6 Ways To Effectively Market Your Site
Without spending millions on a Superbowl campaign
1. Search Engines and Directories: Submit your web site to the main search engines and web directories. Yahoo is the most important web directory to get listed in because 70% of the web's traffic comes from this directory. The downfall to this is that Yahoo has a reputation for taking months to list web sites, if it chooses to list your site at all. But don't let this discourage you. There are many other ways to get noticed. Also, make sure that when you submit your site to directories, choose a category that best fits your services. Yahoo only allows 2 categories for each web site.
2. Local Web Sites or Directories: Look for local web sites, and other web directories that list sites within your expertise. Most do not charge for this, but some may. For example, if you are a Car Dealer, and you type into AltaVista's search engine "Cars", you will probably get a few web sites that sell or talk about cars, and maybe some that are directories of Car Dealers in your area, National or both. Always look for other resources on the Internet to get listed on. The more the better. And use the keywords that you you would use if you were searching for a car. Most people type the word "car" more than "automibile" so make sure you look for directories or informational sites that are listed under the keyword "cars" and then contact the founders of those sites and inquire about getting listed on their site.
3. Link Exchanges: Try swapping links with other web sites. Some may say yes, some may say no. But chances are that if you are willing to put their link on your site, they will be willing to put a link to your site from theirs. If you can, create a links page on your site for this purpose. That way, you have plenty of room to add new sites that are also adding you to the links page of their site. And although this probably goes without saying - avoid asking your competion to exchange links with you. This could be bad for both you and your business. The sites you should swap links with are the sites that work 'with' your business, not against it. For instance, if you have a Car Dealership in Dallas, you know that the people looking for cars may also be looking for car insurance or a loan from a bank. Check out the local Insurance and Bank web sites in your area and find out if they have "Related or Helpful Links" pages. If they do, ask them if they will be willing to exchange links with you. Some may charge for this, others may not. These types of exchanges usually turn out to be very helpful for all parties involved.
4. Banner Advertisements: It is a very good idea to set aside some money for a modest internet marketing campaign. There are so many places to promote yourself and get noticed without spending a fortune. The first thing you need to do is to create a 468 X 60 banner advertisement. If you do not know how to do this, there are companies that will perform this service for you from fees starting at approximately $75. Then you need to find a site (or sites) to slap your banner upon. And remember to target your audience. If you are selling cars, don't advertise on a Garden.com. Advertise at the sites where you know there are people looking for cars or information about cars. If you do not want to do the targeting and searching yourself, or don't know where to start, below is a list of banner ad resources that may be very helpful to you. Linkexchange has a marketing campaign as low as $19.99/month where your banner will be displayed 5,000 times a month on targeted web sites. (In other words, your banner will get 5,000 impressions and may be viewed by 5,000 unique visitors.) You can also buy ad space on one major site through services such as Flycast and DoubleClick.net.
5. Recommendations: This is probably one of the best methods to get your site recognized. How many of the web sites that you visit have been recommended to you you by a friend? Tell everyone you know about your site, announce it in your local newspaper. There is a wonderful online recommendation service at Recommend-it.com which allows visitors of your web site to quickly and easily recommend your web site to a friend. There is an enticing button that you place in your web site that says "Recommend this site to a friend and you could win $10,000." The person that recommends your site is automatically entered into a drawing to win $10,000. Who wouldn't recommend your site after seeing that?
6. Signatures in the email you send to friends and family or people in your mailing list (BUT NO SPAMMING): Make sure that you have a "Signature" at the bottom of all the emails you send out to your friends, family, and other contacts. The signature should include your name, your web site address, and a nifty slogan or saying that describes you and your business. But never, ever look for email addresses on other sites and send out emails to people you do not know and ask them to visit your site. This is called "spamming" and if you are caught, your email account or Internet Service could be terminated.