In a brick and mortar business, you do anything you can to get the traffic, or customers, into the store. Then, you have a chance to seduce them into becoming buyers with your product, merchandise and customer service.
This is the marketing strategy of the physical retail world. Think about big box chains. You go to buy groceries, but while you are there, you slide over to the electronics department and get a movie you’ve been wanting, then head to the bed and bath area for those new bath towels you need and finally finish up in the automotive department getting car wax for your SUV. All under one roof — one stop shopping.
Online marketing is different and a concept it took me quite a long time to comprehend. I was a brick and mortar business owner for 20+ years and totally understood and followed that type of marketing scheme. However, it did not translate well when I attempted to break into affiliate marketing on Squidoo late last year.
My lens topics were broad — I was trying to appeal to the masses. I figured I would get loads of traffic and then turn the browsers into buyers with my info. Yeah, right.
What I didn’t “get” was that people shop differently online. They search for what they want specifically, exactly and precisely. The more narrow and niche your topic the better. The amount of traffic is not nearly as important as the fact that they are targeted traffic. These are people searching the internet for exactly what you have written about on your lens. To make a good income online, conversion is key.
Would you rather have 1,000 visitors a day with one or two sales (1% to 2% conversion) or 15 visitors a day with 10 sales (67% conversion)?
Let’s take the big box store example from above and walk through it, applying brick and mortar retail sales marketing to an online marketing scenario. Maybe something like this:
- You are NOT the owner of the big box store (the internet).
- You ARE the owner of one tiny department within that box store — let’s say the cookware department (your niche/lens topics).
There is tons of foot traffic in the whole store but how do you draw it into you small cookware section? Research. Define your target market, what they are searching for and provide it.
- Your prospective customers are cooks. Online= target market
- Give them what they need/want to cook — make their task easier. Online= Research your keywords to find out what they are searching for.
- As with traditional brick and mortar retailing, put it right up front, in their way. Online=You do this online by using your keywords in the url — lens title — module titles and subtitles — bio area — and of course in your original content, where appropriate. Do avoid keyword stuffing.
Remember, online you are writing for customers as well as search engines. We need the search engines to notice our keywords are being searched for, our content is original, and our keywords and content are married (content deals with what the keywords promise).
We want to answer questions or address problems our targeted traffic is searching for. Building authority online means delivering what you promise through your keywords. The search engines return your page to the targeted traffic via SERP’s and they click over to your page. If your page doesn’t deliver what the keywords promise, your visitors simply click away, never to return.
When Ron, Paula, AJ, Bev or any of the other experienced lensmasters tell you to “niche” — this is what they mean. It’s not an easy concept to older retailers (like me) but it makes all the difference between a successful online business plan and relying on dumb luck.
Further reading – Bev’s Success Story
Image credit: Steve Jurvetson