As opposed to thinking about the web as technology, let’s consider the web as a purely connective device – perhaps the most powerful connective tool that mankind has created to date.
The internet can literally – physically – join businesses, people, ideas, and procedures instantly. It can bring people and businesses which may be miles apart together to appear as though they’re united, and in 1 place. Here lies enormous opportunity for you to connect with your clients and prospects, and to utilize the net as a mechanism for implementing the company partnerships (or purpose ) that you have made or intend to make.
Similar to traditional alliances (that haven’t used the Internet in the past), online alliances (or”E-Alliances”) may be formed for a number of specific functions:
1) to create awareness and develop targeted prospects (traffic);
2) to expand your reach quicker than you can alone;
3) to take advantage of the clout or client base of another company (or another site ); and
4) to distribute your services and products through a different company (or website) to improve your sales and/or lower your costs.
In any circumstance, but particularly on the world wide web, one of the chief goals of a strategic alliance would be to add value to your organization, by having the special partnerships that you create become a substantial barrier to entering your marketplace. As most of us know, it really is the business relationships we create and cultivate that are toughest for competitors to replicate. Alliances which are well thought-out and executed efficiently, by their very nature, can often profoundly differentiate your services and products, and thus your own company.
Leveraging the Internet’s Connective Power
When a company looks at optimizing its presence, there are a number of programs that can provide immediate value:
1. Search Engine Optimization – For many businesses, search engines account for roughly 85 percent of the people who visit their websites, particularly those with business websites. Therefore, we must start to consider search engines as significant business partners. Registering your key words is an important first step; however regular, continuing submissions to top search engines is absolutely crucial. It does no good to start a excellent website and not be committed to securing and maintaining your web site rank.
Search engines send out”bots” occasionally to update your site information in their database. These robots search for changes since you registered, or since they last searched your website. Ensure that your website has key words embedded in the code for each page. Additionally, actively changing your site’s articles (with terrific focus on utilizing strategic, relevant, targeted key words on each page) helps to make sure your site remains fresh and accessible.
Search engines are the best way to be certain that your website is seen by the maximum number of unique visitors in your area. Being included on the first page of the most popular search engines within the top 2 to 3 (keyword) areas that you choose should be your first, 3 to 6 month objective. It requires persistence and skill, and lots of looking at your organization from your prospects’ and clients’ vantage points.
I can not stress enough that you need to know what you want to achieve online before making your website. Therefore, the keywords your desire to”personal” should be recognized and built into your website’s structure, web backup, and total internet marketing/sales plan from the start – not only added in when you’re ready to submit your already-completed website to the search engines. Your site has to be search engine, not simply”techie” or”beautiful.”
Also bear in mind that when you’re intending to achieve a very narrow target market through the world wide web, other market directories and websites often become just as important as search engines in fulfilling your marketing/sales objectives.
2. On-line Links and Partners – It is one thing for the general user in order to reach you through a search engine. But, it’s far better if your desired prospects decide to visit your website outright. Be assured, there are amazing opportunities online to create targeted visitors – direct to your website. These include:
– Link and Affiliate Programs – Strategically join your website to non-competing websites which have a similar target market. This can take the form of a”link program” (where you organize for or swap links) or an”affiliate program” (where one party pays the other for click-throughs and/or earnings in their webpage.)
– On-line Content Providers – Also consider internet content providers, social media sites, and internet business directories as your spouses. Here, by way of instance, you can arrange to be featured as the”display product” on a favorite website, or to be recorded in a”5 Most Innovative Products” feature online. The websites of books and trade associations in your industry are a fantastic place to start. (Public Relations professionals have many opportunities to secure more protection if they aim on-line features, along with conventional features.)
– Preferred-Provider Relationships – Actual co-marketing online is the next logical step. By way of instance, many organizations invest in sending a professional, but affordable direct mail piece out that directs prospects to a customized offer on their website. Along the same lines, your business might negotiate to become the”preferred-provider” into a organization’s clientele – recommended by another company and connected through your sites.
– On-line Supply – Ultimately, through business-to-business e-commerce software on the internet, many companies are linking their advertising, sales, order entry, accounting, inventory and fulfillment systems together to promote more of every business’s product, at a lower price.
3. Pro-Active E-Marketing – Everything we have been discussing thus far is an action you choose to have others go to your website. You may even take the initiative to utilize the web to reach out to other people. Offering some form of benefit online or adding a simple questionnaire to your website is the first step in collecting the data you will need to converse with prospects. They’ll let you know what they need. Ask them. Have them choose to get information from you. Only send them what’s precious – by email, or whatever manner they prefer.
4. Your Clients – Obviously, your customers are the ultimate spouses. There are a number of ways to serve them better online. These include: supplying a frequently-asked questions (FAQ) section on your website and easily-accessible email contacts; allowing customers to make account changes online; soliciting their feedback online; supplying your newsletter and information about your new services and products to them online; and when appropriate, up-selling (or cross-selling) them online.
Don’t neglect the chance to feature your clients on your website via reviews, pictures, and case studies that”tell the story” of how your clients benefit from your services and products. It’s great for them, and good for you.
Both Toughest On-line Challenges
I have just described many ways that you take”your next step online.” But regardless, in closing, remember what I believe to be the two main keys to online success:
One. . .As we have mentioned, the internet is a connective device. It doesn’t stand alone. To get the maximum benefit from the net, you must concentrate on integrating your online activities along with your other business processes, particularly in the sales and marketing area.
Two. . .Just as with any business endeavor, it’s the unique and creative ways that a company uses the tools available that determines its success. I challenge you to stretch your creativity. Try some new things. Refuse to view the world wide web primarily as a scientific, technology-driven instrument, but rather strive to utilize the net in highly innovative ways that set your organization apart. Innovation and timing depend for everything online.