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Internet Marketing – Let’s Get Started…

When you hear the words “Internet Marketing” it sounds so quick and easy, until you begin.  Then you begin.  If you are like most people you say, I’ll just go out and do marketing of my web site and bring in the visitors to my site.  Then you open a web browser and stare at the screen.  What to do and where to begin, so you start searching on the words in a search engine.  Now this ‘quick and easy’ word phrase will quickly become the most overwhelming elephant that you’ve never met.

So many areas, so many different advice offerings and so many sites giving nibblets of information to only entice you to pay for their services.  Even if you decide to pay for the services of a consultant, who do you choose and how do you know who much to pay?  Prices for one single strategy will range from so little you the question, “is it really that cheap,” and others so high that you wonder if you have to take a loan out for it.  Well, let’s start giving you some real advice on both arenas – Internet Marketing and Outsourcing.hands-typing

I’m going to start posting online marketing strategies and giving you tips on hiring consultants on a regular basis.  Not nibblets to then force you to hire me, but rather the same advice I give to my clients and countless prospects how to call me daily.  Why would I do this? Quite frankly it’s because I always do this.  I learned many years ago it’s is better to educate your clients and prospects to give away your knowledge than to horde it all to myself.  I can empower my clients to know how to make the right decisions for their businesses and how to weed through all the ‘guaranteed results for $19.99’ deals that they inevitably receive in their email boxes.  Additionally, prospects that may not choose my services now, more-than-not always refer my business to those they know after they get over the shock that I gave them the plain facts to guide them without hesitation.

Now, earlier I mentioned that you will quickly find that the phrase “Internet Marketing” can become an overwhelming elephant.  Well if you know that the old adage is to eat an elephant “one bite at a time”, then you have to know that you attack this elephant the precise way…except a bite becomes a ‘strategy’.  And, of course, you know that doing something will be 100% more effect than staring at the screen and doing nothing.

So let’s begin with the first strategy that every industry EXCEPT my own should do to begin… (exception explained later)

The first bite of your elephant will be to discover what’s already being done. Basically what I mean is know who your competitors are, what they’re website addresses are and go find where they’ve already marketed themselves.  They’ve already done a lot of the legwork for you.  Don’t invent the wheel from scratch find one that’s rolling already.
This is the first thing I do for my clients.  We create a “Competitive Analysis” report for them by researching what their competitors have already done.  I tell them the purpose is to ‘meet the competition, then to beat them’.

Here’s how you accomplish this strategy:

1. Go to http://www.yahoo.com (Google can do this but Yahoo! still rocks for this trick above Google)

2. In the search box area, type in link:http://www.webmasterforhire.us and then click the search button.  (of course, you know to replace my business web site address with the address of your competition, right? –smile-)

3. Once the results of a page that look considerably different than a regular search page comes up, I want you to find the words “Show Inlinks:” with a dropdown box next to it that has the default option of “From All Pages”

4. Click the arrow in the dropdown box and choose the “Except from this Domain” option (let go of the mouse for two seconds while the results change.

5. What you are seeing now is a list of web sites that have a link on them that point to your competitor’s web site.  Everywhere they have a link out pointing into them is traced right here.

6. Now how to use this information.  Click on each link (I recommend using the mouse ‘right’ click and then choose to either ‘open in new window’ or ‘open in new tab’ to not lose the results page) and visit the sites.  Find your competitor’s link on the site and find out how it is listed there.  Is it a link listing, a paid advertisement (will teach later how to choose paid opportunities), an article they wrote, etc….

7. Then work to get your link on the same site in the same way.  If it’s an article they wrote, you write a different article and submit it to the site.  Is it a free link directory, find out the instructions for adding your link.  If it’s paid advertisement, save the link in either an Excel spreadsheet or a Word Document for researching later.

***Now the exception.  This strategy is good for every industry EXCEPT my own.  Why? Well, 99.9% of us web developers (designers) add a link to the bottom of every site we create.  So we have that link back to our own clients’ sites.  This is why you will notice the majority of my links in the results will site my company has designed.

This strategy can keep you busy for anywhere from a month all the way up to 6 months, all depends on how busy your competition has been.  This is how you ‘meet’ the competition, or rather match them.  Afterward, you go for the ‘beat them’ part.

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Webmaster For Hire is a web design, development, and Internet marketing firm, serving local, national and international clientele.  Elizabeth Varian, President, assists small business owners by creating a professional, custom web presence. Her 14+ years of experience, personalized service, and her ability to explain difficult concepts in easy to understand terms to the most fearful client has enabled her to grow the firm’s national clientele recognition. Learn more about Elizabeth and Webmaster For Hire at: http://webmasterforhire.us/category/podcasts/
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AUTHOR - Elizabeth Varian

Elizabeth Varian has been working on the internet in some capacity since 1995. Working for such companies as a small chemical lab contractor to digital media sports mogul CBS SportsLine. When starting Webmaster For Hire, she wanted to focus on the personalized experience and customer services for clients. Though the internet has been around for decades now, it is still a mystical place for many business owners.