Back in the early days of the Internet, promoting a website in the search engines was as easy as editing one line of code. To promote your site, you simply send an e-mail to a friend and ask him to a friend. Not to mention the websites were more like Christmas-trees other than sophisticated booklets.
Nowadays, you not only need to have a good looking website, but the site has to do well with the search engines and, most importantly, with your visitors. You need to consider such aspects as website usability, site copy (copywriting), accessibility, search engine optimization and what not. But most of all, you need to shift the focus to your customers from your website.
The new approach to marketing is based on focusing on the customers, even when working on the website. This involves customer research, which, in turn, involves keyword research, focus on the benefits to the customers and ethical website promotion.
Give to get
Now, to be successful, you need to give to get something in return. When applies to websites, it means providing value to your visitors in terms of website usability and interesting and entertaining content.
Yet another way of smart Internet marketing is creating quality content. Though this may be viewed as a continuation of the 'give to get' principle, this field is so large it deserves its own pedestal. As the Internet is based on pages (with content) and links, you need to build content to be able to get links, which will, in turn, drive direct and indirect (search engine) traffic.
When it doesn't end with creating a website and filling it with good stuff. You also need to optimize it to achieve the maximum efficiency. When improving your site for the visitors in website usability, site copy and accessibility, you'll gain that extra edge to be the best in your niche. Today, this is the only way to succeed online.
As you may suspect, Internet marketing doesn't end after website optimization. You also need to promote your website. What is so good about having great websites is that it is easy to market them - everyone needs something to learn, to have fun or buy. That's why your easy to use website, full of interesting or entertaining information, will be enticing enough to keep visitors on the site, make them talk about you and link to you.
Surely, Internet marketing doesn't end here as well. But since we were speaking of the new principles of Internet marketing (which are the old, forgotten ones, to tell the truth), we'll stop here. Thus, if you want not only to be competitive but to be ahead of some, most or all of your online rivals, you'd rather have superb looking site, with great content and optimized enough to bring maximum possible conversions and traffic.