by John Eberhard

I am writing this article because I’ve observed that there are some confusions out there on some terms used in website marketing, and this can lead to wrong actions being taken.

SEO: Stands for search engine optimization. This is the process of selecting the best keywords, according to high traffic and low competition, and then placing these keywords in the appropriate places on the website. SEO is a one-time action, not something one tinkers with month by month. It should be redone every 2-3 years, as keyword traffic and competition can change significantly.

Link Building: I have observed some people have glommed this activity into SEO and use the term SEO to refer to both SEO and link building. For the purposes of clarity I think it is best to keep them as separate terms. Link building is the action of creating links on other websites linking back to yours. Google states that the number of links to your site from other sites is its primary criteria for deciding the ranking of a site. So link building is a vital activity if you want your site to rank well on search engines and thus get increased traffic.

Pay Per Click Advertising: Pay per click, called PPC for short, is the putting up of paid ads on Google, Yahoo, MSN, that appear when a visitor types in keywords that you select. You get charged money when the visitor clicks on your ad and thus arrives at a pre-selected page on your site. PPC is extremely effective at driving new traffic to your website. It is not best for low ticket items, say under $100. But for lead generation for high ticket items, it works very well. In most cases, due to the amount of competition from other advertisers, I recommend working with a consultant to set up and manage an account.

Blogs and Blogging: A blog is a special type of website that is used when you have regularly updated or new information being put up on the website. When you put up new content, the older content moves down the page. So the visitor scrolls down the page to see older and older content. Blogs are given higher importance by search engines, mainly because of the regularly updated content. If you add new content to your blog regularly, say once a week, and then also notify the blog search engines each time, you will drive quite a bit of traffic to the blog. My own blogs drive more traffic to my website than Google.

CMS: Stands for Content Management System. A CMS is a system allowing a website owner to easily update or make changes to his website via an online interface, eliminating the need of using a web design program like Dreamweaver or Web Expressions. Popular CMSes are WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. I recently started using WordPress for this purpose for any clients who wanted to use a CMS.

Online PR: This term refers to writing press releases that prominently contain the keywords that you are targeting and for which you want your site to rank well. There are a number of online PR sites where you can post a press release, and these all rank very well with search engines. So posting to the online PR sites creates high quality links coming back to your site and is a form of link building. Also consumers go to these sites and will see your press release. It is also good to post these press releases on your blog or blogs. This drives traffic to the blog and creates more links to your main site.

Article Marketing: This means to write articles on topics of interest related to your industry (not directly pitching your products or services), and posting them to article directory sites, which are sites that contain thousands of articles on various topics. This has been and continues to be one of the most effective methods of building high quantities of links to a website.

Reciprocal Linking: This is the activity of contacting website owners and asking them to link to you and offering to add a link to them on your website. Reciprocal link building used to be the primary method of building links, but Google discounted its value several years ago and so it is not of high value today.

Social Media Marketing: This is the activity of using social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn and others, to market a product or service. Social media marketing is very effective and does work. I have closed a large amount of business through social media. The key is to build up a large number of friends or followers, then communicate regularly with the type of communications that are considered appropriate for the social media sites.

Email Marketing: Ten years ago you could make serious hay by renting email lists and sending out HTML emails to them. I myself did this and made millions for a software company. However, due to the cast increase in commercial email, my opinion is this is no longer very effective. But it is effective to build up a list of customers and prospects who have contacted you (this is called a “house list”), and send regular email to them. For one thing, once you build up this list, communicating to them is free.

Best of luck in your Internet marketing efforts.