Internet Marketing Is More Than Just a One-Item Plan
Being in this business, I see a lot of quirky Internet marketing schemes that disappear almost as quickly as they are created. A prime example is the article placement scheme to get higher rankings in the search engines. This is where you write articles and place them on different web sites all over the Internet with a link back to your site. The idea was for the search engines to see your web site as being very popular with the web community because of all the links back to your site. Search engines consider such popular sites as “quality” sites and place them higher in the rankings. A truly quality site, however, is one that places that link on their site because it’s content related to your site. The article placement scheme was emulating quality links; but in truth, they weren’t.
It worked for a while, and created a whole new web site industry of article directories, just to accommodate the rankings’ scheme. Google finally got wise to the scheme and pulled the plug on it. That means that all those site owners, who worked hours upon hours to write articles and get them placed, lost all of their work — down the drain. Why? Because Google went through and took back all of those ranking “points” from such web sites and pretty much left them high and dry at the bottom of the rankings. As of this writing, Yahoo and some other search engines, which follow Google’s lead in such matters, haven’t yet followed suit; but mark my words, it’s only a matter of time.
Now, if those same sites had created and worked an overall Internet marketing plan with multiple channel strategies, then Google’s action would not have been so devastating. As it is, they relied only on one marketing strategy; and when it fell through, they were literally starting back at square one. Had they used a multiple channel marketing plan, they would have lost a few positions in the search engines; but they wouldn’t have ended up at the bottom of the list.
At Webmaster For Hire, I always promote a multi-channel Internet marketing plan that is based upon the business, their target audience, and their service/product. If ever someone approaches you with a one-item, Internet marketing scheme, guaranteeing you radical results, don’t buy into it!
Marketing on the Internet truly isn’t much different in planning from a business marketing plan in the brick and mortar world. Would you use only one avenue of getting your name out to your customers? No, you would have multiple ways to let your customer base know of your existence. Even professional firms, who don’t advertise, have multiple methods of marketing — through the Yellow Pages, industry associations, networking, client referrals, and so on. Can you imagine a law firm using only the Yellow Pages and sitting there waiting for the telephone to ring? Or a travel agency with only a Yellow Pages ad? No, they use multiple marketing strategies.
It’s the same on the Internet. A truly successful web site uses search engine optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, InLink Marketing, customized email autoresponders, local Yahoo business listings and maps, and many other Internet marketing options appropriate for the business.
So, what does this mean for businesses on the web? It means:
1. You need to develop an Internet marketing plan with multiple strategies, using an Internet marketing professional to devise the best strategies for YOU. This is important, even if you carry out the marketing yourself.
2. After the first six months1, you need to periodically review the marketing results. If you are using a professional to implement the strategies, a quarterly report or meeting to discuss the results are appropriate.
3. Each year, you and the professional need to review the plan and your return on your investment (ROI) to date. You may need to modify a strategy, delete one or add a new one. Remember, just like your “real world” marketing, your Internet marketing plan must keep up with your business, as well as the ever-changing Internet environment.
1It takes at least six months of marketing to begin to see results.
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