6 important websites for Internet marketers
I've found that a lot of marketing comes down to "understanding". Understanding what you want to achieve, understanding how best to achieve it, and understanding the effect your efforts have on the market.
There are a handful of sites that enhance your understanding and are therefore absolutely crucial to being an effective marketer. This is not an exhaustive list; there are definitely other sites out there that are useful, but it contains the sites that I find I use almost all the time.
The most important sites for SEO and Internet marketing:
1. Google analytics
There are other analytics services available, but I am most familiar with google analytics. Whatever you use, you must be able to see where traffic came from and what visitors looked at and did while they were on your site.
Some blogging platforms like Wordpress.com offer their own stats packages, which are nice to look at, but not effective enough for proper online marketing purposes. For example, it is really useful to be able to set goals and have your analytics service track these for you. This helps you measure conversion rates and improve and refine your marketing and design accordingly.
2. Google webmaster tools
Webmaster tools provides a host of useful information about your site as it is perceived by Google search. This means you can better understand how your content is indexed, which pages are performing well, what errors or SEO problems you might have, broken links, malware, HTML errors and so on.
I once had a site that was hacked. The only reason I discovered the hack was because I noticed some odd keyword results in Webmaster tools.
If you are trying to market something online, no matter what it is, it pays to make strategic connections in the business world. LinkedIn has a hundred million or so business people in its social network database and there are no doubt plenty of people who are looking to connect and collaborate with you.
Remember not to approach this network with a sales pitch. Use it to find and cultivate business relationships that can be used for strategic business advantage - even if it's only to find other webmasters to write some guest blogs for.
Alexa Site info is extremely useful for determining the popularity of other websites. Especially in the formative stages of your Internet marketing campaign, you will have to do a lot of research on different key players and industry leaders. Alexa Site info allows you to see how popular a website is and explore related websites (although this doesn't always return useful info). This information can then be used to work out which sites are desirable partners and which aren't.
5. Keyword tool
The Google keyword tool is extremely useful for tweaking and enhancing your SEO techniques. It provides data on which keywords and phrases are most popular with geographical data for local search stats too.
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Use this service to create fine tuned SEM (Search engine marketing) techniques and simply to find out which keywords and phrases you should be using. Remember not to simply target the most popular keywords. Often these are generic and highly competitive. Find words and phrases that are highly relevant and target those - even if they have less traffic.
6. SME Pals
SME Pals, ok I was always going to put this in here ;), is unique in that it offers world class content on focused topics that are aimed at promoting success through design, development, SEO, marketing, social networking and other online business and Internet marketing related subjects.
By empowering people with knowledge and skills, SME Pals reduces small and medium sized businesses dependance on third party services, many of which are suspect of quality.
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