When you establish a web-based business the first thing that you must do is market your product or site. Many people believe if they put a website on the Internet they will begin making sales effortlessly. This is a large misconception. A website is nothing but data floating around cyberspace unless people are directed to visit the site.
A home based business will only be as successful as its marketing campaign. However, you should not let this scare you. Marketing options are abundant, and many times free.
Land Based Marketing
When you establish your website you need to let everyone know it exists, beginning in your own back yard. Pass out flyers or business cards to everyone you know. Leave cards in public restrooms, posted on community bulletin boards, even on public transportation benches. Move the word out in your own area and let the word spread. If you are still mailing in bills each month, enclose a card with your receipt. Hand cards out to cashiers, wait staff and even the local librarian. Business cards are a very inexpensive way to reach thousands of people.
If you are a member of any social group, including church, make sure to place an advertisement in their newsletters. Does your local town have a small paper or classified ad paper offering items for sale? Make sure you take advantage of these papers. All you need is one person to visit, love your site, and blast the news out to family and friends via phone or Internet and your site visits will explode.
Internet Based Marketing
There are several ways to advertise on the Internet. It is important to explore each one and determine which type of advertising will drive the most people to your site.
Pay-Per-Click – This method of advertising is the original Internet marketing plan. It works simply by paying a company to send visitors to your site. This can be accomplished by creating an account with an advertising company, such as Google, or offering an affiliate program pays the affiliate for every original click-thru to your site from their link.
Paid e-Mail Programs – There are several companies out there that will create a marketing campaign for you through direct e-mail. They have a list of subscribers that accept e-mail advertisements about specific items or services. Once they receive the e-mail they are paid to visit your site. Some of these companies will even provide bonus pay to their clients if they make a purchase while on your site.
Classified Advertisements – There are hundreds, if not thousands of classified ad websites that allow you to place a small simple advertisement for free. Take advantage of this type of free advertising.
Article Marketing – Once of the latest trends on the Internet is marketing articles. Articles written about your product or service can be loaded on to many sites. These sites will allow you to place a link to your product page within the article. The added bonus of article marketing is the back links it creates to your site. Most search engines, including Google, will rank your site higher in the listings if it has several back links associated with the page.
SEO Content – SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the method of properly setting up your website so that it is recognized by the search engines and ranked well in their listings. There are many ways to achieve this, including adding video clips to your site, using the right amount of keywords, and placement of these keywords in specific areas of your text.
Blogging – Blogging is one of the most popular forms of marketing your product or service. Many people will take the time read or post a comment on a blog that they find interesting. Sites that have blogs attached to them will also rank higher with the search engines.
Social Networking – The latest, and possibly biggest, marketing trend on the Internet is on the social network sites. You cannot ignore the importance or the power these sites generate. You must make sure that your business has a presence on these sites, and that you keep your reputation good. Remember: It may take 1000 great reviews on these sites to get you noticed, but it will only take one bad one to go viral.
When you are marketing your site on the Internet it is also important to track their effectiveness. Many of these tracking tools are available for free. By using these reports, you can see if your website is being noticed and what forms of advertising are having the greatest results. When you examine these reports it will allow you to fine-tune your marketing methods
It is also important to remember that the Internet is constantly evolving. You must continue to search for new ways to promote and market your business.