There are a lot of things to know about search engine optimization, internet marketing, online reputation management and so many other buzz words which are related to internet technologies and tools. The lack of understanding of these technologies and strategies have given rise to a new and distinct field in marketing. It has also created that most hallowed internet personalities, the internet marketing guru and the SEO master.
I say bollocks to those terms. The reason I say that is because for the most part, the only thing these people will agree on is how to gauge if something works. The important questions are “Did the rankings rise?” or “Was there an increase in sales with the larger online visibility?” If the answer is “yes” then whatever strategy they implemented works, if not, then it didn’t. The problem is that given a room full of gurus and masters, there would be two rooms full of contradicting ideas.
If you attend a seminar by a guru, what you most probably will get would be two days of introduction to ideas and techniques. If you map out those ideas, you would end up with a whole new section of people to do the work. You’re a one man entrepreneur working out of your home and you need that many people to promote your brand. Crazy, right?
In truth, there is no single correct answer. There is no single strategy which will work for all situations. At the end of the day, you have to understand what you want to happen, and also understand the theories, terminologies and strategies, but you do not need to use them all. I prefer one strategy, but if the client wants some other approach, and I see there’s no harm in it, it’s okay by me. I know it will work, sooner or later.
To begin with, all these terminologies are not the same thing. Neither are they exclusive of one another. When someone says that SEO no longer works, and that PPC works better, that guy is an idiot who doesn’t know that PPC is an SEO method. I don’t want to go there, that is an advanced topic. Very debatable.
Internet marketing is simply marketing using ideas, concepts and tools which work online. It means no billboards. It means that online ads are used differently from TV ads. The videos may be the same as TV ads, but these are used differently.
SEO is a goal. It is also a set of guidelines. It is also what a strategy is called. It is also the platform or environment. It starts with the rules search engines use to come up with their search results, going up to tricks and hacks, and simple things employed by practitioners to rank on those search engines.
Online reputation management (ORM) uses SEO techniques to manage reputations on the web. It could be organic and natural as if you were chronicling your life. It could be paid, like buying all the adwords for a particular keyword on Google.
Social media are web sites where various electronic media are shared. Social networking sites are where people get connected to other people. Depending on the social media site, these people may or may not know each other beforehand. They just need to connect and network, that’s why they are on the social networking website. If the primary reason of a website is to share a particular type of media (drawings, paintings, short stories, songs, speeches, music, pictures) to the public, then most probably that’s a social media site. If the site mostly is about allowing people interacting with other people, like sharing, commenting, chatting, online real-time videos, etc, then it most probably is a social networking site.
Web 2.0 is like the old Web (beta) just more interactive, and more responsive to the users.
So the first question is what do you want to promote? The follow up question is where do you want this to happen and what kind of people do you want this to happen with?
You want to promote a soap? What kind of soap? What kind of people do you want to reach? Where do you want to reach them? Rather, how do you want them to reach you?
Hold that thought, and think about it.