5 Tips for Successful Search Engine Marketing

At the core of any successful search engine marketing campaign is accurate data carefully gathered. Forecasts and predications, while sometimes of great help, are too inconsistent to be dependable. Since it’s really difficult to predict what the market will be like in a few months time, regardless of the talent of the experts you have at your disposal, long-term effective search engine marketing promotion relies on how precise your data is and how well you can employ it to your own advantage. With this in mind, take at look at the following tips and try to implement them in your marketing campaign.

1. Plan ahead and with care
Before you commence your search engine marketing campaign, you must have already devised a concrete plan of action that should include effective solutions for any unforeseeable difficulties that might appear. Without a flexible plan that can withstand mishaps while maintaining a clear direction, you’re likely to lose both time and resources. Decide whether you want the campaign to strengthen your online presence or increase sales, and set the appropriate targets.

2. Be realistic about your available resources
It’s always better to underestimate your resources than to unrealistically expect wonders from your personnel. This doesn’t refer to numbers only, but also to qualifications. The more ambitious your search engine marketing campaign is going to be, the more demanding it will be on your staff.

3. Use quality analytics software
Once your campaign is under way, you’ll need to have at your disposal the means necessary to assess the progress you’re making, or else you’ll have no direction. A top ranking in search engine results can be misleading: a massive amount of visitors will do you no good if none of them buy your services or products. The safest thing to do is monitor conversions and keyword rankings for at least a few months.

4. Keep the promotion running for a long time
If you want the marketing campaign to be effective, you’ll have to maintain it for an extended period of time; it’s not something you can get going and then forget about. Update your website’s content regularly and make sure affiliate websites link back to you. Sometimes, in order to have others link to your website, you’ll need to link yourself out to others; don’t refuse this unless you’re absolutely certain it will do you more harm than good. When it comes to content, make sure it’s top-notch and uses the right keyword density.

5. Promote your offerings through multiple mediums
Podcasts, videos, social marketing, mobile marketing, affiliate marketing, and others can help promote your offerings. Use all the tools and services you can to spread the word about your website. These additional means of promotion will not only help you reach a larger audience, but will also guarantee the improvement of your brand’s image. People will be able to recognize your business more easily, and this will aid you tremendously in standing out from your competitors.

Do’s and Don’ts of Marketing on Forums

Forum marketing is one of the best ways to market your online business. Even with the proliferation of Web 2.0 sites, including social networking, forums are still one of the best marketing techniques.

To use forums effectively in marketing your business, you should understand the basic rules of how to promote your business in forums. There are certain things that you should do and not do, to insure that you promote your business correctly, persuade people to check out your business, and stay in the good graces of the forum members.

Forum “Do’s”

The most important thing you can do in forum marketing is to choose the right forums. Use Google or another search engine to find forums that are closely related to your business field. For instance, if you sell reports on making money as a photographer, you should choose photography-related forums, rather than, say, entomology forums.

Once you’ve found forums that fit your business, read the FAQs and any rules that are posted in the forum, to make sure that you know what is expected, allowed and accepted. Once you understand the rules of the forum, you’re much more likely to promote your business well.

When you post to the forum, make sure that you are answering questions or giving information that is relevant to the forum you’re posting on. Answering questions is much better, in terms of credibility, than just throwing out information. Another advantage of this is that as you answer questions, you learn more about what your potential customers need and want.

Take the time to become known in a few forums, build your credibility and build relationships. Building relationships and becoming a well-known member of the forum is perhaps the most important thing you can do in promoting your business on forums.

Forum “Don’ts”

As mentioned, one of the most important things to not do is pick forums that are not related to your business. Choosing inappropriate forums will not only reduce the effectiveness of your marketing, but it will also waste your time.

Do not start out posting in a new forum without taking the time to familiarize yourself with the forum’s rules and with the community. This will not help build your business, and could get you banned from that forum permanently, if you break the forum’s rules.

When you post, don’t blatantly promote your business. Instead, offer advice and include your business web site in a signature at the end of your post. You might also offer a free report or ebook in response to questions about certain topics. But do not post a sales pitch; most forum members and administrators are very strict about not allowing sales pitches.

When you use forums intelligently and practically, you can, and will, reach people who are looking for solutions to their problems. If you offer solutions to the problems they’re having, and you take the time to become known and respected in the forums, you can easily build your business effectively through forum marketing.

What is Viral Marketing and How to Use It To Your Advantage

It is simply not enough to build a website, have a product or service to offer, be talented, or anything that is worth mentioning. What is the use of it if nobody will ever see or hear about it? A lot has been said about how to achieve an effective marketing strategy. If you diligently search the Web for tips and guides, you will probably come up with several hundreds on your list. One of the most popular techniques is Viral Marketing.

What is Viral Marketing?

Viral Marketing is analogous to a computer or pathological virus because of its capability to replicate itself, thus making it possible to be propagated. It is a marketing strategy that utilizes pre-existing online social networks. The sole purpose is to increase awareness to a particular brand (products and/or services), person, organization, and anything or anyone who needs to be advertised. It can be done through word-of-mouth, media (TV, radio or newsprint), and through the Internet.

The idea of viral marketing is to get people to voluntarily spread your marketing messages for you. Viral promotion can be created in any conceivable form; the popular ones are through articles, newsletters, videos, games, e-books, software, applications, images, and yes, even text messages. Viral marketing is somewhat based on a humans natural behavior. For instance, a person will probably tell three of his friends about a product or service that he likes, and more than ten people for those he doesn’t like. So, it goes without saying that you’d rather be among the three rather than the ten.

How to Use Viral Marketing to Your Advantage

The goal is to create a winning viral marketing program that will appeal to individuals with a soaring social networking potential. The idea is that this viral marketing campaign should be able to identify with the greater population of this network, thus giving a higher possibility that it will be passed along.

There are several methods you can employ for you to have an effective viral campaign to showcase your company, your talent, your website, your products and/or services. These methods should be free for all because, basically, you want it out there. Restricting it will not help as it’s obviously against what viral marketing is all about. Here are some popular methods:

1. Email Signature – The most common and simple of all viral marketing methods. Most email providers allow its users to create their own signature. The idea is to create a catchy tagline with your URL on it which will catch the attention of the readers. This is very effective especially if you’re sending out emails that contain useful information that has a high probability to be passed around.

2. Giving Away Freebies – It can be anything from games, videos, applications, screensavers etcetera. Even bigwigs on the World Wide Web are giving away freebies such as e-mail accounts, private messengers, and a lot more. It is very effective, as who wouldn’t want to have something for free? People tend to talk a lot about things they got for free – and what better way to be known than to be talked about?

3. Penning an Article –With the ever growing need for information, there will always be thousands of topics that you can write about. Your articles should at least be relevant to what you offer. There are a lot of article submission sites on the Web. Submit your work there and grant permission to reproduce so long as the original “resource box” is intact.

These are just a few of the hundreds of possible ways you can utilize the power of viral marketing. Your real goal here is to create witty, cool and exciting content that has a “shareable characteristic”. You have to create a feeling of “must-have” for your target audience, and to able to hold on to that interest. In the end, creativity is what sets apart the losers from the winners (harsh, but true). You have to have a level of inspiration that can help your campaign seize the opportunity that the Internet has to offer.

9 Simple Ways to Advertise Your Website for Free

In business, it’s a fundamental truth that it pays to advertise. However, it does not necessarily follow that businesses have to pay to advertise. In the case of running a website, it is certainly much easier to promote your business online and there are several ways to do so without paying a single cent. This is especially advantageous for start-ups in that stage of venture when all the money involved is outbound. It’s always a good rule of thumb that, even with an ample operational expense budget, if there are things you can get for free, you wisely go for them. Once money starts coming in, then you can begin to consider paid methods.

What exactly are these little tricks that you can employ to promote your site and generate more traffic?

 

  1. Use your signature file in your email for this purpose. Insert a link to your site in your signature line and every time you send a message, there it is all ready for clicking. For added interest, you can also insert a teaser to the content of your website. This way, your email recipients will feel more compelled to see the rest of it. Change the teaser often so they will know that the site is being updated. There’s your motivation to be a diligent email sender. Send greetings during all of the holidays, even the minor ones. Forward jokes and inspirational anecdotes. Even better, join e-groups and actively participate in discussions. The link in your signature file will definitely go places.

 

  1. Join forums and message boards. Include those that are not related to the nature of your website, but are still of personal interest to you. Again, insert a link to your site in your signature file. Some message boards allow you to get downright creative with your “siggy”, so take advantage of this feature to make your website link extra attractive. Forums and message boards are also a great networking tool, so get the most out of your membership and forge friendships. Never make your posts seem like spam. Make sure that you contribute something relevant to discussions.
  2. Increase your Search Engine rankings, especially that of Google. Submit to search engines and directories, bookmark your site in different social bookmarking sites (Digg, Delicious, Technorati etc.) and participate in link exchanges, which involve having your link featured at another site and you reciprocating by including a link to that site on your site.
  3. Create a blog. A blog lends a personal and interactive touch to a website. A blog is also easier to update, so you can keep on posting and visitors will want to check in for updates. Encourage readers’ input in the comments section. You can also embed links to your website’s pages in the posts. Make your posts are informative and interesting so that you can entice your readers to subscribe to your website newsletter.
  4. Provide answers. There are sites such as Yahoo! Answers where people pose queries. Give short useful answers to the questions related to the nature of your business and then advise readers to visit your site for a more detailed discussion or to learn more about the topic at hand.
  5. Write articles. Keyword-oriented writing is an effective way to augment the number of visitors to your site. If you post your article on your site, search engines could pick up on the keyword and list your site on the first page of the search results for certain topics. However, there are article submission sites such as ezinearticles.com and ideamarketers.com where you can post your articles and have a link to your website at the end of your article.
  6. Creating an account for your website on social networking sites. Myspace, Friendster, Facebook, etc. can be very helpful in giving your website considerable exposure. You can create customized comments such as a “Thanks for the Add” with your site logo.
  7. Hold a contest or a raffle. If you have something that you can offer as a promotional freebie, this can really generate traffic and activity for your site. Even blogs are doing this. There are homemaking blogs that offer used-but-in-good-condition housekeeping books or cute homemade items as freebies and hundreds leave comments asking for them. Celebrity blogs hold silly “put a caption to the picture” contests with something trifling as a prize and people flock to the sites. People would love to win a contest, no matter how minor, if they don’t have to go to too much trouble to join. If you actually offer a product or service, you can also make coupons and submit them to coupon sites. People are always checking out these sites for special discounts or freebies.
  8. Leave comments on sites and blogs. Type a relevant keyword in a search engine and you can leave a simple, but sincere opinion-type comment or a useful, but teaser-type comment in the sites listed in the search results. Both types of comment will feature a link to your website in the commenter’s info, but the latter will also have your link embedded in the comment itself.

There are other free ways to go about promoting your website. Just commit to doing the brunt work yourself, get creative, and keep in mind that exposure is key.