Internet marketing needs strategies otherwise you can wander around aimlessly, thinking that you’re doing the right things when you’re not.
Some internet marketing strategies are evergreen, others come and go.
So what strategies should you use to make sure that the time you spend is well spent?
SEO (search engine optimisation)
This is basic to almost all internet marketing that you do.
In the early days of the web, it could be spammy but that rarely works any more (and if it does. it’s usually short term).
If you’re using WordPress, install a plugin such as Yoast’s WordPress SEO. That’s kept up to date (you’re reminded about this with the seemingly countless revisions that you’re nagged to download!) and offers lots of help to keep you on track – the traffic light coloured content analysis section is more than enough to help optimise your pages in all but the most competitive niches.
If you’re not using WordPress then take the time to find a simple, up to date, SEO guide. Read it and follow its suggestions.
Content for your website
Content is what keeps the web going.
The internet has an almost insatiable appetite for it.
Which means that you need to keep creating content for your website – it’s a bit like being on a treadmill or running on a hamster wheel.
Generally speaking, the quality of your content counts. Google has so many pages that it can analyse, it knows when you’re writing good stuff and when you’re just regurgitating junk. Sure, it doesn’t read every word but its computers know what a well structured sentence is and what they need to check for to determine whether or not your content is worth showing in the search results.
You don’t have to write A-grade English but you do need to be able to string words together in such a way that they make sense and read well.
If you create content in much the same way as you would write an email or a short message to a friend, you’ll be fine.
If you decide to do a dictionary search (or worse still, a thesaurus search) to come up with seemingly impressive words that you don’t really understand then that’s a dumb move.
Visualise the person who will be reading the content you create.
And – especially for your first few pieces – read it back once you’ve written and before you press the “publish” button.
Ideally read it out loud as that’s where you’ll pick up the places that don’t read well or make total sense.
Contribute to discussions
Discussions are taking place all over the web – on websites like this (where the discussion can be one-sided or it can continue in the comments section), on forums, in places like Facebook and Twitter and on specialised sites like Quora and Yahoo! Answers.
You don’t have to be an expert to contribute to a discussion but it does help if you know something about the subject – there’s nothing worse than someone who chimes in to a discussion with some meaningless gibberish in the hope of getting some attention or increasing their post count or some other underhand motive.
The best rule of thumb here is that if you’re got nothing good to say, don’t say anything.
But equally there’s no point in hiding away if you do know something about the subject.
Take a bit of time to read the original question – rather than doing what so many help desks do and answering the question you would have preferred the person to ask – and contribute something useful.
Treat discussions in the same way you would if you were talking to the person face to face.
Which for most people, most of the time, means not starting an argument!
Online, I think it’s better to err on the side of being understated. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have an opinion, even if that opinion isn’t mainstream.
Just be aware that it’s easy for things to get misconstrued online so choose your words carefully and – as with your own website content – take the time to read through your reply before you send it.
You’ve only got to check out the search results for almost any query to spot that videos crop up regularly in the results.
That’s not because Google own YouTube.
It’s because people like watching videos.
Much the same way as the majority of people prefer watching television to listening to the radio or reading a book.
And, yes, I know that’s a bit rich coming from someone like me who prefers to create written content.
But videos are definitely a big section of the online market and if you don’t include them as one of your internet marketing strategies then you’re missing out on a large section of the market.
Your videos don’t need to be fancy – most of the ones I create are slide show style with me reading the slides – but they should contain good quality content so that your viewer is informed. There’s nothing worse than watching a video where it’s apparent that the person didn’t take the time to check or rehearse what they’re talking about. A few “ums” and “errs” are fine. But watching someone’s mouse cursor hunt around the screen before they eventually click the most obvious link in existence isn’t fun.
Nor is watching someone laboriously (and slowly) type out a search phrase that is already completed in the drop down list that they’d notice if they weren’t concentrating so hard on recording the video.
So make sure that you respect your viewers time.
You’ll be rewarded with longer viewing times and probably more subscribers to your channel. And a higher chance that your viewers will be more inclined to click the links that you’ve asked them to click.
So it’s win-win providing you treat your viewers with respect.
Home in on your strengths
This is maybe the most important strategy yet it’s one that is regularly ignored.
Your strengths really are your strong points.
That means you need to keep with them.
That way you’ll be following a direction that you enjoy – which will come out in the content you create and how you create it.
You already know that – if someone is really enthusiastic about a subject, it’s very difficult to ignore their enthusiasm.
Follow that same direction in your internet marketing and your enthusiasm will spill over into all the content you create and will be picked up by the people who read and watch what you have to say.
Get help when you need it
You’re not alone!
And there’s an almost 100% chance that whatever challenges you’re facing in your internet marketing have been faced – and overcome – by thousands of people before you.
Even if it seems as though they’re unique to you (especially when the searches you use to try to find the answer stubbornly refuse to co-operate).
There are a few ways you can get help and they depend to a very large extent on your personality and also how much time you’re prepared to spend searching for the answers and filtering the less-good strategies you encounter from the ones that actually work in the real world.
One way to get help is to coach yourself – that’s not as difficult as it sounds (hint: you’ve been doing it almost all your life in various areas) and if you use a program like this one as the basis then you can fast track yourself or at the very least drill down to where you need more help.
Or you can get an expanded version of this article – a series of 5 videos about internet marketing that works in the real world – by clicking here.
Another option is to join a specialist program such as my affiliate marketing training. That will help fast track you and offers the added benefit of individual help as and when you need it.
Or you could go the whole hog and get one-on-one help tailored to your exact needs. That’s not for everyone and I’d strongly suggest that you go through at least one of the other options beforehand so that you know more about yourself and where you want to get to.
Whatever path you decide, make sure you dedicate enough of your time and energy to it so that you’ve got a better idea of how it can work for you.