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The 3 Fundamental Principles Of Online Marketing

By R.L. Adams
 

Image: Shutterstock | Rawpixel
Launching a business is difficult. It’s always been that way. However, today, we live in an age that requires an inherent understanding of the convoluted Web that’s been woven. Without it, gaining traction for your online business could be futile.

While most people are caught spinning their wheels, focusing on efforts that provide them with little to no traction, successful online marketers know that there are three fundamental principles that must absolutely be adhered to in order to achieve long-term results on the Web.

These principles provide the basis for success across the board in areas such as search engine optimization, social media marketing, sales and email marketing. Wield these three principles and interlace them into everything that you do, and success will eventually be within reach.

The biggest problem? The prevailing mentality seems to be one of doing the least amount of work for the greatest return. It’s either born from sheer laziness, which is partially a product of our culture, or one of the expectation of convenience and instant gratification.

We want what we want, when we want it, and we’d like that to happen right now, wouldn’t we? Who wants to wait around for weeks, months or even years at a time to see their labor bear fruit? Not many people have the patience and wherewithal to see things through, but we all know that things don’t happen overnight.

When it comes to marketing any business online, we need to put in the sweat equity. We have to do the work. There’s simply no way around it. But it isn’t just about working hard, we also have to work smart and do things the right way, not the easy way.

The truth? When it comes to online marketing, you either have a lot of money or a lot of time. If you have both those things, then you’re in luck since you’ve likely hit the jackpot somewhere along the road. But the large majority of folks have either one or the other, and that’s usually more time than money.
 

How you spend your time, will largely dictate your ability for success when it comes to online marketing. Will you try to wield quick fixes to chase the all-mighty dollar? Or, will you build inherent value into your offerings?
 

While the delicate balance of time versus money is nothing new, if you want to succeed with online marketing you have to do things the right way while using the precious little amount of time you have wisely.

In total, there are three fundamental principles that online marketers need to both understand and adhere to. Whether you’re an entrepreneur at the earliest stages of business, a startup knee-deep in sales and marketing, or a veteran business owner or manager, these three fundamental principles should be driving every online-marketing decision you make.

Absorb, understand and implement these, and you’ll taste sweet victory over time. Ignore them, and it could just be the death-knell to your business.

#1 – Value fosters authority. Always deliver value.
 

The one thing that separates successful online marketers from those who falter and fail is their core understanding that they absolutely must deliver value, always. Value fosters authority over time. And anyone considered to be an authority in their industry or niche, ultimately gets the exposure they’re after from search engines like Google.

One of the driving forces behind the often-confusing search-engine rankings on Google is value. How much value is a particular listing going to deliver to individuals that are seeking that information? While value isn’t the only factor driving the rankings on Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), it is at the fundamental core of the listings.

In fact, value, in the eyes of Google, is determined by over 200 different factors. It’s not a simple equation by any means. How much value you’re going to deliver to a user is actually computed using such a wide array of both technical and non-technical data that it can seem dizzying.

Google’s algorithms can determine value based on a few key factors. If you can adhere to these factors, no matter what type of content you put out there, you will succeed. Content, in whatever form it might be, but more importantly in written form, will help to build authority over time as long as it’s high-quality content that adds a lot of value to the lives of others.

How does Google determine whether something is of high value or not? While there are loads of factors that affect SEO in general , both site-wide and page-wide, these are some of the most important factors when it comes to determining value in content:

  • Reading level: Word usage matters. Google knows the reading level of your content. This isn’t about trying to be verbose or use words that few people will understand; this is about writing at a College or University level or higher.
  • Keyword-focused: Your content needs to be highly-focused on the topic. Try to laser in on a single keyword (whether it’s a short or long-tail keyword) and don’t veer off course. Google likes to know that a piece of content is about something very specific. Ensure that this keyword is found within the title tag, URL, and throughout the content. But be wary of over-optimizing for that keyword. Keep it natural and organic while also incorporating the LSI variations of the keyword (i.e. “top weight loss plans” as an LSI variation for “best diets for weight loss”).
  • Usage of media: Written content is terrific, but the incorporation of media will increase the likeliness of ranking that content higher. Relevant videos, photos or even audio that might help to drive the topic home will be enormously beneficial.
  • Unique and insightful: Repeating content or spinning content you find elsewhere won’t help you. The content needs to be unique and it needs to be insightful. Try to make connections others haven’t or present the information in an insightful way. And if you’re stating facts and figures, be sure to cite your sources.
  • Engaging and relevant: Content that’s engaging and relevant to your audience will get shared more often. Google knows that. So should you. Think about any content you’ve loved and simply had to share yourself because you were so enthralled by it, and try to recreate that experience.
  • External and internal links: Ensure that you link to relevant external content at least a few times for every thousand words of written content. Internally, ensure that you’re linking through to other content on your site that can help to better explain certain concepts or terms.

Over time, value fosters authority. And it’s through authority that we can gain visibility on search engines like Google. If you want to succeed in online marketing, make sure you adhere steadfastly to this principle. It won’t happen overnight. It will take time. But it will eventually happen.

No matter where you’re sharing your content or what medium you’re sharing it through (i.e. written words, infographics, video, email content, etc.) make sure that it’s first and primary purpose is to add value.

If you try to sell people at every turn and corner, they’ll be turned off. Instead, you must position yourself as an authority in your niche and to do that you need to constantly deliver value over time.
 

#2 – Stay consistent. Timing is everything.
 

When it comes to online marketing, one foundational principle is steeped in consistency. Timing is everything. What does it mean? Don’t fall off the face of the earth for weeks or months at a time. If you’re blogging, posting on a social media fan page, or making educational videos, stay consistent.

Come up with a schedule to share your content and stick to it. If you decide to share content once or twice a week, pick the days and do it regularly. Keep in mind that you’ll need to keep up this schedule for years so be sure that it works for you based on the amount of time you have allotted.

If you’re having trouble finding the time, develop an effective time management system to help you stay on track. When you post content consistently, you’re also developing more fresh content on your site rather than leaving the stale content to just marinate.

While stale content is okay to have when it’s evergreen content (i.e. non-breaking-new related for example), if you don’t post often enough or on a consistent schedule, you might see a drop in organic traffic. However, this doesn’t mean that content should just be posted without care for its quality. All other factors still need to be adhered to.

This sends an important signal to search engines like Google, telling it that your site is active, engaging and consistently developing content on a regular basis.
 

#3 – Share and be social.
 

The link profile of any Website has a considerable effect on reach and visibility. Google knows that a Website with a diverse and organic link profile is one that can be more trusted. But what does that mean really?

Without getting into too many highly-technical details, Google is looking for authentic links from other trusted Websites. In the past, it’s been known to punish sites that try to engage in things like link schemes, paid links, and other underhanded techniques to gain visibility.

The goal here of course is to also adhere to principle number one so that you can foster genuine and authentic links to your content. If your content truly delivers value, then it will likely be shared by a wide variety of people and Websites across the Internet.

When we talk about diverse links, Google is really looking for diversity in the IP addresses that are sharing the content. For example, having all the links come from Facebook, for example, won’t be largely beneficial. But, if the links are coming from blogs, news sites and other relevant online destinations from relevant content across the Web, the benefits will be far greater.

What you don’t want to do here is try to spam your links. You need to engage in conversations. Share and be social but don’t overdo it. Look more on ways you can add value to existing conversations. Find highly-trafficked social media pages or blog forums where you can assist others in your given niche or industry of expertise.

If you try to link bomb and play the cheerleader role, not only will people not take you seriously, you might find yourself being banned from certain forums. Just approach everything you do with tact and think about the bigger picture rather than shooting for some overnight success. If you play your cards right, over time, you will get the traction you’re after, but you need to do it the right way rather than look for the easy route.
 

While there are most certainly other online marketing principles that can be adhered to with a variety of different methods for their implementation, these are by far the three most important ones.
 

R.L. Adams is a software engineer, serial entrepreneur, and best-selling author. He runs a popular blog called Wanderlust Worker and occasionally blogs for Engadget and the Huffington Post.
 
Source: forbes.com

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