Four ways to advertise on the Internet
If you are an owner of a small business or are trying to sell something from your own home then you want to actively promote the products or services that you are selling. The internet offers many ways to advertise. Some of these methods are pay per click advertising, online newsletters, banner advertising and search engine optimisation.
Search engine optimisation
Search engine optimisation is making your website found when people search for certain keywords. A search engine normally scan the internet and when your website is registered it will crawl over your website and index it. This index is then used when people search on the search engine. The optimisation process is making sure that the web pages are ranked higher for certain key words. This is normally done by creating relevant content and make the web pages more keyword rich. And also by making sure that there are other websites linking to your website. It can be difficult to achieve high rankings if competition is high.
To make your web pages relevant you must get a good balance of keywords in the text. Too much will trigger an alarm, and the search engine will ban or reduce your ranking. It has to be good content for humans. You can start by putting your main keyword in the domain, folder or file name. Then put key word in the title of your web page. You can then put it in the text on the web page, like the chapter headings and in the paragraphs. Next you can put keywords in the images names and in the so called alt text.
You can also periodically publish a email newsletters. Normally this is published every month or week. On your website you need to offer a free subscription to this newsletter. People interested will fill in their first name and email address. The newsletter is send out using an email list tool. This is also a very good way to advertise your business because your send the newsletter to their inbox. They receive it repeatedly and can follow the links with your recommendations and offers in the email.
Because it is done periodically you can give the recipient the same offer again and again. But each time the wording or the offer could be slightly different. They say that people will normally only buy after at least seven successive contacts with you. You need to build up the trust. Once set up the email newsletter can just as easily be sent out to ten, a hundred or thousands of subscribers without any extra effort or cost. You have to think about giving your subscribers some quality content though. And if you cannot write it yourself, get someone else to do it for you.
Pay per click
You can get pay per click advertising with all the major search engines. Google’s pay per click advertising programme is called Adwords. It’s free to sign up and there is no monthly subscription fee. It is a good way to promot your business and you can get started very quickly. Once you created your ad, they show your ad on the search results pages. You’ve probably seen the ads at the top of the search results page in light yellow or on the right hand side. Google works out where your ad lands based on two things:
- how relevant is the ad to the search key phrase
- how much are you willing to spend
It is of course easier for people to see your ad if it is higher placed. It makes a huge difference wether it appears on page 1 of the search result pages or page 10. People tend to not browse much further than page 1, 2 or 3 of the results pages. It’s then important that enough people who see the ad also click on it and are then redirected to your offer. Since you are paying for this click, you want to make sure that people who click are pre-qualified. This means that it’s probably better to put a price in the ad so you do not get all the freeloaders who are never going to buy anyway no matter how good your offer is.
The cost for a click is dependent on the amount of competition for the keyword. But you do not have to go for 1st place, 1st page is probably good enough. One word of warning is that Google does not care if you spend a lot of money without any sales, they are in the business of selling clicks. So always make sure you:
- set a monthly budget
- start with a small amount
- once you have results, increase the amount
- keep tweaking the ad and your offer to get the best results
Make sure you keep track of your campaigns so that you don’t spend your monthly budget in the first day of the month.
You can also advertise on other people’s websites. There are websites out there that are content driven and offer ad space. You can use Google Adwords to advertise on other peoples websites but it could be much cheaper to advertise directly on these websites. Make sure that the content of the website that you want to advertise on is related to your offer. Then you can write the ad or create the banner and place it on their website.
You can do a simple search for ‘banner ad’ or ‘banner advertising’ and it will get you plenty of results to look for some websites that you can use. Just try some of these methods out. You only need one that works very well to get extra money coming in.