What is Internet Marketing, and Why Should You Care?
Internet marketing simply entails promoting your business on the web. Any marketing activity that is
carried out online is considered ‘internet marketing and that includes:
- Search engine optimization
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- PPC advertising
- Influencer marketing
- Press releases
- Email marketing
- And more…
These various pillars of internet marketing can each help you to bring more visitors to a website or
a blog and that in turn then gives you the opportunity to promote your business and hopefully drive
‘conversions’ (i.e. turning visitors into customers).
What makes internet marketing so effective is that it doesn’t have to cost a huge amount to be
You can spend an awful lot of SEO and content marketing and thereby try to get your
site to the top of Google, but sometimes it just takes one smartly placed link to drive huge amounts
of traffic to your site.
And if you’re willing to put in consistent time and effort, then anyone can build a massive, loyal
audience thereby becoming a big influencer in their niche.
Thus, internet marketing is the ‘great
equalizer’. Marketing no longer requires a huge budget: it is now something that you can do just
as well as the largest organizations – as long as you’re smart with it.
Internet marketing has other advantages too: it allows you to actually engage with your audience for
instance. Using social media or running contests means that you’re able to interact with the very
customers you’re trying to obtain and get feedback from them.
Then there’s the simple fact that the
web is capable of reaching such a huge audience – including people from all around the world. If
you’re selling something with international shipping, then this is by far the best way to reach a global
Who is Internet Marketing For?
For all these reasons, internet marketing is for everyone. No matter what type of business you are
running, you should be able to benefit from internet marketing and find that it can help you to
increase your brand visibility, to grow your audience and to make bigger profits.
Some businesses are only able to exist thanks to internet marketing. These are the entirely online
businesses, such as people who sell ebooks.
Ebooks are digital products with no overheads and by
marketing them correctly, it’s possible to make huge amounts of sales that will earn you almost
entirely profit. Ebookscan be something of a hard sell, but the fact that you can reach such a
massive audience and engage with them directly means that you can get enough turnover to earn
These businesses only exist thanks to internet marketing!
Other businesses also rely very heavily on internet marketing. If you sell a service online, such as
web design or copywriting, then using internet marketing will allow you to ensure that the maximum
number of potential clients sees your website and considers hiring your services.
Knowing how to
reach that audience online is the difference between long dry spells where you aren’t bringing in any
cash and a steady flow of orders and income.
Of course, the same is also true for an ecommerce
business which exists to turn visitors to a website into paying customers in a similar way. Amazon
actually spends over $1 million a day on Google AdWords alone, which shows you just how much
the company values its internet marketing.
But it’s not just online business that can benefit from internet marketing.
Big brands like Coca-Cola, Red Bull, Marvel, Ford, Best Buys… they all spend huge amounts on internet marketing because they know that it is now more effective than spending that same money on print media or television.
And the same goes for small businesses like hairdressers, restaurants and high street stores; and sole traders like plumbers, builders and lawyers.
As we will see, anyone can benefit from internet marketing, and it is the single most efficient way to increase footfall for your company.
Let’s Do This! What You Will Learn
The only thing holding most people back of course, is the simple fact that they don’t know how to go
about internet marketing – they don’t understand how SEO works, they’re not sure how to reach
‘influencers’ and they find social media awkward.
If you find yourself in that situation then don’t worry; this book is going to teach you everything you need to know in order to develop any kind of internet marketing campaign with confidence. Best of all, we’ll help you learn to create smart internet marketing campaigns – the kinds that get maximum results with the least amount of cash and time.
We just said that Amazon spends $1 million a day on Google Ads and that might make you wonder
how on earth you’re supposed to compete.
The answer? You’re not! Our aim is not to take on huge corporations head-to-head but rather to find the path of least resistance – to identify those corners of the web where lots of potential customers are waiting and no one is currently marketing to them.
You’re going to learn how to do that and much more over the course of this book.
Specifically, you will learn:
- How to choose a niche and find your audience
- How to create a stunning website in no time at all
- How to drive conversions so that visitors = customers
- How to climb the ranks of Google using smart SEO
- How to provide value through a blog and become a thought leader in your industry
- How to build and run a mailing list
- How to create a thriving and popular social media channel
- How to write stunning articles and killer sales scripts
- How to use press releases, video sales letters, sales pages, and other tools
- How to work with other internet marketers
- How to create your online business
- And more..
So let’s get down to it…
Starting With Solid Foundations
As we saw in the introduction, internet marketing is for everyone and can apply to many different
types of business. For the purposes of this book though, we are going to broadly categorize readers
into two groups:
- Those with an existing business they want to promote
- Those wanting to set up an online business or make money directly through internet marketing
And for now, we’re going to concentrate on the second group. If you already have a business, this is
still worth reading but if you’re in a rush to get to the good stuff, skip through to the section on
Choosing a Niche
If your plan is to build an entirely online business and to make money either directly from a blog, or
perhaps by selling digital products, then the first thing you need to do is to choose a ‘niche’.
The term niche in this context essentially refers to a subject matter, an industry and an audience. In
other words, a niche can be ‘health’ or it can be ‘knitting’.
This is what your blog is going to be about,
it is what the products you sell should be about and it will determine precisely who your business is
Choosing your niche is one of the most important steps in creating a successful online business and
the reason for this is that it will directly impact the amount of competition as well as the size of your
If your subject is ‘health’ then you’re going to be going up against millions of other
websites and this is going to make your life very difficult indeed.
When you write a blog post on ‘how to get abs’, it’s going to be incredibly difficult to get that to the
top of Google seeing as there are so many other blog posts on getting abs.
Likewise, if you post in a fitness forum and mention your ebook, then it’s not going to stand out or
be interesting because there are so many others.
Conversely though, you also need to avoid choosing a niche that is too narrow. If the niche you
choose is ‘earwigs as pets’, then it will only be a matter of time before you have marketed to
the majority of that audience and there is no one left to buy from you…
Another important consideration when choosing a niche is what you can offer the audience and how much they are likely to spend. When creating a product, it is always useful to think in terms of the value proposition. This basically refers to what your product is offering to the buyer and what gives it its value, which should be much greater than the face value.
When you sell an ebook on getting fit for instance, the value proposition comes from the fact that
your buyer will hopefully be much fitter after reading your book and applying the knowledge they learn. You’re not really selling a book at all, but rather a sexy, toned body. You’re selling confidence, you’re selling energy first thing in the morning and you’re selling physical attractiveness to the opposite sex.
People are willing to pay a lot for those things and thus you can afford to charge more for your
On the other hand, if you have a book on cats, then you can only charge people for learning a
bit more about their pets – which isn’t something people are willing to pay as much for.
It’s also important to have a very clear target audience in mind. Draw up a buyer persona and think about the exact kind of person who would be interested in your product.
Do they have enough disposable income? And do you know where you can reach them in order to market your product?
So Then, How Do You Pick a Niche?
If that all sounds a bit confusing, then the best way to pick a niche is often to find a very big and popular niche with a strong value proposition (fitness, finance, business, dating) and then to ‘narrow down’ to find a specific section within that niche. For example:
- Fitness for the over 50s
- Fitness for nerds (‘NerdFitness.com’ is a highly popular website)
- Fitness for X condition
- Fitness for martial artists
- Online business for students
- Making money online for stay-at-home Mums
Try and think of something that is original as possible, while at the same time making sure that there’s a big audience there and that you can solve a specific need.
At the same time, try and choose a niche that you genuinely have an interest in and some knowledge about. This will help you to write better blog posts and will ensure that you don’t get bored of your business over time.
This is actually one of the most important tips – so don’t be motivated by money alone or you’re likely to find your business lacks staying power.
Finally, think about any connections you might already have and any contacts. If you happen to know the editor of Gardening Magazine, then making a business in the gardening niche just makes sense.
Likewise, if you’re a prominent member of a big forum dealing with health, then this is a very logical niche to choose as you’ll be able to post about your blog there and hopefully get a big reaction.
In short: try to have an entire business plan ready before you even begin writing. Know your strategy, know your end game and let your niche dictate all that.
Creating a Stunning Website
The next thing you need to do, is to create a stunning website. This is highly important, as your website is what’s going to create the first impressions for your visitors and give them the confidence to buy from you.
This makes all the difference. Think about your own experience: whether you’re looking online for a
place to eat, for a specific product to buy or a blog to read… if the website is well designed, then the
chances are that you’ll feel comfortable there.
If the font is large and crisp, then it will be pleasant for people to read. If the logo is well designed and high definition, then it will create trust for your brand. If the navigation is simple and fluid, then visitors will be able to find their way around the site.
And if the ‘Buy Now’ button looks official and secure, then people will be much more comfortable
entering their payment details.
How many times have you loaded up a website to get some information, or to order food, only to
be immediately put off by the dated design and leave?
Don’t let this be the experience that your visitors have of your website: make sure that it looks clean
and professional and don’t accept anything that is less impressive than the very top players in your
niche. If you want to be taken seriously, then that is what it takes.
So how do you go about creating such a website? The good news is that these days, it’s very easy
with WordPress. WordPress is of course a content management system and site-building tool.
it on your server (this is usually available through the tools provided by your hosting provider, or you
can download the files from WordPress.com) and then you’ll be able to login to a backend and
choose a theme and layout while adding posts and features easily.
WordPress is by far the most popular tool today for building websites and it powers many of the
biggest brands on the net – including the likes of some BBC sites, Forbes, Wired, The Four Hour Blog
and much more. It is also free and it has a huge number of different features, support from a
massive online community and nearly endless customizability.
In other words, there is no reason not to use WordPress – it is a tried and tested commodity and it makes things quicker and faster for you while still resulting in a highly professional looking end product.
Once you have installed WordPress, you should then look into adding a professional-looking theme.
Thankfully, these can also be added very simply by looking at the themes available through
WordPress itself, or by buying them from various theme stores.
One good one is ThemeForest.com. A professional-looking theme with good customization options will generally set you back about $40 and this is a very worthwhile investment as it can make your site considerably more professional looking, help it to stay responsive so that it fits the size of the display it’s being viewed on and
generally ensure that it is polished and able to compete with those top players.
You also need a great logo, which will help you to brand your business and will give you more
marketing options. A good logo needs to be unique, it needs to encapsulate what your business is all
about (try to communicate the value proposition if you can) and it needs to be crisp and high
definition to look professional.
If you create your logo yourself, then it is very important that you use vector files via software like Adobe Illustrator in order to make it look the part. Better yet though is to outsource this job to someone else. Consider using 99Designs, or perhaps Fiverr.com.
Introducing Content Marketing
There are many different aspects to good internet marketing, which include SEO, press releases, social media marketing, influencer marketing and more.
Once upon a time, internet marketing could mean simply picking one of these facets – such as SEO – and then trying to spam it until a site got to the top of Google and started getting thousands of views.
Today though, this method just doesn’t work and in fact is much more likely to get you penalized by
Today, the only way to succeed online is by delivering quality and the best way to do that is by updating your blog regularly. This is the central tenant of content marketing and as you will see, content marketing can provide the backbone of your entire digital marketing strategy…
What is Content Marketing?
So just what is content marketing? Well, essentially, content marketing means that you are going to
promote your website via content and you’re going to use this to bring more people to your
website and to get them to engage with your brand.
People are not going to visit your website or blog out of the goodness of their heart; they will go there
because they are looking for something and that something will normally be content.
People use the web to find information, for entertainment or for news – all of which means content.
Your core strategy then is going to be to publish content to a blog regularly and to use this as a way
to gradually bring in more and more visitors.
Eventually, this should allow you to establish trust and authority within your niche and to build a big following of regular readers who want to find your content.
Your content is also what you’re going to use to succeed in the various other types of internet
Over the next few chapters, you’ll see how content is essential and for SEO as well as for
social media. That’s because content is what people are searching for on Google and it is what you
will mainly share on social media.
But the aim is not to bring people to your site in the short term to make sales. Rather, your aim is
to get people to subscribe to your site, to bookmark it and to read it regularly.
The way this works is simple: first, a visitor finds your site ones on Google or via a social media post.
The article looks and sounds interesting, they read it and hopefully they have a good experience.
But that’s not going to lead to a sale and it’s not going to lead to a subscriber in most cases.
Rather, they will just make a mental note that your site was reliable and interesting and so if they
see a post from you again on their travels, they will be more likely to read it the next time. It’s
important that your branding and web design game is strong as this will ensure that they recognize
the fact that they’re returning to a website that they have already seen once before.
Eventually, you’ll get to the point where they have a question and they decide to turn to you for advice. They know you’re reliable, they know they enjoy the way you write and so it makes sense that they’ll seek you out when they want to know something.
At this point, you have their trust and it will be much easier for you to persuade them to make a purchase or to read your site regularly.
Eventually, they’ll become regularly subscribers and they’ll start actively looking into whatever you’re posting next.
This will then mean you have a captive audience and the next time you want to sell a product, you’ll be able to!
And no – this strategy is not just for online businesses or ebooks.
This strategy can likewise work for a highstreet store or a hair dressing company – it’s all about getting more people to read your content regularly so that you have built that audience and that trust.
Of course, some internet marketing strategies might rely less on content marketing than others, but this is an activity that every business should be engaged in. And it all revolves around providing value for free.
How to Fill Your Site With Stunning Content that Will Attract Visitors and Build Trust?
That may all sound great but the next question is how you are going to go about doing this. How do
you go about adding content to your site that is so exciting that people will want to read your site on
a daily basis? Especially if you aren’t a writer naturally?
The first thing is to understand the type of content that gets read and the type of content that
And a clue here lies in a term that is generally looked down upon in the community: click bait.
Click bait is content that is designed to get people to click and that very often provides little-tono value. You’ll likely have seen this type of content on Facebook: these are the posts with titles like ‘You’ll Never Believe What Happens Next!’ or ‘Top Ten X, Number 7 Will Shock You!’.
These titles get people to click by leveraging the power of curiosity. The titles are purposefully
vague while also being emotionally charged (by telling you that you’ll be shocked or outraged in
To look at, the articles appear to offer something completely new, unexpected and shocking.
Unfortunately, when we click on the links, we very often are met with something rather
disappointing and the reality fails to live up to the hype.
Now, I’m not about to tell you to write clickbait content. But what I am going to do, is to tell you to
write content that is similarly shocking and interesting.
What you absolutely must avoid are titles like:
“Ten Great Ab Exercises”
“SEO for Beginners”
These titles are contrived: we’ve all heard similar things countless times before and they just fail
to stand out or to look exciting.
Your aim is to write something as intriguing and as shocking as a clickbait title but then to
actually deliver on the promise by making sure that the reality is every bit as impressive as what
you were promising in the title.
So instead of ‘Ten Great Ab Exercises’, how about ‘What Happens if You Do 100 Sit Ups Every Night?’
or ‘Anatomy of Your Abs – The Ab Muscles You Didn’t Know You Had and How to Train Them’.
Instead of ‘SEO for Beginners’, how about ‘The Psychological Impact of Making $$$ Online’ or ‘How I
Make $200 a Day From a Site I Built Last Year’.
These titles are inherently more interesting because they’re different, because they have a
human element, because they promise real value.
If you use those kinds of titles, you’ll get clicks – especially if you post them to the right forums. And
if you deliver that value within your content, then people will eventually start seeking you out for
more unique and exciting stories.
Oh and ‘stories’ is a very key word here. People love stories. Giving any post a narrative structure
(structuring it like a story) and talking about real people who have been affected by your advice is
one of the best ways to ensure that people will want to read your content.
Some other tips:
- Space your content out well – avoid large chunks of text
- Use lots of highly descriptive headings that will inform your readers as to what each chapter is about
- Use a nice big font
- Decorate your content with attractive images
- Write in a manner that is concise, entertaining and easy to read
- Provide lots of links to other resources within your content
From there, it is simply a matter of posting consistently (at least once a week, ideally more) and keeping the quality high. The length of each post doesn’t matter as much but occasionally posting long-form posts (800 words plus) will stand you in good stead with Google and help you to provide even more content to your visitors.
What if You Can’t Write?
But what if you don’t know how to write? What if English isn’t your first language? In that case, you need to consider hiring a writer.
There are lots of writers online and they charge anywhere from $1 per 100 words to $10 per 100 words. You don’t need to spend that much, but it is highly recommended that you avoid the very cheapest writers (anything under $1.50 is risky) and that you pay for better quality content.
This is an important investment as you won’t be able to build trust and find regular readers if your content is written in pidgin English. One concern here is that you might not know how to check if the content is good, seeing as you
won’t be able to read it in the native language. The solution here is to find someone who can tell the difference and to get them to check it for you. I can’t stress enough how important this is!
A Basic Introduction to Social Media Marketing
The key to effective social media marketing is the exact same as the key to effective content
marketing: providing value.
Unfortunately, this is something that a huge number of businesses have absolutely no idea how
to do and that results in some very poorly managed social media.
Take a look at the social media pages of your typical local B2B companies and you will find that they
tend to post some rather uninspiring and vapid statuses and posts. You’ll see things like:
“Find out why our contact management solution is the best in the business!”
“Order our EPOS system today to start serving your customers better!”
This is nothing but blatant self-promotion and not even interesting self-promotion. Ask yourself:
why would anyone be interested in following that?
What are they gaining by reading your posts?
One of the single most important questions to ask when looking at your social media or your content
is: would you read it? If not, then you need to do something to make it more interesting!
That means that your social media now needs to provide some kind of purpose for the viewer.
It should be interesting, it should be entertaining, it should be useful or it should be inspiring.
Inspiring social media can work particularly well.
Take a look at Instagram and you’ll find lots of
accounts filled with people wearing stunning clothes, posing to show off their rippling muscles, or
even just showing of their wealthy lifestyle.
Then there are the travel accounts with lots of pictures of beautiful mountain ranges and sunsets.
Why do these work? People because see those channels and they feel inspired – they live vicariously
through them and they enjoy daydreaming about having a life like that!
They know that if they follow that account, then they’ll be shown many more similarly inspiring posts and they can continue to live the dream.
And guess what? When you then promote a piece of clothing or an ebook on how to get fit, they listen.
Examples of popular Facebook pages are things like ‘IFL Science’, which posts links to articles
with some really eye-catching titles and gets tons of likes and tons of shares as a result.
The best Twitter accounts are the ones run by personal brands and that let fans feel as though they are
really getting to know them with insights into their daily routines, with jokes or with insider tips.
Want to make a splash on Pinterest?
Then how about creating a board to show off life hacks? Or to demonstrate great outfit choices? Or workout inspiration?
The aim again is to provide real value and the way to know if you’re doing this well is to ask yourself:
would people be disappointed if you stopped posting to your account?
Not just your blog – but your social media channels?
Your social media needs to be able to stand on its own two feet and be something that people enjoy
in its own right.
That’s how you gain followers and shares and that’s how you get people to visit your
site and buy your products.
Once again, from there the key is to post regularly and to be consistently on-topic. Don’t create a
blog on fitness but continuously post on social media about your love of gardening or people will get
tired and they’ll leave.
How frequent should this be? Ideally, the more frequently you post the better. Several times a day is generally recommended, especially since sites like Facebook will only show each post to a small percentage of your followers.
More Tips for Getting Your Social Media Right
Providing Value in a Dull Niche
One thing you might be wondering, is how exactly you provide this kind of entertaining, engaging
value when you run a website about life insurance. What could you possibly do on Instagram or on
Pinterest that would be appropriate?
The answer is to think not about the service directly but rather about the value proposition and
audience. Your aim is to post things that will be interesting to the same demographic and that will
be relevant – that doesn’t have to mean that you only ever post directly about life insurance!
One example of this might be to make an Instagram account all about ways to spend time with your
family and take care of them as a Mum or Dad.
This has a very broad appeal but it is also directly relevant to life insurance – because life insurance is all about looking after your family once you’re gone. People who want to be better Mums and Dads can follow your Instagram, which will be in the same spirit as your business, and once you have their ear, you can recommend life insurance policy X.
Likewise, you could do something similar with a Pinterest account. How about making this all about
ways to save money as a family? You could show money saving hacks, budgeting tips etc.
and then use that in order to promote your life insurance as the best financial option, or your website as the
best place to learn about life insurance.
Targeting a Specific Audience
Another important tip is to think about your audience and who they are. If you want people to share
your posts (this is the best way to ensure that they reach the maximum number of people), then you
need to be sure that you are targeting your audience specifically.
This is important, seeing as trying to reach too wide an audience will ultimately mean that you don’t specifically appeal to anyone.
This is the mistake that a lot of people make with their posts on ‘How to Get Abs’. They think that
they need to appeal to everyone and thus they end up with very safe and very generic content.
But content performs best when it is targeting specifically at a particular type of person.
This all relates to the psychology of sharing. Why do we ever share content? There are two simple reasons:
to express ourselves OR to communicate.
We communicate by sharing things that we think will appeal to someone we know.
If you see a post on ‘How Working From Home Turns Your Brain to Mush’, then you’re going to share that with your friend Bill who works from home as a cheeky joke, as a way to help them work from home better, or
perhaps just as a way to show you’re thinking of them.
If you work from home yourself, then you might post it to express how you feel about working from
home and to help others to understand you better.
But notice that in both these scenarios, the post only works because it applies so specifically to
people who work from home.
While being very specific might appear to exclude potential customers, it makes it much easier for
you to market to the particular type of person who is likely to buy from you.
And to make this work you need to spend some time profiling what that person is like. How old
are they? What gender are they?
What are their hobbies? What websites do they spend time on?
You’ll see why this is even more important shortly…
Making a Strong Brand
Once you’ve decided how you’re going to provide value, through sharing your blog posts or by
posting images, you then need to make sure that you have a strong brand that will have good
visibility and that will tie your social media channels neatly to your website.
It’s important that when
someone sees a post from you, that they know it’s from that same website they saw the other day.
So make sure you have a good logo and use that as your profile picture or your cover image on
each account. Likewise, use the same name wherever possible.
Another tip is to integrate your social media and your website as closely as possible.
It will take a while to build up momentum on your social media but one thing you can do to help that along, is to
add social media buttons to your website so that people can check out your Facebook directly from
Ideally, you will gain new followers each time someone goes to your website and that way, they’ll be more likely to see your future posts and share them, bringing in yet more visitors who can subsequently become followers!
Also important is simply to ask people to follow you on social media.
This is particularly effective in videos – so if you have a YouTube channel, then don’t be shy to simply ask the people watching to follow you on Twitter and to give them some good reasons to do so! Similarly, at the end of a blog post why not just ask your readers to share the post with their friends using the handy sharing
buttons you provide?
It’s also a good idea to integrate your various different posts to save time and to ensure that you fill
each channel with as much content as possible.
For example, you can make it so that you post all your Tweets on your Facebook page, or so that each new YouTube video is automatically shared on Twitter.
Don’t forget that social media is still primarily a communication tool. One of the best ways to ensure that people are engaged with you is to actually talk with them and doing something as simple as just following people or liking their pictures. If you have ever used Instagram, then likely you’ll be familiar with how pleasing it is to find that someone has started following you – especially if they look like a professional brand! Likewise, it’s great when they commend and say ‘nice pic!’.
This will then motivate you to check out their channel and in many cases, to follow it! So just spend
some time posting and of course be sure to actually respond to people.
Running contests and surveying your audience can also be a very good way to increase engagement and to get a better idea of what your followers want to see from you!
A good example of a contest is to award a follower with a free gift if you get ‘over X number of likes’.
This can help you to build more shares and likes as well as being a great way to thank your fans!
An Introduction to SEO
Now it’s time to look at one of the biggest pillars of internet marketing of all: SEO.
SEO is ‘Search Engine Marketing’ and this basically means that you’re trying to get your website to
show up in search results.
Of course, you’re not going to be able to show up high in every search result and so this is where keywords and targeting come in.
A keyword is essentially a word or a phrase that people are going to search in order to find your site.
When people go shopping online, they will almost always start with Google.
And when they start with Google, they will begin by searching for the thing they want. Very often, this will mean that they search for something like ‘Buy Hats Online’.
If you can target that precise phrase so that your page is the top result, then you will not only be
able to reach the right demographic – but you’ll be able to target them at the precise moment that
they’re actually planning on buying something!
The same thing happens when someone looks for information – they might search for ‘How to Lose
Weight After Christmas’ or they might search for ‘Fitness Articles’.
Again, you can bring more people to your site and that way hopefully create more loyal followers,
simply by making sure that your pages come up as top results for those terms.
So, SEO has the huge advantage of being highly targeted and allowing you to reach anyone rather than just people who are your followers or who are part of the same network as your followers.
The only problem is that SEO is also arguably more complicated than the other forms of marketing
we’ve looked at so far. That and it is never guaranteed.
That is to say that you can spend years doing SEO or pay the very biggest SEO service in the world and still not see any improvements.
Let’s take a look at why that is and how to give yourself the best chance of success…
How SEO Works
In order to get to the top of Google, the aim is to try and understand how Google works, how Google
decides which sites are worthwhile and then how you can manipulate those factors in order to move
your site to the top.
Google works using ‘spiders’ or ‘robots’. These are small programs that search the web by following
from one link to the next.
Each time they find a new website, they then add that website to a giant index and will assess the subject matter and the quality of that site by looking at who is linking to the page, how the page is laid out and what the subject of the content appears to be.
If we knew precisely how Google’s algorithm worked, then we could get to the top of the search
results with guaranteed certainty. As we don’t know this though, all we can do is make educated guesses and hope that those get us to the top of Google.
SEO: Then and Now
When Google first became the dominant search engine, the algorithm was fairly straightforward and
was generally quite well understood by marketers. Back then, we knew that:
- Google finds sites by looking following links on sites already in the index
- Google thinks of a link as a testimony. The more people linking to your site, the better your
site must be.
- Google attempts to match search terms with the content on your pages. If you repeat the
the same phrase often enough, then you will stand a better chance of ranking for that term.
Back then, it was easy enough to manipulate Google into doing your bidding.
All you had to do was
to create a website with lots and lots of content, repeat the same keywords over and over again
and get lots of other sites to link to you.
It was literally a matter of whoever worked the fastest could get to the top of Google the quickest.
Unfortunately though, this also led to some very bad practices.
People would ‘stuff’ keywords into their text, repeating the same few phrases over and over again. People would pay for links. People would steal content and ‘spin it’ (swap words for synonyms) and generally Google’s results started to become dominated by spam.
So, Google clamped down and introduced some smarter rules and algorithms. These updates to its
system were known as ‘Penguin’ and ‘Panda’ and they really shook up the internet marketing
The new Google is much smarter when it comes to looking for content and now values quality over
quantity to a large degree.
A few examples of the changes:
- Google will now penalize websites for ‘keyword stuffing’. A density of 1-2% is generally recommended.
- Google now prefers long form content and will reward it thusly
- Google will penalize sites that associate with spam sites
- Low quality links are worthless
- Links from established authorities mean much more. A single link from Harvard is worth a million links from spam sites.
- Google now understands synonyms and related terms and will look for you to have written around a subject
- Google penalizes links that are from sites that aren’t related to yours
- Google clamps down hard on paid links
- Google clamps down hard on stolen or re-worked content
- Google can now monitor how long people spend on a website or page. If your visitors are only staying for a second before leaving, the Google will take this to mean that your site doesn’t offer any real value and you will be penalized.
This sudden change resulted in a lot of sites being removed from Google altogether, which badly
hurt many businesses. As you can imagine, this caused quite a lot of outcry!
But what’s important to remember is that website owners are not the customers that Google is
Google is catering to users who want to use Google in order to find high quality content.
Thus, Google’s main and only objective is to ensure that the content it shares is relevant and
interesting to the people searching for it.
So, what is the best way to handle good SEO? Simple: make sure that you are providing great,
When you do this, you are aligning yourself with Google’ goals. Therefore, every change that Google makes will ultimately help more people to find your site. Meanwhile, the sites that try to ‘spam’ Google or trick it, will only be damaged each time that Google has an update.
Modern SEO Best Practices
So, with all that said, how do you go about carrying out SEO for your site in this day and age?
The first thing to do, is to fill your site with as much relevant content as possible. Notice how SEO
and content marketing naturally go hand in hand already?
Ideally, this content should be long-form (at least occasionally) and should contain links to other
sites. Again, the same things that make your content high quality for your readers are the things that
Google wants to see.
Do some keyword research to find what it is that people are searching for and what you should try
to target to get the ideal traffic to your site. You can find the volume of people searching for specific
terms by using Google’s Keyword Planner (https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner).
Try to make sure that the terms you search for aren’t too competitive however, as otherwise you can end
up going against too many other sites and giving yourself an impossible task.
As mentioned though, Google doesn’t just like you to keep repeating the same keyphrase over
and over. Instead, the objective is to lace it into the content a few times as naturally as possible
while also including synonyms and related terminology. This should happen naturally and it should
never distract the reader.
From here, you can then go about building links from high quality, relevant sites.
There are certain sites that Google already trusts and you can spot these by looking at which ones are already at the top of Google and which ones are featured in Google News. Google also likes big, recognized brands
and it likes .edu and .org domains.
While it might be hard to get links from those sites, you can think of this a bit like ‘degrees of
separation’. In other words, if you can’t get a link from Harvard, look for a site that does have a link
from Harvard and see if you can get a link from them!
One of the best strategies you can use to build links is something called ‘Guest Posting’. Here, you
are essentially going to contact big blogs and offer to write content for them for free.
This content needs to be relevant and high quality, so that they are tempted to go ahead and publish it. Rather
than charging for your writing, you then make the deal that you will get to link back to your website, within the body of the text.
One way to avoid going head-to-head with the biggest players in your niche is to focus on local SEO. Local SEO is simply SEO that places local keywords front and center.
So if you live in Santa Monica and you run a hairdresser, then you would try to rank for ‘Santa Monica Hairdresser’ and you would build links from other local companies.
It’s much easier to become number one for a specific search term like this and even if you are running an international business it can be a good idea to start local and then branch out once you have built local momentum.
Final Words About SEO
Avoid anything that looks spammy or manipulative. Try to avoid patterns and encourage your visitors to share your links online. That’s what Google really wants to see: sites with lots of links on the strength of their quality.
One way to do this is to write link bait.
This is content that is so useful, so interesting or so shocking, that other people want to link to it and include it in their debates or share it with friends.
When creating your links, avoid trying to use only your keywords in the anchor text.
Sometimes the best anchor is just ‘Click Here’ or ‘This Article’. Again, this looks more organic and natural and this
means Google won’t think you’re paying for your links.
Don’t try and trick Google. Just create high quality content for your readers, while keeping Google’s
algorithms in the back of your mind.
An Introduction to PPC
One of the great things about SEO is that once you’ve climbed to the top, it doesn’t have to cost you
much at all to stay there. The problem is that it can take an awfully long time to get to that point.
PPC meanwhile offers you the precise opposite strengths and weaknesses. PPC stands for ‘Pay
Per Click’ and is the main form of advertising online.
Pay Per Click essentially means that as an advertiser, you only get charged each time someone actually clicks on one of your adverts.
So, in other words, it doesn’t cost you anything to have your advert published on a website – if no one
ever clicks on it, you will never pay a cent!
But each time someone does click it, you will be charged X amount of money. This has a lot of handy
advantages, as do many of the other features of PPC. So, let’s dive in and take a closer look…
How PPC Works
So how much exactly do you pay for each click? And where will your ads show? What is the best
way to make the most money from it?
Essentially, you get to decide precisely how much you want to pay for each click. The caveat is that
the less you pay, the less your advert will get seen.
That’s because ads are shown based on a ‘bidding system’. Whenever a space becomes live, all of the relevant ads will be compared and the one that pays the highest will get shown.
That means that you can get clicks for .01 cents if you are in a niche with zero competition but for a more competitive industry, you can end up paying as much as $5 per click. The good news is that you only pay the amount you need to beat the next highest competition. So, if your maximum bid is $5 but there’s only one competitor who is paying $1, then you’ll get the ad for $1.01.
As well as setting how much you’re willing to pay – your maximum bid – you can also set how much
you’re willing to pay per week or per month. This is your budget and by setting this, you can ensure
that you never spend more cash than you have.
The great thing about this system, is that it means you can actually guarantee ROI for your business.
You do this by calculating how much it is going to cost you to bring each new visitor to your site –
which will be equal to your CPC.
You then look at your ‘conversion rate’ (i.e. what percentage of new visitors become paying customers) and then you compare these numbers.
So, if 1 in every 100 visitors buys something from you (a 1% conversion rate) and your product earns
you $50 per sale, that means that each visitor is worth $10/100, or 0.5 USD.
As long as you are paying less than that per click, you should earn profit from the campaign. That also means that you’ll need a daily budget of a certain amount in order to see daily returns.
There’s another great benefit to PPC advertising too and that’s that it allows you to very precisely
target specific types of visitors.
Targeting means ensuring that only people that you really want to see your ads see them and that can prevent you from wasting money advertising to people who won’t be interested in buying from you. If you’re selling skateboards to skaters, then you should find your conversion rate goes up significantly versus trying to sell pens to skaters.
So how does this work? Well, there are two main PPC programs out there at the moment. These
are: Facebook Ads and Google AdWords (there are others, but these aren’t so big). Google AdWords
shows ads on search terms and in that way, it works just like SEO.
Your aim here is to make sure that
you are paying for your ads to show up on search terms with enough viewers and that are targeted
to your precise audience. You can do this using local search terms again, or you can do it by using
search terms that specifically relate to your niche.
Facebook Ads meanwhile gives you even more targeting options. With Facebook Ads, your adverts
will show on users’ Facebook pages on the right or in their homefeeds. You can then ensure that
people only see the ads if they are the right age and sex, if they have the right hobbies and interests,
if they have the right income and if they are in the right location.
Google AdWords has the advantage of showing ads to people who are currently searching for
services and products, whereas Facebook ads can be interruptive.
You can even use Google AdWords as a way to test whether certain keywords are worth pursuing with your SEO. But by closely targeting only people who are likely to be interested in your product, Facebook Ads allow you
to avoid wasting money on clicks that would never have bought from you!
What is Affiliate Marketing? And the World of Internet Marketing
If you’re selling a digital product, then there is another very effective way to gain a lot more sales
and that is to get other marketers to promote it for you.
The best way to do this is via ‘affiliate marketing’ and learning about affiliate marketing is important if you want to understand a lot of the conversation you’ll find in marketing forums and elsewhere.
Essentially, an affiliate is someone who promotes an online product in exchange for commission.
So, if you sold an ebook for 40% commission, that would make you an affiliate.
To do this, you simply use a URL that is unique to you. When someone clicks on that link, they will be redirected via a page that will leave a cookie on their computer and they will be identified as having been sent by
How Affiliate Marketing Can Help You Promote Your Product
The great thing about getting affiliates to help you promote a product is that you’re essentially
building an army of affiliates, all of whom will be able to help you to get more sales for your product.
If you can sell 100 eBooks a quarter yourself, imagine how many eBooks will sell when you have
The key to getting lots of affiliates though is not to be greedy. Create a great product that you know
will sell well (and that affiliates will believe in too) and then be willing to give away a good
proportion of your profits – over 50% ideally.
You can then look for affiliates by listing your product on affiliate networks like JVZoo ClickBank and Commission Junction .
How to Make Money as an Affiliate
Making money as an affiliate is also a very important strategy for internet marketers. Internet
marketers make money by promoting the products of other creators and that allows them to make a
big money without having to invest lots of time or effort into creating their own products.
more, is that by selecting an existing product rather than making one from scratch, you can remove
the risk element by focussing on a product that is already selling very well.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to monetize a website and to build a business with zero upfront investment.
Whether you are an affiliate or a product creator, you are going to find that there are a few different
materials and terms that come up regularly and that you will end up using to build your campaign.
These materials and terms include:
- Sales Funnel – A sales funnel is a selection of free blog posts or articles, perhaps a mailing list,
maybe a free report, followed up by a paid report and increasingly ‘high ticket’ (expensive) items. The idea is that you are gradually introducing people to your brand and then helping them to invest more and more in your message and to become increasingly interested in spending more with you.
- Sales Page – A sales page is a page that is entirely dedicated to selling your product. That means that there will be no external links, no distracting content or images… just one ‘sales script’ designed to promote the product and make it sound highly desirable. This will be interspersed with ‘Buy Now’ buttons and will use persuasive writing.
- Free Report – A free report is a small excerpt or example of your sales funnel.
- VSL – A VSL is a ‘Video Sales Letter’. This is a spoken script that works like sales copy to engage the visitor and get them to buy.
- Squeeze Page and Email Swipes – Email swipes are ready made marketing messages, we’ll look a little more at how a squeeze page and mailing list work together in a moment.
As a marketer, you can either create these materials yourself, get them free when you sign up as an affiliate, or use other strategies to promote the products. Either way though, understanding these terms is going to come in very handy when you are learning about internet marketing.
Welcome to the World of Affiliate Marketing
It’s worth understanding this concept, as like I said, it comes up a LOT in forums and online
communities. In fact, for many people, internet marketing and affiliate marketing are somewhat
You will find this when you check out sites like Warrior Forum and Black Hat World.
These are forums where internet marketers can discuss ideas and tips with one another, as well as
finding opportunities, business partners, clients and services. Warrior Forum even has its own
Spending some time on these forums is a very good way to get acquainted with the world of internet
marketing and all it entails. You’ll also find a ton of good advice, as well as being able to hire writers,
SEO companies, web designers and other professionals to help you get your campaign up and
Here, you will find a lot of people selling link building services but you should be wary of these as the
links are often low quality.
Spend some time here though, learn the ropes and find out what it really means to be an internet marketer!
More Strategies: Analytics, Press Releases, Email Marketing, Influencer Marketing and More
There are many, many more aspects to internet marketing and we have only really just scratched
the surface. That said, you should now know all of the basics and have a deeper understanding than
most people regarding what is actually likely to work vs what ultimately amounts to spam.
Before we go though, there are just a few more concepts you need to familiarise yourself with…
If someone lands on your site for the first time and you try to sell them a copy of your ebook or a
service, then you should expect to find that this is more likely than anything to just drive them
away. Think of it a little bit like asking for someone’s number before they’ve even had a chance to
get to know you!
Much more successful, is to spend some time establishing that trust and familiarity – but you do
need to ensure that they come back in order to do that. This is where a mailing list comes in: it gives
you a way to contact your visitors directly and represents permission to message them more
Your objective is then to ensure that your members actually keep reading your mailing list rather
than ignoring your messages and in order to do that, you need to ensure that you are – you guessed
it – providing value! Emails can be lessons, they can be exclusive updates, or they can be full articles
but just make sure that they are providing value!
In order to start collecting emails and sending them out, you will need a tool called an
‘autoresponder’. This is what will enable you to create forms as well as letting you manage
new subscribers, people who want to leave your list etc.
Good examples of autoresponder services include: Aweber (Aweber.com), GetResponse
(GetResponse.com) and MailChimp (MailChimp.com). Don’t ignore this aspect of your marketing –
many gurus suggest that it is the most effective tool in your arsenal!
Press releases are short documents you send out to big bloggers and websites. The idea is to make
your website or your product sound like news, so that they will consider writing about it.
The mistake that a lot of marketers make is to think they can just promote their product and that a
news outlet is going to be happy to write about it and essentially provide them with free exposure.
That is not how it works.
Like you, magazines and websites are predominantly interested in providing value to their readers. So, they’ll only tell your story if it is genuinely interesting or exciting. So, ask yourself: how can you make your brand something people will be interested in reading about? A publicity stunt is one answer. Doing something completely unique is another…
Rather than targeting big blogs though, why not consider targeting the smaller influencers? These
are individual bloggers, YouTubers, social media stars and the like who have thousands or even
millions of followers.
If you can convince them to give you a shout out (you can sponsor them to do this, give them something for free, or exchange ) then that can give you instant access to a gigantic audience and potentially transform your business overnight!
Finally, no matter what strategies you are using in your internet marketing campaign, it is absolutely
essential that you are regularly checking your stats and analytics to ensure that you are actually
Look at how many visitors you are getting daily, look at which activities are bringing you the most customers and use this information to hone and improve your campaign over time.
There are several different tools you can use to do all this but by far the most popular and capable
is Google Analytics. If you’re serious about internet marketing, then the two of you need to get
This book has thrown a lot of information at you all at once and there is still more to learn.
Unfortunately, that is the nature of the beast; internet marketing is a huge subject and you will
never have learned everything. Moreover, it is also a subject that is constantly changing and
evolving, so you’ll never know absolutely everything there is to know.
But what this book has hopefully done is to a) give you a solid foundation of knowledge to get
started with and b) help you to make some smart decisions and avoid some of the biggest mistakes
new marketers make.
The biggest lesson I want you to take home from all this is that you should work smart, not hard.
That doesn’t mean that you’re going to be putting out dross though – far from it.
The key to getting easy wins is to create things that people actually want to see and want share. Content that Google wants its users to find and content that will build trust and authority with your followers.
That means writing about subjects you’re passionate about, it means bringing something genuinely
different and unique to the table and it means creating a stunning website with glorious images
and a strong brand.
Good SEO and good marketing mean telling amazing stories and creating amazing content. I hope this post will guide you about internet marketing. Learn here more about business development and marketing.