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An Introduction to Internet Marketing

Oct 27, 2007
If you recently started an online business, you are probably facing the seemingly impossible dilemma of how to get a significant amount of qualified traffic to your website at a reasonable cost. Indeed, internet marketing can be daunting, and is not for the faint of heart. There are millions or even billions of websites in cyberspace, all vying for attention. There are many different ways to effectively market your website. For the purposes of our discussion here, we will outline the most practical ways for your launch your internet company without losing your shirt.

The cornerstone of internet marketing is search engine submission and optimization. There are hundreds of different search engines and directories on the internet where you can submit your web site for a listing. This is fairly easy to do. Simply sign up for a monthly submission plan with a credible search engine submission service. There are literally hundreds of these submission services on the internet; you can find them by performing a search on Google.

However, be wary of submitters that claim to be able to submit your site to 75,000 search engines. Such services are scams, and they will submit your web page to FFA pages and bogus link pages that can actually get you banned from the search engines. You should only do business with submission services that submit to the major engines and directories.

Now that we have covered submission, we need to talk about search engine optimization (SEO), which is even more important. To optimize a site, you need to maximize keyword density and optimize the positioning for the words or phrases that best characterize the subject matter of your site, and you need to use proper Meta tags so that the search engines can interpret your web pages.

If you do not know how to optimize your web site, you should search for an optimization professional on Google. Steer clear of SEO experts who want to charge $1,000 per month or more. Their goal is to bleed you dry before you figure out that they really can not help you get to the top of the rankings. Stick to providers who will optimize your site for a one-time fee.

More important than SEO is link popularity. Link popularity is the number of web sites that currently link to your site. The more inbound links you acquire, the higher your search engine ranking will be.

There are several ways you can garner links. You can submit your site to free directories, or join a link exchange and trade links with other sites, or, you can author articles and press releases and submit them to article directories, who will then distribute your articles to webmasters looking for free content, who must link back to your website when they publish your article on theirs.

If you are not patient enough to wait for your search engine ranking to improve, you can attract visitors to your web site instantly by using pay-per-click advertising (PPC). With PPC, you pay a certain cost per click to have an ad for your web page run at or near the top of the search engine listings for certain keywords. This can be extremely costly and ineffective. It is not uncommon for webmasters to blow thousands of dollars on PPC advertising and make only a few sales.

You can also pay for advertising space in ezines, which are basically magazines in cyberspace that are sent via email to thousands of subscribers. There are thousands of different ezines related to almost any topic you can imagine, and they sell ad space for a fee; the larger their circulation, the higher the price tag.

The best way to promote your site, if you are actually selling something, is through an affiliate program. You need to provide an affiliate code to other online merchants so that they will place your banner on their site; every time you make a sale that resulted from an affiliate referral, the affiliate gets a commission.

Some internet companies have thousands of affiliates, and get all the business they would ever need or want this way; and it costs you nothing. To recruit affiliates, you should submit your affiliate program to as many directories as possible (there are directories where you can list your affiliate program for free).

The best way to find affiliates is by listing your program on forums or message boards visited by webmasters who are looking to generate additional revenue for their online business. You will have to consult with an experienced programmer who can set up the program so that the affiliate codes can be tracked properly.

I hope this information will assist you with your internet marketing efforts. No website can garner a huge following overnight; it takes time and persistence. But, if you work diligently and follow each of the procedures outlined in the article, you should do fine.
About the Author
Jim Pretin is the owner of http://www.forms4free.com, a service that helps programmers make HTML forms for free
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