If you think Internet Marketers are just people who add “keywords” into a website for “search engines” to see, there is nothing further from the truth. Internet Marketing as a whole, involves a wide range of skills that can take years or even decades to master. What I learned quite early on is that there are so many pieces to the puzzle and if one thing is wrong, it can affect your entire marketing campaign.
Let’s examine each of the different skills involved that make up the “Ultimate Internet Marketer:
No Internet Marketer is complete unless you are able to be able to perform in-depth keyword research, competitor analysis and market research. Without these skills, your efforts will surely suffer or fail. Understanding the balance between search volume, market saturation, and website authority is KEY!
Even though Internet Marketers are on the internet, they still need to be able to have personality. The BEST Internet Marketers all have one thing in common; they are all GREAT story tellers. Telling a story, combined with a positive personality can sell just about anything. If you are trying to sell your own products, you are going to want to create videos, conduct webinars and interviews…which means you want to sound intelligent and compelling.
I am not saying that you need to also be a programmer, but an Internet Marketer should have an understanding of certain technical skills to carry out a marketing strategy. This may include working with WordPress (themes, plugins), various CMS or shopping carts, being comfortable with editing HTML (meta tags, anchor text, etc..), XML sitemaps, robots.txt files, etc…
Probably the most under-estimated aspect of Internet Marketing is GREAT COPY. It is pretty amazing to see the impact great copy can have on conversions. Being able to understand the market, target audience, psychological triggers, scarcity, the power of story telling, gripping headlines and calls to actions can make or break a product launch.
Great copywriters also understand the difference between blog copy, website copy, email swipe copy, whitepaper copy, etc… They also understand how often and when to send specific messaging.
Not to mention, when it comes to Internet Marketing, your content will be the foundation of your strategy so you need to be able to write blog content easily. Good bloggers can come up with CONSISTENT, compelling content topics, headlines and 300-600 words in under an hour (usually).
Their is a reason that great copy writing is so expensive…because it works!
Its no secret that building backlinks is a large component of gaining page 1 organic rankings. A good link builder can analyze competitors links and figure out which links have high authority and how they can get those same links.
Link builders also have a overall understanding of LOTS of different ways to get backlinks. Tactics such as article marketing, press releases, guest blogging, directory submissions, blog syndication, RSS feed submission, web 2.0 profiles and pages, social bookmarking, pinging…the list goes on.
A link builder should learn the proper way to build links. Using varied keyword-rich anchor text and distributing link between your homepage and sub-pages are very important.
Regardless of how good your content is, if you can’t drive traffic, nobody is going to read it. The ultimate Internet Marketer is able to research where their target market is hanging out and how to leverage that traffic to drive to their sites.
Traffic generation tactics like forum engagement, social media engagement, article distribution, long-tail blog content, paid search tactics, SEO…again the list goes on.
On-page SEO Skills
I don’t think an Internet Marketer needs to be an “SEO Guru” by any means, but they should be aware of the core fundamentals of SEO. Things like Title tags, Meta tags, H tags, internal linking, website hierarchy, and regular content are all essential aspects of good on-page SEO.
Paid Search Skills
Paid Search can be a very lucrative marketing strategy, if you understand how to maximize your ad dollars. A good paid search marketer can find alternative PPC networks besides Google Adwords to gain qualified traffic, at much lower costs. They understand the proper way to structure a campaign for maximum quality score and/or relevancy.
Testing…testing…testing, is a HUGE part of PPC marketing. Being able to write and adjust compelling ad copy, keywords, bidding, time of day, frequency, landing pages, offers, etc…
Social Media Skills
There is no denying that Twitter and Facebook can drive MASSIVE amounts of traffic, so the Ultimate Internet Marketer should be able to know how these networks work and how they can leverage them.
Building Twitter followers and Facebook Fans can be a long-term but easy way to share your content and marketing message.
Social bookmarking sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, Mixx, Reddit, Yahoo Buzz, and lots of others, can drive massive amounts of traffic. Each of these sites have algorithms and unique communities that can either drive no traffic or lots of traffic.
Ok, so you have great content, been building links and have utilized various traffic generation methods, but you are not converting anyone into leads or sales, why? An Internet Marketer can test different landing pages and tweak elements of a page, to then analyze and see what converts at a high rate.
Conversion optimization know how to easily test headlines, graphic elements like buttons, layouts, fonts, colors and other things that can affect your Conversion rates. Using tools like the Google Website Optimizer and Clicktale to study how users are engaging with your website and content, is extremely important for improving conversions.
Latest, I must say that the Ultimate Internet Marketer has REAL experience and not just theory or understanding of these concepts. There are so many aspects within each of these topics, that I didn’t even mention. These aspects are best learned by actually DOING and learning from your mistakes.
Personally, I have seen hundreds of idiosyncrasies on platforms like WordPress, FileZilla, Aweber, etc…that you wouldn’t really understand until you have experienced it yourself.
Also, as you start actually putting these concepts into practice, it will become second nature. This means each of these aspects will come much easier and are able to be completed in a more efficient manner.
Hopefully by now, you agree that there is much more to Internet Marketing that meets the eye. It can be extremely difficult to put all of these pieces together to make a finely tuned marketing campaign.
What do you guys think? Do you agree? Are their other aspects of Internet Marketing that I am missing?