Senin, 18 Februari 2008

Online Marketing Methods

Online Marketing Methods

There are a number of very effective ways to promote your website online that often have nothing to do with search engines – here are a few of them:

Purchasing banners or other ad space

Banner ads or smaller square and rectangular ads are often seen on many websites, including search engines. These ads normally cost money to have them displayed. Some websites will also offer a banner or ad exchange, which means if you put their banner ad on your site, they will put your banner ad on their site. These commercial ads can be very useful when displayed on prominent web sites. You will be required to provide the banner or display ad in a specific size, which will then be installed on the ad site and will be used to "click through" to your site. Make sure that you get details of the types and volumes of visitors that are viewing these sites, and their demography, so that you stay within your targeted group.

Purchase Pay-per-click advertising

Some of the search engines like Google and other types of websites offer a variety of plans for promoting your website on their website. The advantage of these ads or links on other websites is that you pay when someone actually “clicks” through to your website from theirs (most also have some sort of a nominal sigh-up fee) This method of advertising is called pay-per-click and can be quite a cost-effective method of advertising your website. The other advantage of pay-per-click is that you have the ability to selectively target specific clients, based on the criteria you select (key search words). Most websites that offer pay-per-click also allow the advertiser to monitor and manage their own accounts. This means you can create an online marketing plan as simple or complicated as you need.

Purchase Search Engine or Directory space

Some search engines and directory services provide fees for service in getting your website listed. Some of the search engines that currently offer some fees for service include: Yahoo, AskJeeves, Inktomi, Lycos, and Excite. Paying for search engine listings seems to be the trend of the future: look around for cost-effective sources and make sure you do your research before you signing up for this type of service now that you know what you are looking for. Paying for search engine or directory services can be a cost-effective way to ensure your website is given prominent display. As with all other forms of promotion, this will require some research on your part because this is a constantly changing market. I just want you to be aware that this is an option that you may want to consider.

Link exchanges

Link exchanges simply mean putting a link on your website for another website, while other websites put links to your website on theirs. This is normally a free exchange between consenting websites; it benefits you in two ways.

First, you may get a link to your website from other sites (this is called an in-link). Second, some search engines take your in-links into consideration with regard to your placement. The more in-links you have, the higher you are placed on some of the search engines.

Newsgroups

These are also called (Discussion) Forums and are simply online discussion groups. Special readers (a software program designed specifically for online discussions) may be required to view newsgroups or forums. Before you enter into any of these Discussion Forms a word of caution. Advertising on many of these is often considered taboo, make sure you know the “rules of the form”. The good news is that there are often non-threatening ways of going about getting a message out. MAKE SURE you understand the do's and don'ts before you start using these services as you may face some cruel criticism (or worse) for not following their guidelines. Newsgroups can be accessed through most e-mail programs, and listings for newsgroups can be found by accessing this feature in your e-mail program.

One way to “sneak” advertising into Forms and Discussions is to simply use the Domain Name of your website in the body of your text, almost as a by-product of a question or statement. What you DO NOT want to do is blatantly tell everyone to go to your website “for great deals” or some other obvious reason. This is sure to cause friction with other members of the group. Another way of “quietly”advertising your website is to use it in the signature of your emails (email signatures will also covered later).

Listservs or List Groups

These are similar to newsgroups with the exception that they use Internet browsers or e-mail programs for communication. Like Newsgroups there are often rules that need to be followed but promotion "done in good taste" with these sites is often acceptable. Listservs can be more difficult to find and are often associated with special interest topics. Internet searches are a good place to start. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of newsgroups and listserve-type services available. Finding listings for these in your area will take some work. Some may be listed on Internet website pages while others are only found through word of mouth with people who use them. You may need to call some web hosting companies or other business groups in your area in order to find listings for these groups. If you do join some of these, follow their guidelines and you will be rewarded by an increase in traffic to your website.

Direct email

Direct email refers to manually sending emails to prospective clients one email at a time. One of the drawbacks with direct email is that it takes time to do. The advantage is that it is often more rewarding in its return as emails are directed to specific people or groups. Direct email is an ideal way to create a list of followers for your website, company or products.E-mail is easy to use and targeted directly to specific people. See also Opt-in Lists.

Email also has some risks. Even if you send emails to “prospective clients” one at at time, some recipients of these email will still perceive them as “spam emails”. As the Internet and email become more widely used SPAM email is becoming more and more a problem. There are a number of anti-spam organizations that are quite aggressive toward spammers. Don’t get caught in their net, do your research. Some companies have de-listed email contacts from them because of spam abuse to their employees. Some companies have installed complicated “filters” to eliminate unwanted email.

What I have found the most effective lately is to call prospective clients by telephone and during that conversation get their email.

Opt-in lists

Bookmark This Website, Subscribe, Sign in, Fill out survey, Enter Contest and Newsletters – All of these are a form of "opt-in" marketing ideas that work. They are also referred to as “Permission Marketing” because when a customer "signs up" they are, in effect, giving you permission to send them messages (emails).

Be aware that some of these kinds of website promotion can be quite time consuming, but some can really expand your market niche. Creating a consistently effective newsletter for example can test many people patience. Making one newsletter is not too hard, but try making a newsletter every month for a few years, that is a challenge.

Automated programs can be added to most websites to help manage the lists of names and email addresses of people who “opt-in” to your program.

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