The Online Marketer's Web Strategy

The Online Marketer’s Web Strategy

I had the privilege of attending and presenting at the MarketingProfs conference over the past two days, and it was a phenomenal conference, full of lots of good ideas. However, one thing stood out among the various discussions that I wanted to make a point about. There is a definite structure and strategy to online marketing that you need to follow to improve your likelihood of success.

During a number of sessions, folks were talking about all the social media stuff available to marketers, about how to choose and how to get started. Social media was the buzzword at the conference.. Social media is sexy. Social media is the hot new thing.

Social media comes LAST, gang.

That’s right, last.

What comes first?

You first must have CONTENT. Something worth talking about. If you want to be in social media, the social part is conversation and discussion. If you have nothing worth talking about – and nothing worth others talking about you – then any effort you put into social media will largely be a waste of time.

Once you’ve got content, USER INTERFACE comes next. Make a web site that’s attractive, easy to navigate, easy to find stuff on. Hire a professional designer or information architect to help you with this if you’re not so good at it, or use a proven templating system. Whatever you do, focus on putting your content into an easily managed format that is a pleasure to use. Make sure you have at least one way of converting a visitor into a database entry somehow, whether it’s a simple mailing list, or a complex lead generation system.

If you’re marketing online, you’re marketing with a web site. Do your SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION next. Make sure your web sites validate with W3C standards, at least minimally. Make sure you optimize your sites, build some links, do all the basics. Check out Hubspot’s Web Site Grader for a great starter tool. When you set up profiles on other social networks, make sure you link back to your web site, always. SEO is all about capturing passive traffic, capturing people who are looking for your content.

Only after you’ve completed the steps of great content, user interface, and search engine optimization are you ready to dive into social media. There’s no way you can win the road race if your car is lacking tires and an engine. Content, UI, and SEO are the basics you MUST have in place prior to diving into social media, or else you’ll be wasting time, energy, and the limited slice of attention your audience is giving you – and they won’t give you again.

Photo credit: CC Chapman

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  • http://www.hubspot.com Ellie Mirman

    Hi Chris – Great post, I totally agree that content is the place to start. And I think people oftentimes get overwhelmed when they think they need to attack all these aspects at once – seo, blogging, reading/commenting on blogs, getting into social media, etc. but if you take it one step at a time, it’s a lot easier to take it on and it actually starts to come naturally. Great to meet you this week at the conference!

  • http://www.hubspot.com Ellie Mirman

    Hi Chris – Great post, I totally agree that content is the place to start. And I think people oftentimes get overwhelmed when they think they need to attack all these aspects at once – seo, blogging, reading/commenting on blogs, getting into social media, etc. but if you take it one step at a time, it’s a lot easier to take it on and it actually starts to come naturally. Great to meet you this week at the conference!

  • http://www.exitrealtymetrodallas.com/?page_id=398 larrylawfer

    As usual, smart, to the point, direct help from one of the best people I know in getting things done. Now I want to go back and make sure I have done things in your correct order. Thanks Chris.

  • http://www.yourstorys.com Larry Lawfer

    As usual, smart, to the point, direct help from one of the best people I know in getting things done. Now I want to go back and make sure I have done things in your correct order. Thanks Chris.

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  • http://gilbertogalea.com/blog Gilberto Galea

    Great post. Many blogger go to social media, and forget the three points to need before. Well done Chris.

  • http://gilbertogalea.com/blog Gilberto Galea

    Great post. Many blogger go to social media, and forget the three points to need before. Well done Chris.

  • http://sigrandonk.net sigrandonk

    there simple steps but almost forgotten by blog or web owner.
    content is the king and and user interface as the queen.

  • http://sigrandonk.net sigrandonk

    there simple steps but almost forgotten by blog or web owner.
    content is the king and and user interface as the queen.

  • http://www.jivaldi.com marketing agency viewpoint

    Funny, we recently decided to restructure our business plan, content, website and online marketing services based on these fundamental principles. It’s very important to create good content before anything else and we are starting from here.

  • http://www.jivaldi.com marketing agency viewpoint

    Funny, we recently decided to restructure our business plan, content, website and online marketing services based on these fundamental principles. It’s very important to create good content before anything else and we are starting from here.

  • http://pittsburghseogroup.com/ Search Engine Optimization

    I work in SEO and we like to be involved from step 1. If you don’t keep us informed of major design and infrastructure changes you could have to back track.

  • http://pittsburghseogroup.com/ Search Engine Optimization

    I work in SEO and we like to be involved from step 1. If you don’t keep us informed of major design and infrastructure changes you could have to back track.

  • Bob Richards

    This buy the service from dead right. In fact, you can but the service form Hubspot to get you web site traffic (i.e. optimize your site) and either create or get content (e.g. exonearticles.com, goarticles.com). Once you have 100+ pages of solid content on your site, then you have something for social media.

  • Bob Richards

    This buy the service from dead right. In fact, you can but the service form Hubspot to get you web site traffic (i.e. optimize your site) and either create or get content (e.g. exonearticles.com, goarticles.com). Once you have 100+ pages of solid content on your site, then you have something for social media.

  • http://seozombie.com Internet Marketing

    Solid advice, but I think it really depends on the type of site. I agree that in order to find true and long term success, you need to produce quality content, have a great design, and optimize your content for search engines. That is a great formula la for flagship style blogs, but it does work well for all niches. Some niches are just hard to link bait and no matter how much content your produce, you have no chance of getting a Digg. In that case, you have to get really creative with your marketing.

  • http://seozombie.com Internet Marketing

    Solid advice, but I think it really depends on the type of site. I agree that in order to find true and long term success, you need to produce quality content, have a great design, and optimize your content for search engines. That is a great formula la for flagship style blogs, but it does work well for all niches. Some niches are just hard to link bait and no matter how much content your produce, you have no chance of getting a Digg. In that case, you have to get really creative with your marketing.

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