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21 tough questions about your internet marketing

Internet Marketing - if you want to learn how to handle your marketing on the Internet.

Be prepared to roll up your sleeves now because it's time that we talk about what you must do to achieve success with your Internet marketing. Here are 21 tough questions for you to answer in order for you to succeed in your Internet marketing, a.k.a. Internet marketing.

1. Does your website have a clear purpose?
What is the purpose? Is it to identify potential customers? Is it to sell directly or indirectly? Is the purpose of your website to inform? Is it to provide support to resellers or what is it? Define the purpose and build pages for that purpose. Marketing on the Internet is all about really taking care of your presence on the Internet.

2. Who has something to gain by coming to your website?
If it's not clear to you who have something to gain, it won't be clear for the visitor either.”Everyone” is not a good answer to the question. Your Internet marketing must always keep the visitor active.

3. Are the pages loading quickly?
It should happen as quickly as possible in gaining access to your webpage. Get a stopwatch and find out how many seconds it takes before your start page is up and running. If it is less than 10 seconds, it's okay. Download your page from an old modem and make sure that the download time is approved. Internet marketing also involves speed.

4. Do you offer a limited number of choices for the visitor?
Every single link, image or button must be evaluated by you. Do you really need them? Are they just there to fill up the space? The fewer choices visitors have, the easier it is for them to make decisions about what they want to watch. The more choices they have, the less the chance that they make any choices at all. If you sell a product, show the way to purchase it in an easy way. Make choices simple by making sure that the product can be ordered with the push of a button for those who have already decided. For anyone wanting to know more, the way to win the purchase should be through making rich amounts of information available.

5. Is it possible to reach anything on your website with three clicks?
These are strict requirements, but if you can meet them, it will be noticed in the checkout. As an Internet Marketer you like the sound of purchase!

6. Are the navigational paths leading deeper into more and more specific information?
The further into the pages your visitors choose to go, the more specific information he/she should have. Satisfy the need right down to the blueprints of the website if you can.  Anyone interested in marketing on the Internet does.

7. Do you have useful content?
Anyone who visits a website is looking for something they lack, something they want to know more about - and they want it now! They don't want to receive it in the mail in two days, they don't even want to get it in fifteen minutes – the want it NOW! If you can't satisfy that wish, the visitor will move on to someone who can. But it's not enough that you can offer the product he/she wants, your website must feel new and fresh and updated. Everything that's old and outdated must go. If you sell the same things as everyone else, you must spice up your content with something that the visitor can't get anywhere else. The visitor has a problem and he/she is in need of a solution. Visitors have questions and need answers. How can your content meet those needs?

8. Have you let your visitors know who you are?
Please take pictures of yourself and your office. If you have a nice facade with a neat sign, post a photo so that the visitors can see that you also exists IRL. It's a huge mistake not having a personal touch to the website and it'll make it harder for people to believe in what you say.

9. Do you make promises as to when customers can expect responses to emails? Can you keep those promises?
Please tell your customers how long they may have to wait for a reply to an inquiry, but better yet, shock them by responding quickly. It may be your most important tool for internet marketing.

10. Do you understand that visitors don't have any use for all the things that”are coming soon” to your website?
The word ”soon” is completely useless on your website. What you have now is all that the visitor can see. Don't waste people's time with the word ”soon”.

11. Have you understood that a news section that is not updated will hurt your business?
It's yesterdays news to tell anyone that your company hired three new employees in 1997. Such information will make the visitor wonder if your website is a deserted ship adrift on the web or if you don't care at all about your company.

12. Do all the links lead the visitor to places as promised?
Don't send visitors to other pages than you have promised in the link. There are companies that promise great content, but the visitor only end up on a sales page. This will only result in one thing – the visitor will leave in a flash and never return. The Internet marketer responsible for such as stunt should be ashamed.

13. Have you talked about what software is required and where to download it when your visitors need to download something?
It's important to inform your visitors what a click means. Don't assume that your visitors know as much about websites and internet marketing as you.

14. Do you have a plan to collect mail addresses from visitors?
Give visitors a reason already on the front page why they should give you their email address. Offer a free subscription to your newsletter or start a list where customers can get deals when you have sales campaigns. Give away free samples or start a contest. It doesn't matter what you do, but make sure to get their addresses for future use. To convince visitors that they should give you their email addresses there are two things you should consider. 1: That you will send them things that are beneficial for them and 2: That you will not sell or rent their addresses to other companies.

15. Is your MWR built in a natural way on all the pages?
The first thing you should give a visitor is what he/she came for, but you should also lead him/her towards your aim with the sides whether it is to contact you or to order something directly.

16. Have you thought about what you can do to make it both easy and safe to buy from you?
Strong reassurance that customers can change their minds is the easiest way to get your visitors to become customers. Referrals from other satisfied customers is another way.

17. Can you keep all your promises?
Before you start promising things on the website, you first must ensure that you can deliver what you promise, that there are procedures to keep the promises. Be prepared to start delivering products and services immediately. The customer buys because he/she wants the goods NOW - not in two weeks. It's like going into a stereo shop where the seller tells you that the delivery time is two weeks. That's no good! I want to go home and open up the boxes now. The downside of web marketing is that the time between the purchase and opening the box  with the product is longer than it can ever be offline. But one thing that you can always promise, is to offer prompt delivery. There are several services that you can use to make speedy deliveries.

18. Do you know how you incorporate the website in the usual daily grind?
What can you and your employees do every day to take care of the website? Set up a framework for making it run smooth and efficient.

19. Do you understand and use meta tags the way they should be used?
* Your title tags on each website is carefully analyzed because you know that search engines use the title tag as a heading on a hit.
* Your description tag on each side “sells” the side while informing what you get there.
* The number of words in your description tag is about 10 because you know that search engines can't accommodate long descriptions and cut off everything that doesn't fit within their frames.
* Most of your pages are optimized for one or two keywords so that they should be more specific.
* The most important key words and phrases are found on each page's title and in the content of the page itself.
* The key words are placed first in your description tags and keyword tags.

20. Have you conducted a usability test?
It's very easy to have an opinion about a website. I constantly hear people saying that my website is ugly and amateurish.
Is a website that sells for about 1.5 million dollars a year amateurish? Of course not. But everyone will have an opinion about your website. Some think it's the best website they have ever seen (your mother) while others will say that it's messy and amateurish (your friends who have taken a course in website making). How much should you care about what they say? It depends on who is talking. With your friends, you can always have a discussion because it's funny that they have opinions about things that revolves around you, but it means nothing because they aren't your customers. It's your customers that can determine whether the website is good or not. It's the concrete result of your website that determines how good it actually is. How many people contact you? How many order in relation to the number of visits they make? How many simply do what you built the website to do? Is it enough, then your website is good enough. It's that easy to determine how well your website works. Nonetheless, it's always good regularly test it as much as you can. Here are some things you can do:

* Print all pages of your website and browse them. What would it be like for visitors to navigate through your pages? Is it easy to order online? Are there natural ways for those who need information?
* Is your target broad - let someone under 25 and someone over 40 test the website.
* Ask your friends to test your website. Give them tasks where they have to produce some information from your website. Ask questions about what was the most difficult and how they perceived the content and the natural trails. You don't want them to hear them say that the website is”good.”You want to hear them comment on things, ”Do you really get one of those free when ordering online?”

21. Can you learn to love the Internet?
Can you learn to love the Internet? For my part, it has actually gone a bit further than that. I look at my life before and after the Internet. Today I can't understand how I could cope without the net. I would feel trapped and unenlightened without it. If I wanted to know more about spiders (an interest I have), I would be forced to go to the library where I'm sure they don't have a book on my favorite spider “Atrax Robustus”. This information is only available online. There are even special websites about this spider. And all the books I'd have never found before I can now buy in droves online. I have e-mail contact with Lyn Abra, an Australian researcher who is specialized in this spider only. Superb - and that's just my personal life.

When it comes to my professional life, it's even more amazing. Sometimes I get 50 emails a day from clients, journalists, students and actually old friends I haven't heard from for decades, but now work with things that fertilizes my own line of business. The website is a constant source of renewal, fun jobs and for testing weird things that I would never get to test in the real world. I also have clients all over the world. The possibilities are much bigger than I can handle and it's the same for you. When you begin to see that your web ventures really works, you will love your situation. You will look forward to making your website becomes even better for your visitors and that your newsletter get even more informative and exciting for your subscribers. Soon, you too will look forward to adding new and smarter things for your visitors. You will look forward to satisfying your visitors' needs and exceed their expectations. Think about it: You have a business and there are people who like what you do so much that they actually want to put their money into it. How can you not love those kind of people?

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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