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Newsgroups, Forums and Blogs:
Successful websites have one thing in common: they facilitate communication. To market your site effectively on the Internet you must have your lines of communication open. This can be done by sharing information on resources like newsgroups and forums. For example, there are many forums that deal specifically with Internet marketing, Internet marketing solutions and Internet marketing strategies! If you sell widgets, participate in newsgroups and forums where people discuss widgets, the benefits of widgets, or the pros and cons of buying widgets online. One of the biggest mistakes that people make when marketing their online business is not engaging in the community that is the Internet! By building relationships through the use of newsgroups and forums, people will not only respect your opinion as an expert widget guy or gal, they might recommend your widget site the next time they are asked. Participating in newsgroups and forums online takes time, but the benefits are absolutely exceptional. To give a real boost to your Internet marketing efforts, you might also want to consider running your own forum, moderating a newsgroup or operating a Web Log or Blog. Weblogs, or Blogs, are an excellent way of not only marketing your online business but sharing information with the people who are looking for it. By doing so, you will become a respected member of the online community.
Email - Newsletters/Ezines and SPAM
Unless you live under a rock, you've probably heard about Email, both as a promotional tool for marketing your business and as an intrusive element in Internet users daily lives; SPAM. Fussing about online privacy aside, utilizing email in your Internet marketing strategy, when used correctly, is the smartest decision your online business will ever make. Reason being, the cost of sending email is so much lower than sending postal mail that most Internet marketers flock to it as the sole solution for marketing their business online and many have indeed been successful using this Internet marketing strategy. Let's review the different types of email communication and their benefits and downfalls.
Newsletters/Ezines: Always remember that marketing is about communication. Without communicating to potential buyers about the topic you are trying to market, you will probably never make a sale. That's why newsletters or online magazines are such an integral part of your Internet marketing strategy. Producing content-rich publication about what your audience is interested in keeps them coming back and more importantly keeps them in the know about your site. If you stay in front of the Internet and become a premier source of information about what you are trying to sell, you increase your chances that people will visit your site based solely on recommendations from other users.
Solicited Email: Sending information to people who have requested, or opted-in, to receive information about your products and services is the best way to inform Internet users about what is going on with your business. By gaining the permission of users of your site to send special offers to them, you can pretty much guarantee some sort of traffic directly as a result of these Internet marketing efforts. While it can be difficult to acquire visitors initially, pursuing these efforts over a period of time can prove essential to any business. If you ever choose to purchase, rent or lease lists from anyone always ask if the recipients were opt-in or double opt-in, and make sure that the lists are "clean" or do not have redundant recipients. Plus, keep in mind that the industry average for each valid email address will be 8-12 cents.
Unsolicited Email (SPAM): While Spam has garnered a lot of media attention and even much hatred from many Internet users, unsolicited email or SPAM still continues to provide an exceptional return on investment for your Internet marketing dollar. Unfortunately there are many problems with sending unsolicited email; the least of which may shortly be prosecution by the federal government! People get turned off by email that they do not want which is, simply stated, bad business. Unless people sign up for it, it should be your rule not to send it to them. Spammers or Email marketers obtain email addresses through several means, including: buying lists (these are usually used by many people) or by utilizing email spiders, which scan web pages for email address and return them to the marketer in a convenient format for future sending.
Search Engines and Directories
What's so special about search engines and directories? Everything. In fact, this should have topped the list! Unfortunately, every one of the 30,000,000 active sites on the Internet is trying to position themselves to place in prominent positions on popular search engines or within directories. So how do you place your site at the top of search engines. If you have your sights set on one of the top positions at one of the multitude of search engines be prepared for a long and arduous process. While most people hire search engine optimizers (SEOs) to do the work for them, here's a quick guide of things to know and things you can do to ensure that, in the least, you get listed:
KEEP IN MIND: Search engines are different than directories. Search engines, like Google, rank websites according to several factors, such as how many people link to your site, the keywords that you include in your page and the frequency with which you submit your site. Directories, like Yahoo.com, on the other hand list your site within a category but typically charge a fee to do so. The investment of time and money is usually an excellent investment for most websites. The following are a few tips for trying to list your site with the major search engines. Below you will find a tip for acquiring a listing with Yahoo.
Quick Guide to Search Engine Optimization:
Keywords: The Life Blood of the Internet
Hands down, choosing the appropriate keywords for your site is the most important aspect of placement on search engines. An important thing to understand is that some keywords get a lot of traffic and others, well, not so much. It's important to include keywords that people use to find your site. Instead of just dumping the most popular keywords in your category of business on every page of your site, try including a limited number of content specific keywords and key phrases that properly describe what it is that you are offering at your site.
Title, Description, Keyword and Alt Tags:
Title tags, found typically at the top of the HTML coding within your site is visible both at the top of the web site pages (within a users browser) and for the listing that will appear within search engine results. To make the most of your title tag, keep it short and to the point, highlighting the most important search term that people use to find your site while also using it as an opportunity to attract a click from visitors at search engines.
Description Tags enable surfers to see in greater detail what is offered at your site by how they appear on popular search engines' listings. Make sure to include terminology that not only sells your products or service, but properly describes it.
Alt Tags act as an "alternative" to images. Just place alt="keyword" within the image tag and that text will appear when images are not. Search engines will weight your page differently than imaged based pages without the alt tag. While it is important not to stuff keywords and key phrases into alt tags, it is acceptable to use them when describing what it is that the image is trying to convey.
Content is very important to the success of your website in search engines. By sharing relevant content (and their keywords) with the Internet community the more keywords people use to find you will be in the actual page.
EXTRA SEO EXPERT TIP
Links, Links, Links
All high placing websites have one thing in common; the high number of links pointing to their site. Part of your Internet marketing plan should include a rigorous campaign to generate links pointing directly at your site and a collection of reciprocal link relationships.
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