If you tie Internet marketing muscle to web-based gimmicks, when the next major search engine update occurs to revalue our websites, many web businesses can find their web promotion and publicity strategies in tatters.
Here's how to avoid or minimise the effects of search engine "slaps" once and for all:
01. Understand Exactly What Makes You Different From Everyone Else
Do you know who you are? I mean really know about yourself? Weird questions, I know. However, my key point: no-one else has your particular unique mix of skills and life experience. So develop the brand of you. Why so important: your distinction can form the most potent component that makes up your Unique Service Proposition (USP).
02. Establish, Clarify, Or Even Re-Define Your USP
Make sure that you really understand your USP precisely and that it forms a central role in all or most of your promotion efforts.
03. Invest In Training Relevant To Your Goals
Keep building on what you know and have already learned. Time spent training and learning new skills that you know you need is money well invested and is never wasted.
04. Seek Out, Acquire And Train Yourself To Use The Best Tools You Can Afford To Help You Meet Your Targets
Only with the right tools and skillsets can you perfect your creations. Tools can come in a variety of forms, including software and skills.
In the same way that a master carpenter can create wonderful expressions in wood, you too need the right tools to achieve your objectives. Ensure that you invest enough time to learn how to use your toolset to best advantage.
05. Appreciate That Your Core Goal Is Not To Serve Everyone, Rather To Focus Help On Your Niche Group
No-one can help everyone. Moreover, everyone has different interests. Though there are groups of interests. Your goal here is to concentrate efforts on your chosen group(s).
As the saying goes, if we try to chase two rabbits, both will escape. So for any single web promotion campaign, choose and define one narrow audience niche, one at a time and focus your efforts on serving people within your niche.
06. Create Contrast. Variety Is The Spice Of Life
Serving a niche audience does not mean limiting your options. Certainly explore, provide and perfect a variety of ways to create the kinds of products and services that your niche audience wants.
How: ask your best customers what else you can do for them. Why: they may identify a lucrative "seam" that you have missed. Customers also appreciate being asked their opinion. Only a few may reply directly but most will remember the feeling of being asked.
07. Re-Evaluate Your Limits As Your Organization Grows
When you start off, you'll have specific goals. Yet as your Web business grows, consider expanding on what you think is possible. You may find that what you thought was a hill is actually a mountain and that much to your surprise, you've got the fire and mindset of an alpine climber.
08. Aim To Control As Much Of Your Web Promotion World As You Can
How: focus most of your web promotion energies on those aspects in which you have most control. If possible, from the outset, invest in a search engine optimized web design, so that you can then forget about that aspect and focus on marketing your business.
Remember, you can also buy your way to the top positions using Google AdWords and Yahoo keywords. However, whether those methods are profitable is a question you'll most likely want to answer sooner rather than later. How: run some test ads to determine how many result in actual sales.
09. Strive To Be The Best That You Can Be
Offer the best solution for your niche. You don't have to be the first, in fact, sometimes, fourth or fifth, or later, is best.
Why: trail-breakers and forerunners are at the sharp end, risking much yet they are the ones that beat a proven path.
Rather, determine how to be the best in your field. Seek out ways to profitably serve your niche group better than anyone else.
At first, you may think you've failed. But persist and you'll improve. Keep going and you can win the day.
10. Make Sure You And Your Website Can Be Found By Your Target Customers
Your website Home page and other public pages must be accessible, usable and available to the main Internet search engines and web directories, especially including: Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Check your positions regularly. Observe the rules that search engines and Web directories provide.
Don't play games with search engines or take risks with your search engine promotions that can affect your main website domain name.
Why: break search engine rules and your domain name can get delisted. Fixing a de-listed domain name can take anything from a few days to months. At worst, you'll need to start again with a new domain name — and that can be disastrous for business. Why take such risks?
11. Test Sponsored Search Using Google AdWords And Yahoo Search Marketing / Oath
However, to avoid being sucked into a money pit, learn how to craft your ads effectively first for each platform and to ensure you get a sustainable return on your advertising investment.
12. Sprinkle Article And Link-Back Breadcrumbs Around The Internet
How? For example:
- Submit some of your articles to high profile web-based article and ezine directories, ensuring that each article contains a breadcrumb link back to your website.
- Create some YouTube videos and install them on your website.
- Create a Google Local / Google Paces profile that defines how you serve customers that are local to you.
- Consider sharing some of your articles with other websites, who commit to including your link-back to your website. However, check them out first. Make sure they have a reputation that at least matches your own website.
13. Consider Integrating Your Website With Social Networking Websites
Why? To create additional link breadcrumbs back to your website.
For example, here is a list of popular social networking websites such as: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Slashdot, Technorati, Pinterest, and StumbleUpon.
If your website uses the same platform as we use here at InternetTIPS.com, you can add all of the social networking websites in one quick and easy procedure with a simple plug-in.
14. Resist The Seductive Temptation To Rely On Social Media Alone To Promote Your Website
Social media can be great, or disliked, or distrusted. We know that likes may not be real likes or that friends may not be real friends (yet). Yet, who knows? Good things can happen in the future from chance interactions online.
More importantly, through social media of various kinds, your website can gain exposure to people who might not otherwise interact with or discover your website.
Though, I suggest, do not rely on social media websites for core promotions. Why: like you, they are in business for themselves. Plus, social media companies change, evolve, sometimes for the better, sometimes not so good.
Monitor social media companies' performance and standing. If they don't meet your standards, be prepared to make swift sudden changes if required.
15. Create Some Regular Low-Level Press Release Breadcrumbs
For little cost, you can generate ongoing low-level buzz by providing regular Internet-based press releases.
The most powerful timeless promotion technique ever: do something sufficiently different to everyone else that your market wants.
Your goal here is to attract local, regional, national or international media interest. Getting positive attention through being different is also the most difficult result to achieve.
16. Google And Authorship
Some years ago, Google Authorship was about how to set up and promote the Google Authorship tag for at least one named person within your organisation.
However, today, Google Authorship is more about perfecting how to link content you may create within a Google profile to your website.
If you write unique articles that appear on Google search results pages, providing your Google profile is completed, including your website, you'll automatically build a link relationship.
However a better plan is to also link some key articles or blog entries on your website, to unique articles you may write and publish, on good quality third party websites. Ensure that the correct link-back format is used, and Google detection systems can assign some link benefits to you, as the original source provider. That way, you make sure there are valid links back to pages within your website.
Strive to create both some (a) deep links, and some (b) top-level links to your home page or website front page.
17. Appreciate The True Value Of Gaining Positive Attention
To smart website promoters, the right kind of attention is like liquid gold to a precious metals investor.
Today, in our action-obsessed, hectic world, for anyone in business, getting the right kind of attention is the most valuable driver you can create.
Getting positive attention through the media puts all other promotion tactics in the shade by comparison. However, it's also the most difficult result to perfect.
That's why most people give up after one or two attempts. Yet those same difficulties are actually good news for you if you're prepared to focus your creative energies on getting media attention publicity.
Just earn the privilege first with true, meaningful value: make your publicity be justified, more so than the ocean of shallow rubbish and frivolous nonsense that seems to flood our world.
18. Get Creative. Reinvent. Turn Things Inside Out, Upside Down. Shake The Tree
Seek to develop a creative, not competitive mindset. Why: creativity makes its own rules that can change your game instantly, while competition is tied to existing, usually fixed structures.
19. Get In Touch With What It Really Means To Be Human
For the best chance of securing free media publicity, think in terms of human interest stories. Why?
To many folks who could become paying customers, business, computers and the Internet are topics that have no soul and can seem boring at best. So why not tap into the one thing everyone has in common: our humanity?
Think in terms of human interest stories, not news — let your media contacts convert your "story" into their style of news, that's what they do best. Your goal here is to generate beneficial human interest news stories while at the same time gain publicity for zero cost other than the time you take to create your "news".
Appreciate that most people are simply bored rigid with traditional business pitches. Few believe what any business provider says anyway — however, many people are open-minded and will reserve judgment while you make your case: don't disappoint them.
Today, we're exposed to much more advertising than in previous decades. As a result, folks are much more skilled at detecting subtle advertisements than perhaps even 20 years ago.
Even though most of us don't like to be sold to, we do like to buy — a subtle but hugely important distinction. We also love stories about human endeavor, so if you can wrap your "package" sufficiently well within an engaging story, you'll immediately separate yourself from millions of other advertisements that simply get blanked.
20. Ditch Your Anonymous, Corporate Face And Show Your Individual, Real Person, Human Side
When you read or hear something that gets your attention, ask yourself why. Think differently, be yourself, use simple words, show personality, panache and authentic style.
21. Provide Real Value And Avoid Blatant Self-Promotion
How? Ensure that your "news" really does come across as news and is not received as conspicuously self seeking.
How: keep your reader's needs in mind first and foremost and let your writing or speech or video that shows your reader, listener or view how to solve a problem, be your advertisement. However, do make sure that all you do contains a link or breadcrumb back to your website domain name.
22. Appreciate And Understand About The Three Audiences You're Always Serving
When using the media, keep in mind that you're striving to meet the needs of three groups:
- Journalists and editors. You might get asked. Be ready.
- End-users: people who access media publications.
- You're also serving search engines, so a search engine optimized web design is equally important. If search engines can't understand or worse, misinterpret your website, they can't help. Websites like InternetTIPS.com automatically take care of most search engine optimization demands.
23. Make Sure That Your Web Address URL Is An Essential Component Of Every Submission You Make Public
Ensure that for your "news" item to be complete or make sense, your web address cannot be omitted. If necessary, rewrite your piece to ensure this condition is met before you submit your article or press release.
24. Seek Out Media Interview Opportunities
Develop reasons why news editors would benefit from interviewing you. How: when writing your article or story, consider ways that would make re-writing a news article or creating presentation about you difficult without speaking to you first.
However, media interviews should benefit both your interviewer and you. A one-sided relationship doesn't work. Ensure the balance is kept and maintained.
25. Make Yourself Easily Available
Ensure that a media representative can contact you simply and without delay. Be ready to adjust your schedule at a moment's notice, to help, and to be thankful for free publicity that may come your way.
26. Plan In Advance A Sequence Of Steps For Direct Contact From Media Representatives
How: establish and rehearse the action you take when a media representative contacts you. Have a predesigned plan, with quick access to prompt forms when talking with news editors.
27. Write And Have Close By A List Of Answers To Typical Questions That A Journalist Might Ask You
Make sure your list is easily accessible. Keep a copy near to your phone.
28. Have A Preprared "Media Contact Sheet" Template Available To Quickly Activate On Demand
Why: so that you can quickly and calmly record who your media contact is when they phone, their core details and request how you can contact them.
29. Most Editors And Journalists Are Incredibly Pressured And Busy Today, So Look For Ways Not To Waste Their Time
How: come across as businesslike and efficient; do all you can to make their task of gathering the information easier.
30. Become A People Magnet, The Kind For Which You Can Feel Self-Worth
When developing and implementing your web promotion strategy, think in terms of attraction — use the power of pull instead of push.
31. At Regular Intervals, Set Aside Time To Think And Re-evaluate Your Plans, Path, And Progress
Invest in quality, "out of the box" thinking time. Relax more and don't try to force results — they'll emerge naturally when your mind is calm and your thoughts more clear.
32. Piggy-Back On The Capture Effect Of Current Affairs
Consider how to tie in your "news" pitch to current local, national or international news topics. Why: what is current may already be occupying the "attention space" of many readers. That's why you can also attract the attention of news editors with this approach.
Piggy-back on what is already news — but apply your own twist to the topic adding to or creating more news of the same ilk. To maximize results using this method, since yesterday's news is almost out of date, you'll need to work quickly.
33. Tap Into The Strength Of Synergy Within A Mastermind Group
You're not an island and the synergy that can be generated from two or more people can help identify new insights and approaches that you might otherwise never consider. Brainstorm ideas with trusted friends and colleagues.
34. Take Continuous Goal-Oriented Action
Without sufficient appropriate follow-up action at each opportunity the emerges, all of your groundwork is wasted.
35. Persist, Persevere, Tweak And Evolve
If your first idea doesn't work, don't despair, keep trying other avenues. Keep testing and probing different approaches. Record what you learn so that you can easily refer to your notes. Often, what works is different for each provider, but when you make a hit, the benefits can last years.