Advertising Your Home Business Online
Internet Marketing is a HUGE subject that is continually changing and evolving.
What worked a year ago to bring visitors to your site may not work today.
Search engine technologies change, economic factors change, and so it's important to keep current on which internet marketing strategies are most useful.
Years ago internet marketing experts recommended banner advertising, but nowadays this is considered to be overrated and not successful except in creating brand name recognition.
Another internet marketing technique which used to be popular was to submit your site en mass to hundreds of Free For All directories.
It worked for a while for some, but then, later on, became a waste of time.
Most people who tried this report that they received no sales and lots of spam!
Nowadays building a presence on the internet takes careful planning and a professional approach.
Here we've summarized some internet marketing tips for beginners. Keep in mind that these techniques are always changing, so it's important to keep current with the topic of internet marketing if you own a business on the internet.
Create a Memorable Domain name!
A memorable domain name sticks in the memories of your potential customers.
Choose something short that expresses your unique selling proposition (i.e., what makes you different?) that people can remember.
Even better, choose the search term that people would use if they looked for you on a search engine.
Make sure to check and make sure you're not infringing on any trademarks first, and register several versions of your name if you can. There are many reasonably priced domain registrars, some of which provide additional services.
Read this article about Domain Names and Web Hosting to learn more about domain name registration and what you should look for in a registrar.
You can get domains for around $12.99 per year per domain.
GoDaddy.com has good prices. It is where I buy most of my domains although they are always trying to sell me more things!
Their saving grace is 24/7 telephone support.
Maximize Your Search Engine Friendliness
If you build a website that is full of information that people are searching for, and if you use search terms that are not already oversaturated in the current marketplace, you will be rewarded with lots of FREE advertising which is the best internet marketing value there is! Best of all, people prefer visiting natural search engine links rather than paid ads; they like finding you on their own rather than being marketed to.
See the following Action Guide on this.
Site Build It will maximize your site for search engine friendliness as you are building the site.
It also automatically submits your site to the major search engines when each page is built and every month after that.
Also visit Self Promotion to read up on how to prepare your site for Yahoo, which will increase your traffic significantly.
Submit Your Site to Search Engines
Honestly, I've never done this myself because the service I use to build my sites does this for me!
However, if you're not using Site Build It, you'll need to do this yourself or find a service that can do this for you.
Submitting your site to the search engines is something that must be done regularly.
A good ranking will bring you lots of visitors! Self Promotion has an excellent free web promotion service which automates your search engine submission process.
In exchange for a small donation, you can also keep your data in their files for a year which makes your monthly search engine submissions much easier.
This site is has a tremendous amount of free education on internet marketing, and is also great entertainment!
The author's wacky and unique sense of humor will keep you chuckling as you go about the otherwise dreary task of submitting your website.
If you're using Site Build It, this service will automatically submit your site to the major search engines when each page is built and regularly after that.
It keeps track of each page, when it was submitted, whether it got listed, and so forth.
Offer a Free Gift
Giving valuable free information, software, ebooks or tools on your website is an excellent way to build your business.
This tried, and right internet marketing technique works well IF you are providing a valuable service or product that other people need.
Don't give away junk!
That will make you look cheap and devalue what you offer.
Write a Newsletter
Publishing a newsletter or RSS news feed will keep you connected with your site visitors!
This will enable you to build a relationship with your visitors and will build trust.
Online publishing is crucial to your internet marketing campaign. You can publish monthly or set up a free course that offers valuable information.
The key is to offer unique, valuable information that your visitors are looking for.
Doing targeted link exchanges with other sites that are complementary or similar to your own can provide value to your visitors and also boost your visibility by having other sites linking to yours.
This is done by doing an internet search for sites with your website theme.
When you find a site that you like, write up a short review of the site and place a link on your Links page.
Then write a courteous personal note to the webmaster telling them that you enjoyed their site and ask if they would like to exchange links.
Tell them you've already added a link to their site, and show them where to find your links page.
Wait to hear back from them.
If you don't hear back within a reasonable time, remove the link unless you love their site and don't care if they don't want to exchange.
You can meet other quality webmasters to exchange links by using this free Value Exchange Directory.
Use Signature Files
A signature file is a simple and free internet marketing technique. Simply create a short ad at the bottom of your e-mail, that contains a link to your business website.
Keep it short, memorable, and under 6 or 7 lines, with an evocative text that creates curiosity and compels your readers to visit your site.
Participate in Online Networking
Join online discussion groups that are relevant to your business, and use your signature file.
DON'T advertise on these groups, just participate and be helpful.
Let your signature file do the marketing.
Many women's business groups are excellent opportunities for online networking.
See our Women's Business section for a listing of some great online discussion and networking groups.
Autoresponders can regularly follow up with your prospective customers, and also with your customers who already purchased something from you.
Studies show that it takes up to 7 times for a person to see your product offering before making a purchase.
You can also provide free reports by autoresponder, or even a sequential free course.
There are many free autoresponders, most of which post ads on your message.
For a fee they will remove the ads.
Many of the other free autoresponders I've tried didn't work!
The messages did not arrive.
Most free autoresponders are good only for test driving the system … do NOT use a free account to build your business!
If you're going to be using autoresponders for your business, it's best to pay for a reliable, ad-free professional autoresponder service.
After a long and drawn out process that took years to find a reliable autoresponder company, I now use MailChimp which is the most reliable of all the services I've used.
They will get your e-mail delivered.
They also have many features that will help you market your business more naturally and effectively.
For a more detailed free report on autoresponders, you can visit our Autoresponder Options page.
Advertise on Google
Google Adwords in one of the most popular online advertising programs today.
You create the ads yourself and can test them to see how they perform. You only pay when people click on your links so that you can control the cost.
People see your ad when they do an internet search related to your product or service.
In order to use Google Adwords effectively you need to think carefully about your product or service, and about the “Most Wanted Response” you are looking for from your potential customer.
For example, do you want them to visit your site, sign up for your newsletter, fill out a survey?
Remember you only have a few seconds to capture their interest.
You will then need to design an ad that compels people to visit your site, and a ‘landing page' that will produce the results you are seeking.
Google AdWords can bring more traffic and customers to your business if you use it properly and test your ads.
Some business owners rely on Google Adwords exclusively, because it performs so well.
Pay-Per-Click Search engines
Pay Per Click Search Engines can drive additional traffic to your website, beyond the natural traffic that would develop through a well researched, search engine optimized site.
Some webmasters use them as their primary internet marketing strategy.
You pay a set amount each time a user clicks on your website listing, anywhere from US$.01 to several US dollars.
You bid on keywords that searchers use to find information, and the highest bidder gets the highest position in the search engine.
There are many of these kinds of search engines online; you will need to do some research to see which may work best for you.
You should test any form of pay per click advertising to know whether it provides a useful return on your advertising investment.
Run a Contest!
This takes some work but can be fun and can bring you increased traffic and more subscribers to your newsletter.
This article Beginner's Guide to Contests is written by our friend Pam Sabedra, who has become so successful running contests that she now helps other people to promote their contests.
This tried, and true internet marketing technique works.
Write short, unique articles with valuable information targeted to your specific market.
Make sure you require people to reprint your biographical information and website link at the end of each article.
We have many articles on our site that are about article marketing. Just fill in “article marketing” in the search field you can find on each page.
Encourage Others to Recommend Your Site
Marketing a Network Marketing Business?
A network marketing business requires a duplicatable marketing system that many people can use easily.
Many network marketing systems are fads.
The only one I've seen that works over the long haul on the internet is also the best internet marketing systems for almost any other business you have.
For more about network marketing resources, please visit our network marketing page.