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top_right_ball.gif (853 bytes)top_middle.gif (834 bytes)white.gif (85 bytes)ONLINE MARKETING

Marketing is like a car, it has many components and unless they all work together, the car will not move forward. Having gas in the tank is important but if the engine is not working then having a full tank is not better than half a tank, or even a completely empty one. Search engine placement is like the gas that fuels the vehicle but is only of value if the vehicle is in a condition to make use of that gas.

Another thing we look at in a car is mileage. Having a vehicle that gets 5 miles per gallon would be very taxing and you would run out of gas in a very short time. Branding enhances your vehicle's gas mileage so that minimal gas produces maximum long-term benefit. Many people focus only on search engine placement, the gas, and fail to give attention to the mileage they are getting from it.

Most people think of marketing their website in terms of "online marketing", particularly the narrower form of online marketing; Search Engine Optimization (SEO). While SEO is very important, it is merely one of many online marketing activities that the website owner should be engaged in. Furthermore, online marketing is only one component of the overall marketing plan and should be treated as such. It should not be an independent activity or, even worse, the sole activity related to marketing a website.

Some online marketing activities may be nothing but a digital version of what one is doing everywhere else. For example, a business owner offering a 10% coupon for a certain set of products or services can extend the offer through an online channel.

On the other hand, some online marketing activities are created and fashioned to fit the unique identifiers of the online medium. Of course the goal remains the same and those activities must be derived from and supportive of the overall marketing plan. The marketing plan, in turn, must be an extension of the overall business plan and strategy. This means that a coherent online marketing campaign cannot be effective unless it is created as part of the overall business plan. For example, if the business owner wants to emphasize value within his market niche he would setup his place of business to be practical and clean with a minimum of frills and useless décor. As an extension of this strategy the website should similarly convey utilitarianism with minimum distractions and maximum flow.

While search engine analysis and placement constitutes a very important aspect of online marketing it is by no means the only activity to focus on, as many people believe. That being said, since search engine placement is a rather critical component of online marketing we will spend some time focusing on the issue, again in the context of the overall business plan.


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