Total Internet Marketing
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Over the last few years I have read hundreds of articles, blog posts and comments on the changing face of marketing and how the internet has become the medium of modern marketing. Any business that does not have a presence on the web and is actively involved in internet marketing is working from a disadvantage with their competitors and is struggling for customers.
Many of the articles I have read discussed how On Site SEO is the answer, or how backlinking is the way to go. Others claim that content marketing will solve all problems and still others talk about how social media is the panacea. Pay per Click is argued by some as the solution and a few talk about a strategy of combining several; On-site, Off-site and PPC. I believe that the answer is a coordinated Internet Marketing Strategy that combines all of the above into a smoothly working solution. Simply tweaking your website with all the on page SEO tricks will not work if you find yourself on Page 5 of the search results. Likewise being on Page 1 and not providing the answer your customers are looking for and may only get you a lot of traffic with no sales. Having a 100,000 Facebook fans may look great on your Facebook page but if none of them are buying what you are selling what does it matter. The same goes for all the other social media outlets; having followers or people in your circle does not close the deal. Business leaders expect that the time and effort expended on these things will provide a measurable ROI. All of the above is a giant business puzzle that takes planning to solve.
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For all of the above to work together requires a coordinated strategy that begins with detailed research into your own business, your potential customers and your competitors. You must then develop a clear understanding of what the ultimate goal is and how each part of the puzzle works together to reach that goal; what is it that your customers really want or need, what your competition is doing and not doing, and what you are capable of doing yourself. Once these items are articulated you can then begin planning your tactics to optimize each of them. Your website is of course the most important item as this is where you convert your fans, followers and readers. It MUST answer their needs, it must be optimized to allow for ease of navigation and allow it to be ranked well by search engines. Although web designers are great in developing great looking sites, they sometimes are enamored by the flash and splash that may not help in search engine rankings. An On-site SEO look at the site is crucial to ensuring that the site itself is not hampering search engines. Off-site SEO is also crucial to ensure that linking is from relevant and authoritative sites and that old Black Hat type linking does not exist and if it does it is cleaned up. Pay per Click will help to augment those visits that come from search engines or direct referrals. Content is King is a valid statement and the sites that provide the most relevant and helpful information, either on their site or their blog are those that will find they are being linked from other sites and inch their way to the top of the SERPs.
Social media is crucial today. It helps to establish brand awareness in the market place, develop trust among followers and fans and engage them on a daily basis. By social media’s very nature it can spread the word faster and further than any previously known marketing strategy. Customers tend to purchase from businesses that they know and trust and social media can help develop and maintain that trust. Although the exact impact of social media on business is still new and hard to quantify, there is no argument that it has a positive effect and those businesses ignoring it will find them behind.
There is no magic solution for each business. Each company is different and the problems with each part of the puzzle vary. There is however a strategy that will work for each company that begins with an objective look at themselves, what are their goals, what is their potential customer persona, how can they solve the customers problem and how to use each of the various internet tools to ensure those customers come to them for the answer. This is all what I prefer to simply refer to as total Internet Marketing. When considering a company to handle your SEO/SEM ensure that you check for one that will tackle the full range of internet marketing tasks.