The Parts of This Book
This book is divided into ten sections. Here is a brief summary of each one:
- Getting Your Website Right. This part comes first because a website plays an important role in almost any Internet marketing strategy. Your website is your own piece of virtual real estate that you can customize to be useful for you and your customers. It is the “tip of the spear” to which other marketing efforts play a supporting role. This part explains the importance of your website, the qualities that make a website effective, how to gather the elements you will need, and systems that allow you to create and manage your own website.
- Early Stage – Must Dos. Once you have a website for your business, there are a few things that are important to do right away. These things are important because they don’t require a large investment of time, yet they are very beneficial. It is best to get the ball rolling on at least some of these things as soon as possible. Topics covered include Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, registering your business to show up in local search engine listings (if your business is a local one), building citations to help your ranking, blogging and mobile websites.
- AdWords/Pay-Per-Click. In this author’s opinion, pay-per-click advertising is the best way to start growing your business immediately. It is a very exciting method with enormous potential for many types of businesses. Its biggest problem, however, is its steep learning curve. Learning to use pay-per-click (PPC) platforms without wasting a lot of money is time consuming. However, whether you want to dive in and try it yourself or find a consultant to help you, this part of the book will give you an overview of the things you need to know. Most of what’s covered in this part applies to various PPC platforms, but since Google AdWords is the biggest PPC platform, that is the main topic of this section.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO). As long as there have been search engines to point us to the information we are seeking, there have been people trying to understand how to make their web pages appear higher in search engine results. Although the actual formulas (called algorithms) are kept secret, there is a great deal of common knowledge. Some has come from researchers who study the search engines, and some has come from the search engine companies themselves. After all, the search engines want you to succeed legitimately. They don’t want you to learn how you might be able to cheat or manipulate their system. This section is meant to inform you of the measures you can take to help your web pages rank higher in natural/organic search results.
- The Social Web for Business. Everybody’s doing it, or so it seems. “Like us on Facebook!” “Follow us on Twitter!” These and similar phrases are all around us these days. Is this some kind of weird mania or is it a genuine staple of how marketing should be done today? This section aims to answer that question and many others. It covers the most important aspects of the most prominent social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.
- YouTube, Email Marketing, Podcasting, & Craigslist. This part covers several big methods that businesses use to stay visible. It’s hard to overestimate just how powerful these methods are. YouTube is a free and easy-to-use platform that can have multiple and prodigious benefits for your business. Email marketing is perhaps the best way to stay in the minds of your current customers. It is also fairly easy to do and can be free. Podcasting is an amazingly powerful method for establishing yourself as a knowledgeable authority on a subject. It can be utilized for great marketing benefits. Craigslist is one of the world’s most popular websites with over fifty billion page views per month. Using it effectively can be a boon to your business.
- Ten Amazing Tools & Timesavers. As I mentioned in the introduction, Internet marketing is a very big pool in which to swim. It can feel a lot like an ocean. How can you manage to keep your business alive, competitive, and moving forward in the coming years? The answer is: 1. by choosing clear priorities and 2. by using great tools. In this section, I describe some of the best tools for getting your work done efficiently. Software development has come a long way in recent years, and sometimes you need to upgrade to better programs. They help you save time, and that is one of the most important aspects of being successful in business.
- Ten Timeless Marketing Principles. Times change, technology changes, but some things never do. Having a great website, social web marketing system, YouTube channel, AdWords campaign, blog, podcast and email marketing system is mostly a waste without knowing the principles outlined in this section. In the end, it is people who will become your customers. Sure, there are a lot of robots out there vacuuming carpet and performing automatic car washes, but they haven’t become actual consumers yet. The more you understand people and how they make their purchasing decisions, the more effective you can make all of your marketing efforts.
- Ten Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know. We live in a big, interconnected world containing approximately seven billion people. Free markets abound, full of amazing products and services—many of which didn’t exist a few years ago. Succeeding as an entrepreneur is not easy. It takes focus, persistence and strategic thinking. This section outlines ten principles that all entrepreneurs should understand and keep in the front of their minds as they make decisions and progress toward their goals. Adopting any one of these principles as part of your operational and strategic method could make the difference to bring your dreams of great success to fruition.
- Putting Your Plan into Action – Realistically. The first nine parts of this book are intended to give you the information you need to understand the methods, tools, and principles that can help you succeed in Internet marketing. This last part brings it all together to help you prioritize and make decisions about how to proceed. We all have limited resources. No business has unlimited time and money for marketing. Considering your options carefully, prioritizing your methods wisely, and executing your plan relentlessly is the way for you to move forward. This section will help start you on your way.
Occasionally, I include sidebar items called Side-note facts, Reality checks or Warnings. Side-note facts are little bits of information I wanted to include, but not in the main text. Reality checks are for subjects where there might be a large investment of time involved, and you should think carefully before committing your efforts in that direction. Warnings, of course, point out costly mistakes you will want to avoid.