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Friday, September 21, 2007

Internet Marketing on the Cheap

Friday, September 21, 2007

Are you trying to get more traffic to your website? Welcome to the club. If you're like me, you want to improve your popularity with a small or non-existing marketing budget. In this post, we'll look at a few strategies you can use to promote your website.

Traditional advertising. Let's start by eliminating the type of marketing you won't be doing; magazines, TV ads, radio, and print advertising. These forms of advertising are cost prohibitive and won't meet your expectations for driving traffic. Much of the marketing costs associated with this type of advertising start at around $5,000.

Since you do not have an unlimited marketing budget you will likely have to use online marketing. You can get much more expose with online marketing versus traditional advertising alone. Marketing on the internet is cheaper, and if done correctly, can give you much more bang for your buck.

Obviously, the cornerstone of internet marketing is search engine submission and optimization. There are hundreds of different search engines and directories on the internet where you can submit your web site for a listing. This is fairly easy to do. Simply sign up for a monthly submission plan with a credible search engine submission service. There are literally hundreds of these submission services on the internet; you can find them by performing a search on Google.

However, be wary of submitters that claim to be able to submit your site to 50,000 search engines. Such services are scams, and they will submit your web page to bogus link pages that can actually get you banned from the search engines. Only do business with submission services that submit to the major search engines and directories.

Now that we have covered submission, we need to talk about search engine optimization (SEO), which is even more important. To optimize your website, you need to maximize keyword density and optimize the positioning for the words or phrases that best characterize the subject matter of your site, and you need to use proper Meta tags so that the search engines can interpret your web pages.

If you do not know how to optimize your web site, you should search for a search engine optimization specialist at Steer clear of SEO experts who want to charge $1,000 per month or more. Their goal is to bleed you dry before you figure out that they really can not help you get to the top of the rankings. Stick to providers who will optimize your site for a one-time fee.

More important than SEO is link popularity. Link popularity is the number of web sites that currently link to your site. The more inbound links you acquire that have a higher Google PR, the higher your search engine ranking will be. There are more than a few ways to acquire links, but here is an effective strategy that I use on a regular basis.

Write articles and press releases and submit them to article directories and press release distribution services who will then distribute your articles and press releases to other websites who will publish them and in return link back to you. Also, you can submit your site to bloggers through a popular service called Blogitive (Blogitive will get blogs to post one-way anchor text links to your site in their blog, which will greatly enhance your search engine ranking).

Another way to attract visitors to your web site instantly is by using pay-per-click advertising. With PPC, you pay a certain cost per click to have an ad for your web page run at or near the top of the search engine listings for certain keywords. This can be extremely costly and ineffective. It is not uncommon for webmasters to blow thousands of dollars on PPC advertising and make only a few sales.

The best way to promote your site, if you are actually selling something, is through an affiliate program. You need to provide an affiliate code to other online merchants so that they will place your banner on their site; every time you make a sale that resulted from an affiliate referral, the affiliate gets a commission. Some internet companies have thousands of affiliates, and get all the business they would ever need or want this way; and it costs you nothing.

In conclusion, you should first optimize your website and submit it to search engines. You should then begin submitting articles and press releases to article directories and press release distribution services. You should also submit your site to Blogitive so that bloggers will write a review of your site and link to it, further boosting your link popularity. You might want to join a link exchange, but trading links often proves fruitless. Also, you should set up an affiliate program. And finally, you should budget a small amount of money to spend each week on pay-per-click.


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