Launching Your E-business Chapter 10
Beta Testing Your Web Site • Software companies allow users to test their software programs, before selling them to the public, in order to find problems in the software. • It is a good idea for an e-business to test its web site with a beta launch. • By allowing visitors to test its web site before marketing it to the public, an e-business can get feedback and make changes.
Marketing an E-Business • The early approach to marketing e-businesses was “If we build it, they will come”. • Today this approach is not effective. • Most conventional marketing approaches are useful to the e-business. • Some techniques and methods are unique to the e-business environment.
Search Engines and Directories • The reality of web marketing: • Despite all marketing expenses, most viewers locate relevant web sites through the use of search engines and directory services.
Search Engines and Directories • Examples of search engines and directories. • AltaVista. • Northern light. • HotBot. • GoTo.Com. • Google. • Yahoo. • Others ..
Search Engines • Use a variety of methods to gather and index information. • This process may take time due to the volume of materials to be examined. • Some services accept submissions. • Some may require a fee to review and index quickly.
Indexing Methods • Different search engine sites use differing indexing techniques. • This is why two different engines produce vastly different results at times. • It is important to add “Meta Tags” that accurately describe the content. • These tags are used by some indexing systems to help build their indexes.
Techniques to Improve Index “Hits” • Write clear but descriptive web page text that a search engine can index. • Avoid using frames, or have an alternate no-frames site to help search engine spiders locate all web pages at a web site. • Use static HTML pages for products that can be indexed by search engines, instead of active pages that are generated by the server from data from a product database.
Techniques to Improve Index “Hits” • Use fewer or smaller images to keep page load times down. • Provide links to complementary pages. • Arrange for inbound links from other web sites, which are used by some search tools to determine a web page’s ranking or relevance.
Public Relations • A public relations effort is one of the more cost-effective marketing tools. • Part of the art of a public relations effort is writing effective press releases and sending those releases to the appropriate destinations at just the right time. • There are many businesses that specialize in providing public relations services.
Customer Communications • Direct communications with potential customers is important. • Usenet newsgroups and forms represents a significant way to disseminate news and respond to customer concerns.
Affiliate Programs • Affiliate web sites are an important source of customer referrals. • In an affiliate program, the e-business pays a referral fee (usually a flat amount) or commission (a percentage of the sale) on all sales sent to the e-business from another Web site.
Other Cost-effective Promotion Methods • Link exchanges • Web rings • Awards • Word of mouth – goodwill marketing
E-Business Advertising • Conventional advertising techniques may be necessary. • It is important to include web address and email address in conventional advertising materials. • This will “drive” potential customers to the web site and promote brand awareness. • Web based advertising can be purchased from a number of popular portal sites.
Benchmarking a Web Site • A benchmark is a performance based objective for a business’s web site. • The process: • Determine the goals • Set the benchmarks • Measure the results • Draw reasonable conclusions
The Benchmarks • A brick & click e-business has historical records to utilize. • A new e-business lacks historical or traditional data. • Look at sales, expenses, ratios, etc. • May be difficult to attribute to a single source or input factor
Measuring Web Site ROI • Traditional financial measures available include NPV, ROI. • Look at customer satisfaction and intangible benefits.
Online Measurement Tools • Web servers record all of the events that they process to files called log files. • A careful examination of these log files can reveal much about a web site’s effectiveness. • Analysis software is available to examine logs
Logging and Tracking • Some of the information gained will be: • Number of visitors. • Number of page views. • Views per visitor. • IP addresses of visitor. • Referring URL’s. • Browser type. • Conversion rate. • Errors. • Return visitors.