Over the years, as consumer habits have changed in favour of the online environment, leading to the gradual decline of the popular 'high street' concept, businesses have had to considerably adapt their marketing strategies to achieve a result. While word of mouth advertising and flyers could be enough for a neighbourhood bakery with a small intended audience, this aged approach won't cut it for anyone hoping to attract more attention and sell their products or services over the internet.
As a result, internet marketing is an industry on the rise, and one which hasn't experienced the blow of the credit crunch that others were dealt so harshly.
Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) deals with enhancing brand visibility in natural or organic search results produced by Google, Bing, Yandex and other international search engines. It considers the elements used by search engine algorithms to determine a page's relevance to a search query.
SEO professionals therefore tackle technical elements such as page duplication whereby identical content appears on numerous pages that are all indexed on search engines, and also onpage factors such as page titles, headings, and keyphrase placement.
They also work to identify opportunities to acquire backlinks that boost the value of a site. Common routes include business directories, press release distribution channels, and increasingly, in light of recent Google updates, blogger outreach.
Optimal results lead to the brand appearing in prime position on the first search engine results page for valuable search terms.
Conversion Rate Optimisation
The complex-sounding Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) considers why a page isn't performing well in terms of sales, subscriptions or other types of conversion. It looks at improving the usability of a site, and making it easier for consumers to convert.
Sometimes it can be as simple as changing the placement of a 'buy now' button, or could involve getting rid of the need to create an account to make a purchase.
Increasingly, social media plays a huge role in internet marketing as search engines have begun to consider the amount of social shares in their algorithms. Social strategies revolve around much more than just Twitter and Facebook, and consider creative ways of getting people to follow, like or share a brand's presence online.
A lot of attention is paid to social media conduct as campaigns can backfire if consumers are felt to have been offended or misrepresented by the brand.
Paid search deals with the ads that appear either at the top of or along the sides of natural search results, and that are often set on a coloured background. The placement of these ads is fully intentional and paid for by the client.
Similarly to SEO, the aim of paid search is to boost a company's visibility on search engines for certain search queries.
With strong calls to action in the brief space allocated for copy in these ads, major results can be achieved. Success also depends on the price of the ads that is set through a bidding process, and the times of day and geographical locations the ads are shown at.