By Sydney Nelson (c) 2007
Everyone knows the Internet is growing exponentially and continually evolving. The major players in the continual evolution of the Internet are the major search engines and consumer generated media such as blogs. Because of the continual changes, a well rounded Internet marketing strategy must include a variety of proven marketing options to ensure success. I will outline 3 of the most effective Internet marketing solutíons available and how they relate to your marketing strategy.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the first because the frëe advertising afforded by the search engines is partly determined by on-page optimization techniques. With thousands of new Websites being created daily, the competition for a listíng on the first search result page is increasingly saturated for the popular keywords. Statistics show better than 90% of people only look at the first search result page, and a similar percentage only clíck on the top search listing.
In order to compete effectively, a Web page must be designed around a keyword or more effectively, a keyword phrase. The keywords must be included in the page's title, keyword META tag, page's description, the first heading (using the H1 HTML tag), throughout the body of the page and within the last 25 words on the page. These are just a few of the basic SEO on-page options that, although will not guarantëe a first page listing, are definitely required as a starting point in an effective Internet marketing strategy.
In most cases, there is too much competition for certain keywords such as "golf clubs". A better strategy would be to use "golf clubs Chicago" or handcrafted golf clubs". The more specific you make your keyword phrase the better. A number of frëe tools are available that will show the popularity of keywords and how often they are used in the search engines on a monthly basis. These will allow you to customize your Web page knowing the keyword phrase's popularity. If you get the first page listing for a keyword with less than 100 searches per month for instance, then it doesn't matter because your traffíc will be very limited.
Once the on-page optimizations are complete, the off-page optimization options need to be addressed. Link exchanges are perhaps the best off-page SEO technique available. If you download and install the Google toolbar on your browser, you will see the Google PageRank of each site you visit. Your PageRank is determined by the number of other sites linking to your site, and the QUALITY of the link is a major consideration. Pages are ranked from 1 to 10. The higher the PageRank of the site linking to yours, the better. Sites with a PR7 and above are considered as authority sites and a back link will send Google's spider to your page on a regular basis.
There are a number of ways to get a back link to your site. You can email a request to the Webmaster for a link exchange and if they agree you would return the favor by placing a link to their site on your page. You can also purchase the link. A number of sites offër this service for a monthly fee. So if you want to quickly get your site listed by Google and the major search engines, then paying for a PR8 back link for a month or two might be well worth the ínvestment in the long run, as new sites are placed in a "sand box" by Google for several months until they prove their longevity.
One back link from a PR8 site is worth 1,000 back links from PR2 or less sites. As a matter of fact, numerous links from low ranking sites will actually be detrimental to your site, because each back link is like a vote for your site. If you have too many low ranking sites voting for yours, Google will be reluctant to reward your site with a higher PR. You have to do your research on the site that offers to link to yours because if they were blacklisted by Google, your site will receive the same fate and you probably will nevër recover from this.
A PR 4 or 5 is relatively easy to attain. So your best bet is to limit your back links to PR5 and above for the best results. And by all means avoid link farms. Before Google upgraded its algorithm, just the number of back links was considered. But now the actual PageRank of your back link is considered AND the PageRank of the sites listing to THAT link. Links from link farms are now looked upon as basically sp@m links. You would be better off purchasing a listíng in a major link directory like Yahoo or DMZ. It's definitely worth the ínvestment as these are authority sites and are a major vote for your site!
As previously indicated, consumer generated media is a major factor in the evolution of the Internet. Case in point is the enormous effect blogs had on the last Presidential campaign. A very large percentage of most searches will include blogs on the first page listing. Over 50% of purchases, online and offline, are preceded by an online search for more information. And a large percentage of the information is offered by blogs. People are very interested in the opinions of others on their topic of interest.
The major blogs are updated on a daily basis which is very important to Google's algorithm which uses the frequency of updates (daily, hourly and by minute) as a determining factor in the search result ranking. A powerful marketing method used by the major blogs is to submit articles on a particular topic to the major article hubs such as EzineArticles.com. The article hub benefits by having continually updated information (which Google likes) where they can place their monëy makíng AdSense ads. The blogger benefits by having a back link to their blog at the bottom of the article.
As numerous other bloggers and Webmasters access the article hubs for fresh information, the article can be syndicated virally to a number sites on the Internet. This creates a number of back links to your blog or your site generating an enormous amount of pre-qualified frëe traffíc.
These are just a few of the most effective online Internet marketing options available. Other options such as auto-responder email, Ezine advertising and pay per clíck advertising should be included in a well rounded Internet marketing strategy. No matter what options you use, you definitely need to start with your on-page SEO techniques. Your listing in the search results will be enhanced by a properly optimized page.
Further optimization must include the off-page SEO techniques such as generating back links with the major site directories, link exchanges and articles submitted to the major article hubs. Using a blog for a reference in your article can be a good thing as people will be more inclined to visit a blog since it's not a salës page. Once they have received enough information and you have generated their confidence in your opinions, you can end up with a life time customer.
About The Author
Sydney Nelson is a Microsoft Certified Professional and has a Bachelor in Information Technology. Please go to PromoBlackBoxZone.com for more information on how to dramatically íncrease your Website's conversions and presence on the Internet. More articles on Internet marketing can be found at http://blog.PromoBlackBoxZone