Perhaps the biggest trend in internet marketing is that it is not just internet marketers, or online web companies that are using internet marketing. Companies in virtually every industry are finding tools and techniques on the web that can increase their companies overall performance. Internet sales are increasing at nearly 25 percent per year. Currently, the internet accounts for six percent of all retail sales, which is about double what it was in 2006.
As internet business and internet marketing competition heats up, keeping up with the best trends and practices offered is essential to marketing success. While there are almost limitless developments all the time in internet marketing, we will focus on a few of the hottest internet marketing trends for discussion, including: Social media, Blogging, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Social media is without a doubt one of the greatest revelations on the web in the last couple years. Social media sites are essentially sites that offer users a combination of media in some form, and social networking opportunities. Marketers use social media sites for a variety of internet marketing purposes. The breadth of social media is great. Some sites, such as Digg.com and Propeller.com, offer users a chance to post articles or other media content from the web, and build a friend network or join groups with other users. Many internet marketers publish their own articles and submit them to social media for great exposure. Building networks helps the articles spread faster and gain more recognition through the sites.
There are many other types of social media as well. Twitter is a popular site where people and businesses can post brief updates and news bits for “followers”. Facebook and MySpace have been popular social sites common to younger crowds, but many internet marketers are turning to these sites to help build grassroots marketing campaigns.
Blogging initially started as a concept centered on e-diary updates for stay-at-home moms and others who wanted to use the web to give life updates. However, blogging has become common practice in internet marketing. Many companies use blogs to generate traffic for their website. Blogs allow companies deriving business both on and offline to regularly update consumers and customers. Additionally, many marketers use article marketing to help drive traffic and use their blog to publish articles. This practice is often tied to search engine optimization.
Search Engine Optimization
It has always been a goal of internet sites to do well in search engines. However, search engine optimization, or SEO, has become somewhat of a marketing science. Many books and sites have now been developed to help teach other webmasters how to build search engine-friendly websites. The initial goal of Google, Yahoo, and other popular search engines was to provide the most relevant content to search users. After all, these companies are financed largely by advertising on their sites and want users to return.
With the competition increasing for the online visitor, or customer, aggressive search engine positioning practices have evolved. Many sites have engaged in somewhat manipulative practices to attain higher positions for their sites, sometimes at the expense of search users. Google and others always attempt to provide the most organically relevant searches to users. However, savvy internet marketing must consider popular SEO strategies that include both on-page SEO (setting up web pages that are relevant) and off-page SEO (linking). The key is to study and learn the search engine friendly tools while protecting against unethical and penalized practices. In the long-term, search engine traffic is the ideal driver of a site as the alternative is costly pay-per-click or other advertising methods.