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The Digital Gold Rush!

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There was a gold rush, and there is a gold rush. At a time when economists are talking about a slowdown, the digital economy is booming.
The digital entrepreneurs view the new economy as the next big boom. Taking inspiration from success stories like facebook, flickr, Digg etc a whole new breed of websites is emerging in interesting areas from parenting to photobooks, from comparison sites to auction sites. Internet is a level playing field. Leadership positions are constantly being threatened as new websites gain market share from others. Technologies continue to expand at a rapid rate. Creative destruction will continue to dismantle old business models and lead to new ones.As buying habits are changing, the definition of the internet is changing from that of an information superhighway to a Megamall. In a survey conducted by Monash Retail Studies, the average Australian spends more time online than watching TV. What that means is you now don’t need mega bucks to get your message across.

Whether you have an online or offline business, there are people in your industry who are leading the way online. They have websites, which attract a large number of visitors and engage them. Is your website getting enough visitors? Are the visitors spending time on your website? Do they find it full of useful resources? How many enquiries and sales does your website generate? How do you know whether you are getting more traffic than your competitors? Or where do you stand against the industry leaders. All this can be done by using a traffic comparison on www.alexa.com. While the information is skewed and biased sample of Alexa toolbar users, it still serves as a good comparison.Google Analytics (www.google.com/analytics) is a useful method of finding out how much traffic you get on your website, which pages do your visitors like and which pages do they spend less time on. It also reveals what traffic sources does your website get it’s traffic. You can easily judge whether that paid listing on yellow pages online is getting you any traffic. Once we know where we stand, the next step is to make an online marketing strategy. This starts with defining your target market and your value proposition, or unique selling proposition (USP). For example, if you own an online gift store, your USP may be your delivery time, customer service or the gift range that you stock.

Once you have a USP, you have to articulate it clearly on your website. If you provide a guarantee, put it upfront on your homepage. Often, people have the more persuasive elements of their service in an obscure part of the website. Use client testimonials to your advantage and enable your prospects to read them and gain confidence in your service while they are making up their mind whether or not to fill up the contact form on your site. Promote your website on search engines, blogs and forums using SEO. Give importance to Google but don’t ignore other potential traffic sources. Write articles about your products or services and post them in places where your prospects visit frequently.
And lo you are ready to strike gold.

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