing, you can use links or banners to give to your affiliate members to start posting. The link will have a special code that your website will use to track the traffic, order history and affiliate accounts so you know who is sending customers to your site.
I imagine most of you, if not all of you are familiar with social media websites like Facebook, twitter etc. There is a reason for that, it's because a huge chunk of the population has an account on one or multiple social media sites. This gives you the opportunity to connect with a potentially huge customer base. It is a good idea to open an account for your business on all the popular social media sites and then begin making posts, tweets etc. Talk about your goals as a business, talk about your grand opening, talk about promotions that you are running. talk about your product lines, talk about new trends etc.
The best advice I can give here, is to write original content, don't copy/paste from another website or source. Any subject that you talk about that people find interesting they will come and read about it, and when they do they will learn that your business exists which is going to bring you customers.
Target marketing is a little bit different because you are marketing to a specific type/group of customers. For example, if you wanted to promote Laser Printers, you would target potential customers specifically looking for laser printers. Have you ever looked up a product on the internet, and then when you visit various websites where you would see advertising banners, the banners will be from a website you visited, or relate to a product you have recently been searching? This is called targeted marketing. Usually this service costs, and you would go to a 3rd party marketing company like Google AdWords, these are the ads like you would see all over Facebook or eBay etc. There are plenty of marketing companies out there that charge various rates for this service. This form of marketing definitely produces results, but can start getting a little on the pricey side. Usually you will wait to go this route until you have everything setup and running smoothly, including your promotion(s).
Another form of target marketing is pay per click (PPC) advertising through companies like Google AdSense. I am sure at some point you have done a google search, and notice that the top results are usually ads, these ads are from pay per click advertising. This is also a great way to drive traffic to your website, but it is a great idea to contact a marketing company to write your campaigns for you so that they can run keyword reports to get the most out of your money. Since it is paid targeted marketing you only want to attract customers that are actively looking for something that you are offering. It would be a waste of money to drive customers to your website that are only interested in buying sewing needles if you don't have any sewing needles for sale.
Marketing is how you drive quality customers to your website; the above methods work. The more traffic you get to your website the more sales you will have. It’s not easy, and it’s not instant. But if done correctly you can build yourself a strong brand that will give you a steady income for years to come which I am sure is your ultimate goal. The amount of time it takes to see positive results can vary between customers. It will depend on how in depth you want to go, your goal for how many customers you want to attract and of course your budget.