If you ask many businesses about their websites, a typical response will be a roll of the eyes and an expression of the frustration they feel from trying to get results online. In New Zealand, many businesses now have websites, yet few know how to actually get new business or develop existing client relationships. They probably haven’t even considered any kind of proactive online marketing strategy.The first mistake business owners make is the assumption that they can get a website designed and built, and the sales will start rolling in. That’s just like getting some business cards printed, putting them on your desk and hoping for the best. People might chance upon your website, just like they might walk into your office and see the cards on your desk, but it isn’t going to result in an ongoing flurry of sales. In truth, getting over this false assumption may be enough to get the ball rolling for most businesses, as in most sectors there are very few companies that are doing their online marketing well.There is a huge opportunity now for business online. By taking notice from experts, a business can quickly move from an online non performer to accepting regular sales from their site. The difference is usually in getting help from a good online marketing consulting company, with an expert who knows exactly what is needed to get results. Unlike traditional marketing, most of the skills involved with putting together an effective online marketing strategy are generic, they apply to every type of business on the Internet – we just need to select the right strategy for your sector. That’s not to say the consultant will not need to understand your company and its objectives, but it does mean you can choose an internet marketing company based on their results regardless of their previous clients markets.So what can you expect from having an online marketing strategy? First and foremost you should expect a focus on results. Any online marketing strategy that you implement must at the very least expect to pay for itself in a reasonable period of time. This will allow you to focus on the long term, as sustainable marketing and sales is what you should be looking to achieve. The most common process involved in improving a websites performance is search engine optimisation, enhancing the visibility of your site on Google, Yahoo and Bing. This can be quite a time consuming process, so if you can afford to do so, it is often wise to let the experts handle this for you.Other simple improvements to your online marketing strategy might include putting your website address in the signature of all emails you send. Similarly offline tips may help online performance such as listing your web address in your local offline directory. It is often a sum effect of many small changes that give the greatest results, and the good news is most of these changes will not take long to implement.In summary, any good online marketing consulting company will be worth their fee many times over if they deliver the results they promise. Don’t be afraid to ask them to explain everything in simple, jargon free sentences, and keep asking questions until you understand the answers. Remember that you are trying to forge a long lasting partnership for the benefit of your business, and before long your online marketing strategy will be an integral part of your company!