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1.Online marketing strategy

Your online marketing strategy should be planned carefully before you even start to build your website. Your site is normally the final online destination for customers you have, sometimes after considerable effort, successfully attracted, and it would be tragic to have them arrive at poorly thought-out or irrelevant content. But first you have to generate that interest - in the form of online traffic. A well thought-out on-line marketing strategy will address firstly what and who you are targeting. Keyword research will be an essential part of this (most times the very first job). With this, you identify which products or services you will find most profitable and then work out which key words and phrases are most likely to be used by your potential customers to find a company such as yours.

Your strategy needs to consider the most appropriate forms of online marketing and apply them to best effect. Consideration should be given to the use of SEO (search engine optimisation), SEM (search engine marketing), PPC (pay-per-click advertising on the likes of Google, Yahoo and Bing) and the use of RSS news feeds (Really Simple Syndication). Landing page optimisation will also be crucial; if potential customers don't find what they are looking for once they arrive at your site, they will simply go elsewhere. But in any case your site, if set up correctly, will be a major marketing tool in its own right, working tirelessly for you behind the scenes — if set up correctly. So your marketing strategy for the internet needs careful planning and The Sharper Image are expert at this. More about online marketing strategy ... so you need to make your site "search-engine-friendly" so that it naturally stands a good chance of ranking well on Google etc. for the products or services which are most important to you and your business.

2.Sub-heading (h2): SEO & Google ranking (bodytext): (first part bold): SEO means 'search engine optimisation' and is one of the ways to make your site rank higher on Google and other search engines. It is primarily based around the positioning and use, on your website, of 'key words' and 'key phrases'. These firstly need to be chosen very carefully (these are normally your products or services, worded in a way most likely to be used by potential customers searching online) and then carefully and methodically used and positioned in your website (it is a science in itself). Both are critical to your website's natural ranking ability on search engines like Google and both deeply influence the related quality and volume of traffic to your site. The web is mostly about customers finding you, rather than you finding them ... but you need to lay out the right bait. The Sharper Image are experts in this field. More about SEO and Google ranking ... [= link to SEOL & Google ranking page

3.Sub-heading (h2): PPC (pay-per-click) advertising (bodytext): (first part bold): PPC means pay-per-click which refers to advertising (also known as 'sponsored listings') on Google and other search engines like Yahoo and Bing. With this type of advertising, companies bid on keywords/phrases and generally the highest bid (and partly the highest quality/most relevant) advert will rank the highest on the sponsored listings area of the search results page, thereby receiving attention - and clicks - from visitors who search for that particular product or service. It is a near 'instant' way to rank on Google etc., in contrast to SEO, but overall the cost is generally higher in the long term because the moment you stop paying for clicks, the adverts cease to appear in the results (in contrast, the effects of SEO tend to last a considerable time). The Sharper Image generally recommends PPC advertising at the start of a campaign (to get instant traffic) and subsequently relying more heavily on SEO towards the mid-to-longer term (to keep the mid-to-long term costs lower) although there is also a case for using PPC more permanently, in particular for keywords/phrases which are proving more difficult to rank for using SEO (this can happen where your competition is more fierce). More about PPC advertising ...

4.Sub-heading (h2): SEM (search engine marketing) (bodytext): (first part bold): SEM (Search Engine Marketing) encompasses all activities aimed at increasing the volume and quality of traffic arriving at a website via search engines. It includes, but is not limited to PPC advertising, SEO and link building. If executed well, all of these will normally improve rankings for your website. The position a site appears in the 'natural' or 'organic' (non advertising/PPC) part of the search engine results is referred to as its position in the 'SERPS' (Search Engine Results PageS). Generally speaking, the higher the position a site appears in the SERPS, the more traffic they are likely to receive. And more traffic normally means more sales. But there is a real art to SEM and it is just one part of a website's overall internet marketing strategy, and this is where The Sharper Image can help. More about SEM ...

5.Sub-heading (h2): Landing page optimisation (bodytext): (first part bold): Obviously the ultimate aim of increasing the number of qualified visitors to any site is to 'convert' them so that they become a paying customer and boost profits. Therefore website design and build methods need careful consideration, particularly for 'landing pages' which are the destination pages on a company website, where people first arrive having clicked on, for instance, a Google result or advert following a search query for the product or service being sought. The Sharper Image firmly believes that the quality and relevance of the content on this landing page is an important and integral part of the marketing effort and therefore should be optimised so as to be as appealing, helpful and as relevant as possible to the arriving customer. We call this process 'Landing page optimisation' and it can make or break the success of an online marketing campaign. More about Landing page optimisation ...

6.Sub-heading (h2): Online PR (bodytext): (first part bold): Online PR is the the online equivalent of good old-fashioned 'Public Relations' but is far more powerful due to the massive potential audience to be found on the internet. It includes activities such as link building, on-line press releases, blogging, use of a wide range of web resources such as directories and review sites, active participation in relevant trade forums and 3rd party blogs, partnering with other online properties or sites for mutual benefit, viral campaigns using such facilities as those provided by YouTube and FaceBook, and the right approach to using such tools as Twitter and LinkedIn etc. But these are just a few ... and they all need to be used the right way for maximum benefit. All too often The Sharper Image have seen companies trying to use them without knowing what they're really doing - or even why they are doing it - and this can lead to a PR disaster. Online PR is about marketing on the web, building an audience of potential customers, engaging with them regularly and getting involved with that community, and it's also about managing your online reputation. Executing all of these well can only help to increase sales for your company as people come to see it as a trustworthy and reliable source. More about Online PR ...

7.Sub-heading (h2): Social networking for business (bodytext): (first part bold): Social networking for business, when used as part of an online marketing strategy, can really help to build up an audience of relevant, interested, active or potential customers. Moreover, these customers will become heavily linked to you — 'virtually attached' to your company or organisation. This is through the use of mostly free online social networking tools such as FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, RSS feeds to a degree and even YouTube, which each help to keep your customers informed about your products or services and allow easy and reciprocal engagement and the development of long-term relationships. A good social networking strategy will allow customers to get involved with your company, its products and/or services, and it will allow you to get involved with your customers. At The Sharper Image we don't just talk the talk. As you can see from this website, we also walk the walk as we know the value of social networking — it is part of our own marketing strategy so let us know if your company would like professional help in this area. More about social networking for business ...

8.Sub-heading (h2): Blogging for business (bodytext): (first part bold): The benefit of blogs for business cannot be underestimated. Blogs (short for 'web logs', a kind of online journal) are simply one of THE most powerful tools in any business's online marketing arsenal. Not only do blogs help to 'get the message out there', but they help to build links for your site (which help your site generate more traffic AND rank higher on the search engines) and build up a loyal, interested, following. Potential customers can even 'subscribe' to updates from your blog via the use of RSS feeds (also known as XML feeds, Atom feeds or simply News feeds). Most blogs incorporate this 'RSS' or 'News' feed as a matter of course (by the way, RSS stands for 'Really Simple Syndication' and that just about sums up one of the major benefits of both blogs and their integral RSS feeds; they are incredibly good at syndicating your news, story, press release, special offer or other marketing message right around the globe to any interested party). And with a blog, you are totally free to add, edit or remove the content at any time — you have full control over text, photos, attachments/downloads and so on as blogs come with a user-friendly CMS (Content Management System). But, as with any online presence, you need to be careful HOW you use your blog and what kind of content you add. Use of blogs is about reputation management, marketing, Public Relations (PR) and the right approach to the use of keywords and links so The Sharper Image can help you to get this all into the right focus. More about blogging for business ...

9.Sub-heading (h2): Link building (bodytext): (first part bold): Link building is the process of building (or encouraging) hyperlinks, from 3rd party sites and blogs, which point to your own website. When used correctly, link building can have a dramatic affect on the volume and quality of visitor traffic arriving at your website because they not only cause natural click-through traffic from the first site to the second, but they also help a site rank better on search engines like Google for a given key word or phrase because links are seen by Google as a 'vote' for relevance and quality. The improved ranking on Google also naturally results in more traffic for the recipient site. But it's not easy because nobody can force a third party site to add a link, pointing at yours. And forget shortcuts! The benefit of 'link swaps' (also known as reciprocal links) are over since Google realised the practice was going on programmed its ranking algorithm to ignore - or even penalise - such links. Moreover, there is a 'right' and a 'wrong' way to encourage links. They need to be in the right form (The Sharper Image can help with this) and point to the most relevant page on your site (not just the home page). Link building is also a tricky thing because the links should come from high quality, relevant sites ..... not just any old trashy site and certainly not from 'link farms' which are low-quality sites full of spammy irrelevant links (Google hates them and using such sites for links can do you more harm than good!). And you should never try to buy links (Google will most likely penalise you in the SERPS if you try). So there is no easy, quick way to develop high quality links of the kind which will really matter and actually make a difference to your site's traffic and sales (despite what some of the spammy emails might tell you; there are all manner of companies out there, mostly abroad, who will try to have you believe that there is a quick and easy way to build links but let me tell you, Google employs some of the best online talent in the world so they are not to be fooled by spammy links, dodgy link farms, questionable 'directory' sites and value-less site networks built only to provde hundreds of links and no real content of any value; they know a good or bad link when they see it and your company's ranking will reflect their view on not only your site, but also the links, and sites, pointing to it. Don't try short cuts; let The Sharper Image show you the right way to build your links ... and build your business for the long term. More about link building ... The Sales Proposition - strategy to Selling Marketing Communication and Support - end to end creative input Company Positioning and messaging - who what why where On-Line PR and Google Strategy - feed the internet with relevance & fresh content anytime Website Design - magnificent timeless designs Technical build on-line - content secure Case Study - user based rationale to sell with

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