Recently more and more people have asked what exactly Internet marketing means and how they can incorporate a few basics into their own plans for website optimization. The first stage is Infancy. During this stage a business should:
Review the Business Plan - How will you deliver the product you intend to sell? What is that product? How will your website fit into that plan? Think about the process in reverse from sales to engagement to reach to lead generation.
Buy the Domain Name - It should be your company name but also purchase a domain that incorporates what you do. It shouldn't be too long or too difficult for clients to remember or spell. Check out Bluehost, Network Solutions, or Instant Domain Search to register.
Research Your Competitors - Who are your competitors? What can your site do better? What type of content to they provide visitors? How are they utilizing search engines and where do they rank for the keyword phrases that are relevant to your site? How much traffic do they have? Sales? Revenue? Research their demographic information, pay-per-click information, and the source code of their site for keywords, title, description and meta tags. Research keyword traffic.
Research Keywords - What words are competitors using and how much do they cost? How many words/phrases will you concentrate on? Are there any well-trafficked keywords that aren't being utilized by your competitors? What niche can you thrive in? Is your niche local? Focusing on the wrong keywords can be expensive and cause you to start over from scratch when they don't work. Test keywords with PPC and track conversion rates. Split test PPC ads and strive to increase your Quality Score.
Develop a Sitemap - What is your matrix of pages? (Home, About, Products, Contact, etc.) Develop title tags for each page with a specific number of characters. Remember to use a theme. Where will you put the product? Aim for a flat architecture with the least amount of clicks between the homepage and any final destination. Don't forget to submit your XML sitemap to Google in Webmaster Central.
Visit next week for Stage 2 of Online Marketing Basics.