Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's "natural," or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic"), search results.

Internet Marketing

Internet marketing, also known as web marketing, online marketing, webvertising, or e-marketing, is referred to as the marketing (generally promotion) of products or services over the Internet. Internet marketing is considered to be broad in scope[citation needed] because it not only refers to marketing on the Internet, but also includes marketing done via e-mail and wireless media.

Digital customer data and electronic customer relationship management (ECRM) systems are also often grouped together under internet marketing.
Internet marketing ties together the creative and technical aspects of the Internet, including design, development, advertising and sales.

Internet marketing also refers to the placement of media along many different stages of the customer engagement cycle through search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), banner ads on specific websites, email marketing, mobile advertising, and Web 2.0 strategies.

In 2008, The New York Times, working with comScore, published an initial estimate to quantify the user data collected by large Internet-based companies. Counting four types of interactions with company websites in addition to the hits from advertisements served from advertising networks, the authors found that the potential for collecting data was up to 2,500 times per user per month.

Types of Internet marketing

Internet marketing is broadly divided in to the following types:

  • Display advertising: the use of web banners or banner ads placed on a third-party website or blog to drive traffic to a company’s own website and increase product awareness.
  • Search engine marketing (SEM): a form of marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engineresult pages (SERPs) through the use of either paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion, or through the use of freesearch engine optimization techniques.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO): the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results.
  • Social media marketing: the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • Email marketing: involves directly marketing a commercial message to a group of people using electronic mail.
  • Referral marketing: a method of promoting products or services to new customers through referrals, usually word of mouth.
  • Affiliate marketing: a marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.
  • Inbound marketing: involves creating and freely sharing informative content as a means of converting prospects into customers and customers into repeat buyers.
  • Video marketing: This type of marketing specializes in creating videos that engage the viewer into a buying state by presenting information in video form and guiding them to a product or service Online video is increasingly becoming more popular among internet users and companies are seeing it as a viable method of attracting customers.[11]

Internet marketing is associated with several business models:

  • E-commerce: a model whereby goods and services are sold directly to consumers (B2C), businesses (B2B), or from consumer to consumer (C2C) using computers connected to a network.
  • Lead-based websites: a strategy whereby an organization generates value by acquiring sales leads from its website. Similar to walk-in customers in retail world. These prospects are often referred to as organic leads.
  • Affiliate Marketing: a process wherein a product or service developed by one entity is sold by other active sellers for a share of profits. The entity that owns the product may provide some marketing material (e.g., sales letters, affiliate links, tracking facilities, etc.); however, the vast majority of affiliate marketing relationships come from e-commerce businesses that offer affiliate programs
  • Local Internet marketing: a strategy through which a small company utilizes the Internet to find and to nurture relationships that can be used for real-world advantages
  •  Local Internet marketing uses tools such as social media marketing, local directory listing, and targeted online sales promotions.

One-to-one approaches

In a one-to-one approach, marketers target a user browsing the Internet alone and so that the marketers’ messages reach the user personally.[14] This approach is used in search marketing, for which the advertisements are based on search engine keywords entered by the users. This approach usually works under the pay per click (PPC) method.

Appeal to specific interests

When appealing to specific interests, marketers place an emphasis on appealing to a specific behavior or interest, rather than reaching out to a broadly defined demographic. These marketers typically segment their markets according to age group, gender, geography, and other general factors.

Niche marketing

In conventional niche marketing, clusters of consumers (the niche) are identified in order to more economically and efficiently target them.[15] Similarly, niche internet marketing attempts to create a more direct advertising message for those who are seen as most likely to buy the product being advertised (see Target audience and Conversion rate).

Niche internet marketing focuses on marketing products and services which are, or can appear, tailor-made for a specific subset of consumers who are expected to buy the product or service with a specific motivation. The online advertising message (or product web site) can then be similarly tailor-made to target that assumed motivation. In combination with Search Engine Optimization, the niche internet marketer can attempt to increase the likelihood that their product’s advertisement (or site) will be seen by customers in the relevant niche.

For example, if one sells designer dog sweaters, one might first consider the prospective customer who would be interested in these dog sweaters. One would then consider the motivation that this customer would have in buying a designer dog sweater (e.g. “My dog needs to look stylish.”) One can then attempt to determine using keyword research which keywords might be best suited to weave into the page or advertisement (see Search engine optimization copywriting) in order to maximize the likelihood that it will be seen by people who are searching for a product which fulfills the targeted motivation (resulting in, for example, “Your dog deserves to be the best dressed on the block. Hendley Sweaters, ‘Black Tie’ for Dogs.”)

Geo-targeting

In Internet marketing, geo targeting and geo marketing are the methods of determining the geolocation of a website visitor with geolocation software, and delivering different contentto that visitor based on his or her location, such as latitude and longitude, country, region or state, city, metro code or zip code, organization, Internet Protocol (IP) address, ISP, and other criteria.

 

Advantages and limitations of Internet marketing

Advantages

Internet marketing is inexpensive when examining the ratio of cost to the reach of the target audience.[citation needed] Companies can reach a wide audience for a small fraction of traditional advertising budgets.[citation needed] The nature of the medium allows consumers to research and to purchase products and services conveniently.

Therefore, businesses have the advantage of appealing to consumers in a medium that can bring results quickly.[citation needed] The strategy and overall effectiveness of marketing campaigns depend on business goals and cost-volume-profit (CVP) analysis.

Internet marketers also have the advantage of measuring statistics easily and inexpensively; almost all aspects of an Internet marketing campaign can be traced, measured, and tested, in many cases through the use of an ad server. The advertisers can use a variety of methods, such as pay per impressionpay per clickpay per play, andpay per action. Therefore, marketers can determine which messages or offerings are more appealing to the audience. The results of campaigns can be measured and tracked immediately because online marketing initiatives usually require users to click on an advertisement, to visit a website, and to perform a targeted action.

Limitations

  • One of the challenges that internet markets face (as does the general public) is that many internet products are outright scams or promoted with deception making it difficult to know what one is buying. This is especially the case with products that are supposed to train or aid internet marketers in making money. While the quality of products has improved in the past few years, ethics is still often missing in internet marketing. Many so-called money making products are “empty boxes” in which there is essentially nothing there yet a buyer is to make money by reselling this empty box to others. Pyramid schemes are also still prevalent.
  • The consumer is unable to physically feel or try on the product which can be a limitation for certain goods. However a survey of consumers of cosmetics products shows that email marketing can be used to interest a consumer to visit a store to try a product or to speak with sales representatives. [16]
  • Marketer will not be able to use the x-factor/personal touch factor/human touch factor to influence the audience as the marketing is completely based on the advertisement and the information that the advertisement might lead to [websites, blogs and other channels].

Security concerns

Information security is important both to companies and consumers that participate in online business. Many consumers are hesitant to purchase items over the Internet because they do not believe that their personal information will remain private. Some companies that purchase customer information offer the option for individuals to have their information removed from their promotional redistribution, also known as opting out. However, many customers are unaware if and when their information is being shared, and are unable to stop the transfer of their information between companies if such activity occurs. Additionally, companies holding private information are vulnerable to data attacks and leaks. Internet browsing privacy is a related consumer concern. Web sites routinely capture browsing and search history which can be used to provide targeted advertising. Privacy policies can provide transparency to these practices. Spyware prevention software can also be used to shield the consumer.

Another consumer e-commerce concern is whether or not they will receive exactly what they purchase. Online merchants have attempted to address this concern by investing in and building strong consumer brands (e.g., Amazon.comeBay, and Overstock.com), and by leveraging merchant and feedback rating systems and e-commerce bondingsolutions. All these solutions attempt to assure consumers that their transactions will be free of problems because the merchants can be trusted to provide reliable products and services. Additionally, several major online payment mechanisms (credit cardsPayPalGoogle Checkout, etc.) have provided back-end buyer protection systems to address problems if they occur.

“Internet marketing” scams

In May 2012, The Verge writer Joseph L. Flatley reported that the terms “Internet marketing” and “Internet marketer” have been co-opted by a loose association of confidence artistsrunning online get-rich-quick schemes.

Usage trends

Technological advancements in the telecommunications industry have dramatically affected online advertising techniques. Many firms are embracing a paradigm that is shifting the focus of advertising methodology from traditional text and image advertisements to those containing more recent technologies like JavaScript and Adobe Flash. As a result, advertisers can more effectively engage and connect their audience with their campaigns that seek to shape consumer attitudes and feelings towards specific products and services.

Effects on industries

The number of banks offering the ability to perform banking tasks over the internet has increased. Online banking appeals to customers because it is often faster and considered more convenient than visiting bank branches.

Internet auctions

Internet auctions have become a multi-billion dollar business. Unique items that could only previously be found at flea markets are now being sold on Internet auction websites such as eBay. Specialized e-stores sell a vast amount of items like antiques, movie props, clothing, gadgets, and so on.

As the premier online reselling platform, eBay is often used as a price-basis for specialized items. Buyers and sellers often look at prices on the website before going to flea markets; the price shown on eBay often becomes the item’s selling price

 

Advertising industry

In addition to the major effect internet marketing has had on the technology industry, the effect on the advertising industry itself has been profound. In just a few years, online advertising has grown to be worth tens of billions of dollars annually. PricewaterhouseCoopers reported that US$16.9 billion was spent on Online marketing in the U.S. in 2006.

This has caused a growing impact on the United States’ electoral process. In 2008, candidates for President heavily utilized Internet marketing strategies to reach constituents. During the 2007 primaries, candidates added, on average, over 500 social network supporters per day to help spread their message. President Barack Obama raised over US$1 million in one day during his extensive Democratic candidacy campaign, largely due to online donors.

Several industries have heavily invested in and benefited from internet marketing and online advertising. Some of them were originally brick and mortar businesses such as publishing, music, automotive or gambling, while others have sprung up as purely online businesses, such as digital design and media, blogging, and internet service hosting.

Film and Television Marketing

Industries such as film and television were somewhat slow when it came to putting content on the Internet. Film trailers, television show schedules and “interactive” press kits came on the scene quite quickly as the content that promoted such products. This major media platform was developed with investments of millions by the film studios and television networks because it was a valuable marketing tool.

 

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Suresh Krishna, EzineArticles Basic Author