Internet Marketing, what’s the mystery?
For many business owners, Internet marketing, also known as online marketing, appears to be complicated, and mysterious. Perhaps, much of the mystique can be traced back to the early days of computers, a time when computers were not in every home, and were not found in every business. Having used computers in the 1970’s, I can assure you that things really are very much simpler now. The “world-wide web” has expanded to almost everywhere, and we can now easily share information with more people, in more places.
The truth is that Internet online marketing is no longer too complex for most people who are willing to put a little effort into learning the basics. Although, the constant change within the online industry keeps all of us on our toes.
In spite of this, we still find that there are those who want to lead us to believe that only an “inside few” actually know how to pierce the “secret veil of Google”, and create effective online marketing. These same people like to toss around mysterious terms, like “algorithms”. An algorithm is nothing more than a technical name for a formula (or perhaps more correctly, a series of formulas), used by search engines to create the step-by-step computational, problem-solving procedure, for choosing the best results for a given search query.
Yes, computational algorithm formulas, themselves, are complex. Yes, Google and the other search engines are always tweaking, or changing them. But, none of this is all that critical to the average business website, simply because the overall goal of all search engines hasn’t really changed much, which is to find the best, and most relevant, response for every search query. The continual changes to algorithms almost always are just “tweaking” their systems so as to keep irresponsible “geeks” and “gurus” from “gaming their system”.
Making Your Website “Search Engine Friendly”
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a term that almost everyone is familiar with today; and it’s simply the process of making a website as “findable” as possible for the search engines to find. In order to do this, it’s important to understand the goal of the search engines, which is really very simply to understand.
Search Engines want to do the best possible job of matching all search queries with the most relevant website possible. In other words, the search engine wants to provide the searcher with the best, and most relevant, information available on the Internet. Since there are no real people making each search analysis, the search engines all have their own formulas, or algorithms, which by the way are always held as top secret, and in spite of what you may have heard, no one has the “secret” key.
The important question to ask, is what is the key set of criteria that search engines use in determining website relevance? Outside the search engine staff, it’s very doubtful that anyone really knows all of the very specific criteria, and methodology. But, regardless of that, the real key is to simply be sure that websites are specific and complete in the subject at hand, and to do it in a way that allows the search engines to see that website as being very relevant to search queries on that subject. Yes, there is more to in than that, but that’s the basic principal, and it’s one that most business owners seem to often miss.
Website Search Criteria
The following are the core Internet marketing approaches that search engines evaluate. The relative importance of each various SEO approach is debated regularly, but the truth is that they are all important, and their relative importance will remain a tightly held search engine secret. The following are some of the many things that make websites seem more interesting, and relevant, to the search engines.
The length of time that a website url (or “uniform resource locator” or “www.”) has been in the web, and searchable, is a factor. The longer that a url has been active on the Internet, the better off the website will likely be. But, that is not to say that a new website can’t be effective, because it can be. All other things being equal, a new website may not be as effective as an older and more established website.
Website content always needs to be as relevant as possible, and the content must be “targeted” in order to achieve the desired result. It’s quite beneficial to design every page of the website as a separate, and relevant business marketing target. In other words, if the goal is to design a website that covers a number of key business marketing targets, it’s better to write separate pages, with each page specifically designed to be relevant to the specific marketing objective.
Using the right “Keywords” is very important. (A “keyword” is a word, or phrase, that clearly identifies relevant information, and makes it easy for the search engines to identify it as being relevant to a specific search query). Certain “keywords” and “keyword phrases”, are already recognized as being more popular than others, and will likely gain the desired attention of search engines. There numerous are tools available on the market for analyzing “keywords”, but Google’s “Keyword Planner”, is free and accessible to anyone. This free planner will provide 99% of what’s needed to establish important keywords, and keyword phrases, for business marketing.
Website Internal, and External linking can be very beneficial, but this is a large and somewhat complex subject. 1) Internal links simply link information from one page within the website, to another page within the same website. This is done to help the visitor’s search for information easier, within the website. 2) External links can be either inbound links which direct a visitor from another website, to this website, or they can be outbound links that links from this website to another outside website.
Generally speaking, the external inbound links that direct others into your website, from an outside non-affiliated website, are commonly called “back-links”. Back-links tend to be of the greatest value in terms of search engine ranking. This is especially true, if the link that’s directing visitors to your website is coming from a highly ranked website that is relevant to the same subject matter that’s contained in your website. These kinds of high quality, and relevant, external “back-links” can be hard to acquire, and it usually takes considerable time to acquire them, hence search engines tend to see them as adding credibility to your website.
One common way to build active “back-links” is to find active relevant industry forums, where you can blog comments and information onto that forum, and when identifying yourself you also include your “http: www url”. This, in effect, creates a “back-link” from that forum website directing others back to your own website. This takes time and effort, but over time it can be very effective. Some business have key employees who regularly blog for their business, some businesses hire outside blogging services, as there are many outside blogging services available.
YouTube can be very valuable for your online marketing efforts. There are may ways to use videos in your marketing efforts, so we’ll just touch on a couple ways that videos can help your website, and the marketing of your business.
First, the inclusion of videos within your website are seen as beneficial by most of the search engines, and because good videos have the ability to convey information to the visitor in an effective and interesting fashion, they are beneficial in helping to convert website visitors into acton takers, i.e. Buyers.
Second, YouTube is actually a search engine in it’s own right, and millions of people look to YouTube, especially for “how to” information. If it works for your type of business, regularly putting interesting informational videos on YouTube, and also connecting them back to your website, can be a very powerful online marketing tool.
Your own website blog is a way to create a continual flow of new and relevant information into your website. Blogging regularly helps to show the search engines that the website is active, and is keeping current and up-to-date. An ongoing flow of new information is a characteristic that is noticed, and liked by search engines. The addition of an active blog (post), that includes new, relevant information, will greatly increase the search-ability of a website.
Social media can be a valuable and relevant tool for business. Currently both individuals, and business owners may join many of the established social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and a many more. Newer ones, like Google+ and Pinterest are beginning to take off. Social media is not going away any time soon. People gather around these Internet “hang outs”, sharing information, photographs, business opportunities, and more.
The fact is, social media, in itself, is usually of marginal value for the direct promoting of business. It is “social” media, not sales media. If you want to promote business on social media sites, first you must become social. Social media may be valuable when linked to your website, but that in itself is not enough, even if it’s relevant to the subject in your website.
Things To Do, To Help Your Website
Find relevant industry directories, and make submissions
Blog on your own website to add a continual flow of new material.
Blog on relevant unrelated forums and websites, linking them back to your most relevant webpage.
Do your keywords research.
Analysis your competitors websites
Publish relevant articles that link back to your website.
Make use of press release submissions
Optimize the content in your website, so that it’s search engine friendly.
Speed up the process by submitting your website to search engines.