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Where do I start with SEO and internet marketing?

Internet marketing is truly a double-edged sword. There are SO many free or nearly free tools out there that allow us to create amazing systems fairly easily. WordPress is one such tool. Download their free software, drop a theme (design) on top, and boom, you’ve got a blog and/or website. Get a free SEO plugin (add-on) that promises to make the Google gods happy.

E-mail marketing tools like Constant Contact give us the tools and templates to create great looking, spam-resistant e-mail newsletters that our customers read and respond to.

Here at the Search Engine Academy, our hands-on workshops teach lots of students from all over the world the tactics they need in order to “do” SEO the correct way:

  • How to do keyword research
  • How to generate great content readers (and the search engines) love
  • How to use all the amazing free (and paid) Google tools like Adwords, Analytics, Webmaster Tools, Authorship, Google+, etc.
  • How to understand all the mechanics of search engine optimization (META tags, links, URLs, etc.)

Once you have even the basics down from reading information online (like in this blog) or even taking a basic SEO class, you can do a reasonable job and get reasonable results. Our advanced SEO training takes students even further with more tactics that they can implement to get even better results.

In my opinion, this is all fantastic stuff. Some people like consuming the plethora of information on their own and trying things out. Others like to get the training in a classroom. I did just that and took John Alexander’s class in 2007.

But honestly, there’s something missing here.

Where Do I Begin?

Just because we have a mechanic’s set of tools in our garage, doesn’t necessarily make us a mechanic. Looking at all the wrenches, screwdrivers, ratchets and power tools, makes it difficult to know where to start. Maybe we know something’s not working right or not quite tuned up with our car, but where do we start?

A seasoned mechanic will know how to diagnose the issues and put together a plan to get things humming again.

Websites can suffer the same fate. Maybe things are working OK, but it’s not the finely tuned machine that we want it to be, and we just don’t know where to begin to figure it out. Some not-so-obvious issues might include any or all of the following independently or in combination:

  • Usability issues (difficulty people finding what they want)
  • Customer capture and conversion issues
  • Coding issues
  • SEO problems
  • Technical problems

Then when you consider all the options for online marketing:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social media
  • E-mail marketing
  • Paid advertising
  • Optimized press releases
  • Blogging
  • Etc.

This can add up to a lot of confusion and churning.

Where do I begin? Truly. Where do I start to make it work?

Internet Marketing Retreat

I’ve been thinking about this for awhile, and while I love teaching the tactics in our workshops, I’m considering having a completely separate internet marketing retreat that focuses on these problems. I want to structure a one-day session for people like you who feel it’s just too overwhelming to try to figure out where to start with your digital marketing efforts. Maybe you’ve already been through our (or another) SEO class. Maybe you just have the basics that you’ve read about here or other places. That’s OK. This won’t be a technical, in-the-weeds session.

Instead, I want to bring it up to a higher level. Participants will walk out of the room at the end of the day with a full internet marketing plan in their hands, ready to implement. It will include:

  • A detailed analysis of your website – usability, flow, client capture tools, and technical
  • A strategy for attracting the types of customers that YOU want
  • A customized plan for your business to implement the strategy that will work for you

However, first things first. I want to find out if you’re interested in this before I put any plans down, but I want to move quickly. If you’d be interested in participating in a customized strategy planning session:

Please send me a blank e-mail to seoretreat [at] aweber [dot] com with the subject “I’m interested in the internet marketing retreat!”

This doesn’t commit you to anything, it just lets me know there’s interest. You’ll hear back from me within the next couple weeks on more details as I put this together.