Internet Marketing Basics: 10 Tried and Tested Tips Plus 1

Internet Basics by: Eugene Pilat

In this article, we’re going to cover a number of internet marketing basics that may have been forgotten by online veterans, and need to be read by the newbies. Without further ado, here it is…

Internet Marketing Basics

Internet marketing is much different from offline marketing in many ways. Even if you’ve known this truth for a while, it’s easy to forget the differences. Just in case you’ve forgotten the basics – or need to learn them – here they are (if we forget any, let us know!):

  • The World Wide Web isn’t “just another advertising place”. In fact, it’s a whole other animal compared to brick and mortar. When you put your business online, you have to act as if you have no “brick and mortar”. Pretend your site is the only way people can find out about you. Your site IS the front door. What will it say about you?
  • Pay attention to your competitors. This one isn’t so different from brick and mortar business; the biggest difference is the number of competitors. Online, you’re competing with the world. Visit competitor sites and see how they’re reaching out to potential visitors. What can you copy capitalize on and make better?
  • Don’t make your URLs too complicated. If you’re just coming online and trying to choose a domain name, try to find one that’s easy to remember. If you already have a domain name, then make sure your page URLs are easy. People may not search for the URL, but they will search for the words in the URL – if they can remember what the words are.
  • Make it easy to contact you. Do you have a telephone number on your site? How about an email address? How about anything besides a contact form? Contact forms are beautiful, easy tools, but most people really hate filling them out. Make sure you give them another option.
  • Websites don’t promote themselves. “If I build it, they will come” is not a thought to have. If you don’t get out there and promote the site, very few will know it’s there. How do you promote? A few ideas are:
    • Blog – it’s not promotion, per se, but blogging does help bring interest to an otherwise static (unchanging) site.
    • Social media – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit, Digg … tons of places, tons of opportunities to share your site, your business and your conversation
    • Business cards, etc. – If you have a business card, make sure your site URL is on it. If you use print or other traditional marketing media, add your site URL. If you have a brick and mortar business, let your customers know you have an online version.
  • Always test. We say it a lot, and we’ll say it again. Always test your website for usability and quality. Look at it this way. Your site is a type of product; call it an “information” product. Like any product, it needs quality control. Perform tests for usability, navigation, layout, content… keep testing. No matter how good your site is, it can always be better.
  • Create an online resource. The best performing sites always seem to be those that manage to become an authoritative resource for their niche market. We can learn from that. If your business is household goods, then create the best resource on household goods that you possible can. If you only sell lipstick, cover every topic you can think of. Home repair? Same, same.
  • Don’t forget email marketing. An online version of direct marketing, email marketing is often overlooked during strategy-building sessions. However, if it’s done correctly, an email newsletter campaign can help build loyalty, as well as awareness of your brand. If you don’t have an email campaign going, make sure you revisit the idea every now and then.
  • What isn’t a viable option today may be your company’s saving grace tomorrow. Just because an eNewsletter, for example, wasn’t a good idea six months ago doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea now. Remember the offer of a guest blog you turned down last month? Maybe you’re a blog short this month and could really use that blog now. The point is, don’t throw ideas in the trash; put them in a “to be revisited pile” instead – and then, revisit!
  • Remember your call to actions. Look – if you have a business website, visitors aren’t going to be surprised by sales activity. For instance, they aren’t going to be shocked when they see a link to one of your product pages on the blog. They aren’t going to be angry because you have “Buy Today!” in big, bold letters in a product or service description page. Don’t be shy; don’t hide your call to actions, and definitely don’t forget them!
  • Add the bells and whistles. The bells and whistles talked about here are those your visitors may never see. Bells and whistles might include: analytics tracking, social media tracking, Google/Bing webmaster tools, link tracking. The more information you can gain about your site and visitors, the better off you are. When it comes time to see how things are going, these bells and whistles will make it easier to find the pages that need help.

“Internet marketing” can be a misleading term for people when they first take their business online. Business owners look at the term and take “Internet” out – as if it doesn’t count as part of the equation. The problem is “Internet” is the key part of the term here. Take the above list of internet marketing basics and see how your online efforts match up!

Can you think of any Internet marketing basics we’ve missed? Share your top “basics” list – add yours in the comments!

About Gabriella Sannino

International SEO consultant is my title...but who cares about those? What I love is, writing about marketing, social, SEO, relevance, ruffling feathers and starting revolutions. What you read on this blog, will hopefully inspire you to continue the conversation. When I'm not multitasking around Level343 I sneak away and go sailing. I'm crazy about pistachios, and of course Nutella.

Comments

  1. I agree that some timeless content is essential, Katrina. Keeping old articles updated for any new developments will make sure visitors never go away disappointed. Timely content is important too! A good mix of the two will always be the best bet.

  2. To be successful at internet marketing it is a good idea to write timeless content for your site. If your site’s visitors stumble upon old content and find it dated they may leave your site and never return. You can easily make content timeless by adding links to your new articles on your old ones.

  3. steve serps says:

    all good sensible ideas, esp the email marketing, often gets a bad rap when really it can be the most powerful and direct tool at your disposal

  4. Hello Brian – thanks for taking the time to comment. Although it’s a good guideline, it’s not necessarily the right one for every article and page. For example, sometimes a secondary or tertiary key term is better. Sometimes, you throw SEO to the wind and just write (mainly on a healthy, growing blog).
    Let me explain. If a company already has a huge brand following, but they’re trying to go after a new market, they’d start using a new language. They’d ask and answer the same types of questions, but ask them differently to use that market’s “lingo”, if you will.
    Certainly, long tail, short tail, primary, secondary and tertiary terms play a very strong part in acheiving your desired SERP results, but you have to bring a balance between 1) the optimization, 2) the call to actions, 3) community building and 4) reader interest. All of this needs to be in the content you’ve created.
    Don’t worry so much about the search engines; if you’re informing, focusing and sharing what your readers want, the rest will follow.

  5. Hi Gabriella,

    Those are great tips for both veterans and newbies. I’ve been researching about SEO and i believe that keyword is really important and newbies should pay attention to it. I think it’s essential that your article headers, titles and first paragraph should have your keyword on it. Is that right?

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