Web Professionals: Integrating the Internet into traditional marketing models
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Using the Internet to Enhance Business
  • Read ARTICLES to stay on top of Internet marketing: Find one or two good e-zines or other news sources and read what the experts have to say about the changes in the industry.

  • Make CONTENT the focus of your site: Create a site that contains useful information relevant to your prospect base. The site should provide the user with information and material that is not easily located from other sources. The content should be well organized so the user can navigate easily and get to desired pages quickly.

  • Update the CONTENT regularly: In order to attract new visitors, and encourage return traffic, the site should be updated regularly providing fresh, up-to-date, interesting information.

  • Make the value of your site evident to the casual observer: The home page should give the user enough information to make an educated decision on whether or not to venture forward, but it should not be overwhelming and cumbersome.

  • Engage in regular communications with your prospect base: Send out occasional press releases, distribute a regular newsletter or e-zine, or notify users of updates to your Web site through targeted electronic mailings. Routine notices will reinforce brand recognition and will remind prospects that your Web site and products are available to meet their needs. However, do not send unsolicited bulk e-mail, or "spams," as this is considered very bad business and can result in "flames" and other unwanted press.

  • Find one or two appropriate newsgroups and become an active participant: Newsgroups are online forums available to users for discussions on industry topics and issues. Watch discussion threads and post useful and relevant information and comments, present your company as an expert in the industry. Make sure to read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for each newsgroup before you participate to understand the netiquette (rules of conduct) for the forum.

  • Conduct periodic CyberPR: There are many online search engines, business and industry-specific directories, and yellow pages that will accept free links to other Web sites. It is important that your Web site be listed with all the major search engines, directories, and yellow pages so when prospects use the tools to search for sites containing associated content, your site will be on the returned list of links.

    First, optimize your Web pages. Include meta tags in the code of all Web pages within your site, include specific, relevant keyphrases in the body text of each main page, and include keyphrases in attribute, ALT, anchor, and comment tags whenever possible (spamming is not recommended.)

    Second, request a listing to your home page or other main URL (pages with refresh tags are not recommended), at as many sites as possible to gain the highest degree of exposure (link popularity can greatly effect search results.)

    Third, regularly submit changed level 2 pages, press releases, and other pages with new content to sites that accept multiple submissions.

    Finally, monitor your search ranking and make adjustments to tags and content to maximize those results.

    Search sites come and go so it is important to conduct regular, ongoing CyberPR efforts to ensure that your site will be found, and visited by, as many prospects as possible.

  • Include your URL and e-mail address in all letterhead, promotional materials, business cards and advertisements: By actively promoting your URL, you offer users another means of finding information on your company and products, thus saving time and money in printing and distribution costs of sales materials, and you present your Web site as a vital part of your marketing communications strategy.

  • Use your e-mail signature line to promote your URL: Some e-mail packages offer the use of a signature line at the end of each message. In your signature line, include your company name, e-mail address, URL, and a short tag line. This is a very subtle way to remind users that your Web site is out there.

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