John Jantsch offers tips at Duct Tape Marketing on how to create a marketing strategy:
A marketing strategy is a clear explanation of how you’re going to get there, not where or what there is. An effective marketing strategy is a concise explanation of your stated plan of execution to reach your objectives.
Jantsch’s advice correctly boils down to a three-step process: identify the target population; create a specialized, expert niche; and devise a strategy to carry the first two tasks forward (though I would reverse the order of the first two). This is important advice in both traditional marketing and online marketing.
Since you are reading this blog, it is likely that you are interested specifically in Internet marketing — or, in other words, how to garner as much relevant traffic to your website as possible. I’ll expand on Jantsch’s ideas in this context.
After creating a niche, specifying the target customer-demographic, and uploading a basic website, the importance of the next two tasks cannot be understated.
Recommendations for HTML Search-Engine Optimization
1. Professionalize the website. It is essential to perfect the website long before you begin attracting traffic because visitors to an amateurish website will lose interest and likely never return. Make the layout clean and professional. Do not overdo graphics. Eliminate items like Flash — they may look, well, flashy, but search engines cannot “spider” the programs. Check that all spelling and grammar are correct. Place calls-to-action and contact information in optimal places. And so on.
2. Research the best keywords. Search terms are the basic building-block of any online-marketing campaign. Without keywords (or the wrong keywords) all future action will be doomed to failure because every later action — from website search-optimization to social-media marketing — will incorporate them. After you have determined the best keywords for each page, then they can be placed in meta titles, meta descriptions, and elsewhere while remaining part of ongoing backlink-building efforts.
3. Start a social-media campaign. Open a Twitter account and Facebook page with names that incorporate a popular, relevant keyword. Add a blog to your website to ensure that fresh content is regularly added. Place social-media share buttons and access to an RSS-feed subscription form on each page and blog post. Research the best PPC-specific keywords to gain additional traffic at little cost.
4. Track your website’s metrics and adjust as necessary. Data has always driven all types of marketing in both the traditional and online realms. SEO marketing-software can tell you which keywords, pages, and calls-to-action are performing well and which ones might need to be changed. Internet-marketing software can detect problems in HTML code and elsewhere. Become addicted to data analysis.
These are the four basic steps in creating an online-marketing strategy. Of course, each of these steps is extremely complicated in ways that are too long to describe in a blog post. If you or your company would like additional help, feel free to contact me and my SEO-consultant services firm.