If you want to grow your business than you need to have a good strategy for advertising. Goal oriented strategies need to be planned for internet marketing too. The web is great, because it has huge potential for for anyone who takes the time to make it work for them.

Yes, it takes time to accomplish your internet marketing goals. It’s very rare that you will see success over night. And if you do, will you be able to rely on that success for the next ten years and truly build a business around it?

Here are 5 steps you should take when planning an internet marketing strategy:

#1 Goal Planning and Discovery; This by far is one of the most important parts of internet marketing. If you don’t take the time to align your business and marketing goals with your internet marketing goals you risk wasting time and money developing campaigns that might not help you achieve the most important goals for your business.

#2 Research; Taking the time to research and evaluate all the things that are going to effect your business is well worth it. No matter how niche your company target is, there is definitely competition out there. Even if they are not in direct competition with you. Finding them, and learning about what they are doing, and what’s working for them or not workign for them is key. It will help you make better decisions and build a better strategy. You also need to research your customers. Who are they? where are they? how can you engage them? You even should be researching keywords so you know what your target audience is talking about and looking for online. Your research plan should be robust, and should help you outline the details you need to build a successful internet marketing strategy.

#3 Trackability; After you do research and develop goals you will need to implement ways to help you track your initiatives. The internet makes tracking advertising campaigns easy. But if you rush, and forget to build in tracking methods or even if you start measuring the wrong data you may never know how successful or unsuccessful your internet marketing campaigns are. It will be hard to show the value of your efforts and may even geive people the perception that internet marketing doesn’t work for them.

#4 Auditing & Mapping; Making it through the first three steps is a feet in itself, but soon you will have to roll out your internet marketing strategy. Before you do, I suggest you preform an audit. You’ll need to understand the resources you have and what your capabilities or limitations may be. For example, you may have an out of date website that is not going to allow you to capture leads or install a shopping cart. You may also have limited talent resources. Not enough people to do the job, or to do the job properly. All your research and planning isn’t worth a hill of beans if you don’t have the person power to pull it off.

#5 Strategy Implementation; Now it’s time to turn the burners on and get cooking. I like to create task lists where everything leads up to goals and milestones that you’re tracking 6 months away, 1 year away and even 3-5 year goals. Of course your internet marketing strategy will be made up of a lot of different moving parts like SEO, PPC and social media. each part will have different campaigns and building these campaigns will be easier if you figure out a way to outline and define a list of must do tasks. It also help you keep things going. Crossing off a task itself is a milestone and will allow you the room to move on to the next task, the next campaign and even the next goal.

Know this, with the right metrics tracking, and creative people working on your internet marketing strategy, things will change. The more you get into your strategy the more you will learn about your audience and how to engage them. Your business goals may never change, but how you reach them can. So keep an open mind and try to stay focused on the big picture.