So you have just spent time and money having the website of your dreams developed. You have all the bells and whistles in place and going into this process you were confident that if you only had a website you would start to attract new business. The site goes live and you wait patiently, but all you hear are crickets. This is all too common of an experience for business that has recently moved their business presence online. The reality is this: a website without an Internet marketing plan is like a vehicle without roads. Sure you have this nice shiny new convertible. You can wash it and admire it afar, but without roads to drive it on, it eventually gathers dust and become useless. This is where Internet Marking comes into play. With the right campaign in place you can not only draw traffic to your site but convert that traffic into quantifiable leads.
Generally, there are four main strategies which are used to increase traffic to your websites. These are:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
SEO is the process by which the content of a website is optimized in such a way that it creates one-way links to the web pages using keywords. Consequently, the site gets ranked higher in the search engine. This process is free in the sense that there is no notion of paying per click for the keywords. The downside is that a good SEO strategy will require time and money to be fully implemented.
Pay per Click:
This strategy is similar to SEO in that the website is optimized for certain keywords. However, as compared to organic SEO, you have to pay for every click those keywords generate. The downside: paying per click can prove to be expensive, especially if you want your page to be ranked higher. If you have a marketing budget at hand, or are targeting keywords with little competition you can be assured of getting your site to the top of the search engines. Often Pay per Click can be a good option for those that have just launched their site and don’t want to wait for their organic SEO to take effect before getting traffic.
This strategy involves advertising your website on someone else’s site via graphical or text ads. In most cases you pay the ad provider a monthly fee to place your ad on their webpage. Often you can design your own ad and decide where it will be shown on the advertiser’s website. There are a number of banner ad providers and each service has their own take on the process. A few that I recommend starting out with are Google Adwords, AdBright and BuySellAdds. Much like Pay per Click ads, advertising fees vary based upon the amount impressions and clicks your ads get so do some research and try out multiple ad networks to see who give you the most bang for your buck.
Affiliate Marketing is a process by which web marketers advertise your website for free. You only pay them when an order is processed. There is no fixed price that you pay for marketing and you pay per order. The amount you pay is typically negotiated between the two parties or the Affiliate Company. To attract advertisers you should keep your payout competitive as you are most likely one of many advertisers in your field or area of interest. The biggest advantage of Affiliate Marketing is you only pay when there is an actual order through your website.
All these strategies can be adopted either independently or collectively depending on what kind of marketing you require and how much you are willing to pay. In any case, you are sure to benefit from these strategies if they are employed correctly and tested alongside one another. The old adage “it takes money to make money” is true, but with a skilled marketing plan in place it only takes a little money to make a lot of money.