By Carrie-ann | Oct 11, 2012 | Internet Marketing

More to internet marketing than being the top of Google

So you want to get to the top of Google for your main keyword? For many, this is the holy grail of internet marketing. But exactly how realistic is it? And what are the hidden dangers of this type of strategy?
The underlying failing of this kind of thinking is that your internet marketing becomes totally dependent on optimising your marketing and SEO efforts for Google. People all too easily fail to consider that Google is a business and is apt to change not only their algorithm but also the way search results operate. We’ve seen this recently with changes to Google Shopping.  Basing your marketing on one keyword, and on one search engine could mean having to write-off thousands. All Google has to do is press the reset-button and all your efforts go out the window.
There are other issues too. If you want to optimise for one main keyword other sites are also likely to have their sights on the same word. Therefore if you are focusing on a competitive word with lots of traffic you have your work cut out.  The chances are someone else will be better resourced than you are and you’re heading for disappointment. There’s also the possibility you could be hit with a Google penalty for not adding sufficient keyword variation to your on and off site marketing.

So what can you do to build traffic and reduce your dependency on Google?
For a start you can build diversity into your keywords while making sure each page of your site is tightly focused on different keywords. Don’t assume all your keywords have to have a lot of traffic. Sometimes it’s wise to focus where there is less competition.  This is a foreign concept for many small business webmasters but I can show you how to evaluate not just traffic but how competitive a keyword is.
Post Panda and Penguin, two game changing Google updates, SEO isn’t dead as some would have you believe. But Google wants to know you’re keeping it real and that you are a real business. In practice this means social media should be part of your marketing effort alongside SEO.
Social media marketing handled with a light touch (remember you’re not selling) can generate business quickly for comparatively little expense. Every business needs cash flow to survive. That’s exactly why I encourage businesses to pay for marketing from cash flow. That often means running quicker methods of getting traffic such as using social marketing alongside your SEO efforts. That’s the best way to get a cash flow going which is especially important at the current time.
Now I bet you’ve had calls or emails from companies promising to get you to the top of Google for peanuts. I say this a lot, but it’s worth repeating: no one can promise to get you to the top of Google.
My suggestion is always that you learn as much as you can about internet marketing before you part with any money. An informed client makes better decisions. Time well spent.  Teaming up with companies that make lots of promises and don’t sit down with you to understand your business objectives and plan is a false economy no matter how cheap they are. Not only are their methods questionable, they are out of date.
If you’ve not started working with social media it can feel daunting. But don’t fear it because you don’t understand it. Take the time to learn about the facts of internet marketing even if you feel you need to hire a coach or trainer. In the meantime if you’re not 100% sure, don’t part with any money.