If holiday crowds are not one of your favorite things, chances are you will be doing most of your shopping on the world wide web this season. When you are in the process of looking for the perfect gift, think about the process you use when searching for that gift on the internet. By becoming aware of your navigating techniques in cyberspace, you will learn how to become a better web marketer.
If you don't know where to look on the internet, you most likely use a search engine. It's an electronic card catalog. My favorite is www.google.com, and of course, there is www.dogpile.com, www.yahoo.com, and www.altavista.com, to name a few. But google will accommodate your most comprehensive search. So the first lesson is to make sure your site has key words that will be picked up by google. And another trick is to refresh your site as much as possible, so that google will refresh its memory and keep your site in its searches.
You will also encounter links on the net. There will be links within sites and links to other sites. Amazon.com sets a great example of links within sites. When you find the book of your choice, it lists a section which states, "others who have purchased this book have also purchased" and then it links to the other books. This is called an ad-on sale. You encounter it when you are waiting on line at the supermarket and, out of boredom, you grab that magazine or extra pack of gum. You also hear it when the shoe salesman asks, "Would you like a pocketbook to go with those new boots" The idea is: Once you get the customer in your territory, keep them and sell more.
If you can't find that special gift by using key word searches in google, you may stumble upon it while you are reading an article that interests you. In the article, there may be an external link to another site that is selling a product that may be of interest to you. In this case, the manufacturer was able to publicize their product by having it written about in an article which made it to the web. This publicity builds credibility for the product and it also drives traffic to the manufacturer's site. The lesson here is to publicize your products, services and web site in both your on-line and off-line marketing efforts.
The web is a powerful tool. Used wisely, it can increase your sales. In the movie
, you may remember the line, "Show me the money." However, another quotable line was, "Help me, help you." In web marketing, you must help your visitor find your site so they can help your business grow. Then you will see the money. This holiday season, may you give and receive the perfect gift. If there are any marketing topics you would like to see addressed in 2003, please send me an e-mail. My best wishes for a healthy and prosperous new year.