Many people ask: what is online marketing? Marketing in general refers to a comprehensive process designed to facilitate interaction between buyers and sellers.
Online marketing is simply a component of that comprehensive process and specifically refers to the connecting of buyers and sellers on the Internet. As it relates to you and your business, the purpose of online marketing is to increase your online “visibility” to improve your “findability”. In the online marketing world “visibility” and “findablity” translate to one thing; new customers. The more visibility you have and the more findable you are online means that your search engine ranking is good enough to get your business listing and/or information about you and your business displayed at or near the top of search results pages. Each of the major search engines have sophisticated and proprietary formulas for ranking and displaying search results on their respective results pages. While the exact formulas are closely guarded secrets, most industry experts agree that certain factors are critical to obtaining a high local search engine ranking.
While there is no single correct answer to the question; what is online marketing, any good online marketing plan will incorporate these essential elements:
Local Business Listing
Local search results appear on the top of results pages. These search results are pulled from data not only from the search engines own database, but from third party databases as well. Because search engines compare data, it is not enough to simply list your business on Google, Yahoo and Bing and expect to great results. In fact, you may not get results at all. To get results you must ensure your listing is accurate, consistent and submit it to multiple business listing platforms.
Small Business Website
If you asked most small business people to answer the question- what is online marketing, most would probably just mention having a website. A good small business website is one that works for you and gets found by local consumers. Small business websites are not any different from any other website. The term “small business” is used more often to infer affordability to the target market as opposed to having any significance related to functionality or design. For any local small business web site to be found, good online marketing techniques must be used.
A good landing page is one page on the Internet where prospective customers can get a very quick overview of who you are, what you do, your unique selling proposition, your call to action, your contact information, some customer testimonials and some links to more information.
Traditional word-of-mouth referral marketing is still the most powerful form of marketing in use today and it is alive and well on the Internet. Online social networks are very powerful platforms to share information and connect and expand your personal and business networks. More and more search engines factor online social connections into search results pages. Incorporating some form of online social networking is a must in any online marketing strategy.
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