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Understanding the Components of Web Marketing

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Web marketing is a collection of many different activities. This chapter provides a general overview of the different components of web marketing.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Web marketing isn't just one thing; it's a collection of many different activities. It's a bit of cliché, but I like to think of web marketing as like a golf bag filled with different clubs. You need to learn how to use each of the clubs and then decide which clubs to use on the various holes you play. The clubs in your web marketing bag range from search engine optimization to social networking to blog marketing to...well, pretty much everything covered in this book.

To that end, this chapter provides a general overview of all the different components of web marketing. This is a good place to start if you're not yet sure what's involved—or if you want to brush up on all those clubs in your bag.

Web Marketing Is Your Online Presence

While not every marketer will utilize all the clubs in the web marketing bag, there's one component common to virtually every business. I'm talking about your online presence, as exemplified by your primary website.

Now, it's true that not every entity has or needs a website; you can get by, I suppose, with just a blog or a Facebook page these days. But chances are you have or want a website, which serves as the hub of all your online activities, marketing and otherwise. Everything else you do—your blog, your Facebook/MySpace pages, your Twitter feed, your YouTube videos—builds on what you do on your website. They are all subsidiary components to your website presence.

As such, your website is the most important thing you do online. This is certainly true for marketers in that your website dictates the style and approach of all your other marketing activities. Everything else builds from your website and leads back to it.

Your website is the online face of your company, organization, brand, or product. It must reflect what you are, what you do, and how you do it; it is how current and potential customers view you and, in many cases, interface with you. A bad website will turn customers off to your brand or company, while an outstanding website will create new and more loyal customers. It's something you can't take for granted.

Building an effective website, then, is key. Both the content and design of your site should work toward establishing or supporting your brand and products. In addition, both content and design should fit in holistically with all your other marketing activities. Your customers should find a similar experience when they visit your site as they do when they view an advertisement or read a direct mail piece. Everything should work in concert, while also exploiting the specific nature of each medium.

If you plan to sell merchandise on your website, the entire process of ecommerce needs to be factored into the equation. Not only do you have to support your brand and products on your site, you also have to facilitate the sale of those products via ordering pages, a shopping cart, and checkout system. It's an added wrinkle—but a potentially profitable one if you're in the business of selling things online.

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