Experts Blog

10 Internet Marketing Techniques All Businesses Should Be Using

By Kristi Hagen on Dec 19, 2012 - 11:08 AM

As a business owners in today's markets ALL we hear about is different Internet Marketing techniques with the hottest (and sometimes flash in the pan) techniques at the tip of everyone's tongue. Sometimes it's something you've never heard of or just when you thought you knew what it was - it changed! I'm thinking about things like:

All of these and more are thrown down your throat during phone calls and in emails about how they can help grow your business and increase your revenue.

Today, I wanted to break down the top 10 things you can do for yourself with a small time investment each day. This can lead to thousands of dollars in increased revenue for your business, more exposure, and more traffic - and we're going to skip all the obvious ones listed above :) Now, let's get started!

  • Technique 1: Identify Your Target Audience - One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is to target everyone and everybody. What you want to do is find your target audience, segment them, and then market to each group. You can use 3 sites to get the demographic information you need. Quantcast, Manta, and Facebook Ads.

  • Technique 2: Decide Your Marketing Goals - After you decide who you're going to target you need to decide why you are targeting them. Are you trying to get more exposure for your business? Do you want to increase sales? Are you trying to drive more traffic to your site?

  • Technique 3: Decide What Your Web site Will Do - Now that you know who you are targeting and your marketing goals, you need to decide what your Web site will do. Do you want a lead generation site that will make your phone ring? Do you want to set up a lead capture system so you can capture contact information on your site? Do you want to sell a product?

  • Technique 4: Identify Targeted Search Phrases - The next thing you'll need to do is find some targeted search phrases (commonly called keywords) for your site. What are people typing into Google to find your business? For example, if you own a local pizza shop what are people typing in besides pizza? Use the Google keyword tool to find out. You'll see a long list of words people are searching on such as pizza delivery, pizza places, order pizza online, pizza restaurants, etc.

  • Technique 5: Create Unique Content - Nothing is more important to the lifeblood of your business than creating unique, compelling content. Let's go back to our previous example, pizza. How much unique content can you really create? Plenty. Especially if you're a locally owed shop. You can talk about your homemade pizza dough. The sauce you make from locally harvested fresh tomatoes. You can talk about your dining atmosphere. Fast service. Unique guarantee. Before you know it your site fill be informative, interesting, and authoritative.

  • Technique 6: Use Social Networking Sites- Use a combination of social media networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn to promote your business. You can hold contests, offer coupons, and provide great information and link it all back to your site. To continue with our pizza shop example, let's say that Monday nights are dead. You can tweet a buy 1 get 1 special to all your Twitter followers good on Monday night as well as put it as a Foursquare special on checkin. Then to round things off you can post the same thing to your FaceBook page.

    You can do this all at once using social media management tools such as Hootsuite or SproutSocial and even have it be a recurring note. So perhaps it's sent out once a month to your followers and fans. It will take you 15min top to set it all up and even one order is a return on your investment.
  • Technique 7: Install Google Analytics - Installing an analytics package is easy. We recommend Google Analytics because it's robust, and best of all it's free. 99% of businesses can get by with the data contained in GA. If you really want something super powerful you can try WebTrends or Coremetrics, but they can be pricey.  This will give you the ability to measure different metrics and behaviors on your site.

    To continue with our pizza shop example: let's say you notice the bounce rate on your home page is 70%. This is terrible! You need to find out why. It could be a bunch of reasons. When you drill down you notice that a bunch of people who are coming to your site that don't live in your local area. Of the people that do live locally, you notice the bounce rate is only 10%. This means that your home page is great for your target audience, so you can take it with a grain of salt. Without installing a package such as GA, you'd never know why people are leaving your site.

  • Technique 8: Set up Google Analytics Goals - Goals are an essential part of marketing your business. Google Analytics can help you get there. You can set a number of different goals in GA. Time on site, time on page, conversion goals such as filling out a form, making a phone call, etc. You can also measure how much each of these actions is worth and then figure out your marketing budget based on it.

    For example, let's say the phrase order pizza now results in 10 calls a day to your pizza shop, or 300 calls per month. Out of these 10 calls half order. Your average order is $20.00. So that's 150 calls times $20.00 or $3,000 in extra orders from this one keyword. This means that you can invest $3,000 per month in marketing to break even or invest $2,000 a month for an extra $12,000 in annual profits.

    Are you seeing the power in this?

  • Technique 9: Start a Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaign - There is nothing more powerful than instant traffic to your Web site. You can be up and running with Google Adwords or Facebook Ads in a matter of hours. If you don't have the time or expertise to do this, by all means, hire an expert. For a simple PPC campaign, it's pretty straight forward. You can even offer coupons right in your ad! You can control when your ad appears and how much you spend. Just be careful when setting up these paid systems. Start out with a very small budget until you're comfortable with the system and understand how things work.

    To continue with our example, let's say you want more business on Friday night. You know the major chains and some of your competitors are killing it. You can run a PPC ad that says kids eat free, by one get one, 50% off one entree, etc. You keep running ads until you find a winner. Then keep running it. You can also build in a loyalty program using text message marketing (SMS) where your customers continue to get better and better deals.

  • Technique 10: Stay Current - One of the things you want to stay on top of is what your competitors are up to and also the latest tips and techniques for using PPC, Social Media, and other IM tools. The easiest way to do this is to sign up for both Google alerts and Google reader.

    Of course you can get an easy-to-read digest delivered to your inbox once a month with all the information you need for just $12 a month with

    With Google alerts you can use any keyword phrase and choose how often you get updated whenever anyone posts anything online about your keyword. So if Sid's Pizza is your main competitor in your local area you can set up an alert about that. That'll go right into your inbox and you can use Google reader to organize and read any of your alert content. If Sid is offering a Two-on-Tuesday special you can make a competing offer.

  • Bonus Technique: Lead Capture System and Email - One of the most notorious mistakes business owners make is failing to capture the user information of their visitors. This is easy to fix. All you need to do is install a lead capture form to get your visitors email address. This will automatically add them to your email list and you can continue to market to them.

    Again with the pizza! Yes. Sign-up for our email alerts and get our exclusive bring a buddy for free coupon. You can set this up any way you like and then test it until you find a combination that works.

As you can see, marketing your business online is no easy task, but it's not as hard as it sounds. With careful research and cautious application, you can see huge returns on your Internet Marketing investment.

Doing the old stuff, billboards, yellow pages, direct mail, radio ads, and cold calling can still work, but none of that is nearly as cost effective or as lucrative as a successful Internet Marketing campaign.

So now what? Make a schedule. Take each one of the steps above and put it on your calendar. Then do it. Now jump in and get going!