There's a lot to learn when it comes to the internet marketing field in general, and the digital ether of the web is a crowded space filled with one know-it-all after another that wants to sell you the dream. However, what many people fail to do at the start, and something that Sharpe learned along the way, is to actually understand what's going on out there in the digital world and how businesses and e-commerce works in general, before diving in headfirst.
This SEO tutorial teaches you a "beat the leader" approach to search engine ranking with SEO tips that have worked for our digital marketing clients. To see what Google or Bing thinks is best for any specific attribute, we look at the sites they are currently rewarding — the top-ranked results. Once you know what structural and content choices worked for the "leaders," you can do even better by making your pages the "least imperfect"!
This guide is designed for you to read cover-to-cover. Each new chapter builds upon the previous one. A core idea that we want to reinforce is that marketing should be evaluated holistically. What you need to do is this in terms of growth frameworks and systems as opposed to campaigns. Reading this guide from start to finish will help you connect the many moving parts of marketing to your big-picture goal, which is ROI.
One common scam is the creation of "shadow" domains that funnel users to a site by using deceptive redirects. These shadow domains often will be owned by the SEO who claims to be working on a client's behalf. However, if the relationship sours, the SEO may point the domain to a different site, or even to a competitor's domain. If that happens, the client has paid to develop a competing site owned entirely by the SEO.

Understanding your audience is the first step to any marketing strategy, and buyer personas are a valuable tool to aid in that understanding. Buyer personas are simply fictional representations of your various types of customers. Create a profile that describes each one’s background, job description, main sources of information, goals, challenges, preferred type of content, objections, and/or role in the purchase process. It is easier to determine a channel and voice for your marketing messages when you have a clear picture of your target audience.
Another reason is that if you're using an image as a link, the alt text for that image will be treated similarly to the anchor text of a text link. However, we don't recommend using too many images for links in your site's navigation when text links could serve the same purpose. Lastly, optimizing your image filenames and alt text makes it easier for image search projects like Google Image Search to better understand your images.
Paid channel marketing is something you’ve probably come across in some form or another. Other names for this topic include Search Engine Marketing (SEM), online advertising, or pay-per-click (PPC) marketing. Very often, marketers use these terms interchangeably to describe the same concept — traffic purchased through online ads. Marketers frequently shy away from this technique because it costs money. This perspective will put you at a significant disadvantage. It’s not uncommon for companies to run PPC campaigns with uncapped budgets. Why? Because you should be generating an ROI anyway. This chapter walks through the basics of how.
Digital marketing activity is still growing across the world according to the headline global marketing index. A study published in September 2018, found that global outlays on digital marketing tactics are approaching $100 billion.[40] Digital media continues to rapidly grow; while the marketing budgets are expanding, traditional media is declining (World Economics, 2015).[41] Digital media helps brands reach consumers to engage with their product or service in a personalised way. Five areas, which are outlined as current industry practices that are often ineffective are prioritizing clicks, balancing search and display, understanding mobiles, targeting, viewability, brand safety and invalid traffic, and cross-platform measurement (Whiteside, 2016).[42] Why these practices are ineffective and some ways around making these aspects effective are discussed surrounding the following points.
One of the best ways to improve the look of your video is to include b-roll. B-roll is the supplementary footage included as a cutaway. This might include shots of a customer service rep talking on a phone, a designer editing your website, visuals of your office, or even screenshots of your product. The key with b-roll is to make sure each and every piece enhances the story. 

Internet usage around the world, especially in the wealthiest countries, has steadily risen over the past decade and it shows no signs of slowing. According to a report by the Internet trend investment firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, 245 million people in the United States were online as of 2011, and 15 million people connected for the first time that year. As Internet usage grows, online commerce grows with it. This means that more people are using the Internet with each passing year, and enough of them are spending money online to impact the economy in significant ways. (See also E-Commerce Marketing)
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In 2013, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals held in Lens.com, Inc. v. 1-800 Contacts, Inc. that online contact lens seller Lens.com did not commit trademark infringement when it purchased search advertisements using competitor 1-800 Contacts' federally registered 1800 CONTACTS trademark as a keyword. In August 2016, the Federal Trade Commission filed an administrative complaint against 1-800 Contacts alleging, among other things, that its trademark enforcement practices in the search engine marketing space have unreasonably restrained competition in violation of the FTC Act. 1-800 Contacts has denied all wrongdoing and is scheduled to appear before an FTC administrative law judge in April 2017.[29]
Businesses can expect the number of smartphone users and the amount of time they’re spending on these devices to increase as time goes on. If your company wishes to remain successful, you’ll want to ensure your marketing team knows the importance of mobile marketing strategies, and which to put in place to expand your audience reach, improve CTRs, and increase conversions.
Baseline ranking assessment. You need to understand where you are now in order to accurately assess your future rankings. Keep a simple Excel sheet to start the process. Check weekly to begin. As you get more comfortable, check every 30 to 45 days. You should see improvements in website traffic, a key indicator of progress for your keywords. Some optimizers will say that rankings are dead. Yes, traffic and conversions are more important, but we use rankings as an indicator.
You’ll want to capture users’ emails regularly, both when they purchase…and even before they become a customer. You can use lead magnets or discounts to incentivize email sign-ups and using an email management service like MailChimp allows you to create triggered autoresponders that will automatically send out pre-made welcome email campaigns when they subscribe.
The majority of web traffic is driven by the major commercial search engines, Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. Although social media and other types of traffic can generate visits to your website, search engines are the primary method of navigation for most Internet users. This is true whether your site provides content, services, products, information, or just about anything else.
Over the last 15 years, TopSpot has grown into the largest independent search marketing agency in Houston, Texas due to our passion for helping our clients grow. We understand that your website is often the face of your company and should make you look your best. We create digital strategies that help you reach your business goals & showcase who you really are. SEO, PPC, web design & development and analytics solutions are services we provide, but that's only the beginning. 
Jim Boykin blows my mind every time I talk to him. I have been doing SEO for 15 years and yet I am amazed at the deep stuff Jim comes up with. Simply amazing insights and always on the cutting edge. He cuts through the BS and tells you what really works and what doesn't. After our chat, I grabbed my main SEO guy and took him to lunch and said "you have to help me process all this new info..." I was literally pacing around the room...I have so many new ideas to experiment with that I would never have stumbled onto on my own. He is the Michael Jordan or the Jerry Garcia of links...Hope to go to NY again to Jim's amazing SEO classes. Thanks Jim! Michael G.

Your customers, prospects, and partners are the lifeblood of of your business. You need to build your marketing strategy around them. Step 1 of marketing is understanding what your customers want, which can be challenging when you’re dealing with such a diverse audience. This chapter will walk you through (1) the process of building personal connections at scale and (2) crafting customer value propositions that funnel back to ROI for your company.
Remember also, that search engine marketing is only one online digital communications tool. For established brands, we commonly see from web analytics that more than half of site visitors arrive at a site, not through search engines, but directly through typing in the web address or following a bookmark (web analytics tools label these as ‘no referrer'). The volume of direct visitors shows the power of branding, PR and offline communications in driving visitor traffic.
Website ranking doesn't just come from what's on your website. Google, the number one search engine used today, uses a variety of other factors to rank websites. Things like your social media activity, appearances on other sites through interviews or guest blogging, and being listed as a resource on another site all increase your standing in Google's eyes.
Billions of people search the web every day. Search engine marketing (SEM for short) is how you can get your ads in front of these future customers where it counts: in premium spots on the first page of search results. You set your own budget and are charged only when your ad is clicked. This makes SEM an affordable way to reach more customers for businesses of all sizes — including yours.

The largest search engines, Google, Bing and Yahoo, each have fairly simple programs to get started. You determine the key words or search phrase as well as the amount you are willing to spend (per click and/or per day). Most of them offer simple programs that require filling out a form and putting a certain amount of money down as credit. Like anything new, start small with paid SEM and add complexity (and budget) as you learn more and see results over time.
Although you must consider all possible distribution channels, the evolution of technology positions the Social Media as a key channel. In fact, 39% of Facebook users come only through mobile, and in the case of Twitter, this percentage rises to over 60%. So this employs creativity and leads consumers to download your application or enter your site through social networks, since it is here where they will find the majority of mobile users.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is often about making small modifications to parts of your website. When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site's user experience and performance in organic search results. You're likely already familiar with many of the topics in this guide, because they're essential ingredients for any web page, but you may not be making the most out of them.

"Organic" search engine marketing (organic search listings) combines the best practices of creativity, technology, usability, copy, and online promotion / PR. This is because many search engines base their relevancy algorithms on a combination of the text they see on a page, site, video, or image and combine the content information with external elements such as links and user behaviors/preferences demonstrated over time for a domain, content source, or specific content element.

Since Google announced that mobile traffic had overtaken desktop traffic back in 2015, these devices have only become more and more an essential part of our day to day lives. The mobile app market has reached maturity, and users are more than ready for mobile marketing. So in order for you to be able to fully understand and incorporate this into your strategy, let’s take a look at what mobile marketing is, which tools it uses and how you can use it to increase conversions.
The next step? How will you communicate with people. Sharpe says that you need to decide on this early on. Will you blog? Will you use social media? Will you build a list by working with solo ad providers? Will you place paid advertisements? What will you do and how will you do it? What you must realize here is that you have to get really good at copy writing. The better you get at copy writing, the more success you'll find as an internet marketer.
With Bing Ads, your accounts are free to set up and billing is flexible. You choose between a prepay or postpay option, as well as various payment methods. If you are uncertain about anything, there is free help to answer your questions before activating your campaigns. You can also pause campaigns at any time. Remember, you’re not billed until someone clicks your ad.

One of the most enduring misconceptions about search engine marketing is that whomever has the largest advertising budget wins. Although a larger advertising budget can certainly be advantageous, especially when targeting highly competitive keywords, but it’s far from a requirement for success with search engine marketing. This is because all ads go through a process known as the ad auction before appearing alongside search results. For the purposes of this explanation, we’ll be focusing on the ad auction in Google AdWords.
The program even provides helpful templates that simplify the editing process. The platform supports high-quality clips like 4K video footage and makes it easy to share your work directly to a video hosting platform. Limited access to advanced color correction and editing features mean it isn’t commonly used by professionals, but iMovie is still a great option if you’re just starting out.
Another illicit practice is to place "doorway" pages loaded with keywords on the client's site somewhere. The SEO promises this will make the page more relevant for more queries. This is inherently false since individual pages are rarely relevant for a wide range of keywords. More insidious, however, is that these doorway pages often contain hidden links to the SEO's other clients as well. Such doorway pages drain away the link popularity of a site and route it to the SEO and its other clients, which may include sites with unsavory or illegal content.
In order to engage customers, retailers must shift from a linear marketing approach of one-way communication to a value exchange model of mutual dialogue and benefit-sharing between provider and consumer.[21] Exchanges are more non-linear, free flowing, and both one-to-many or one-on-one.[5] The spread of information and awareness can occur across numerous channels, such as the blogosphere, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and a variety of other platforms. Online communities and social networks allow individuals to easily create content and publicly publish their opinions, experiences, and thoughts and feelings about many topics and products, hyper-accelerating the diffusion of information.[22]
Whether you’re an online brand or storefront-based business, now is the time to make sure that your marketing attempts are reaching the mobile devices of your target audience. Of course, like any other marketing process, you should constantly be conducting market research, redesigning your marketing materials, and optimizing your sales funnel. By staying on top of the latest mobile marketing strategy innovations, your brand can begin to generate new leads, increase conversion rates, and help your business thrive.
Okay. Okay. There is a lot to learn. However, everyone has to start somewhere. If you're just being introduced to internet marketing, and you've become bedazzled by the glitz and the glamor of the top online income earners, know that it's not going to be easy to replicate their success. Be sure that you set your expectations the proper way. As long as you stay persistent, you can achieve your goals of generating healthy amounts of money online without becoming the victim of a scam.
If you are using Responsive Web Design, use meta name="viewport" tag to tell the browser how to adjust the content. If you use Dynamic Serving, use the Vary HTTP header to signal your changes depending on the user-agent. If you are using separate URLs, signal the relationship between two URLs by tag with rel="canonical" and rel="alternate" elements.
Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the products that appear on this site are from companies from which QuinStreet receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site including, for example, the order in which they appear. QuinStreet does not include all companies or all types of products available in the marketplace.
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