internet marketingBusiness has changed drastically within the last fifteen years thanks to the Internet. It started off quite simply, one just had to build a website. Today, a business owner is hearing about and must keep up with SEO, Social Media, Mobile Phone search, online review sites and more.

Conducting business is definitely not business as usual. Being in the business of Internet Marketing, we too have seen how things have progressed just within the last five years. Optimizing your website started off as a simple process.  Few people understood SEO and therefore those who paid for it quickly reached the top of the first page within search engines.

Today, SEO has been taken to a more complex level that requires a handful of other skills – a list too long to make here. What we have discovered in the Internet Marketing business is that driving people to a company’s website just isn’t’ good enough anymore. Anybody with a website that has been tracking their traffic for a while knows this to be true. How many times have you observed a large number of people come to your website and then leave? Did those visitors call, make a purchase online, come into your store? Your likely answer is – not enough.

So here is the deal. There is a way to now optimize your online marketing efforts in a way that captures more of that traffic and brings them back. People don’t often make a purchase the first time they visit your website, especially if you are selling an expensive service or product. Bringing a visitor back over and over drives them through what we call the ‘sales funnel’.

online buying cycle

Studies have shown that to make an online sell there are a handful of events that must happen.

First you must make your prospect aware of your service or product, therefore this stage is called Awareness.

Secondly you want to capture their Interest, make them want to come back to the website and read more about you. Third is Learn, providing enough information to your prospect on your website that they can learn everything possible about your product or service.  Fourth is Shop and Fifth is Buy. For some E-commerce sites, there is the element of shopping, browsing through your products. This shopping process may occur with repeat site visits and this is why one sees abandoned shopping carts so often on their E-commerce site because the visitor hasn’t quite been pushed into the Buy portion of the cycle.

Understanding how a consumer operates online helps internet marketing companies develop strategies for their clients that meet the consumer at each of these points within the funnel.  Once these strategies are created and implemented, business owners can return to the helm and maintain their systems, if they so choose. The process doesn’t have to be overwhelming, just understood.