There are millions of Web sites, selling millions of products on the Internet everyday, and they are all competing for viewers; many of them are competing for the same viewers you are! How do you get the results you’re looking for? When asked if they are marketing on the Internet, many people and organizations say, “Yes, we have a Web site.” However, having a Web site and marketing on the Internet are two very different things. Yes, usually you need a Web site to market on the Internet. However, a Web site is simply a collection of documents, images, and other electronic files that are publicly accessible across the Internet. Your site needs to be designed to meet your online objectives and should be developed with your target market in mind. Internet marketing encompasses all the steps you take to reach your target market online, attract visitors to your Web site, encourage them to buy your products or services, and make them want to come back for more.
Having a Web site is great, but it is meaningless if nobody knows about it. Just as having a brilliantly designed product brochure does you little good if it sits in your sales manager’s desk drawer, a Web site does you little good if your target market isn’t visiting it. It is the goal of this book to help you take your Web site out of the desk drawer, into the spotlight, and into the hands of your target market. You will learn how to formulate an Internet marketing strategy in keeping with your objectives, your products or services, and your target market. This chapter provides you with an overview of this book and introduces the importance of:
Things have changed dramatically over the past several years in terms of Web site design and development methodology. Back in the old days—a couple of years ago in Internet years—it was quite acceptable, and the norm, for an organization to pack up all of its brochures, ads, direct-mail pieces, news releases, and other marketing materials in a box, drop it off at the Web developer’s office, and after a short conversation, ask when they might expect the Web site to be “done.” The Web developer would then take the marketing materials and digitize some, scan some, and do some HTML programming to develop the site. By going through this process, organizations ended up with a Web site that looked just like their brochure—hence the term “brochureware.” Brochureware is no longer acceptable on the Web if you want to be successful. Sites that are successful today are ones that are constantly being updated, providing a reason for visitors to visit on a regular basis. The site is just one element in the company’s online presence along with their blog, Facebook page, YouTube channel, and accounts in other social media applications. Your Web site and all online presence applications should be designed around: