Web Marketing

by Dave Curtis on 09/25/2010

Web marketing as defined by Wikipedia “Internet marketing, also referred to as i-marketing, web-marketing, online-marketing, or e-Marketing, is the marketing of products or services over the Internet.” While true, that’s not a very revealing definition.

Most people who write search engine optimization, search engine marketing and affiliate marketing books will refer to web marketing as pay per click ads (PPC), banner ads (largely outdated but still effective when used with discretion and properly placed), and other paid inclusion, mostly no-follow links back to their site etc.

Part of the problem defining what Web Marketing is lies in the diversity of the audience we’re trying to define it to. As a rule those who are in their fifties and older grew up largely, for the most part, without the benefit of the daily use of personal computer and the internet. That includes many business owners. Most people below 40 have grown up with the internet and use it every day. These are generalities of course as there are exceptions in both categories.

I’ll start out by saying that I am 53 as of this writing and when I started using the internet we were all using DOS. At that time businesses were trying to figure out how to monetize the internet and not being able to figure it out while 17 year old kids were selling cheap Korean made modems over the internet and making $50,000 a year.

The 17 year old kid had it figured out how to monetize the web while the major corporate leaders were still scratching their heads – and it was to these same executives and businessmen that the 17 year old kid was selling all of these cheap Korean modems! Part of the problem was that the corporate heads were looking at the internet as if it were an equation instead of jumping in and getting deeply involved personally. It was a lot like listening to someone explain how they were trying to learn how to swim by using a mathematical equation.

The most successful growth Web Marketing today requires personal involvement and commitment (I’ll spare you the details – there are quite a few) by you or people you have working for you helping you create your brand. This personal involvement is a two way interaction now possible on the web, known as Web 2.0.

Web 2.0 is really nothing more than the evolution of the web (once largely all static pages and sites) into a non-read only interface with others – a two way environment where everyone can interact socially, both reading and commenting to turn the web into a socially meaningful, fulfilling and enriching experience.

So now we’re getting closer to what Web Marketing is. Abraham Lincoln once said: “Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.” and with that in mind, the interactive web and public sentiment is now finally being used by Google’s search engine in their algorithm to discover what people are talking about, what links they are sending back and forth to one another, and what they are looking for in the search engines (all of this, and more, combined) to give search engine users what they want to find in the search results.

So just like the lottery commercial says “You’ve got to be in it to win it” and if you don’t care about what the public is doing and saying to you and about you and your business (or if you don’t care about search engine results) then you’re not going to want to invest in SEO. If you do you won’t be as effective as those who are willing to participate you’ll have to participate. If not then you’ll want to go for traditional print media and pay for a bigger Yellow Pages ad, more newspaper advertising, magazine ads and maybe even use direct mail as options that use the old fashioned way of speaking at people and not with them. Print ads work by being loud and interrupting a reader’s attention from the story they are reading – Social media as part of a successful Web Marketing campaign engages groups and individuals and offers them attractive solutions to the problems they have opted in to engage you in conversations about.

Email marketing, Pay Per Click, article marketing, social website interaction and updating a blog on a daily basis makes good sense if you care about making an active effort to be interactive with the web and the millions of people on it.