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Internet Marketing

Simply creating a website and submitting it to search engines does not guarantee success. In most cases, a marketing plan and an investment of time, money or a combination of the two is required. Decide how much time and money you can spend, come up with a marketing plan, and follow through with it. Be patient. If you are doing most of the work yourself, part of the process will be a learning curve. If you pay for professional help, it may still take some time to see results. Contrary to much of the marketing hype, building a successful Internet business and attracting customers is not always easy, especially if you do most of it yourself.

Search Engines and Directories - Internet marketing of products and services is similar to conventional marketing in some respects. Take for instance the old saying "location, location, location". Apply this to Internet marketing and it becomes "position, position, position". With a brick and mortar business, a prominent physical location will attract customers without any more advertising than a few signs. Your website search engine positions, directory listings and affiliate links create virtual locations. Placement in free search engines can be a huge source of customers. How well you place depends on competition for your keywords and how well your website is optimized for keywords. WebPosition Gold is a very good program for optimizing your web pages for good search engine placement. You can purchase the program or hire us to optimize your pages with WebPosition Gold .

Competition For Your Keywords - Is your product or service unique? Consider that you are searching for an elephant veterinarian. Chances are that you won't find very many listings for elephant veterinarians. Obviously, an elephant veterinarian will have no trouble gaining search engine prominence. Now consider a search for a web designer. This search will return thousands of websites because there are lots of them and they all have websites. This is an extreme comparison, but illustrates a point. If your primary keyword phrases are saturated, focus on other marketing techniques.

External Links - Before submitting your website to search engines, you must have a few links from other websites to yours or many of the search engines will ignore you. Don't stop there! More links to your site from websites with related content will increase the popularity factor for search engine placement. After your website is created and submitted, continue to build link popularity by seeking reciprocal links from related websites or by adding informational content or online services that related websites can link to as a resource. Over time this will pay big dividends. Be wary of exchange link services. External links are only beneficial if they are from websites with related content. Some search engines are wise to link exchange services and may reduce your popularity rating for having too many unrelated links.

Directories are collections of links that are organized by category. Most directories also have a search engine. There are thousands of web directories of all different sizes and types. Many are free and some charge for placement. Listing in directories is good way to strengthen your position. You will need to seek out the best directories for your type of product or service and manually submit your website to each one. Start with the big ones like Yahoo Directory or the Open Directory Project . Do some searches using Google. Look for directories using your keywords + directory (or directories). Example; Using the keyword veterinarian, search for "veterinarian directory" or "veterinarian directories".

Paid Search Engine Listings - Some search engines now charge for placement. In addition to basic submission, AltaVista and Lycos offer premium paid listings. (formerly Goto) is a pay-per-click directory and search engine where you can bid for placement and pay only for clicks on your link.

Affiliate Programs offer a commission to websites that place a link to your website. The commission is usually based upon either an amount per click thru OR an amount based upon purchases that are attributed to a click thru from the affiliate's site. A software program or a service is required in order to track the affiliate's commissions. Affiliate programs are a good method of piggy backing on the traffic of websites that are already positioned well with the search engines. AShop Deluxe is a shopping cart with affiliate tracking and banner code generation. AShop Deluxe can be added o any of our web hosting plans or it may be licensed by paying a one-time license fee, in which case the shopping cart program may be installed on any web hosting service or dedicated server that supports the software requirements.

Banner Ads - Some websites directly offer banner ad placement. There are numerous banner ad services. Banner ad placement usually varies in cost based upon the number of impressions or the amount of website traffic. The effectiveness of banner ads depends on the type of product or service offered, where it is offered, and the quality of the banner ad. For more information, check out

Mailing Lists - We do not recommend unsolicited bulk mailing (spam). You can pay to have advertisements placed in mailing lists, but you should be careful that they are opt-in lists and not sent to unsolicited recipients. You can also start your own mailing list to keep in touch with customers and give them a reason to revisit your website.

Newsletters - Do you have useful information relating to your product or service? Do you have the time or someone to write a newsletter? If so, place a sign-up form on your website. This is a great way to build a targeted mailing list and will keep your customers coming back. If you can't publish your own newsletter, find websites that publish a newsletter that relates to your product or service and place targeted ads in their newsletters.

Forums - Are you offering information? Do you or someone on your staff have time to mediate a forum? If so, add a forum to your website. Also, you can participate in forums on other related websites. Whether participating in general discussion or specific solutions to problems, every forum post has the potential of creating another link to your website.

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