Online marketing has become a confusing place. With so many new buzz words, acronyms and old thinking around it can be hard to work out what and who to believe, and more importantly, where to invest your money.

A few questions any company with an online presence should be considering:

1. Are you getting enough traffic and are visitors responding the way you want them to?

2. Should you invest in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click campaigns or other strategies?

3. Is your website working hard enough to convert visitors into customers?

How should you split our budget between offline and online activity?

The best place to start is to really understand the performance of your current web strategy by analysing traffic, content and conversion rates. Then you can plan how offline promotions and marketing can crossover in an effective and streamlined manner.

Getting Quality Traffic – Direct it and Help it Find You

There are 4 main ways of directing traffic to your site: search engine marketing, links from other websites and affiliates, online advertising and offline promotion. It makes sense to maximise the potential of all of these channels, but budgets can be easily wasted by putting too much emphasis on one or more area, rather than spreading spend efficiently.

Should you use SEO companies?

Many companies turn to SEO specialists to solve what they see as low traffic to their website or because it doesn’t rank highly for certain search terms. Unfortunately they don’t always realise what SEO can really mean in practice. Generally, these specialists will attempt to recode existing pages and insert keywords and phrases in order to make them more attractive to search engines. These ‘repaired’ pages can soon seem hijacked and incomprehensible due to text that doesn’t always make sense.

Good SEO uses a combination of new page creation, careful page enhancement and inbound referral link generation. They will be honest about the level of change required and what can be realistically be achieved. Anyone who guarantees top of Google should be avoided as this is impossible.