This 2-minute read represents hours and hours of work.
1. Your Web PageEvery business should have an anchor on the Internet, and the best way to do that is to "own" your real estate. This is pretty straight-forward today.
- Register ("Buy") your domain name(s)
- Sign up for web hosting
- Install WordPress or another CMS ("Content Management System") such as Joomla or Drupal.
- Add content to your website
Your biggest decision is what you expect visitors to your website to do before they leave. Do you want them to buy something? Do you want them to call or write to you? The buzz-words for this are "Call to Action." Another buzz-word is "Conversion" if your visitor completes that action.
Your final objective is to find and tweak the content to encourage conversions...
2. Search Engines and OptimizationOnce you build your website, people have to find it.
People may be looking for you by name, or customers may be looking for a product you are selling.
Search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo will provide the former, and SEO (search engine optimization) will provide the latter.
3. Internet Marketing"If you build it, they will come..." Maybe. Maybe not. Probably not. (It does happen in the movies.)
How do you drive customers to your website?
SEO is passive Internet marketing. Buying "key words" on search engines is definitely active Internet marketing, but this advertising and results are not dependent on SEO.
Print advertising is important. Every scrap of paper that leaves your business should have your website on it. Other opportunities for advertising is just as important. Any email you send should have your website in your signature block. (You do use signature blocks, don't you?)
"Social Media" is huge: Facebook, Linkedin, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, etc. are all examples of Social Media Sites.
It's a great opportunity to reach literally millions of people with your message. The "call to action" in any Social Media activity is to drive visitors to your website. You can be subtle or overt. (Overt is better, IMHO.)
You added content to your website, and you'll need a lot more original content for your foray into Social Media.
We have completed the loop:
- Create your own website with your own call to action,
- Make sure people can find your website and your product when they use search engines,
- Actively market your website everywhere you can, including social media.
- Maintain your website so visitors will find what they expect to find, even if you have to loop back to work on your web page.
- Track and measure your marketing efforts