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What Is Online Marketing- Overview

The official Wikipedia definition of online marketing is...learning online marketing

"Internet marketing, also referred to as i-marketing, web marketing, online marketing, or eMarketing, is the marketing of products or services over the Internet."

This is an accurate but very broad definition of online marketing. Today online marketing is growing by leaps and bounds and successful internet marketers run the gamut from one-person part-time businesses to very large corporations with hundreds of employees.

The Internet has brought many unique benefits to marketing...

And this is really only the tip of iceberg in terms of benefits. The interactive nature of Internet marketing, both in terms of providing instant response and to guage responses, is a unique quality of the medium.

Merchants can use the Internet not only to sell but to engage their customers via online support systems, instant messaging, education, and video. The Internet allows for an intimate, real-time connection to their customers which can truly enhance the relationship.

Paradigm Shift

Online Business Models

There are many ways to do business online. Three of the main approaches are...

There are many other online business models based on the specific needs of each business and the type of interaction and marketing that the product or service requires.

Whatever the model the numbers add up. MarketingSherpa says that for affiliate marketing alone payments were over $6.5 billion in 2006.

The reasons for online marketing's growth are varied. But in our opinion the biggest advantage of online marketing over offline marketing is it's trackability. With proper controls you can find out exactly what message your customer responded to and exaclly the path they used to arrive at your shopping cart. No other marketing medium offers this kind of control over the marketing process.

In many ways online marketing offers some of the same benefits of Direct Marketing with many advantages over that marketing model. Where with Direct Marketing tracking can be attempted with promotional codes and tracking numbers printed on the materials online marketing can be more precise and the visitor and the sale can be tracked without the customer even realizing it.

Keywords Are The Key

The basic path that most online users travel begins with a Search Engine where they type in a keyword phrase based on what they are looking for. This keyword phrase implies a need or a problem. In other words the prospect actually tells you exactly what they are looking for. Isn't that a beautiful concept? Now all you need to do is solve that problem and you may have a customer.

But before you can solve their problem your site must come up high on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Otherwise they may never know about your solution. So your first job as an online marketer is to convince the Search Engines that your site is worthy to be on the first page of their SERPs. This is called Search Engine Optimization.

The heart of Search Engine Optimization, or SEO as it is called, is to build pages in a way that tells the SEs what each page on your site is about. This is done by putting the main keywords in the proper places on each page. SEO is both an art and a science and we talk more about it on the next page.

Keyword Research

But before you know what keywords to use in your pages it's important to research those keywords. You want to know what keywords are both in demand but also don't have too much competition in the SEs from other websites. If you can find that "sweet spot" you have a much better chance of getting on the first page of the SERPs for that keyword.

So a large part of Online Marketing success is understanding how keywords work and optimizing your pages for those "in-demand" keyword phrases.

Pay Per Click Marketing

Also called Search Marketing, Pay Per Click Marketing lets an adverstiser buy keywords and display ads on the SERPs. This allows a merchant to connect directly with the keywords that connect with their product or service. They don't have to wait for the Search Engine's blessing before they are displayed on that critical first page. They can be on that first page in hours instead of months.

Of course there is a cost involved and profitable keywords can cost several to even hundreds of dollars per click. But if the advertiser can find lower cost keywords they can drive traffic and get sales for much less.

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So you can see that Online Marketing is a deep and interesting new way to reach customers and grow your business. And as Internet connection speeds continue to increase and more and more people are able to view video and other rich media, the Internet will continue to replace other more static forms of both marketing and entertainment.

Read on to learn more about the basics of Online Marketing.