Web marketing, online marketing, internet marketing - it is known by many names, but what it amounts to is very easy to understand.
Web marketing describes all of your promotional and image improving efforts that take place online, whether they are standard SEO services or the newer hybrid services.
They may even be things which you don't think of as advertising, like making comments on Facebook or Twitter. If comments are helpful and there is not a lot of advertising, this is an excellent way to help build a community around your brand.
Social media can be made more efficient and powerful using some of the techniques which will be outlined below, but make no mistake - if you have a presence on social media as a company, you are marketing to your customers, even if you don't think of it like that.
People have been trying to figure out the best ways to use the internet for advertising and marketing since the first computer was hooked up to it, and for a long time the efforts were quite clumsy and mimicked the types of ads that were in paper publications.
It is not that these types of banner and display ads don't work, but they must be used intelligently by your web marketing management company.
Now, it is possible to make this type of ad effective, but it is just one of many techniques that have been developed over the last ten years. Not that long ago, you could achieve good results in the search engine rankings by simply stuffing a bunch of links and keywords onto a page.
Those techniques have now been discredited. Some bulk link techniques still provide value, such as social bookmarking, but there has been a gradual change in the way Google filters their results.
With the changes that took place since 2011 and 2012, the content and where your site is linked from are much more important than the number of links, especially the black hat techniques like keyword stuffing, blind directories, and the usage of link farms.
Here the basic planks that make up most of modern digital marketing:
Most SEO specialists are focused on one major goal - to increase your standings in the search results and to get your website as close to the top of the list as possible. It is important to be among the top 5 results, and to some degree the other digital marketing techniques outlined here also support that goal.
The standard services include link building, content optimization, and local optimization. These are good techniques for increasing a search engine ranking, but they must be maintained for long term effect.
Content Centered SEO
Content centered SEO serves two purposes; the first is the use of relevant links from high value sources, such as high rated article marketing websites, press releases and blogging, guest blogging and any other form of using creative writing to place yours article and a link back to your site on a relevant web site.
The second purpose of content platforms falls under more traditional marketing practices. It involves writing a high value, high quality article or press release that is distributed through article marketing sites, news sites or individually through placement on the company's own blog or through guest blogging efforts.
The idea here is to get the reader of the article or blog to follow the link back to the company's main website. Not only does the company gain the search engine advantages of the high value, relevant links, they also get direct access to their customer base.
Social Media SEO
Social media can be a powerful tool in a web marketing platform; ideally, all efforts - web site, blog, social media and article, guest blog and press release efforts will all have links attaching each other. For instance, in a blog post, the business would make sure that they had a link to their Facebook page and to their website, YouTube account or Twitter account (or other social media sites which are springing up).
Local Search is a subset of Web Marketing that deals directly with companies who do no business over the internet but are using it for purely localized marketing purposes. This type of search has gradually become more popular and necessary as there has been movement away from finding phone numbers through traditional sources, such as information and the Yellow Pages.
As more people use Google and other search engines and social media to find phones numbers and new businesses in their hyper-local area, this type of new marketing effort is growing to be more and more important for all local businesses.
Many of the same strategies are used in local business efforts, though they are slightly tailored (such as the strategic placement of city and state names within blog posts or written content).
Online Reputation Management
This is another growing technique, and also serves two purposes. Basically, what happens is that a set of keywords which describes your company is established, and then those keywords are checked on a regular basis, and the top twenty or fifty links are examined.
The first use of this type of activity is to monitor and counteract negative things which people or competitors are saying about your company.
The second purpose is to help build networks. If you are mentioned on a Facebook post, a response in a blog or some other type of chat thread this technique allows people within your company to respond with advice or to try to reach out and help solve a person's problem, or thank them for a kind word.
This type of monitoring can also allow you to discover things about your operation or web presence that can be altered to provide your customers with a better experience.
The use of video is growing quickly, and studies show that a mix of professionally and more 'home-made' style videos are very effective. These can be put on Facebook, YouTube, or embedded in your blog and on relevant pages of a web page.
Tutorials and demonstrations are among the most popular videos, and this area of online marketing is growing in value as more people have the ability to watch video over multiple smart devices.
Web or Internet Marketing has grown more refined, but by its nature it will continue going through changes. Content quality will continue to be the main driver for web marketing, but the web makes using these techniques more affordable and accessible than ever to business owners of all sizes.