It started out as a simple goal really. My business is one the top resellers of Cisco phone systems in the Southeast, and we are headquartered in Atlanta. All I wanted is that if someone did a Google search for Cisco phone system Atlanta that my companies website would show up on the first page of results. That certainly was not the case when I first started the process. What was required to do was create some online business marketing techniques.
The learning process was slow initially. It took about a year to have our website moved over onto a content management system instead of the static HTML pages that it was first built on. After a couple of false starts we located an outstanding web development company that recommended for local business online marketing purposes we use the WordPress platform.
Since all the information I had gotten recommended starting a blog, I had done that a year previously. I ported the blog over to the new website, and set redirects from all the previous articles so that traffic would continue to flow. Unfortunately the visitors on the blog were only a few, and it appeared that none of them were local. I could tell that the blog was really not doing much good from a business web marketing standpoint, but was not sure where to go from there.
I figured out that my next task was local SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. The books I read on the topic were written well, and for the most part discussed optimizing the content itself, writing a blog to get new content periodically, and generating backlinks from other websites. I had accomplished the first two recommendations already, but had absolutely no clue how to get links from other websites effectively. I asked some other website owners that I knew to link to our site, but that was tedious and I had the sneaking suspicion that it was not going to amount to much.
Personally our other marketing initiatives were going well.. Our salespeople were turning up opportunities, our marketing campaigns were going well, and our sales seminars were well attended. I still had the feeling that if I could get the our company onto the first page of search results ranking it would bring us more business, but my small business online marketing initiative would have to be postponed until I could commit more study to it.
So I took some time off from my local SEO research. I streamlined some the operational procedures of my company, delegated some more of my day-to-day responsibility to my managers, and had my design and deployment engineers start writing short articles every few weeks on a new blog that I set up that was not associated with our company website. I did it that way so there was no pressure on them to be concerned about expressing their opinions or write from a particular point of view.
The articles that those guys wrote turned out to be the foundation of the Internet marketing initiative that I put together that would end up getting me the first page search ranking I was hoping for, and much more as well. The experience of becoming effective at Internet marketing that I went through was essentially an apprenticeship to the actual leaders in the field, the prosperous affiliate marketers.