Introduction to Internet Marketing

internet-marketingThis article is meant to introduce individuals to the ideas and various aspects surrounding internet marketing. Understanding the basic idea’s behind internet marketing will benefit you in a variety of ways. You may be interested in gaining skills surrounding internet marketing or you may just be interested in understanding how to benefit from it. In both cases this article will be beneficial to you in the future.

The process of learning about internet marketing is a lot easier if you become familiar with terminology that is used as well as a “big picture” perspective of how everything fits together. Informing yourself about internet marketing will help you decide with surety what strategies fit best with your campaign, informing you about internet marketing is a pillar of our operational strategy.

Definition of Internet Marketing

To get started let’s define Internet Marketing which also is known as e-marketing or online marketing. You may come across variations to this definition from a variety of different sources but here at this is the definition that has been adopted:

“Internet marketing is the process of carrying out marketing goals through online strategic actions.”

In other words the internet is a channel for marketers to match products and services with their target customer. An e-marketer may market for a large business or very small operations (such as a blog) there are no size requirements in internet marketing. If you are promoting a product, brand, or service on the internet you are participating in a function of online marketing.

With the advent of the internet, businesses recognized the opportunity to meet their marketing goals utilizing a powerful new medium. The internet as it stands today is an affordable way of marketing products and services and most times a great solution for small businesses.

The internet has been around for many years and even today many businesses have not capitalized on their ability to market their business on the internet. You as a business owner or emerging internet marketer are still at the forefront of a medium that has literally changed the way business is conducted and how people communicate around the world.

There are many different aspects of Internet Marketing. Understanding the different aspects and how they relate to each other is important for your strategic success. Each area of internet marketing needs to be weighed against the objectives that you have set for your web presence.

There are many different ways to successfully market your business on the internet. There is no one right way to be successful with Internet Marketing, you should have a firm grasp on the benefits of each as well as the resource requirements and best practices before you start charting your own course.

This article is not meant to answer all of your questions about every aspect of internet marketing. Rather this is an introduction to internet marketing. Other articles available through cover the following areas in varying, and expanding degrees. Internet marketing is not limited to promotions such as advertising, or even site traffic, there are many areas within online marketing.

  •  Internet Advertising -A very expansive area of Internet Marketing It can include textual advertising through a variety of services, banner ads, pre and post clip video ads and more.
  • Email Marketing – A class unto itself, email marketing is a form of direct mail, only internet based.
  • Affiliate Marketing – Leveraging networks of people and organizations to create or receive referral’s in return for fees.
  • Link Building – If you are relevant in your space it should be reflected in who is linking to you. Likewise an area that has come under scrutiny for abuses,
  • Blog Marketing – a form of marketing that both provides value to the end user as well as builds a relationship with the customer.
  • Social Media Optimization – Creating an easy way for your visitors to take what you do into the social networking arena.
  • Reputation Management – Being aware of your market space and people who are talking about you.
  • Online Marketing Research – Utilizing data to fulfill your companies message and strategic approach. 
  • Viral Marketing – Creating content that taps into peoples urge to share the content.
  • Website Analytics – Measuring actions and strategies based on current and past utilization of your site.

What other area’s of online marketing can you think of? Submit your examples to

Search Engine Marketing
When individuals use the internet they usually use a search engine such as Yahoo!, Google, or MSN (and to a lesser degree many others). Users type in keywords and phrases and search engines bring up lists of pages that most closely match the parameters of the search. Since most people use search engines regularly you want your webpage to appear as close to the beginning of the list as is possible, this is referred to as SERP’s, or Search Engine Ranking Pages. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) embody activities that search marketers conduct in order to have pages ranked as high as possible. Search Engine Marketing encompasses many activities dealing with placement in search engine results including:

  • Search Engine Optimization – search optimization includes both on and off page optimization techniques to make individual webpages more relevant to the search query. Read more about search optimization by clicking the link under the main menu towards the top of the page. There is also some more discussion about search optimization below.
  • Paid Inclusion –Yahoo is one of the last search engines to allow paid inclusion. Currently for $300 per year you can have your webpages included in the directory. This is fine if you are in a huge hurry and you are able to make the money back.
  • Paid Placement – Paid placement includes sponsored advertisements that you see in the SERPS along the top and many times right side margins of a page. Paid placement can be expensive. You should ensure that your business strategy is conducive to this strategy before sinking the cost into the ads.

These areas of emphasis are explained in more detail on the Search Engine Marketing overview page.

Search Engine Optimization
Optimizing a website is a function of Search Engine Marketing. In order for a page to rank high in a search engine it needs to be relevant to the search keywords and phrases that users are looking for. Search Engine Optimization is separated into two main parts, on page factors and off page factors. On page factors are things such as:

  • Keyword Placement – how many keywords you use and where you use them on a page help in boosting the relevance of your webpage. Some people believe that there is a magic percentage of keywords for a page, we at believe that the standards always change so it is important to keep refining your pages and weighing the impact of the changes that you have made.
  • Content – Search engines can’t read images or flash based sites, in order to be relevant for a textual search you have to have textual content on your pages.
  • Titles & Meta Data – Titles and meta-data are important for a couple different reasons. Titles and meta data can and should include some keywords, and searchers read the titles and meta-data to help them decide if they want to click on your link in the SERPS.
  • Headers & Text Styling – Formulating header tags and other forms of text styling can help increase the relevance of a word or phrase. If it is done tastefully it will also assist visitors in reading the content.
  • Image & Link Titles – search engines don’t read images but they can read the image name, the search engines can also read the title and alt tags that describe the images.
  • Link words – The words that you use to link to another location as well as the words around the link help boost page relevance.

If you are fortunate you will be able to start the optimization process from the beginning of a webpage’s development. If you are not so fortunate you can still optimize a webpage, it may take some additional work to reorganize your site for the best optimization.

Site optimization is a way to really focus a webpage and a websites content and allow the keywords to be consistently applied through the entire page. This coupled with well formatted webpage coding will take you a long way in beating your competition in the search engines.

Off page factors are optimization techniques that include link building, submission to directories, analyzing competition, and time. Some of these off site techniques are easier solved than others, and obviously some of them just take time. For more information check out the Search Optimization article in the main menu above.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing is probably the newest area of Internet Marketing that has been identified. Through social media a new internet marketing industry has been born and people are specializing in this area. Social Media Marketing is diverse and can include a wide array of areas such as social bookmarking, blogging, social/professional networking and more. In order to best approach Social Media Marketing it is first necessary to define it. Social Media Marketing can be defined as:

“The process of presenting products or services in a light that allows them to become adopted by niche targeted groups of people.”

I am sure that there are variations of this definition however for our purposes this is what we will be using throughout this site. Social Media Marketing has not been fully studied or leveraged and new tools and methods are being implemented every day to market on sites that are frequented by diverse groups of individuals. Regardless of the products or services that you are marketing there is most likely an online audience formed or forming that represents a targeted market for your needs.

Social Media Marketing isn’t an easy egg to crack. Online groups many times are very sensitive to marketing efforts. As you build your strategy you will need to research and plan out an approach that will be welcomed by your audience.

Social Media Optimization
From a different perspective you need to present your pages in a way that can leverage available Social Media sites. Social Media Optimization is about presenting tools that optimize your webpages ability to engage your audience and share your webpages with others. This could be as simple as providing an easy way to submit your page to a social bookmarking site or adding a forum or blog to your strategy. A more detailed breakdown of this topic is available on the Social Media Optimization page. I hope you enjoyed this overview of Internet marketing.

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