When I first started in Internet marketing only three years ago, I had one Internet marketing strategy – SEO. It was a pretty straightforward process. It’s not like you could sit back with a nice cold beverage on the beach and just watch the dollars roll in, but the ability to rank highly in Google for valuable keyword terms usually wasn’t too difficult.
Before 2012, you didn’t really have to worry much about link diversity, link quality, or even social networks. Life was sweet and simple. SEO was easy, affordable, and could be high ROI marketing. For many, it defined Internet marketing. Design a website, write decent quality topical content and launch your site, create anchor text links to your keywords, rank highly in Google. This is oversimplified and these were not best practices but there weren’t too many moving pieces.
This presented awesome opportunities for people with a modicum of technical know-how and SEO knowledge to profit from the Web. But as the saying goes, nothing good comes from something easy. And a lot of webmasters, SEOs, and business owners learned this lesson the hard way when Google changed their algorithm. You want to be diversified for your Web traffic and never be too dependent on one source. In fact, the case can be made that social shares are more important than links.
Big Changes in SEO
When I think about SEO today, in the wake of Panda, Penguin, and the many Google updates over the past two years and other factors such as social networks helping to shape the Web, it’s evolved into something totally different. Now SEO is really about creating the Internet marketing building blocks.
It’s not nearly as simple as article marketing and hurling anchor text links to your site anymore. Proper on-page SEO helps lay the groundwork for opportunities in off-page SEO and Internet marketing success.
What Internet Marketing is Now
Instead of something akin to a Texas two-step, successful SEO today and Internet marketing as a whole is more like a twenty-four click recon mission through the Black Forest. And this is not necessarily a good thing for small business.
Successful Internet marketing takes more work, which costs more money, which is something many businesses don’t have. But for those who have the resources, there are still tremendous opportunities as the Web is still in its infancy and its user base continues to grow, especially with the boom in mobile devices.
Below, is a graphic from SEOMoz, illustrating what factors that enable inbound marketing, which are all the Internet sources of “free” traffic. Off-page SEO is just one small piece of the of the equation of a more comprehensive online marketing strategy.
Develop Your Online Marketing Strategy
Not so simple now is it? It’s enough to make your head spin just thinking about all the options and all the time these potential traffic sources require. In the end, you need to pick your online marketing strategy wisely and go with the tactics that best fits your company’s goals and where your customers are most likely to be. Taking action and consulting with an Internet marketing company is an important first step.
It is amazing how much filling out a Google+ for business page and garnering customer’s reviews can do for a business in terms of getting on page one of Google on the map. And this doesn’t cost anything.
Links will always be a factor in how sites rank organically in Google, but you have to be much more prudent in the type and quality of links procured. Beyond links and website design and architecture, everything else in Internet marketing is primarily about creating interesting and useful content, which will be the topic of a future post.
Subscribe to our blog’s email feed to make sure you don’t miss it!