What is Internet Marketing?
If you have ever received a targeted email from a retailer, found products by searching on Google, or scanned a website that gave you personalized product information, you have been involved in Internet marketing or SEO. While Internet marketing refers to the general practice of using the Internet to market and sell products and services, from a business owner’s point of view, it is the practice of attracting and retaining online visitors and converting them into returning customers.
So what is internet marketing? Internet marketing is about creating a personalized, positive experience for our customers.
What do we prefer as consumers of online products and services? We enter our needs into a search engine and most likely only browse the first few pages of results. Retailers use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to boost their ratings on search engines by placing relevant keywords in various places on and within the site, creating appropriate articles and blogs, and placing backlinks on other sites. We can tell, however, when a site is designed to break high in the rankings, and search engines are paying attention to that as well.
Sometimes we receive targeted emails from retailers based on prior purchases we have made or interests we have shown. We may learn of these products through social media sites we frequent. Social Media Optimization continues to grow among retailers as an effective technique to reach consumers. This is another aspect of SEO called Off-Site Optimization. Once we arrive at the site, we like it to be user-friendly. We want to find what we are looking for: products, information, and services. This is On-Site Optimization. A website’s content must fulfill our needs. We want to move through different pages and back without confusion or obstacles. Retailers use ecommerce tools to ensure effective web design, solid site architecture and easy-to-navigate pages. We also prefer websites that contain customized content that responds to our choices. Companies strive to enhance the customer experience by using content analytics to track our clicks and preferences and suggest other products we might enjoy.
Once we have enjoyed our experience on a site, we are more likely to share the site with friends, give the site or its products positive reviews, or even share the site on a social bookmarking site. These are all important aspects of customer experience and loyalty that factor in to a website’s success, and therefore to a company’s success.