The Four Simple Steps to Online Success:
1. Have a well SEO’d website.
Sometimes SEO doesn’t matter, but those cases are rare. For most businesses with a website, search will be the number one traffic source. If you haven’t spent much time thinking about SEO, read about How To Get Started With SEO. You’ll have to decide if you want to hire a consultant or do it yourself. That article will help.
2. Have a great and active blog.
Online success demands a content strategy. For most, a blog is the perfect way to execute a content strategy. (Quality articles posted regularly on your website might be an acceptable substitute.) Blogs are a great way to train the crawlers to visit your site consistently. A great blog will bring you more search engine traffic because they help you get more links and indexed pages.
3. Be active and interesting on appropriate social networking sites.
Social media should not be your primary online asset; it should promote your primary business asset, i.e. – your website and blog. Don’t spam or try shortcuts; you can’t buy your way to thousands of committed fans/followers.
4. Have great products or services.
If you want customers to love you and tell their friends and co-workers about you, you can’t be average or good enough. Online buzz — what we’ve always called “word of mouth” — comes from being remarkable, from having great products and/or services. As I say in the SEO Success Pyramid,
Great search marketing won’t hide the fact that you have a lousy product or service.
That’s true. You may sell a few people on your average/lousy products or services, but it won’t last long. There’s nothing more important than having your customers’ trust, and providing great products and services is a great way to earn trust.