What exactly is Internet marketing or search engine optimization and how could that possibly relate to a journey of self-discovery? What I can do is relate my journey into the world of SEO which began many years ago under the premise that I wanted my website on page 1 of Google. I had worked out that I would rule the world, make billions of dollars and retire overnight by simply relying on position one of Google page 1. All that would be required was to crack the Google algorithm and I figured there had to be a rulebook somewhere. Somewhere on the web someone would give me a step-by-step guide on how to build a website that would rank on page 1 of Google, that’s all she said… You will now make millions and millions of dollars, on deck-chair feet up, while the website generates money.
What a load of bull! If you’ve been in the industry for a while you’ll notice there’s a lot more to this. Don’t be fooled by all the people out there who send you all sorts of hocus-pocus tricks & snake-oil magic guaranteed page 1 rankings. When Google can’t guarantee a page 1 ranking position, how the hell are companies that don’t own the Google algorithm making these guarantees?
This is how search engine marketing, search engine optimization and Internet marketing is really a self-discovery journey for your business and as an entrepreneur; how you’re going to grow over time, how you will learn about your business, how you’re going to learn what people think you sell, what you sell and how to re-discover all of these perceptions.
People start a business with a view to becoming self-sufficient & financially liberated out of necessity. Bills must be paid and families fed. 80% of new ventures fail; mostly because they’ve never taken the time to figure out what it is they are really going to do and if there is a market.
What makes the situation even worse is that the people who want to start a business think it’s cool. It’s easy, we now own a company, we are rich or famous, and we can make lots of money… Before going down this road of starting the business and believing the Internet can make you rich and famous, consider what is required to make this a reality.
Are you prepared to work 24 hours a day 3 days in a row? Are you prepared to go without money 6 to 8 months at a time? Are you prepared to cover the rent if things go wrong? Are you prepared not to go out partying with your friends when you don’t have money to pay for gas?
If you’re not prepared to put in the sacrifices mentioned above, you’re probably going to be one of the 80% who have failed at starting their own business. There is work involved; a lot of hard work. There is sacrifice involved, a lot of sacrifice. As an Internet marketing company we come across many little companies who feel that they have the best mousetrap ever built and that they are going to be rich tomorrow with no startup capital, no marketing plan, no idea of what they’re doing and where not even basic keyword research on Google has been done to find out if people are actually searching for the best mousetrap ever built.
They have built the latest greatest ironing board cover and they create wonderful spreadsheets again and again and become millionaires overnight… spreadsheet millionaires. Oh so easy the great Excel incubator! The numbers are there and all of a sudden you’re rich! The challenge comes off course, when you need to transfer that idea and those Excel spreadsheets into the real world; where people don’t like you; people don’t take your calls; people direct you to voicemail; people don’t want to do business with you. So, you have to come up with a creative approach to find ways into people’s hearts, into people’s minds, into people’s businesses.
And generally it’s not that difficult. People like to do business with people. We want to meet with people; we want to see people face-to-face. We do not like talking to voicemail and yes it is hyper super efficient to do a video conference, but at the end of the day we’re still people. We like to talk to people and we like to work with people. This is why social networking has taken off as it has. But we hesitate in getting out there to meet people, so we compensate with technology to generate business, forgetting the basic rules of marketing, word of mouth, speaking the way others speak. Hang out where others hang out, understand what they want, offer them what they want and they will give you their money.
If you can figure out how to hangout where I hang out and you can be my friend and you can teach me something, then there’s a very, very good chance that I will give you my money.
The challenge today with Internet marketing is that the odds of meeting more people out there who you want to sell to, while competing with so many more people who also have a good idea, is not an easy task. You need to have a good idea which people understand, which people can relate to and then you need to express your good idea in a way which is clear to those people.
Language is critical to any online marketing campaign. There are things such as persuasive copywriting, sales copywriting, informative copywriting, all fancy terms for creating copyrighting that is going to be engaging, that you will enjoy reading like a good novel and will WANT to share with your friends. If you share this copywriting with your friends, it means that you like what you’ve read, that you’ve learned something and if you’ve learned something, the chances are you will trust the person who wrote it, especially if you’ve applied it personally.
Internet marketing or should we say search engine optimization, is a phrase probably coined back in 1994, before most people knew about the Internet bubble. Those responsible for coining the term, already understood that as long as there was going to be an Internet and as long as there was going to be search engines providing information free of charge, search engine optimization would be an ongoing necessity.
The continued existence of the Internet and search engines for the foreseeable future means that search marketing, search engine optimization and paid for advertising are all going to exist for the foreseeable future. This also means turning back the clock in effect, to the origins of marketing; words, plain old-fashioned words and language.
The study of journalism as a career is often considered questionable because journalists generally don’t make a lot of money, with only 5% in the top echelon earning good money, whereas the rest battle to make a living. But it’s a cool job, so we want to do it because we want to become war correspondents, so we go to school and we study language. I dare say the correct use of language for the Internet is going to be the future of Internet marketing.
In order to make the language work for you, you need to understand what questions you need to ask to get the correct answers. The question is ‘what is the question supposed to be?’ This is where a journey of self-discovery begins in the world of Internet marketing. This is what makes search engine optimization and Internet marketing such a thrilling living and working environment. You are being challenged at every turn to understand what the potential client is selling and how his clientele will ask for that service. You then need to postulate and find niches in the search engine world that have not been targeted by lazy people using a bit of software. Lazy people who say ‘that looks like a good keyword, let’s rank for that, let’s not do a bit more work and see where else our industry is relevant, let’s not find out what is in people’s minds’.
This may sound like a bit of a contradiction, but in actual fact you’re looking for a place where the competition is low and your relevance and importance are very high. This is pretty obvious but it is also a journey of discovery that you need to engage in, so as to discover where you are going to fit and into which little slot that no one else has thought about.
It’s almost like having to be punished back in the days of junior high when you were up to no good and having to write a 5000 word essay on the contents of a Ping-Pong ball. I’m sure many of you have heard of or been exposed to this gruesome punishment!
But if you think about it, there is a lot to write about the inside of a Ping-Pong ball and there is a lot of discovery and research. You write it in the hope it will be read. It probably won’t be. The same applies to Internet marketing & search engine optimization. You need to do the discovery and figure out what people are saying. Considering that 70% of search phrases used on any search engine have no exact match in a key-phrase, this is a huge opportunity for you to get a page 1 ranking for words that people are using if you consider that America alone has an online population of approximately 250,000,000 people. 70% of those people are using search phrases that have no exact match phrase, so why not have a page 1 ranking using a long tail keyword. If you add on to that the fact that the average search phrase is about 4 1/2 words long, then you should be able to rank easily.
If you also consider the fact that people are looking for information and Google is in the business of connecting people to people and people to information, how do we go about finding information? We ask questions. We use questions to learn and those questions are where we generally start when we go to Google. ‘What is Justin Bieber eating for supper tonight’, ‘how do I kiss a girl’, ‘how do I find a boyfriend’. If you write content, shoot a video and create imagery that is relevant to these questions, chances are you are going to get that traffic because nobody else is competing for that space.
Take the above into consideration and ask three key questions
Question one – are you famous?
Question two – what do you think you sell?
Question three – what does Joe public think you sell?
Take these three questions and the fact that people are using, on average, four and a half words in a search phrase and that over 70% of search phrases have no exact match to the indexed search phrase, you could be on a winning wicket.
What do we mean when we say you’re on a winning wicket? Well think about it in this fashion. If your competitors are not competing for the search phrases that you have identified for your industry, then you should be dominating that space.
With traditional sales and marketing, we used to go and knock on doors, visit people, talk to them and build relationships. Once we understood what they want we were then able to provide a far better service. Today we look at statistics and data. We forget that people are still people. People want a hug and crave being touched. This is why there are so many dating sites. If we didn’t want to touch, to meet people, to do business with people, then there would be no social media.
There would be no need to meet people or find a partner because technology would. Why would we need video? We could just use words, but we don’t because we need visual stimulation, we want to see, to smell, to engage. We all engage people. We need to understand that people want to engage with us, take a walk through the malls, look around, shop around and just talk to a store owner and engage with somebody.
If people want to engage with other people so badly, we need to use the tools that are out there to help them engage with you and your business. Tools such as search engine optimization and website design.
Internet marketing is a wonderful keyword but if you think about it, that’s exactly why there are tools to help you engage with other people. Google wants people to engage with people. Google has figured out that people want information, knowledge and that they want to learn, but Google cannot see, Google can only read code, so again, it stands to reason that words are the most powerful and effective way of getting your message across. That Google is simply going to index a website based on the words that are written has absolutely nothing to do with engaging the person who is looking at the website. This is where the pretty, pretty, the good-looking design kicks in. Google finds it and the video is viewed, the response is laughter perhaps; the person is engaging and happy. The displayed phone number is dialed and the excitement mounts. Someone will answer! Imagine the surprise and dismay when you speak to an answering service voicemail and are told to leave a message; someone will get back to you and does not.
You go to the trouble of reading all these articles teaching you about search engine optimization and Internet marketing, which you implement, but you don’t bother to answer the phone. That’s just stupid.