How to advertise your home based business
Advertising is the backbone of your business, failure to advertise will mean that your business will not work it is as simple as that. Just doing your research and looking at all the relevant keywords in relation to your subject matter isn't enough to get seen - you need to promote your site.
Fortunately on the internet there are various techniques to use to get people to your site, without getting people to your site how will you build your reputation, how will you get your information across and more importantly how will you make any sales or referrals.
As in all things in life there are good advertising techniques and there are the bad ones. We will go through some of each of those here. Not all techniques will be looked into at this time but more will be added in the future.
In the home based business whereby we are selling something (albeit it may be someones else product that we are selling) we do not want just any Tom, Dick or Harry coming to our site. Whilst it is good to look at the statistics and see that we are getting people to our site what is the point of getting them there if one they are not interested in what we are marketing and two did not buy anything. Yes it gets your presence known but that is about it.
As most people are searching for information you need to ensure that you have lots of related content on your site in relation to your subject mater. Picture this you are searching for information on say car repairs, you do a search, click a link and get a site with hardly any information at all - would you stay, worse would you go back. Therefore provide lots and lots of related content to your customer. The good thing about having lots of related content on your site is that the search engines love it. Change the content as much as you can as this will help you gain better rankings with the search engines. You need to try and get as good a tanking as you can with the search engines as most people looking for information will utilise the search engines to find it. It is widely know that the majority of people dont go past page 3 of the results. The tricky part is getting yourself onto these pages - dont worry though all is not lost. You need to ensure that your site is search engine ready. ie all your meta tags are in place, anchors etc etc. This can be done in a few ways, you can pay someone to do it or you can do it yourself using tools. The best tool I have found to ensure that sites are website is ready is by designing the site in a product called X-Site Pro. (This site in fact is produced via that product)
Once your site is search engine ready you need to get the search engines to crawl your site. They do this utilising little tools called spiders/robots. These robots visit your site and see what the content is like, what the linking is like etc etc. This is why your site needs to be search engine ready.
This is only the first step, once you site is configured for the search engines and you have been spidered, you need to start increasing your rankings. A good way to do this is via external people linking to your site. There are 2 types of these links - one is reciprocal linking whereby you link to their site and they link to you, the other is a one way link or a backlink. This is where the other site links to you but you do not link back. This is the best link to have. Reciprocal linking is good though but only if the other persons website is related to your sites theme. People visiting a car repair site and see a link to a parrot site probably aren't going to click it and the search engines dont like it either. Good ways to get backlinks at present are via articles or blogs. You can submit an article to a article site which has content in relation to your site. At the end of the article is a link to your site. You may get some clicks from the article but getting the backlink is more important. Using blogs is another good idea. You can visit blogs in relation to your site content and leave comments on their blog with a link back to your site. Ezines are powerful and placing an advert in an ezine is a good way to go. Do you visit and post at newsgroups regularly - if so change your signature so that it has a link to your site. Doing all of these is good at creating backlinks as when the search engines spider the other sites they will pick up your site. Submitting to internet directories will also help in increasing your rankings on the search engines. Creation of backlinks is something that you must not dismiss.
You may have heard a saying called 'the money is in the list'. What this means is that you have captured peoples e-mail address via a pop up form, on site form or via another method. These mail addresses are all held in a database on your host and as your customers have freely given you their mail address you can mail them - beware though do NOT spam, spamming people is not nice and you could end up having your hosing etc disabled. It does not improve your credibility as an internet marketer either. If you do follow this method and I recommend it a good way to go is what is called double opt it. What this means is that they give you their mail address via whatever method, You then send them a mail asking them to click a link to confirm this. This is also good as it ensures that the person who has given the mail address is actually the recipient of the mail address. Why should people just give you their mail address though I hear you ask, well you need to offer them something in return, be that a free download, free ebook, a newsletter etc.
Writing your own articles and submitting them to article sites is a fantastic way to get backlinks to your site (a backlink is where a link is pointing at your site but you are not pointing a link at their site in return). Keep your aticle content in relation to your site material and ensure that you add your sites address in the author bio section. You should attempt to submit a least one article per week. As time goes by you will have more backlinks pointing to your site and you should get a better page ranking in the search engines.
Sending e-zine ads out is another good way to get your website or product known. An ezine is basically a bought in area of a mail list. If you have your own mail list then you can advertise to your own customer base. Remember though if you do have your own mail list always give them the option to unsubscribe. You can fund hundreds of places on the internet whereby you can advertise in ezines. Ensure in this method that your 'advert' is well written as you do not want your mail to be put into the trash straight away - you want it to be read - you want the recipient to be excited about the product and more importantly you want the recipient to sign up.
When using mail remember the 11th comandment of the internet which is 'though shall not spam'. Sending spam mail is not nice and more importantly you can be shut down at your ISP level. I am sure that you do not like receiving lots of mail in your inbox. I certainly dont. I will not spam it is as simple as that and you shouldn't either.
Try to advertise in your own voice as this will make your adverts more personal to you.
Submitting a press release is a very good way to go. It creates a very important back link to your site and also promotes your site to the world.
Create your own blog and advertise you site on it. As blogs are all about information the search engines love them, and you will love the link to your own site as well.
Another good way to advertise is by using your mail - change your signature in your mail client so that you web address is at the foot of every mail sent out.
Pay per clicks via Google Adwords etc are a very good tool at getting traffic to your site, however unless you have an obscure content I would not recommending using is (unless you have deep pockets) as it can get very expensive very quickly. Pay per clicks work like an auction whereby you bid on a word and the highest bidder gets top spot on the search engines sponsored results.
Viral marketing and free traffic exchanges are still good and should not be ignored.
A good piece of advice is that if you are struggling with headlines etc for your ads go to the shops and have a look through some magazines, newspapers etc. Have a look at how people advertise in these and try to emulate the style they do it in.
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