When you embark on a new Internet marketing campaign, don’t think that means you are limited to just one or two strategies. Internet marketing has become a very diverse science (or art, depending on your frame of reference). That means you have more than one tactic at your disposal every day of the week.
Some of the most successful Internet marketing tactics available to new and veteran marketers alike include:
- Search engine optimization
- Pay per click marketing
- Article marketing
- Blog marketing
- Social media marketing
- Viral marketing
- Video marketing
When marketing your business online, don’t limit yourself to just one or two methods of marketing. Start with one or two then add a new Internet marketing strategy every three months. As you add new strategies, continue monitoring each on a weekly basis and adjust your efforts as necessary. What doesn’t work, drop it. Keep doing what does work. Internet marketing is an ever-changing art and science.
One of the most important competitive intelligence tools you have is a back link checker. The idea is to take a look at the inbound links pointing to your competitors’ websites. Many Internet marketers even go so far as to look at the websites linking in to those sites. The reason this is important is because many of those sites could also link to yours and all you may have to do is ask.
Link building is an integral part of Internet marketing. Not only does it drive traffic to your website, but it also can increase your search engine rankings.
Before you do any link building, take a look at your top competitors and their websites. Take a look at meta, keywords used in the content and inbound links. Those inbound links will tell a story and if you see a trend of inbound links from high PR relevant websites, be sure to follow that trend.
If you own a business and you are thinking about doing some Internet marketing then I certainly wish you all the best. But you should give some serious thought about the implementation of your online marketing plans. Don’t just jump in and hope for the best.
Many companies go online and immediately start marketing through Facebook and similar websites without a website of their own. That’s OK, but where are you sending people to for more information about your company if they want to know? Without a website you’ll find it difficult to really connect with people long term.
Your Internet marketing plans should center around your home, or hub. That’s your website. Everything else you do online should go to support your web design and the content on your website. Start there and move out in concentric circles to other avenues of Internet marketing. You’ll be much more effective.
Viral marketing is much more sophisticated than it used to be. It is rare that someone mass submits hundreds of articles in one day to thousands of article directories and expects to get a flood of new traffic to their website that converts. Sure, it happens. But it’s rare.
Today, viral marketing is more about the Wow Factor. You’ve got to the wow the audience before you get them to your site. If you don’t wow them until they get their then it’s too late. So what are the tools for producing the wow effect that will get new visitors to your site?
- Social bookmarking websites
- Social sites like Facebook and Twitter
In the old days of viral marketing, the product was mostly content. Today it is largely social. Look at the list – social bookmarking, social networking, videos (think YouTube, a social network that is also the No. 2 search engine), and blogs (a medium that is half social and half SEO tool). See the theme?
So the question is, how do you kill a viral marketing campaign? Take it out of its social context. Be anti-social.
Viral marketing is social media marketing on steroids. It is, in a word, the maximum effective use of the combination of social media and SEO. Want to kill it? Just break one of those two legs of the viral marketing stool and your campaign will fall on its face.
Social media is great for finding new customers and companies who use social media report great gains from its use. However, there is one pitfall to social media that just as many companies report and that cut into your company’s ROI.
The biggest pitfall to using social media for business promotion is to let it waste your time. Social media is so fun that you can get caught up in the fun and games and completely forget about business. What was to be a 15-minute “check in” to see how things are going end up being a two or three hour rabbit trail and nothing gets done.
This is one reason to outsource your social media campaigns. Instead of wasting your time playing around on the sites and not achieving the full effect of great marketing, have a social media expert conduct your marketing campaign. They will know where to draw the line on the fun and execute a sound business and marketing strategy for a positive ROI.
There are SEOs today, and some of them are quite well known, who teach that link building is the most important aspect of SEO. But is it? Well, just try building links to a blank page and see what happens. I’m betting not much.
On the other hand, I’ve seen web pages rise to the No. 1 position for their targeted keywords just for their on page factors alone.
A few years ago Google fixed a problem called Google Bombing that caused certain pages to rank No. 1 on the basis of thousands of inbound links using the same anchor text. The thing was, the anchor text was seldom relevant to the page in question. We can chalk that one up to the value of link building.
Of course, it goes without saying that both on page and off page SEO are important. But, what if you had to do without one or the other? Which would you choose? You’d better say off page SEO because even if you could rank a page on the basis of inbound link anchor text alone, what value would that be for a page with no content?
There’s more to SEO than being No. 1 in the SERPs. You’ve also got to convert traffic and you can’t do that without on page content.
There is a heated controversy that has been raging for several years about the practice of bidding on competitor brand names for your search engine marketing campaigns. One camp says it is trademark infringement. Other professionals claim it is perfectly acceptable and likens it to setting up a similar business across the street at a busy intersection in the real world. Who is correct?
There is no easy answer and it is one that you will likely have to answer for your own business if you intend to engage in search engine marketing. You may have competitors bidding on your brand name, but should you bid on theirs?
We won’t tell you how to run your business, but we believe in ethical marketing, which is not deceptive and which is based on a strong commitment to “playing clean”. Competition is tough, and it should be, but it should also be fair. The honest truth is, there are enough keywords in any niche to bid on that bidding on the competition’s brand name isn’t really necessary. But that’s a decision you’ll have to make for yourself. And I hope your sleep habits don’t change.
There is a real need in today’s online marketing culture to understand and comprehend reputation management. Just as well, business owners need to comprehend the power of social media and how it fits into your overall reputation management plan. The two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are almost synonymous.
Social media marketing is the wave of the future. You can no longer ignore the power of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and the hundreds of other social media websites online.
While social media is the future of online marketing, it should also be viewed as more than just another online marketing tool or strategy. It is a reputation management strategy. The key to utilizing social media for reputation management is to know yourself and to know your product and how it can solve problems. By knowing where you fit into the marketplace and the problems your product solves you are offering yourself as an expert with a specialized niche to fill. How you present yourself is how others will see you. And, yes, your reputation is always on the line.
Pay Per Click marketing is a great way to get results online and there are some definite advantages to PPC over organic search. For instance:
- With PPC you have greater control over your search listings
- You can get faster results with PPC whereas organic search can sometimes take months or years before solid results materialize
- More control over titles and descriptions in PPC ads
- It’s easier to track PPC results than organic search results
- PPC is a lot like traditional advertising so many organizations may feel more comfortable with this model
Despite the clear advantage to PPC advertising, there is one sure death trap for any advertiser who lets his competitive ego get in the way of good business sense. The desire to have the top ad can lead to a bidding war if two or more competitors start going head to head in order to win that top spot. In this scenario, no advertiser wins. The search engine wins and the advertisers just end up throwing good money away.
It is best to seek out the optimum ad placement for your keywords based on quality and wise keyword bidding. Don’t let your ego take over.
In the early days of internet marketing the only people really doing anything significant were individuals willing to explore and take risks and a few small businesses whose owners saw an opportunity. Relatively few corporations got involved.
After the big dot com bust, there was a bit of a resurgence in Internet marketing as individuals and small businesses took to the next wave. The rise of Google has led to many people making a great income from Internet marketing. But it wasn’t until around 2003 that small business owners started making their way online en masse. In 2005 it really picked up speed.
Since that time the mantra of anyone doing any kind of Internet marketing was to hit the long tail. Small business owners attempting to market themselves online were chasing the long tail in order to out maneuver their larger competitors with big budgets. It worked.
Unfortunately, the larger competitors were watching and now they are turning their big budgets on the long tail. That could mean the end to the small business advantage.
On the other hand, as one door closes another opens. it looks the future of Internet marketing for small businesses is going to be social media. The small businesses who are able to capitalize on this new medium and exploit their stealth will be the big winners. Are you game?
If you understand Internet marketing in the slightest then you know that keyword research is essential. And competitive intelligence is no less so. Did you know you can take care of both essentials in one action?
It is permissible to steal your competitors’ keywords. When you start your keyword research, one of the first things that you should do is visit the websites of your key competitors and take a look at their meta tags. Don’t just look at the home page either. Look at all of their important pages and make a list of the keywords on each page.
You won’t necessarily use every keyword your competitors use. You probably will use some they aren’t using. But by surveying the keywords that your competition is using, you can better judge how you should approach your niche and which keywords are important. It’s a very simple competitive intelligence maneuver and one that many new Internet marketers often overlook.