If you are new to internet marketing, read this article first!
Internet Marketing can be an extremely powerful tool for your business, project, or organization. But if you are just getting into it, be careful! Competing interests such as traditional print media, Google (who's business is based on selling paid click ads), and a growing "SEO" industry, all present their case why you should use their services. For example, Google (headed by Matt Cutts) has a campaign that attacks internet marketing, with the underlying message "Buy Google AdWords" - which is their core business. If you don't know what are AdWords, here's how it works. You get an account with Google AdWords, and bid on clicks for your supplied keywords. Publishers sign up for AdSense, and are paid to display your ads, minus Google's fee. Keywords are individually bid up in a marketplace, so for some businesses, such as Forex, a single click can cost $20 or even over $100. While Google stands strongly behind this model, there's been many lawsuits for "Click Fraud" whereby publishers will click on ads to generate revenue, but giving nothing to the advertiser. Google's large corporate customers spend billions on AdWords.
Google is the 800 lb. Guerrilla in the room, so it's important to understand how Google operates and how they have influenced internet marketing. The rise of Google as a dominant search engine, created a side effect of the "SEO" industry. The idea of "SEO" is that by optimizing your site to get in the top 10 on a search term, you don't need to spend money on AdWords. Google guarantees #1 placement if you are willing to pay enough. So for many companies, Google offers a fair deal. Even though AdWords can be expensive, it's arguably more effective than traditional print/TV advertising.
Before getting into internet marketing, it's important to understand some basic concepts, and some common fallacies. Even if you are not going to do the work yourself, an understanding of it will help you work with your vendors, and also there are some good practice policies you can do yourself to help your own internet exposure.
Concepts to understand
SEO - "Search Engine Optimization" literally, means optimizing your site for search engines, based on text placement. Simple formulas look at variables such as keyword density, which will affect your site's ranking.
However, the term "SEO" has become the colloquial term for 'internet marketing' in general. SEO by itself will not drive traffic to your website, it simply keeps your site in compliance with search algorithms, so your site comes up in results as it should.
SEM - Search Engine Marketing - This means paid click ads, such as Google AdWords, or PPC (Pay Per Click). Although Google is the dominating player in this market, there are hundreds of such companies. Each model varies but the concept is you pay per each click.
SMM - Social Media Management - Management and marketing of Social Media profiles of a brand. With the popularity of Social Media, users are now searching in Facebook and Youtube sometimes more than Google, so it's important to also have a Social Media footprint.
Black Hat & White Hat - White Hat means following accepted practices and not engaging in 'black hat' techniques. Black Hat involves commonly disavowed methods such as Spam, Link Farms, heavy use of automated robots, and other techniques that can get you banned, blocked, blacklisted, or incur a Google Penalty.
The Fallacy of SEO
SEO is good practice, like good hygiene. By itself it will not generate traffic. How do people know to search for your term? SEO works great for niche items that can only be found in a few places. But by itself, SEO is not going to accomplish anything for your marketing campaign. Sites need exposure, you need to be seen by other sites, and web users. SEO is a critical part of any campaign, but many are misled to believe that SEO alone is sufficient.
Vector Internet Exposure
Digital Internet Productions has been managing internet marketing campaigns as a company since 2009 and as a group since 2005. We've achieved Top 5 placement for industry keywords such as "Forex Managed Accounts" - and brought a Toyota dealership to be the #1 ranked Toyota dealership in the world. Through our experience we've learned what works and what doesn't, how to evolve (as algorithms are constantly changing) and how to maximize your budget. We always recommend a balanced campaign including:
- Direct marketing (such as email, Social Media contact)
- Social Media profile management
- Active content creation
- Large site exposure for your target site
Integration of a multiple approach strategy has added benefits. For example, writing SEO compliant blog posts will attract more followers on Social Media.
Here's a few tips to get started with your own 'good practices' for SEO.
- Use your URL - Many people have started using Facebook, Twitter, and other profiles for posting content. This is great - but gives you no SEO benefit. You can easily set up your Facebook or Twitter to display on your page - on your URL. Then you have the added benefit of exposure of your URL with the benefits of Social Media.
- Get an easy to remember catchy domain name! If you need to get 2 domains, one for SEO and another (like a short URL) this is acceptable. For Vector's blog we registered Pleaseblogin.com as an example. Vector offers cheap domain names for only $10. Don't worry - you can continue using your existing URL. This is something for business cards, emails, etc.
- Use email signatures - always put your URL in emails, forum postings, and any other form of electronic communications.
- Put your URL everywhere!
- Learn about Good Practices - There are many similar articles and guides (free) that will explain what you can do yourself to help benefit your internet exposure.
Also, Digital Internet Productions offers a paid membership site with tools, resources, guides for internet marketing. We offer several levels of membership to match your needs. Included with all plans are actual SEO value for your URL from Digital Internet Productions. Click here to learn more about our SEO Membership plans.