September 23rd, 2009
Categories: Opinions

Book Review – Online Marketing Inside Out


omioI’ve always preferred the term “Internet Marketer” rather than “Search Engine Optimizer”. And with good reason – to achieve the most amount of success on the internet you need to be more than be high in Google, you need to create a buzz about your products or website to maintain & increase traffic & sales. This means than not just being at the top of search engines.

Unfortunately, the three letters “SEO” is used interchangeably with “Internet Marketer”, and a lot of people do miss the point. All because you’re #1 on Google for a keyword, doesn’t mean you’ll succeed on the internet. In fact, my favourite saying in terms of SEO are “What are you after? More traffic or more sales?”.

I recently purchased Sitepoint’sOnline Marketing Inside Out” by Brandon Eley & Shayne Tilley and found that it agreed with much I try to teach people on a day to day basis.

This book is split into a number of categories, each being a general introduction with some of the concepts of Internet Marketing. I’m not sure in the level of importance of it, but it begins with press releases, and goes through various topics, such as social media, SEO, Online Advertising, Social Media Participation and Email Marketing.

Let me get one thing out of the way very quickly, you will not become an expert in any of these fields. There are better books that cover certain areas of this book. You are unlikely to get muchos clicks from google adwords for zero investment from this book, and almost all pages have footnotes as long as war and peace with links to other resources.

Nevertheless, if you are clueless, and if there are gaps in your knowledge (as with mine), this books is very, very handy.

It is written aimed at people who probably have an experience at marketing before, which is where the book begins: press releases. Press releases are a hangover left over from traditional marketing, but are still relevant in today’s world. It seems a logical place to start, and the book tells you how to make your press release a little better, as well as where to submit it. Furthermore, suggestions are mentioned for how to do something online that you can’t do in traditional media – how to track your press releases’ impact.

The next chapter then jumps to the other end of the spectrum – page design. It’s an important aspect – you can have the best marketing campaign this side of Denmark and get little or no response. This book offers simple tips in making your pages look better, as well as testing your pages.

The following chapter, which is chapter 4, is the first time you see everybody’s three favourite letters – SEO. Whilst not comprehensive, all the advice offered is good advice on where to start. As the entire SEO landscapes appear to change whenever Google changes it’s underwear, so anything written could be out of date quickly.

Chapter five focusses on social media, and how to use twitter, facebook & linkedin to grow your website and brand. Again, it’s fairly entry level stuff, but that’s all you need, as the whole mantra of “be honest & be yourself” goes a long way in social media. It also talks about traditional forms of social media, such as forums, and how contributing on niched forums can make you more authoratitive.

The sixth chapter is a big one – email marketing. Possibly the chapter I gained most at from the book. This part will tell you why you should email market, how you should build a list (though it doesn’t mention WP Email Capture, boo!), and how you should send out emails & track their success rate. Again, it’s entry level stuff, but it’s something I’ve never looked at before, and everything mentioned is good, usable information.

Chapter 7 looks at using affiliate marketing, and why you should look to build up a team of affiliates to push your sites, as well as how to manager your affiliates & what to do if things go wrong (which I imagine with the amount of snake oil salesmen on the internet, does happen a fair bit!). Again, this chapter isn’t really for everybody, but it’s worth reading if you think you’ll get into this market as a publisher.

Chapter 8 looks at two topics that could possibly be in a book of their own – Pay Per Click & Online Advertising. It looks at how you shouldn’t get ahead of your adverts, how to write & design eye catching adverts that will get clicked on, where to go for PPC advice & how to approach getting an ad agency to handle it all for you.

The final chapter – tying it all together, is probably the most important chapter in the book. In it, it suggests goals, how to set realistic goals, how to measure the performance over time of your company.

It’s an easy read, with big bright text, colourful headers that split up the text, and all acronyms are explained. It also gives probably the best definition of Broad, Keyword & Exact matching for Pay Per Click, something I’ve always struggled with in the past.

Bad points? Well, some chapters I felt it was going over what I already knew – a danger of a book like this – and if there’s ever a book that has too many footer references, this is it. Every little quip or story is linked to a page or article for further information. However, there is a lot of good information in them there footers, so avoid them at your peril.

In conclusion, this book is a handy refresher for internet markets – I learned from it new resources & places to scope out partners for promoting my wares. However this book is absolutely essential for any business owner looking to play an active role in their own marketing on the internet. It’s not particularly heavy, yet introduces you to the important concepts and aspects associated with promoting your business online.

Online Marketing Inside Out – Buy Now From Amazon

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