Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Internet Marketing Principles & Some Basic Tips

1. Your website.

You need to have your own website to get started with Internet Marketing. The strange thing is that if you want to promote your business through your website, you need to first promote your website itself! This sounds counter intuitive, doesn't it? The problem is that there are literally millions, if not billions of websites out there and you are competing against them for exposure!

But back to your website. There are only four important things that you need to keep in mind for your website:

a) It must be easy to use for your visitors, with all links and menus clearly marked.

b) It must be easy for your visitors to contact you or place an order

c) Your website must not be over-burdened with flashing images and distracting graphics.

Why? Because most people look beyond the pretty graphics and pictures to find the information that they were really looking for. Over-engineering your website from a branding and design perspective might just aversely impact its usability (point a) and the ease with which your visitors can contact you (point b) and the ease in which you can update your website content yourself (point d).

d) You must be able to add new content to your site on a regular basis The reason for this is that search engines love new content and you will definitely attract more visitors if you regularly add new content to your site.

2. SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and can be summarized as the activities that you would perform ON your website to make it perform well in the Search Engines.

These include

a) performing keyword research to find out which keywords people are using to find your type of product and service. You then choose the 2-3 keywords that are used most often, but does not have a lot of competition (the competition is the number of competing websites that come up if you do a search with that keyword).

b) After you've selected your prime keywords, you use these in your website's Title tag, the Description tag as well as the Keywords tag. You then also use these keywords in the headings on your home page, as well as in the content on your home page.

c) You also use some of the other keywords that you have found that are relevant, in other places on your home page and in the rest of your website.

d) Making sure that all your website pages have unique titles and other meta tags (descriptions and keywords)

e) Making sure that you have numerous links internal on your site linking to all the other pages inside your website

3. Internet Marketing

These are the activities that you perform OFF your website to make it perform well on the Internet.

The most important Internet Marketing activity is to get websites to link to you. These are called 'backlinks'. You can use the title, description and keywords that you have selected for your home page (see under 'SEO', above) and start building links using these.

You can build links by doing the following:

a) Submit your website to good quality, SEO friendly directories. (NOT search engines. It is a useless activity to submit your site to search engines). You can find a list of search engine friendly directories here: http://info.vilesilencer.com

b) Write 8 to 15 good articles about your industry. Submit these to highly ranked article directories, such as: (search for these article directories in your favorite search engine):

- Ezinearticles

- Goarticles

- Articledashboard

- Isnare

- Ideamarketers.com

- Articlesfactory

Get the maximum exposure for your articles by signing up for about 200 to 300 smaller article directories. It is worthwhile to sign up for an article distribution service like Article Marketer (www.articlemarketer.com) or use an automated tool such as Article Post Robot to submit your articles. Also try and vary the content of each article slightly so that each of these articles are unique. This will make them stand out more and prevent Google from thinking that they are merely duplicate copies of each other and therefore 'not important'.

c) Build more links by searching for link directories maintained by websites in your target market (although not direct competitors!)

d) Place your website link in your signature and take part in discussion forums.

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