It started out as a simple goal really. My company is one the top resellers of Cisco phone systems in the Southeast, and we have our main office in Atlanta. All I wanted was that if someone did a search engine search for Cisco Phone System Atlanta that my business’s website would be listed on the first page of results. That certainly was not the situation when I first began the procedure. What I needed to do was develop some local internet marketing capabilities.
The improvement process was slow initially. It took about a year to have our website redone onto a content management system instead of the static HTML pages that it was first deployed on. After some initial difficulty we found an excellent web development company that recommended for small business online marketing purposes we use the WordPress platform.
Because all the information I had found out recommended having a blog, I had started that a year previously. I moved the blog over to the new website, and set redirects from all the previous articles so that traffic would continue to have a place to go. Unfortunately the visitors to the blog were just a handful, and as far as I could tell none of them were from potential customers. I recognized that the blog was really not doing much good from a business web marketing point of view, but was not sure what to do about that at the time.
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.
Meanwhile our other local marketing initiatives were going well. Our sales representatives were developing opportunities, our marketing campaigns were proceeding well, and our sales seminars were well attended. I still had the idea 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 wait until I could dedicate 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.