Marketing on the web, in some ways, is still like the Wild West. It has frontiers and exciting opportunities for profit, labor saving tools, and reliable experts. We also see well-intended but inept operators and a growing number of scammers and business perils. There are enough moving parts to overwhelm anyone who is not actively involved in web marketing — even seasoned traditional marketers. From our perspective, we have two initial points of advice:

1-Have an overall web marketing plan and a person “driving” who understands the components and sequence of how things work together. We wrote about this in our May 14 blog and won’t repeat it here.

2-For easier understanding, break the big pieces down into smaller parts or steps. We will take six topics as examples of how to reduce web marketing topics into smaller pieces. For simplicity and brevity, we’ll only divide each topic into only two parts, rather than all the possibilities for further divisions. In internet marketing, some topics have more than one name. One of the main topics, pay-per-click advertising, has more than ten ways to describe it.

What Do You Need From the the Internet, leads or sales?

  • Leads: Online inquiries or phone calls for a transaction that will happen later. Examples are complex sales for business services or products, professional services delivered in an office, services for your home or business.
  • Ecommerce: The sales transaction for a product or service that takes place online and is usually paid by a credit card, PayPal, etc.

Your Service Area or Scope

  • National: You want business from all over the country, and searchers may not use city names (or other “geodescriptors”) while searching for your product or service.
  • Local: Your customers are likely to be from nearby because they come to you or you go to them. Even so, some of your customers will not include the name of your city or geographical area in their search.

Types of Web Traffic Available

  • Natural (Organic) Traffic: Traffic your website gets without paying the search engines incrementally for it. Examples: Being found by search engines, direct links, and Google Maps. You can pay, however, to have an expert take action to or for your website that causes you to be found through natural/organic processes.
  • Paid Traffic: Online advertising such as that from Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing or MSN. Some other names for this are PPC, Pay per Click, Paid Search, etc.

Search Results Page

  • Natural/Organic Results: The part of the page in the left /center.
  • Ads or Sponsored Links: Found above, to the right of (in a column), and in some engines, below natural/organic search results.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization

  • On-Page: Action taken to or on your website to help it gets found through natural search. Examples: adding or changing the content such as meta-tags or page names, keyword rich text, or adding a site map.
  • Off-Page: Action taken somewhere other than on your website to be more visible to or ranked higher by the search engines. Examples include: directory listings, articles written and submitted elsewhere that reference your website. Links from other websites to your website (called backlinks) also fall into the off-page category.

Pay Per Click/ PPC

  • Search Mode: Your potential customer enters a search (query) into a box and clicks “Send”.
  • Content/Contextual Mode: Your potential customer is reading something and sees an ad. He/she may be “looking” but they did not just enter a query and hit the “send” button like in search mode.

We hope you find our systematic examples useful to you. We will write more about each topic and its subdivisions in future posts. If you have feedback or suggestions for future topics, please share them or send us an email.