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Three Effective Strategies for Internet Marketing

July 20th, 2007

With the population of Internet users constantly growing and continually evolving, it is important to know how to use online marketing strategies effectively in order to increase one’s wealth and influence. Of course, there are many different methods for marketing your products, services, and opportunities on the Internet; however, attempting to cover them all would take up too much space for a single article. But if you already have a website or perhaps even a blog like this one, I have found that there are three major categories of things that you can do to get your Internet marketing ball rolling.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Optimizing your site for the search engines is important because any traffic that you can get from organic search results is free, which means that you can save money that would otherwise be spent on advertising costs. While not all of SEO is under your control, you can still directly control some elements of it, particularly the ones that are often referred to as on-page factors. These include things like the title of your page (title tag), meta tags, internal links, and the kinds of keywords that you use in the content of your pages.

The ultimate goal of SEO strategy is to get your site listed on the first page of the search results for your chosen keyword phrases. This is important because most studies show that over 90% of people never look beyond the first page of results when they are searching for something. In order to have a good chance at getting onto the first page, you will need to choose a keyword that is not too broad and is specific enough to fit the particular niche from which you are trying to draw traffic. For example, if you are marketing computer repair services and can only reasonably travel within the Corpus Christi area, you would not want to target the keyword “computers”; instead you would use something like “Corpus Christi computer repair” or “computer repair services Corpus Christi”.

On the other hand, there would not be much benefit in optimizing an entire page around a keyword phrase which is so obscure that virtually no one ever searches for it. There has to be some kind of significant search engine traffic in order for a keyword to have any real marketing value for you. Fortunately, there are some free tools available from sites such as Wordtracker, Overture, and Digital Point that can help you to determine which keyword phrases you might want to consider using for your pages. For each page, you should use your favorite keyword once in the title and meta tags and a few times in the body of the text, including at least once in the first and last paragraphs. You should not repeat the same keyword too many times in these areas, however; overuse of the same word or phrase may be seen as “keyword stuffing” and some search engines may penalize you for this.

Getting Links To Your Site

Gaining more links back to your site from other sites is of crucial importance not only for bringing in more visitors, but also for SEO purposes. In fact, without links, we would be mostly dependent on word-of-mouth advertising and direct type-in traffic for referring people to our sites. While there is certainly nothing wrong with these methods, it is generally much easier to bring people to your site by means of a convenient hyperlink.

In SEO terms, getting more backlinks is considered an “off-page factor” and is not something you can always control directly, but there are still some things that you can do to increase the chances of other people linking to you. One method is the simple link exchange, which usually involves contacting other webmasters and requesting that they link to your site in exchange for you linking back to theirs. In terms of gaining better rankings in the search engines, this kind of reciprocal linking is not valued as highly as a one-way link to your site, but it is still better than not having links at all. Meanwhile, you can still bring in targeted traffic with this method if the other site is relevant to your topic and is already receiving a fair number of visitors.

You can also purchase links from other sites, but this is a tricky proposition because recently Google and other search engines have been considering the idea of adjusting their algorithms to give paid links much less weight. They are doing this in an attempt to prevent people from simply buying their way to the top of the search results pages. There does not seem to be any actual penalty for these kinds of links, however, so it is still possible to use this linking method for regular traffic generation. Just make sure that you do not pay too much for links based on SEO factors alone; since the search engines are always changing their ranking criteria, these paid links may not help you as much in this area as you might think.

Other methods of gaining backlinks that I have already written about include article syndication, article marketing, and hosted content. With all of these methods, it is good to get high quality links whenever possible. High quality links come from sites that are more popular and can bring more traffic to your site, and (usually coincidentally) have a higher page rank according to Google. Links from sites with a higher page rank count much more heavily that links from sites with very low page rank or none at all. Many of the sources that I have read so far indicate that even a single link from a site with a page rank of 7 or higher can not only boost your search engine rankings significantly, but it can also cause your site to get crawled more frequently. Getting more frequent and thorough crawls means that your pages will be indexed faster and will actually appear in the search results on a more frequent basis.

Blogging

In recent years, blogs have begun to play an increasingly significant role in the dissemination of information on the Internet. A large percentage of searches will reveal entries from one or more blogs on the first page of the search results. Since most people perform searches for more information before making online purchases, blogs are in a position to provide potential consumers with the information that they seek. When people are considering purchasing a product or service, they are usually interested in the opinions and experiences of others who may offer them relevant information regarding the things that they want to research.

Most of the time, blogs confer an advantage the webmaster over static websites for SEO purposes as long as the blogger continues to create new content and publish regular updates. The dynamic nature of blogging allows the search engine spiders access to fresh content on a regular basis, and over time this tends to encourage more frequent crawling and indexing of a website and its pages. This effect can be increased through article marketing methods in which a blogger will submit an article to a major hub site like ezinearticles.com. The article will usually contain a link to the author’s website near the bottom, and since the hub site is already established and receiving frequent crawls from the search engines, the blogger benefits from this in terms of both human traffic and search engine crawling activity. Meanwhile, the article hub site also benefits by receiving more content and visitor traffic, which translates into more money from advertising revenues, usually derived from text link ads on the hub site’s increasing number of pages.

The blogger may also realize long-term benefits from writing and publishing articles in this manner. If other webmasters visit the article hubs in search of information and are favorably impressed by a blogger’s article, it may wind up being syndicated to many other sites on the Internet, creating a viral effect that will bring even more traffic back to the author’s blog. Of course, other webmasters may also link to the blog directly if they like its articles and content, which creates an SEO benefit to the blogger by providing more backlinks.

Summary

The strategies of SEO, link building, and blogging described above are certainly not meant to be an exhaustive description of Internet marketing techniques. There are many others, such as setting up autoresponder emails for list building, pay per click (PPC) advertising, banner ads, and advertising in newsletters and ezines. There are also traditional offline advertising methods like flyers, bulletin board posters, business cards, and newspaper classifieds that could be used to advertise a website just as easily as a brick-and-mortar establishment. Regardless of the options that you choose, however, maintaining a blog and combining it with good SEO and link building strategies should provide you with a solid foundation for your Internet marketing endeavors.


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