- Category: January - February 2009
What’s the use of the best homepage or the cheapest online shop if visitors are missing and consequently nobody perceives your offers? Without visitors your Website is simply worthless. So, just how do you ensure that your target group reaches your Website in today’s online jungle?
Let me show you some opportunities:
- Search engines (search engine optimization)
- Sponsored links (placing a paid advertisement in search engines, e.g., Google AdWords campaigns)
- Viral marketing ("mouth-to-mouth propaganda"/lists /link exchange networks/ banner advertising
- Partner programs (affiliate programs)/ recommendations / lotteries)
- Public relations in forums / web logs / press
Search engine marketing
Search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, AltaVista and Co. give you direction through hundreds of millions of Websites in the Internet. Most users exploit the "knowledge sea" daily to find certain information, which proves how important it is that your Web offer is listed on the top positions. A high ranking guarantees that your product/service is found with search engines and points many visitors as potential customers to your offer.
According to the Georgia Institute of Technology (GVU):
- 85% of all Internet visitors use search engines to search for specific websites
- 90% of the searching persons only click on the first 30 hits!
- 75% of the users have a concrete purchase intention and only want to be informed the best way!
And that explains why a high ranking (your position in the hit sites of search engines) is so crucial - most Internet users tend to end their search on the third page.
It is therefore vital what kinds of keywords or word combinations you have or want to be found. Many general industry terms are hard-fought and thousands of Websites can be found when calling these up. Just type into Google the most important search words with which you should be found. And … on which position does your Website appear? If you don’t receive a hit on the first three pages, your website is practically not existent in Google! With what kind of products and services are you associated with now? Who should find you in which way? Your Internet pages have to be optimized, so that you can be found with search engines.
The most important rule for keeping visitors: Speak the language of your customers. If you produce "turnscrews", but the whole world looks for "screwdrivers", you do not need to be surprised if only a handful of experts visit your homepage.
Sponsored links (paid search positions, Google AdWords)
Why don’t you pay for good search engine positioning? Take out a classified ad to certain keywords. Every time this keyword is searched, your classified ad with your special advertising slogan appears in addition to the common display of search results. I am describing here the so called "sponsored links".
You only pay the click price if your announcement is clicked on. Classified ads in search engines are very effective and are less expensive than you think. In addition, this method is widely accepted and clicked among web searchers simply because many of them believe that whoever pays for a search result certainly has something to offer.
The world’s largest pay-per-click (PPC) search engines currently available on the Web are:
|PPC Search Engine||Min. Deposit||PPCU Bonus||Open An Account|
|Google AdWords||$5||None||Google Adwords|
|Yahoo! Search Marketing|
|$5||$50||Yahoo! Search Marketing|
|ABC Search||$25||$100||ABC Search|
|Enhance Interactive||$50||$25||Enhance Interactive|
While there are more than 500 PPC search engines operating presently, these 10 are the most popular that produce over 85% of all pay-per-click searches. Check them out to gain a better understanding of which search engine serves you best!
Search Engine Optimization
Of course it is better to stand far on top of the general search engine hit lists than to pay for visitors. The problem is that unfortunately, countless competitors have the same ambition with exactly the same keywords. Therefore, it is crucial that your website is optimized for the most important search engines and believe me, successful search engine optimization is not rocket science or witchcraft. Strictly speaking, only a few tips and tricks have to be considered to be placed well in the most important search engines.
If at least basic requirements of Website optimization are taken into consideration, the ranking of your homepage often improves very clearly which immediately perceptibly increases your Website traffic.
Like a computer virus "viral marketing" develops its kind of own dynamism, because like a snowball system more and more people tell their friends about your homepage - you, your company, products, or service.
Make sure that your visitors recommend your website to your target group, e.g., through lotteries or small "gift vouchers" which can be redeemed only on your website.
Partner / Affiliate programs
With an affiliate program the partner promotes your products or services on his website. This happens in the form of a link to your website or to a special product page. With his partner-ID, which is transferred as well, you are able to recognize where the visitor comes from, so that with a following purchase your partner receives from you a certain commission. Your advantage is that you only have to pay if there is achieved a turnover. Your partner has the advantage that he needs actually only one homepage to sell for you. This homepage should have of course an interesting subject, so that visitors get there. If your offer fits well to the subject of the partner website, many of his visitors will also have a look at your offer ... and if your offer is convincing, the visitors will buy from you.
Public relations / forums / web log
The Internet offers many opportunities to meet like-minded people and to exchange thoughts on the Internet. For almost every subject exist countless forums, which means message boards for questions and answers.
Advertisements are in almost all newsgroups, forums and web logs forbidden or at least not welcome. However, there are ways of marketing your products or services here as well. Simply by making your expert knowledge available to the public and answering questions and offering help. Subtly refer again and again to your product, or use a significant signature at the end of your texts.
Or maybe a web log is also interesting for you and your enterprises? This small and almost always free Content Management System (CMS) allows putting very quickly individual comments and contributions on a website.
Web logs are comparable with diaries in which the last Internet surfing tour is rather casually published, besides discovered interesting links, industry specific news, or only quite simple reports on its current work. Due to its topicality, they are loved by search engines and recompensed with a higher ranking.
And do you already present your Web address on all "off-line media" to support being found online? Here I have in mind note paper, newsletters, e-mails, order confirmations, operating instructions, job offers, business cards … etc.? It might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s something that is crucial not to leave out.
By Daniela La Marca