The Core Internet Marketing Fundamentals: SEO, PPC, and an Effective Website
Internet marketing in general is a complicated topic. There is an unlimited number of ways products and services are promoted via the internet. But as with most disciplines, there are the fundamentals. And the fundamentals provide a foundation to build on.
What Are the Core Fundamentals of Internet Marketing?
It can be broken down into the following areas:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Pay Per Click (Pay Per Click)
- A Website that can sell
- Website Analytics
Let's understand what the above are, then look at how they can work together.
Search Engine Marketing
Search Engine Marketing refers to promoting your website via search engines like Google. The term includes both Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC). Let me explain.
When you type in a phrase to search via Google, Yahoo, Bing, or any other search engine, you are presented with 2 types of results. There are results that are not paid for, and ads that are paid for. The non-paid results are know as "organic" search results. These are generally found straight down the page, while paid ads appear near the top, or along the right side of the page.
Let's now talk more about both SEO and PPC, and how they are used in Internet Marketing.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, refer to techniques used in website construction along with various off-site factors, that help pages of your website rise higher in the list of search results. For example, suppose you have a website for a luxury hotel located near Times Square in New York. If you type into Google "luxury hotel times square", it would be to your advantage if your website is seen in the first few listings on the page of search results. This would provide your website with a good number of "free" visits every day.
Not matter what anybody may tell you, getting your website to appear on the first page of a search phrase that a lot of people type in is not an easy matter. However, achieving good viability for other similar search phrases may be easier.
In any case, it will take time for your website to become more visible, yet the payoff can be substantial. Knowing how to optimize a website so that it rises up for a good number of search phrase, is what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
Pay Per Click refers to paid ads that appear along with the "organic" results of a search. When one of these ads is clicked on, the advertiser is charged, and the person clicking on the ad arrives as a visitor to his website. Thus the term Pay Per Click. The cost of the click is bid on by all advertisers looking to place their ad at the same time on that page. The cost a particular advertiser pays depends on what he bid. It also may depend on the relevancy of the text of his ad, and the pages on his actual website.
Pay Per Click advertising is a remarkable advertising media and can be incredibly effective. Unlike SEO, a PPC campaign can be launched quickly and possibly provide results immediately. But, don't let anybody tell you that PPC is easy, and will produce sales or leads right away. An experienced PPC marketer might be able to achieve this, but often it's not so simple. PPC involves working with hundreds, if not thousands, of keyword phrases, various bidding mechanisms, and proper tracking in order to have consistent results that fit your budget and acceptable Return On Investment (ROI).
For more detail on SEO vs PPC see our article: "Free SEO Traffic vs Pay Per Click (PPC)".
Website Effectiveness and Websites that can Sell
No matter where your internet traffic comes from, just because there are a lot of visits to your website, it doesn't mean you will have a lot of sales or leads. And to make things even more challenging, both SEO and PPC are very much intertwined with how your website is built, what it talks about and how it is said. A website's effectiveness is a crucial element of Internet Marketing.
In PPC marketing, the keyword phase that is used to search, the ad itself, and the copy on the landing page, all need to work together. The landing page must get the attention of a visitor instantly, and then hold interest long enough for that visitor to determine if what you are selling may be what he is looking for. The headline on the page, the ease by which a person can scan the page, a clear presentation of benefits, and a compelling call to action, are all parts of the puzzle in putting together a website that can sell, that makes use of PPC. And as you are paying for visitors via PPC, assuring the effectiveness of the landing page will directly relate to the average cost of a lead or sale.
For SEO marketing, similar principles apply, but its implementation is quite different. For SEO, there are no ads. Instead, your ad is what is displayed in the headline and description that is displayed in the Organic search results. This is what gets a searcher to click on your website page. Since good SEO involves the use of multiple website pages, the website page he lands on may not be the page that really makes a strong sell. But it must offer the information he is looking for and be structured such that visitors that do have a genuine interest in what you have to sell, can easily navigate your website.
For Internet Marketing, there is no reason why you can't accurately know where visitors to your website come form, where they are located, how long they stay, and what they do. And, there is no reason why you can't have accurate parameters to decide what advertising is more effective.
But it doesn't end there. Proper visitor tracking, and knowledge about their behavior, allows Internet Marketing campaigns, and a website's effectiveness to be tuned and optimized. The more data you collect over time, for your specific business and products, the more opportunity there is for improvement. In fact, insight into new related products or services, or changes to existing sales techniques could result from careful analysis of your data, that is, what your visitors are actually typing to find your web-site.
As a business owner, you know this is a critical part of a profitable business.
For more information about Website Analytics see our article: "Analytics: Who Visits My Website and What Do They Do?".