Internet Marketing Strategy

Internet Marketing Strategy is not as complicated or difficult as it may sound. You don’t have to be an unwashed heavy metal fan (I.T. specialist) or a shoulder padded pencil suit pusher (Marketing executive) to understand it.

As this is a beginner’s introduction, I have written the following as if you were looking for someone else to do this sort of thing for you. But it’s also a great guide for you to know what you have to research, understand and implement if you are to do the Internet Marketing Strategy yourself.

If you would rather concentrate on the core activities of your business and let someone else take over the complicated and time consuming tasks of Internet Marketing, then you are spoilt for choice.

The trouble is there are SO MANY people out there offering this service. The reason for this is that ANYONE can claim to be an expert in Internet Marketing. They don’t need a certificate or a qualification.

So how do you distinguish the fakes from the people who really can deliver?  Here is a quick guide to help:

1. Make sure they can explain everything in clear, simple language

I have learned to steer clear of anyone who cannot explain something, no matter how complex, in plain English so that I can understand it.

I first learnt this when a friend of mine was explaining what he did at the time – a complex financial service called Securitization. In five minutes he was able to explain what this is and why it is popular. This was after I’d spoken to several ‘experts’ in the field who could not.

My friend (Rich Meyer – if you are out there thank you for this lesson!) said this:

“David, if they can’t explain something to you in simple terms it either means they don’t understand it themselves, or they don’t want you to understand it.”

How true.

So if you are intending to do this all yourself then you need to spend some time researching Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Internet Marketing and similar topics (all of which I have/ will be posting information about)

2. Get One on Recommendation

The challenge here is to find a good one who has time enough to help you and who isn’t going to charge a fortune. But even so most businesses get 80% of their customers from word of mouth and recommendation. So it is likely to be that way in the Internet Marketing Strategy arena too.

That said I am plugged into a ‘Magic Circle’ for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). In that group all of us who provide SEO and SEM for our clients are finding that, especially during these financial tough times, the word of mouth business has stalled and, luckily for us, SEO/ SEM has more than made up the shortfall. So it can make a major difference IF it is done well.

This has worked very well for me because it means that (a) I understand exactly what is being talked about, (b) I have reached the point where I am now helping other businesses with their Internet Marketing Strategies.

3.Get one that Guarantees Their Work

If they are good at what they do this should not be an issue. Setting appropriate guarantees is the challenge.

It must be understood that, generally speaking, Internet Marketing Strategies have to be on-going otherwise their effects are likely to be short lived. In the business world if you stand still you fall behind. So it is with Internet Marketing.

So the person/ team offering the Internet Marketing Strategy or Services should first of all have explained in simple terms what they can do and how it relates directly to your business and your website (in that order).

Having done this they can then break down in equally simple terms what they intend to do in terms of backlinks, blog posts, forum posts, social media, Web 2.0 (interactive stuff like audio and video), tracking, local directory listings, natural listings, SEM and so on.

They should be able to provide you with a target number for some/all of these and a clear explanation as to how and why that will increase your website traffic.

They should also give you a clear assessment of your website explaining what improvements need to be made in order to maximize the number of visitors that will be converted to paying customers. It’s customers you want and customers you should ultimately be paying for – so both you and they have a duty to make sure that the Internet Marketing Strategy includes both measures to increase the traffic arriving at the site and increase the rate of conversion from visitor to paying customer.

4. Are They Associated with a Proven Team of Service Providers?

This is why I joined the group I did. It cost a lot of money and required a great deal of studying, testing, applying, learning and more studying…

However I am now in the joyous position of being able to see straight away what tools I need and which ones are a waste of money; what to concentrate on and what to ignore or postpone; where to start; what to do; how often to do it all.

As with all things great in life it is a matter of constant and never ending improvement. The group I am part of all pursue this philosophy vigorously. For that reason you would stand a better chance of succeeding if you follow the same strategy or find someone else who has.

5. Do you have False Expectations?

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics.

Did you know that if I really wanted to I could select a ‘search term’ (i.e. a term that someone puts into Google/ Yahoo) that might apply to your business and have it bringing up a web page that I’ve just built on the first page of Google next week? NEXT WEEK? Did you know that? Well I can!

Sounds impressive doesn’t it? Until we read between the lines:
Is anybody actually using that term to find your business?
Are there any other sites competing to respond to that search term?
How many weeks/ days/ hours will it before the web page drops like a stone?

You really have to be careful here as this is where so many people get stung in the SEO world. SEO is fantastic if applied properly i.e. as part of an overall Internet Marketing Strategy. But if someone says to you that they can make your website appear on the first page of Google you need to start asking a lot of questions:
For what search term?
For how long?
How many visitors will that generate (explain your working and show me some genuine stats)?

Depending upon your website it may be realistically possible to quickly get a page (or several) ranking in a really good (i.e. much used by your potential customers) search term. However, if the competition for that search term is stiff (i.e. there are 100,000+ websites competing for that search term in your ‘local area’ as defined by Google) then it will take weeks or even months.

So it all comes back to the clear explanation really. If you can see clearly what it is you are trying to achieve, how it can be achieved and what the results will be at the end of it then you are in a better position to decide how to proceed.

I hope that helps. As always, let me know if you need me to clarify anything.

All the best,

David.

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