This page is meant as a very basic introduction to internet marketing, so for more detailed information on a particular topic please refer to the individual pages.
To start with, well done! You've taken several steps in the right direction already, firstly by coming to us for a website, and then by taking the time to work your way through the Client Resources Area. Let's see if we can't kick your site management skills up a gear.
Before starting an internet marketing campaign, it's worth taking time to anticipate how your site is likely to perform once up and running. To do this, you need to consider where your site's visitors are likely to be coming from. There are 3 ways visitors will find your site:
1. Non-internet related marketing
This is marketing the old-fashioned way - by word-of-mouth between satisfied clients/customers/users, and by paper advertising such as posters, flyers, newspaper and magazine ads. I won't go into any more detail about this type of marketing, since it's not strictly within the realms of internet marketing, and the sheer variety of marketing media is unique to a particular type of business. Put simply, an internet user finds out about your website from outside of the net, and manually types in your website's URL (address). This is known as a direct input visitor.
2. Search engines
For some types of site, this is where the large part of your visitors are likely to come from. Bear in mind that when you are trying to anticipate what percentage of visitors will find you this way, you should also try and split this percentage between the various different languages of your site. Japanese users tend to stick to Japanese versions of Yahoo and Google, which you might have noticed give vastly different search results to their English-language counterparts. For more details on how to deal with search engines, please see the Search Engines page.
3. Internet links
This term covers a large variety of sources; links from other sites, webrings, paid advertising on other sites, mailing lists and newsletters. The majority of pages in the Client Resources Area are designed to offer advice on these topics; please see the individual pages for more details.
Planning well ahead and anticipating where your visitors will come from, should be the basis for any good marketing campaign. You might expect an online shop to get the majority of visitors from search engines (group 2), but in fact good word-of-mouth and links provide a surprising amount; possibly as much as 20% from non-internet sources (group 1), and 50% from links from related websites (group 3).
So before you go any further into the resources area, please take a minute just to have a think about visitor ratios. Then compare your target percentages with your actual visitor sources. For those of you hosting your websites with good hosting companies (e.g. Dreamhost), you should have easy access to excellent visitor statistics. Split this month's visitors into the 3 groups, and write those figures down for reference. A good habit to pick up is regularly checking your visitor statistics (at least monthly), and comparing your 3 groups through time for possible patterns. Additional benefits to be gained from studying your site's stats regularly is that you will be able to act on unexpected visitor patterns promptly - by this I mean that you may notice one particular site has featured your website on their site, and you suddenly get a rush of visitors from there. As is explained in more detail on the Link Campaigns page, that would be the perfect opportunity to add that site to your own links and contact the site's owner to thank them. Never miss the chance to make an ally.
How to brand successfully:
The term 'branding' is used to refer to the technique of reinforcing your site's image in the eyes of visitors and clients. The benefits are obvious, so I won't go into that. The desired end result would be to have your potential customer/visitor/client think of your website first when looking for anything related to your chosen field. In order to instill this sense of branding, you need to unify every item of company literature. As an example, I will use my own design name: A Touch of Tensai. Although long as a website URL, I only ever use the entire site name in everything produced, in matching schemes, fonts, and general layouts. See below for examples:
Business cards, letter heads, envelopes, fax papers, emails, computer desktops
Anticipating your visitor patterns is the basis for any marketing campaign. Studying your site's visitor patterns through time is the key to improving your site's marketing.
The internet is just that - a network. Ignoring that fact will result in failure, but fully interweaving your site into that network will make your website succeed. The tools are at your disposal - so take a good look through the Resources Area, and start putting this advice to work.