When you have an online store, you’re always at the mercy of fluctuations in the currency market and variations in credit card processing fees. These things can cause you major financial difficulties – especially if you run into them at the wrong time. The fluctuations in the dollar make it hard to plan expenses and earnings accurately. It would be best to have some stable, underlying foundation for your business to build on.
Fortunately, there’s something you can do about this. You can use tools like Google Adsense to control the online marketing on your site, and you can use affiliate marketing to build a steady stream of revenue. Let’s take a look at how you can do both of these things, and how you can use them to form a solid base for your business.
Step 1: Define Your Goals
The first step in taking control of your online marketing is to set a solid goal for yourself. Simply setting a goal without a plan won’t get you far. You need to have a clear picture in mind of what you’re trying to accomplish. To start, you could set a modest goal of just getting your site to rank higher in the search engines. You don’t need to go overboard and set an unrealistic goal of getting 100,000 unique visitors per month. The important thing is that you set a goal that makes sense for your business and is achievable in the near future.
The reason you need to do this is because the next step requires you to figure out how to measure your success. You can’t claim to have improved your online marketing just because you got your site to rank higher in the search engines. To verify this, you’ll need to look at the search volume for your key terms and compare it to when you first launched your website. You can also use Google Analytics to track the number of visitors to your site.
Step 2: Identify The Key Performance Indicators
Now that you’ve got your goal in mind, it’s time to figure out how to measure your progress toward reaching that goal. The first step in this process is to identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you’ll use to verify that you’re making the right progress and that you’re on the right track to improving your online marketing. The KPIs should be easily measurable and they should be able to provide you with information about your progress toward reaching your goal. You don’t need to run down a checklist of KPIs – simply brainstorm a list of the key areas of your site that you’ll use to determine your progress. Once you’ve got your list, select three or four key areas to focus on in the coming months.
These are the areas where you’ll see the biggest improvement in terms of results if you do enough homework and put in the right effort. Once you’ve got your list of key areas, take some time to think about what would constitute a successful outcome in each area. For example, maybe you’ve got one area that you want to focus on getting more visitors from people finding your site through organic search. One of the things you might want to check is how many visitors your site gets from people searching for specific keywords (e.g., “luxury handbags”). You can use free tools like Google Keyword Planner to help you discover the most popular keywords for your site.
Once you’ve got your list of keys areas, it’s time to figure out how you’ll track your progress. Choose a couple of metrics that will provide you with an objective view of your progress. It’s a good idea to look at multiple metrics – comparing your current numbers to last month’s or last year’s numbers is a great way to verify that you’re making progress. For example, you might choose to measure the number of visitors to your site each month, the cost of those visitors (in terms of money and time), and the amount of revenue generated from organic search and social media.
Step 3: Build A Budget
Once you’ve got your key performance indicators in mind, it’s time to build a budget. It’s important to put a number on your budget and how much you’re willing to spend. Setting a budget doesn’t mean that you’ve got to be cheap – it simply means that you’ve gotta live within your means. It’s important to build a budget that’s realistic and that takes into consideration how much effort you’re willing to put in. If you’re just starting out, it might be best to set a budget that’s 10% less than you expect to spend. This way, you’ll have some money left over for mistakes and changes along the way.
It’s important to build a budget for two reasons. The first is to have a baseline for measuring your progress. The second is to determine whether or not a certain strategy will result in your reaching your goal. For example, if you’re trying to increase the number of people finding your site through organic search, but you’ve got a budget of $500 per month, it’s likely that you won’t be able to implement this strategy without first making some significant cuts. Or, if you’ve got a strategy in mind and it’s within your budget, it’s probably a great idea to start small and add to it as you go along.
Step 4: Execute The Plan
After you’ve built your budget, it’s time to execute the plan. It’s important to have a plan in mind, otherwise, you’ll just be winging it, which could cause you to make some costly mistakes. Simply having a plan doesn’t mean that everything will go smoothly, however. There will be obstacles that you’ll need to overcome, challenges that you’ll need to tackle, and changes that you’ll need to make along the way. To start, it might be best to sit down with a notebook and a pen and make a list of everything you need to do.
The list you’ll create will be your roadmap to taking control of your online marketing. It will consist of everything from getting your site to rank higher in the search engines to increasing the amount of revenue you generate from various sources. Make sure to cross off every item as you go along, so you don’t forget anything. It’s also a good idea to set milestones along the way. For example, you might want to set a deadline of a month to complete the first phase of your plan. Once you reach that point, you can begin the second phase and so on. This will help you stay motivated and continue to work toward reaching your goal.
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into taking control of your online marketing. However, if you follow these four steps, you’ll be able to build a solid foundation for your business. With this in mind, it’s time to get to work!