Not long ago, I spoke to a group of local chemical manufacturers on Internet marketing. (You can download my slides on "How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules.") After the talk, I sat next to a veteran business owner at dinner, someone who clearly appreciated the talk but also felt a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of Internet marketing, especially search marketing. I was happy to put him a little at ease, because he really knew a lot more than he thought he did.

He told me that he is running his business long after he expected to retire, not because he needs the money, but because he wants to pass his business along to his daughter so that she will have a solid paycheck. But he also told me that he feels out of touch with how marketing is done today. He knows how to develop a product that customers want and he knows how to spin his Rolodex to sell it, but he doesn't really understand marketing, especially Internet marketing.

"That was easy."

Image by cbcastro via Flickr

He said that his daughter is more computer-savvy than he is, and that she is the person who works their Web site, but he doesn't really know how to help her. I was happy to tell him what he needed to know, which is that he has forgotten more about his business than most people will ever know, and that all he needs to do is to share it.

He is an expert on his products. He knows exactly what customer problems they solve. And, from years of sales, he knows exactly how to persuade a customer to buy.

That's how he can help his daughter. He needs to write down (or dictate) his thoughts to be posted on the site. He could do a few write-ups posted as Web pages, or start a regular blog, even if someone else has to post it.

He has plenty to say:

  • What customers need. He can tell stories collected over the years of problems customers have and how they were solved.
  • How the products work. He can describe in great deal the differences between one product and another, especially in terms of how it helps the customer.
  • Specialty uses for the products. He can tell stories describing the most unusual uses for his products, to help customers think more broadly about what they do.

Before you know it, you can have a few articles every week and begin attracting search traffic. See, I just explained the basics of search marketing without anything technical—because search marketing is easier than you think, at least when you are an expert in what you do.

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November 9, 2009

Mike is an expert in search marketing, search technology, social media, publishing, text analytics, and web metrics, who regularly makes speaking appearances.

Mike's previous appearances include Text Analytics World, Rutgers Business School, SEMRush webinar, ClickZ Live.

Mike also founded and writes for Biznology, is the co-author of Outside-In Marketing (with James Mathewson) and the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (now in its 3rd edition, and sole author of Do It Wrong Quickly, named by the Miami Herald as one of the 11 best business books of 2007.


Cool Story!

Owners with so much experience have great lessons to teach! I bug several friends to write down their stories, but they decline saying they don't like to write. I respond that if they like to talk, I'll do the writing.

If you can get a plan together to dictate a few stories each week, a business can have a regularly updated web page that can compete for new business.


Customer satisfaction is always number one for your followers, nice insight! Internet marketing is a useful tool for online marketers that mainly relies sales and services online without the aid of advertising of necessary requirements that empties your pocket. Working your internet marketing goal should be systematized by using practical tools such as social media and article submissions and others.

I love this story. It illustrates exactly what I have been advocating for years. You do not need to speak in technical terms for people outside our industry to understand what they need to do to improve their online visibility. Content continue to be the key. Good, rich, valuable content will always drive traffic and experience is the key factor in being able to deliver this content.

The key is relevancy - and targeting. Taregted content will bring in taregeted traffic resulting in higher conversions (sales). Too many are swept up like you mentioned and think they need to write out a dictionary of new content just for the sake of it - not so!

keep it simple, direct, relevant and your online business will be better than most in your industry.

The real key is the content on the blog or the website with full onsite SEO. The way the article or the story has made so easy without the real strategy on how you can really make it simple and easy. You can write articles but if its not properly SEO's it won't get real search engine traffic.

Don't forget to promote your site. Fresh content without promoting is just non-sense.

That's certainly true, there, Blinds, but it's just that kind of advice that causes most people to throw up their hands and give up. I don't think this gentleman would have had any clue what I was talking about if I told even about how important keyword research and title tags are, much less "full onsite SEO."

I think we need to work with people from where they are. When you have someone who feels ill-equipped to start something, I don't want to overwhelm them with how large the task is when done right. I'd rather help them take one step to do it wrong quickly. Once they have some content, they can start learning about how to make it search friendly.

Others might disagree, but I think we learn better and succeed more when we do things a step at a time.

Customer satisfaction is always number one for your followers, nice insight! Internet marketing is a useful tool for online marketers

Another great article, Mike. Thanks.

well its easy for experts, but its by no means easy for evrybody

Hi, newfix. I was trying to say that that is easier than non-experts think, not that it is necessarily easy. I don't think anyone would argue that it's easy, especially me (I co-authored a 600-page book about it), but I am trying to get non-experts to overcome their feeling of helplessness because they are overwhelmed about how difficult it is. If you're feeling that way, I hope you can get past it and just try something.

well i guess you're right. its time to stop procrastinating and just take the plunge. i guess fear of the unknown is an integral part of human behavior.

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