Avoid The Number One Online Marketing Mistake

I really should have named this post “Avoid The Internet Marketer’s Number One Mistake Made By Beginners”.  Are you a beginner?  If so, this is critical if you have not already learned it.  It surprises me how many Internet marketers have been working at it for months – even years, and have little income to show for it.  What are they doing wrong?  As you probably already know, your business is a complex one, and there are many seemingly small things that can be done wrong and doom your business.  Conversely, there are small tricks that you can use to transform your business overnight. 

What I am about to reveal is not a trick or even a little known technique… instead it is a critical component for online success, whether you are building websites to promote, using pay per click to promote, or even writing on blogs.  It applies everywhere!  What am I talking about… yes, it’s keywords.

Yes, keywords!

Let me define what a keyword is.  A keyword is a word or phrase that is used to find a given product or service.  For instance, if you wanted to sell your house, you might type “real estate broker” into a search engine.  When you see that there are too many results that do not apply, you might then type “real estate broker new york city”.  Most people will keep trying more targeted keywords until they find what they are looking for.  Keep in mind that other people might use something different altogether… using the same example, they may type “realtor” or “sell my house nyc”.

As Internet marketers, we learn this quickly, but for those people who are building websites for their offline businesses often have no clue what keywords are – let alone how and why to use them.  They build websites and usually don’t know how to drive traffic.  Often, these business owners hire outside firms to drive traffic.  No disrespect to you if you are in the business of driving traffic, but I have found that most don’t know what they are doing.  (Kudos to those of you that do).  Did you ever get a phone call from some bozo telling you they can get you a “top ranking” in Google?  What the hell does that mean anyway?  Even if they can get you in the top fold of the first page, the big question still remains… what keywords are they using to achieve that “top ranking”?   Just remember one thing… it is easy to get a top ranking with the wrong keywords, such as the name of your company.

So the whole point of keywords is to attract the right traffic.  After all, you want to attract people who do not know you exist.  They are not looking for your company, per se, but they are looking for your product or service.  So let’s understand that it is a rare circumstance that the name of your company will be an appropriate keyword.  If you manufactured rubber bands and the name of your company was “Big Band Industries”, then clearly you do not want to use your company name even though the word “band” is in there.  You need to do your keyword research.

The first step to finding keywords is to think about what YOU would type into a search engine to find your own service.  You probably would not type “rubber bands for sale” unless you are looking for a retailer such as Staples or Office Max.  You might type “wholesale rubber bands” or “rubber band manufacturer”.

After you made a list of the keywords that you would type, use a keyword tool to help you generate a list of keywords that your customers are actually typing.  I suggest you try the free Wordtracker keyword tool or the free Google keyword tool.  There are also more extensive keyword tools you can get for a fee.  If you are a beginner, I suggest the free tools first.  In most cases, it will suffice.  Besides, I’d rather see you make some money before you go around buying tools.  Don’t get me wrong, there are valuable paid tools out there, but what good are they if you go broke before having the chance to use them?

Your keyword research will not only tell you what people are typing to find your services, but will also tell you how many people are searching.  This key information will tell you whether or not your market is even viable – especially for a new business, online or off.

So no matter how you plan to proceed with your Internet marketing business, or even if you want to just promote your offline business, knowing your keywords are critical to your online marketing success.

Resources From This Post
Free Wordtracker Keyword Tool
Free Google Keyword Tool

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Written by Scott Gilbert on April 22nd, 2010 with 3 comments.
Read more articles on Driving Traffic and Internet Marketing and Keywords and Marketing Tools and Online Marketing.

3 comments

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Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com Power Tool Wholesale
#1. April 28th, 2010, at 8:07 AM.

However, there are also pitfalls in the Affiliate Marketing business. -Power Tool Wholesale

Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com Scott Gilbert
#2. April 30th, 2010, at 4:10 PM.

Thanks, Power Tool Wholesale, for the comment. Yes there are pitfalls in the affiliate marketing business… there are pitfalls in just about every business. The key is to identify the pitfalls and find a solution to get around them. If success were easy, everyone would be successful. Affiliate marketing takes work and there is a learning curve. The purpose of this blog is to reduce the learning curve and leverage your time (you’ll still need to do some work though). If you’d like to ask about particular concerns or pitfalls, please do. We can then address them right here on this blog.

-SG

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