102 Things I’ve Learned About Internet Marketing 19

102 Things I’ve Learned About Internet Marketing

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Internet Marketing is an extremely new industry.

Heck, Google is just 14 years old. So what does that mean about me and my two years working in this industry? It doesn’t make me ancient, but it sure doesn’t make me newbie either. Two years is a long time in SEO when you take into consideration the rapid changes, algorithm updates and the evolution of social media. The learning curve also isn’t so steep when you have a dozen of go-to blogs you read on a daily basis, surround yourself with SEO experts and attend Search Marketing and Social Media events with guest speakers like, Danny Sullivan, Rand Fishskin, Duane Forrester and Peter Shankman. With so much information out there, you would be foolish not to take advantage of it as a marketer.

I’ve taken advantage of all of the free information out there and in an attempt to solidify what I’ve learned I started writing. And didn’t stop until I got to 102:

Search Engine Optimization

1. SEO isn’t dead; it’s evolving.
2. The lines between PR, SEO and social media are becoming blurred.
3. SEO is a culmination of online marketing strategies that lets the search engines know you’re relevant, informative and worthy of being ranked.
4. Google wants to rank brands; not websites.
5. It’s not about how pretty your website looks; it’s about how well your website converts visitors to paying customers.
6. Everything on your website that doesn’t contribute to your primary objective should be eliminated.
7. Never stop A/B testing elements on your website. Doing your own A/B tests will give you data on what compels people to click and convert on your site.
8. Don’t count out Bing. With Bing’s social search they might close in even more on Google’s market share.
9. You should be tracking all of your online marketing campaigns through tracking URLs. (We can help you with this, by the way). The great thing about internet marketing is that everything is trackable.
10. Don’t get mad at Google. It’s easy to forget that they’re facilitating an immense amount of free traffic to websites every year. And the better they get at filtering out webspam, the more relevant legitimate sites like yours appear.
11. Even though Google doesn’t look at page descriptions as a ranking factor; your page description is still important because it’s what compels users to CLICK on your search listings!
12. Title tags, or the clickable links that show up on search results, are also really important. Limit them to 70 characters so the whole title will appear without getting cut off in Google or Twitter.
13. Optimize all of your photos! This is one simple thing that most people don’t do. When you upload a photo fill out the “alternative text” and “title” with a brief description of the photo and a call-to-action that will appear when users mouse over the image. Naturally, your description should include keywords.
14. Every single page on your website, and key content elements on those pages, should be shareable on the “Big 5”: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+.

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15. Besides the Big 5, keep an eye out for Tumblr and Instagram. Depending on your industry, these niche sites could be where you put the most of effort and time to reach a relevant audience.
16. The 6 major “investment” areas for SEO are: crawlability, site structure, on-page optimization, content development, links and social media. – Duane Forrester at Salt Lake’s Search Marketing Event.
17. Content isn’t everything; there’s still a lot more to SEO that simply involves technically optimizing your site and existing assets).

Social Media

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18. Engagement is the most important measure to track when it comes to social media. By keeping your followers engaged, they’ll know exactly where to go when the need arises.
19. You can’t control what goes “viral.” There’s no formula for making content spread virally. All you can do is know your audience and try your best to engage them.
20. It’s not about the amount of followers you have; it’s about how relevant your followers are.
21. “Everything you post, say, tweet or share on social media increases or decreases the credibility of your personal brand.” –Peter Shankman at Salt Lake’s Social Media Club event.
22. Sharing happiness is always good self promotion.
23. Being helpful is the most important thing on social media. This applies to both your personal or business account.
24. Social media rule of thumb: Listen before you speak. Don’t smother people. Earn some street cred before you engage in the conversation.
25. Don’t underestimate the power of your employees. They are the secret to creating great content and spreading that content socially to the right audience.
26. Social signals do affect your SEO campaign directly. They’re a sign of “topical authority” according to Bing.
27. Social signals remain only a few of the thousands of signals that Bing uses to rank websites. But they’re becoming more important every day and are here to stay.
28. At SEO.com we’ve never bought followers, shares, tweets, etc. Buying followers might give you a quick win, but it’s not a long term strategy. If you think Facebook and Twitter can’t determine unnatural social patterns, you’re wrong.
29. Social media’s indirect impact on rankings are more important than their direct impact. When you have people sharing your content, your brand is in front of new people. Plus, you’ll gain more qualified traffic to your website, repeat visitors and leads/sales.

Images

30. Don’t underestimate the power of images to drive traffic and sales. (How’s it going Instagram and Pinterest?)
31. Besides just Pinterest and Instagram, you also need awesome, engaging images for Google+ and Facebook.
32. Images are the hook to your content; the first think people see on a page. Put some effort into them, and make them good.

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33. Don’t forget about images on your product pages and blog posts. Visual cues help the reader digest written content and stay on the page longer.
34. If you’re an eCommerce website, consider placing a “pin it” button on every single one of your products for Pinterest. It’s done wonders for Sephora.
35. Place this link in your browser and replace “YourWebsite” with your website to see which of your images are on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/source/YourWebsite (or your competitors…)
36. Pinterest just rolled out Analytics for their site, in preparation to monetize. First you need to verify your business account. Switch to the new look. Click on the Anlaytics tab and viola!
37. Pinterest boards rank in Google, not individual pins. Make your boards as specific as possible and add as much content that relates to that topic as you can.
38. Pinterest and Instagram contests are great, but make sure your end goal is relevant followers; not just “new” followers.

Google+

39. Google+ is a great way to build your authority within your interests and expertise.
40. Google+ is a better way to engage with influencers in your industry than Facebook or Twitter. Adding a person you’ve never met on Facebook is creepy; circling them on G+ is not. Unlike Twitter you have more than 140 characters to get their attention.
41. Google+ Communities are a great place to promote your work and grow your online network. (Take a look at our booming G+ Community).
42. The fact that Google hasn’t given up on Google+ means that you shouldn’t give up either.
43. Google Authorship is important, if you care about Google.
44. It’s important to build your Author RankGoogle is placing more emphasis on domain and page authority and the Google Authorship markup will help establish trust within your industry (and with Google). 
45. As YouTube, Google+ and Hangouts become more integrated, don’t be surprised if Google+ capitalizes on YouTube’s user base for Google+’s benefit.

Facebook

46. Affinity, Interaction and Timeliness are the three scores that affect your Facebook EdgeRank score. Not every single one of you posts (from your personal or business account) will reach all of your followers or friends.
47. If Facebook is an outlet where you want to reach all of your fans, you’re going to have to cough up some cash and pay to promote posts. Facebook is a business and needs to make money too.
48. Remember how quickly Facebook changed their site in the early years? Change is going to be constant. Facebook’s “Knowledge Graph” is in its early stages, expect quick and rapid updates that will make the search feature more useful. Also don’t expect Facebook to stop changing their Timeline layout.
49. Facebook Knowledge Graph is currently not all that helpful for all industries because we don’t “like” everything on Facebook that we like in real life.
50. The companies that can benefit from Knowledge Graph are in the entertainment, movies, TV, music, restaurant, travel, hotel and activities industries.
51. Just like you can optimize your website for Google, you can optimize your Facebook page for the Knowledge Graph.
52. Sometimes people just want a good laugh, especially on Facebook. Instead of trying to sell them something, try to get them to laugh. The end result will be the same: engaging your audience with your brand.
53. Pay close attention to what fans respond to. Duplicate and amplify your activity across those same lines.

Twitter

54. Tweet- Deck is the most effective way to use Twitter. It lets you organize your followers into lists. For example, at SEO.com we have lists for “competitors,” “influencers” and “engages with us.” For my personal twitter I have lists for “marketing,” “action sports” and “music.”
55. All social media platforms are an extension of your customer service department. This is true especially for Twitter because of its instantaneous nature.
56. It’s okay to post links to your blog a few times a day on Twitter. Understand that not all of your followers are paying attention to Twitter (or you) 24/7.
57. Mix up the title of your tweets that link to blog posts. “5 Ways to Beat EdgeRank,” might not compel someone to click, but “The Best Content to Create for Facebook” might. As a rule of thumb, create at least 5 different tweets for the same blog post.

Content

58. Your content will matter more 6 months from now; not less. Content is becoming the center of gravity for online marketing.
59. If you ever get writer’s block, check your keyword research; you might be targeting a topic nobody wants to search or read about, which means you’re talking to an empty room.
60. Create cool content that people want to share instead of “great” content that just fills up your site and social feeds. Utah based, Zagg is a good example of how to do just that.
61. You don’t need access to the journalist anymore: You are the journalist. Create great content and establish yourself as an authority.
62. By creating great content and establishing yourself as an authority, you’ll build an army of people (your audience) who will spread your content for free.
63. Timely blog posts around the holidays are effective. Who wouldn’t want to share a blog post about how SEOs say I love you on Valentine’s Day?
64. How Tos, Top 5/10/etc., Tips, Reviews, Definitive Guides and Top 102 lists (You’re already at 64!) are good ways to format blog content that’s scannable.
65. Create clickable titles for the user, not for Google. Google is smart enough to understand how the content inside your blog post relates to your title.

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66. Bloggers should take note, and act a little bit more like Kanye West.
67. Context (noun): The parts of a written or spoken statement that follow a specific work or passage, usually influencing its meaning or effect. Context is everything in internet marketing.
68. Check your Google Analytics and see which of your blog posts perform well. There might be opportunity to update and re-publish them. (Like we did with 71 Chrome Extensions for Blogging & SEO).
69. Slideshare is a great way to breathe new life into your best content by repurposing it in another format.
70. Google can crawl Slide shares for links, which is why they can be a powerful part of your content/ link-building strategy.
71. We live in a digital world where a lot of information is re-packaged but in a different way. If you’re repurposing ideas, you better make them your own.
72. When commenting on blog posts, G+ Communities, etc. actually adding to the conversation goes a lot farther than a simple, “good post.”
73. Search engines REALLY DO respond to unique, useful content.

Link- Building

74. Links that are the hardest to obtain directly will normally benefit you the most. High-value publications place hurdles to filter out low-quality tactics.
75. Exact-match anchor text isn’t dead but it’s on a feeding tubeGoogle is smart enough to understand what a link is about without using the exact phrase you want to rank within the link, and it may hurt your rankings if you keep hammering the same phrase over and over.
76. Build links through already existing marketing strategies.
77. Google Instant’s auto-complete feature is great for keyword research.

Quora

78. Quora is an underrated social platform.
79. Quora is great for establishing your authority in a particular niche and answering questions that prospects might have which could lead to a backlink to your website.
80. Quora is also a great place to find content ideas. Look at the questions that people outside of your industry are asking. Pay attention to the language they use. Something that’s obvious to you, might not be so obvious to prospect. That’s why you’re the expert.
81. Quora shows up on Bing results as a part of their social side-bar which gives you a huge opportunity to rank on the first page of Bing for particular search queries.
82. Quora even pulls weight with Google. Unlike Bing, Google simply grabs from Quora what they feel is the single best answer, based on their algorithm for any questions you may ask.
83. If you’re providing topic-relevant, keyword-rich questions people are asking on Quora, there’s a good chance you will show up in Bing and Google results, especially for long-tail keyword phrases.

Inbound Marketing Execution

84. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.
85. Use the language that your customers are using so you don’t lose prospects with jargon; especially in the SEO industry. No one wants to hear you geek out about “meta” keywords and canonical tags.
86. We’re in the middle of a massive culture shift. Don’t get emotionally attached to tactics or platforms.
87. The ability to write, a once overlooked skill, is now one of the most important things a market can develop.
88. Authenticity will always win in the long run; it trumps everything else you do.
89. Don’t abuse sites like PRWeb.com for press releases unless you actually have something to announce. It’s only a matter of time before using press-release services as a link-building tactic will back fire.
90. The same goes for infographics. Use them for social media, not as a link-building tactic, if you want to fool-proof your strategy.
91. Help A Reporter Out (HARO), is worth signing up for. It’s free, and if you keep up on it, you’ll find opportunities to be interviewed by a reporter about a query you reply to which could be featured in an editorial story.

Mobile & Local SEO

92. People of the world are doing two things: they are becoming more social and more reliant on their smartphones. Don’t ignore the mobile space.
93. One key to ranking well locally is to have your business address citation (also known as the NAP- name, address, phone number) added to your website and have this citation appear with the same unique information on multiple sites across the web.
94. Another key to local SEO is receiving high- quality reviews from customers on sites like Yelp, City Search, Google+ Local and Angie’s list.
95. Google+ Local is also a big key to the local SEO game and showing up on mobile results for users in your geographic area.
96. Mobile user intent is very different than desktop user intent. How are people using their mobile device to search for your product? Think backwards, from search to site, when crafting mobile SEO and PPC campaigns.
97. Google OWNS mobile search. Look at what happened when Apple released Apple Maps.
98. Mobile ads are just getting started. Expect to be dished ads based on your location even more in the future.
99. Mobile SEO should no longer be an afterthought. By 2015, 2 billion people worldwide are expected to own smartphones and Mobile local search is predicted to surpass local desktop search by 2015.
100. A responsive website design is not always the best for mobile. It depends on the purpose of your website.
101. Things don’t happen overnight. There’s no quick and easy way to gain a following on Twitter or rank #1 in Google. Internet marketing is a marathon; not a sprint.

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102. Companies like SEO.com exist because Internet Marketing is a big mountain for your company to climb on its own. With support from an agency, you’ll have the ability to reach new heights.

What are some quick tips you’ve learned about Internet Marketing that you would add to the list? Leave me a comment and let me know if you would like me to go into further detail.

Comments

  1. Brenda Eyring

    Terrific post, thanks! Your knowledge and experience shines through.

    Posted on March 19, 2013
  2. Mary Grace Viado

    I’m totally speechless with your post, Rebecca. I just can’t imagine how great a marketer you are given you have 2 years experience. To be able to come up with 101 list of insights for internet marketing with just 2 years experience, that’s just simply genius! Looking forward to reading more posts from you.

    Posted on March 20, 2013
    • Rebecca Babicz

      Thanks Mary! That’s really nice of you to say. I appreciate it!

      March 20, 2013
  3. Manoj

    WOW! Thanks for sharing such a helpful and great tips. All points are necessary to achieve great and long lasting results in SEO.

    Posted on March 20, 2013
    • Branka Babic

      This is extraordinary stuff, thanks for sharing.

      March 20, 2013
  4. Michael Lysiak

    I appreciate your 102 tips and I learned from them myself. I do have a question about why you think SEO, PR, and social media are becoming blurred?
    Thanks, Rebecca.

    Posted on March 21, 2013
    • Rebecca Babicz

      Thanks for the comment Michael! To answer your question the lines between SEO, PR and social media are becoming blurred for a few reasons. One online PR strategy to get publicity from a news organization, magazine or high quality blog site. This is also a lot of what we do as SEOs to acquire links and brand awareness for clients. Social media has become a tool that businesses can use to monitor their brand reputation, which could also be considered a PR tactic. Social media can also assist with SEO and is a great tool to bring visitors to your site. It’s best to take an integrated approach to internet marketing and understand how PR, SEO and social media can work together instead of being 3 separate things. I hope this answers your question!

      March 21, 2013
  5. Alexander Abramov

    Excellent visualization of the information! Short and useful. Thank you!

    Posted on March 25, 2013
  6. Abdo

    Excellent post, sometimes readers just want easy information and you’ve done it.. Nicke work =)

    Posted on March 26, 2013
  7. Haylee Cruz

    Amazing post..
    Quite informative too, I didn’t know about “Quora”. All the points are so helpful thank you so much “Rebacca” for sharing this. I will definitely implement this suggestion in my projects.

    Posted on March 30, 2013
  8. Jenny James

    What things i have learned as an Internet Marketer is how to engage with people and how to bring the best out for the website assigned to me in terms of Traffic…

    Posted on March 31, 2013
  9. Sam Snader

    Thanks rebecca for giving a valuable information.it is useful to all.

    Posted on April 5, 2013
  10. Harold Compton

    Rebecca,
    Great post and a handly list to keep handy and review from time to time. I agree with your comment about the lines becoming blurred. I would think it would all lump into a title of Internet Marketing. Everything we do in the social, SEO and SEM lines all are geared toward one thing; bringing in more customers for whatever our product or service is and that is marketing.

    Posted on April 6, 2013
  11. Kaylee Kurbanali

    very good post. really important for internet marketing. It can be a guide for both professional and newer.

    Posted on April 7, 2013
  12. Sean Holland

    Indeed a very good post, the author has included all the points in website marketing. It is good for newbies and experienced SEO marketers. :)

    Posted on April 8, 2013
  13. Adam

    This is a superb post.
    I wondered how many years it will take to really learn and post this.

    Social media is catching up and great content is always the way to rank well for the future.
    Google+ and Facebook is a great way to catch some traffic.

    Citation local address must be constant everywhere on the web.
    Try to get good review from existing customers and soon you will see your ranking going up.

    Posted on April 27, 2013
  14. Cheyenne

    Thank you for the post! You hit it right on the head, internet marketing is a quickly changing world. There are a lot of things that go into an effective internet marketing campaign. SEO, PPC, social media optimization, content development, web design, etc. All of these things change to rapidly, that it’s difficult for companies to stay on top of it while staying on top of their markets and companies as a whole. Thanks again!

    Posted on May 13, 2013
  15. Julie Johnson

    {#5: It’s not about how pretty your website looks; it’s about how well your website converts visitors to paying customers.}

    I am agree with you… but sometimes user spends more time on such good looking site. When someone lands on your website they already know what they are there for. It’s up to you to address this. The landing page should tell them everything you do with no scrolling! However, you should also not scare them away with an ugly, horrible, atrocious design. If your website is all about selling a product or multiple products, then your purpose is to make your visitors want to buy that product. Converting your traffic into sales is the most difficult piece of building your website and, in turn, its design.

    Posted on November 8, 2013

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