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The Development of Internet Marketing

It’s amazing to realize that an industry that came into being only a decade ago has grown so vast. Internet marketing came into being shortly after the internet was introduced in the early 90s, and today there’s hardly a business out there that’s not investing in creating a web presence. 

1. Internet marketing began by taking advantage of one of the earliest uses of the Internet – Email. 

2. As people started using the internet as their main source of information, businesses realized the great potential of the web and began advertising themselves by placing banner ads and the like.

3. Businesses started creating a web presence with company websites and spending marketing money on attracting traffic to them.

4. Search engines became a source of advertising for companies that pay for the publicity.

5. Flashing banners were added to webpages.

6. Google started providing in 2003 a service called Google Adwords, which Internet marketers use to target their ads to people’s wants based on Internet users’ real-time actions on the web.

7. Then came invitational marketing, in which businesses began inviting potential customers to join a mailing list or newsletter. 

8. Online customer retention became vital, thus businesses started investing in relational marketing.

9. Search engine optimization is used by businesses that try to get their website as high in search engine rankings as possible. Advertising in forums, blogs and social media became big, as did using target keywords. 

10. Social networks have become a major channel of marketing, with ads targeted to specific users based on their online activities. Many businesses have also expanded their web presence to include everything from a Facebook page to a website

11. The smartphone era is a relatively new challenge. Businesses now optimize their websites for mobile devices and develop phone applications to provide services for customers on the go. Mobile users receive offers based on their preferences and location. 

Internet marketing is a volatile industry, with constantly changing rules and tactics. It is exciting, unpredictable and has us all thinking – what will happen next??

Looks like my prayers have been answered! This new app just came out that makes it easier than ever to have a website! Whoever read my latest article but still felt staying with a Facebook page is sufficient and just easier than creating a website, you can now have both by continuing to do exactly what you’re doing now. This app takes your fb page and converts it to a website! I’m checking it out now and so far it looks really cool. This is definitely something I haven’t heard of before. I don’t think another company’s done this, so I have to tip my hat to EXAI for being the first to think of it. This is the link to the app - check it out:

http://apps.facebook.com/exaiwebsitecreator/

Complete Control or Bound by Rules & Regulations?

Many businesses are starting to wonder whether it makes sense to keep maintaining their website. Their Facebook page is seeing a growing flow of visitors while their website’s traffic seems to be diminishing. 

It’s true that many people use Facebook more and more to find information about businesses in addition to the social aspect of the network. But it’s important for businesses to recognize that when they’re comparing a Facebook page against a website, they’re dealing with two different platforms that should not be used for the same purpose. A website and a fanpage on Facebook should not be used in the same method, but rather to enhance each other’s unique purpose.

With the growing significance of social media in today’s world, we can hardly say that having a fanpage on Facebook is unnecessary. It’s important to make use of as many social media platforms as possible - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn - anything that can get word out about your company and bring in more customers.

However, it is a mistake to rely on your Facebook page as a replacement of a company website. While a fanpage can display a lot of information about your business and encourage discussions among visitors, it does not display your company in a unique light. The great thing about a website is that it is a creative representation of your business - it doesn’t only provide important key information about your company, but it displays what it’s all about. It also invites people to stay and browse through all you have to offer and become more interested about your business.

I think the best thing about maintaining a company website is that you are in complete control of it. You decide what to upload and when, how to design it, etc. When relying on Facebook, you are bound by Facebook’s rules and regulations. You don’t have control over what Facebook decides to do and when. They can change their regulations whenever they want, and on that matter they can also delete your page if they feel like. They may one day change their policies and delete all fanpages. You never know. Bottom line is - it’s out of your control.

So my suggestion is - use Facebook. Absolutely. Use all social media means available to you. Anything to get more people interested in your business. But target all those people to your company website. Get them to come to you. Bring them to a place where you have the control.

Does your website support mobile devices?

Why is it important to create a website that supports mobile devices?

First of all, OVER HALF OF THE POPULATION TODAY USES SMARTPHONES. Not only that, but they are increasingly using these smart devices to search for EVERYTHING, anywhere. That includes your business. What do you think will happen if a potential customer browses for your business and can’t upload your website on their phone because it’s not mobile-compatible? They’re going to search for one of your competitors, one that will meet their needs anytime/anywhere.

Given that most of your customers are probably using smart mobile phones, a business who’s website is supported by these devices is much easier to find on the go. Your contact page can have a clickable phone number that visitors can use to automatically call you on their phones. It can also have a copy-enabled address that visitors can search for on their phone’s GPS system to quickly find your business.

All you have to do to make your website mobile-friendly is convert it using a tool like bMobilized or, preferably, use a website builder like EXAI that automatically creates a mobile version of your website for you and constantly updates your mobile site with any modification you make to the original. No hassle on your part, so what are you waiting for?

If you want to go the extra mile and create an interactive community of visitors, then create an app for your business. Your business will then be readily available to your customers by being a BUTTON on their phone.

The mobile web is dominating society, and you are missing out if you don’t have a mobile web presence

What Is a Web Presence?

A web presence is your online identity or brand, the information that can be found about you on the web, and all the internet locations this information is located. Your online presence is how you present yourself or your business on the internet using

  • a website,
  • blogs,
  • forums,
  • social media,
  • web directory listings,
  • search engine optimization,
  • and more.

 Having a strong web presence is about

  • where you are on the internet,
  • how all your online pieces connect to one another,
  • how good the content is on these mediums,
  • how you rank in search engines,
  • and especially how you get people to notice you online.

Working on creating a strong web presence should be at the core of every business’s marketing efforts. Marketing a business is all about being where people are searching for your product and/or service and in today’s world, people are mainly searching online. Creating a strong web presence requires time and dedication, but it is absolutely imperative that you make it a priority and invest in it.

Your website is the most important part of your web presence. It is your hub – where people go to find information about your business and what it offers. It is your business card, your online brand entity. A website puts you on the map. Because of this, your website should be successful. It should look professional, be easy to use and navigate, contain updated quality content, be available on mobile devices, and emphasize your brand in order to build credibility both in your visitors’ eyes and in search engines. This is not a difficult, expensive task. Using an online website builder, you can have a great website up and running in a matter of minutes. Check out this option: www.exai.com

Another very important aspect of web presence is integrating social media. Social networks are how people communicate these days, how they get their message out and how they receive messages. Use social media means, such as a Facebook fan page people can “Like” or a Twitter page people can follow, to build your online presence by connecting with more followers, drawing in more traffic to your website, and getting the word out about your brand. It is a wonderful tool for brand marketing because you are broadening the scope of how people can interact with you and about you.

In all mediums of your web presence, you should have constantly-updated, high-quality content. Not only do your visitors expect this, but it is also how search engines catalog you. You should post in social networks, blogs and forums on a daily basis, and make sure your website provides your latest news and articles. I suggest using a Content Management System (CMS) that makes it easy for you to update your website. EXAI is my personal recommendation.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to invest in your web presence. Take the time to do it right, and take advantage of all the mediums available. Good luck!

Hey all! In my post a few weeks ago I made the suggestion of using a design online website builder that combines all the great elements of a DIY site builder and a web designer, without actually having to hire professional services. Check out this video of EXAI - it really is as easy as it looks, folks!

15 useful web design tips

Keep the following in mind when design a website
  • Meet specific user needs.
  • Efficient navigation & logical page flow - make it easy for your users to find what they’re looking for.
  • Replicate the same ergonomic design in all your common pages so it’s easier on your users’ eyes to follow.
  • Optimize your website to your target browsers and hardware.
  • Keep download and loading times short, and steer clear of excessive scrolling - users will lose patience and leave.
  • Don’t include too much multimedia to the point that it’s distracting from the main content of the site.
  • Keep your content brief but informative - people often skim content and may leave if they don’t get the information they’re looking for right away.
  • Insert images within long text.
  • Proofread everything on your website - errors are perceived as unprofessional.
  • Focus on simplicity but include surprising effects such as custom fonts and flash.
  • Use good color contrast (make it readable), and pick relevant colors for your site.
  • Make links noticeable - you want the user to know when something is clickable.
  • Have as little menu items as you can, so the user’s decision can be quick.
  • Keep track of the traffic coming in to your site, what pages they usually enter, which ones they’re usually viewing when they leave your site, etc. Use this information to adjust your site to what your users want.
  • Make it easy for people to contact you.

How to Build a Website

So, last time I posted about the different types of websites out there. Once you’ve chosen the type of website you want to build, you need to choose the website building method that’s right for you. Here are your options:

 

DIY – build the website yourself. How can you build a website yourself?

  • Build it from scratch – are you tech-savvy? You can learn HTML and build your website from the ground up yourself using HTML editors like HTML Notepad and CoffeeCup, and then have the benefits of saving the money you would otherwise spend on a professional and of having complete control over your website, its design, content, features, etc. You can even take this a step forward and learn more extensive programming languages and features such as CSS, Javascript, and AJAX. However, if programming is alien to you, then you need to consider that building your website from scratch will be a time-consuming task, especially if you’re looking to build a dynamic website.
  • Use a web design software – using a website building application such as Adobe Dreamweaver can help you get the website you want by allowing you to create different types of websites including static or dynamic websites, standards-based websites, cross-platform applications, mobile websites and more, and providing you with many different features. However, you have to train to use web design software and this may take more time than you are willing to invest.  
  • Use an online website builder – this is a good option if you want a simple, brochure-type website. It’s inexpensive, all the work is pretty much done for you, and it’s very quick and easy. However, your options in terms of design, features, and templates can be quite limiting and you cannot edit very much.

 

Professional web design services – hire a web designer. Hiring a web designer has the benefit of letting someone else do all the work for you and design your website exactly how you want it. However, hiring a professional designer can accumulate to quite a large sum, and it may also take the designer some time to complete the project. Also, unless you agree to be in charge of maintaining your site, any change you want made will not be instantaneous.

 

So, I suggest another DIY option…

 

Use a design online website builder – this is an amalgam of a DIY site builder and a web designer. Using a design site builder you will get a website that appears as if a designer made it, but for a fraction of the cost and time. This option will allow you to quickly build your website using an intuitive interface that gives you the flexibility to design and customize your website as you’d like, without a web designer. Unlike with an ordinary website builder, you have many features and non-generic templates to choose from. This option also provides you with an easy-to-use Content Management System that makes it very easy to update and edit your website. All of this results in a website that looks custom-designed and is extremely easy to maintain. If you decide to go this route, I personally recommend Exai as a design website builder.

So – choose the type of website you want and how you want to build it and get started! You could have a website up and running in the next few minutes!

Congratulate the newlyweds - the smartphone and the tablet - the pocket tablets!

So pretty soon both our phones and tablets will be rendered unnecessary by this happy couple. Tablets have only recently become a widely commercial gadget. Seeing this makes me think they will be short-lived. What do you think?

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