An entrepreneur or freelancer has two main strategies to tap into when marketing online. Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which attempts to rank your website on search engines “organically”, and Search Engine Marketing (SEM), which ranks your website in search results in exchange for money. Both strategies can be used to build a business successfully—but which one is right for you?
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.
The truth? Today, rising above the noise and achieving any semblance of visibility has become a monumental undertaking. While we might prevail at searching, we fail at being found. How are we supposed to get notice while swimming in a sea of misinformation and disinformation? We've become immersed in this guru gauntlet where one expert after another is attempting to teach us how we can get the proverbial word out about our businesses and achieve visibility to drive more leads and sales, but we all still seem to be lost.
So, as you build a link, ask yourself, "am I doing this for the sake of my customer or as a normal marketing function?" If not, and you're buying a link, spamming blog comments, posting low-quality articles and whatnot, you risk Google penalizing you for your behavior. This could be as subtle as a drop in search ranking, or as harsh as a manual action, getting you removed from the search results altogether!
When I started our Internet marketing company 20 years ago, it was just me and a dream to grow. Today, we have 48 employees, all in-house, in Clifton Park, New York. The average employee has been with us for 6.21 years, and 10 of us have been here for more than 10 years. We have 298 years of combined work experience here. Compared to our Ninja army, I can’t believe that there’s a more experienced or tighter team of SEOs in the world. If you’re shopping around for a SEO company, know that IMN wins on experience and knowledge by far.
My favorite tool to spy on my competitors' backlinks is called Monitor Backlinks. It allows you to add your four most important competitors. From then on, you get a weekly report containing all the new links they have earned. Inside the tool, you get more insights about these links and can sort them by their value and other SEO metrics. A useful feature is that all the links my own website already has are highlighted in green, as in the screenshot below.
Abbey Klaasen of AdAge recently wrote about how a 161 year-old Wells Fargo Bank, which has 275,000 employees and more than 90 businesses, deployed a social media command center to monitor the social conversations about the bank. In the article, Jamie Moldafsky, the CMO of Wells Fargo explains that she wants to, “create the same rigor around capturing social-media interactions as we do with phone calls and branch visits.”