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24 essentials to understand the basics of Online Marketing

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We live in the digital age of endless possibilities. Almost everybody is connected to the internet. It has never been more easy to reach out to other people. Because of this huge potential of doing business online the competition is huge as well. And if you don’t know what you are doing the chance for failure is bigger than succeeding. In this blog I will focus on the basics of Online Marketing. This makes you understand better what is going on online. And gives you the chance to benefit from the online opportunities.

This blog is a mini guide for dummies about Online Marketing. I explain the online marketing essentials you should be aware of in case you are considering (or running) an online business.

Online Marketing

Online marketing is the skill you need to sell your service or product. Also referred to as digital- or internet marketing. It involves analyzing your online data and picking the ‘right’ pieces to create your (online) business puzzle and become profitable. I say skill because it is not only about the science of data. Nor only data analysis. Selling your product or service requires a deeper understanding of your audience (target group). The psychology behind the data and analysis.

It involves:

  • finding your niche with potential
  • knowing what your target group problems are
  • empathizing with your target group needs
  • understanding how to connect to your target group
  • providing the solution at the right time and  place to your target group

So why do I need (online) marketing?

The answer to this question is very simple. If you don’t practice online marketing you will lose or miss out a lot of potential leads, customers, profits and perhaps (probably) you won’t succeed at all.

Why? Because the competition is tough.  And if you don’t find a way to connect with people who need your service or product you will not become profitable. Your competitors might. You will lose your time and money. And in the end you will close your online door…

Online Marketing – A mini guide for dummies

There are a lot of concepts that are direct or indirect related to online marketing. I need to make choices and I don’t pretend this is a complete online marketing dictionary.

I have chosen to present you a nice overview of subjects that give you an impression of what online marketing involves. A mini guide; ‘not too little, not too overwhelming.’ This is the list I would have wanted when we started to focus on making money online.

Start with the basics first

Here are four basics that you need to comprehend before you start your (online) business.  It saves a lot of time to start with the basics. So take your time to make sure your basics are right. It is more difficult to reshape along the way. You always need to reshape. But when you start with these four basics you will have a better concept to work with.

1 Add value – know your expertise

This is common sense isn’t? But it doesn’t hurt to mention it here. I think this is the most important part of your online business and therefore your online marketing as well.

We started our online career with an affiliate marketing – explained below – webshop with leggings. And we didn’t know anything about leggings, running a webshop, the clothing industry etc. I think many people – especially when you start online – focus on making money instead on the value they can or want to add in the market. Always choose the last one; adding value. We got this insight halfway. So that is why I share it now with you.

2 Business model

Every entrepreneur needs to understand how he or she is going to make money. A business model is a model that shows how to make that money. A business model is composed of different parts like partners, activities, your proposition, channels etc. It is up to you to give them color. The pieces should match, reinforce each other and in the end bring you a profit. There are endless variations to think of. I don’t explain them here. But now you have an idea of what a business model means.

You can play with this model below – Business Model Canvas – to understand what a business model is and what you need for your business.

Business Model Canvas
Look at for more in dept information

3 Niche

Another basic in online marketing is that you should know your piece of the pie. What is your market? Where are your customers? What is your topic? It is smart to pick a niche as your market. A niche is about picking something specific. You even might not have a true competitor and that can give you a head start.

A niche is a focused, targetable portion (subset) of a market sector. For example Tesla is in a niche in the car industry; electric sports cars on full battery.

4 Target group

Know your audience. The most important thing to be aware of is your target group. Who are my potential customers? What are their problems? How do they spend their time? What is the solution for their problems? Know your target group and sell your solution.

Online Marketing must knows

It is time for the must knows of online marketing. Here is a selection of the terms you come across online. What do they mean? What is their purpose? Welcome to the online marketing mini guide for dummies.

5 Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing is a way to earn money without having a product or service yourself. You can achieve earning money by running advertisements of others on your website. Promote products you use and like. You get paid for a click or a sell of that promoted product or service. You are like an external marketing department for organisations. On a no cure no pay base. This can be a nice source of income when you have around 5.000 visitors per month on your website.

6 Traffic

The word traffic refers to all the people that visit your website. It is your job to find your potential visitors and get them to your website.

7 Leads

This is your traffic who are potential buyers of your product or service. Everybody who visits your website is somehow engaged with your offer – product or service. It is your job to generate leads and turn a lead into sale.

8 Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

You can advertise on many places. SEM strategy focuses only on search engines like Google and Bing. You can advertise on search engines to get paid traffic.

9 Paid traffic

Traffic (leads) that visit your website via advertisements. Two main options to get paid traffic is SEM and Social Media Advertising. Those nice sponsored messages on your facebook or Instagram wall are advertisements to get you – the lead – to the product or service. YouTube commercials work the same.

10 Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

If you google something you end up with search results. If you run an online business or blog you want to be at that first page. Because that means free traffic. Everybody active online tries to be at that spot. The competition is huge and there are a lot of SEO gurus out there to tell to do this and to do that. The process of optimizing your website and pages to end up on the first page with search results is called SEO.

11 Copywriting

Copywriting is the art of writing the best headers and texts to seduce readers for whatever purpose. Get noticed. Be different. Your goal is to persuade your audience. Master copywriting. A very important skill. Why did you click on this header..?

12 Keywords

Keywords are your bricks to build your articles and pages with. You pick a keyword  as a base for your text. The keyword reflects the chore of your text, and is also the word(s) your target group uses to search for information in search engines. The better the match between your keyword and the searchers needs, the higher your reward by Google is. Their reward: a higher spot in the search results. That is what you want!

13 Bounce

A bounce is when someone clicks your link – for example via Google results -but within 3 or 4 seconds they leave your website and you will never see them again. That outcome is cold a bounce and is expressed in a bounce percentage. Get your bounces as low as possible. This is also good for your Google ranking. Google perceives bounces as an indication you are not the ‘right’ result to show for the keyword the visitor has used.

14 Google Analytics

Google provides a tool – Google Analytics – that gives you all kind of data for free. The only thing you need to do is create an account with your website. From target group, realtime visitors, site behaviour and bounce percentages; you will find it. All the functions offered by Google Analytics are not super easy to use. Make sure you learn.

15 Webmaster Tools or Googles Search Console

This is also a free analytics tool provided by Google. Install this tool and you will know how people find your website – which search requests lead to your website? What kind of errors does your website have? And much more information. This is an important online marketing tool to use.

16 Sales funnel

A sales funnel is your fishing net to convert traffic and leads into engaged and buying customers. It is the path your potential buyer needs to follow before they buy your product and service.

17 Free Offer

A free offer is the present you offer your visitors to get them subscribe to your email list. This is your first goal in your sales funnel.

18 Email list building

You need to collect email addresses when you run a blog or a business. An email address means a direct connection with your target group. The more addresses the higher the chance to sell your product or service too. There are many list builders out there. We use a plugin from Thrive Themes and are very satisfied. Continue reading here if you want to know more about list building and two other important tech skills (like email automation).

Ultimate List-Building Plugin for WordPress

19 Email automation

This is not something for a beginner but I mention it anyway. If you have an email list and you know your target group pretty well then it is interesting to automate your emails. It saves a lot of time and you build trust, engagement and your visibility with your ‘leads’. Remember: ‘Leads are people!’ So connect with them.

For experienced online marketers email automation is a very powerful tool for online marketing. We use Active Campaign as our email automation tool. Take a look what they offer right here.

20 Conversion

This is what online marketing is all about. Your job is to become an expert in converting leads into buying customers. It is the % of visitors that in the end reaches the conversion goal you want them to.

21 Call To Action (CTA)

This is the term online marketers use for stimulating traffic to undertake a specific action on your website or landing page. For example. If you want people to subscribe to your email list, webinar or other free offer you need to drive your traffic to your subscriber page. And you get them there to Call for Action with for example a button or link. Make sure you are very conscious of what the specific Action is you desire your visitors to show.

22 Click Through Rates (CTR)

Online marketing is about knowing your numbers. When you know your numbers you know how big your business potential is. And the numbers are your chances to improve. So a CTR is a % that indicates how many people that see your link click the link. You can improve your advertisements, landing pages or subscribe buttons for a better rate in the future. The level of your profit depend on your CTR’s.

23 Landing page

A landing page is a page where you land your leads (traffic) to make them do something. Like for example subscribing to your email list. At this page you offer your product or service. The purpose of a landing page is very simple.  You need to get rid off all distractions that can make your leads go away. A landing page is an optimized and isolated online spot to convince your visitors to do something (buy, click, subscribe; remember Call to Action).

24 A|B Split testing

This is also not a beginners thing in online marketing but it is one of the most important skills you need to develop. It is important to test everything what you do online. And this is only for one purpose and one purpose only: ‘Getting better numbers!’ You want people to buy your product and your service. If you improve your numbers – CTR’s – you can easily scale your advertisements and still be profitable. If your numbers are wrong you will lose money…

Online Marketing basics the end

We hope this introduction of online marketing suits your needs and desires. Let us know if you want to know more about this topic or if you think something important misses in our blog. You can leave a comment below.

We keep writing and sharing our experience and knowledge with you. And before you leave?  We would be very happy if you subscribe to our newsletter as well.

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