Talking Points on the Basics of Internet Marketing

What "Works" and What Doesn't


Prepared for Gilleard Marketing Services by Words in a Row.

  1. Create an optimized website.

    Done right, this is going to cost you at least $200 per page of website (rule of thumb). If it costs less, it's not going to do you much good.

    How to: www.wordsinarow.com/seo.html

    • Optimize the website for your customers. Wring every sale from your existing website visitors. Make sure every page prompts them to take an action as a result of visiting that page. "Buy Now," "Find out more info," and "Contact Us" are important parts of any page.

    • SEO: optimize it for the search engines -- make it very search engine friendly. Define SEO: Search Engine Optimization means making a website that the search engines can read easily, that does not eject the search engines when they come to read and index the site, and makes it easy for them to do so.

      Optimized websites work, but they are only part of the picture. They need lots of links pointing from other websites to the site before they really work. And it depends on what they are selling. While there are exceptions, a website selling a product also carried by Walmart will rarely equal the sales attained by distributing that product through Walmart.


  2. Treat a Website as an Advertisement

    A website and all other internet marketing exists solely to help you sell your product or service. Either it's an advertisement for your products or service, or it's a waste of money and time. Make it an effective advertisement by using your marketing research. And promote the website in all your off-line real world promo: letterhead, business cards, flyers, ads, everywhere.

    Websites that "work" as advertisements turn casual visitors into sales.


  3. Register Your Website in Directories

    Let internet users know about your website by registering it in the top directories and search engines. There are only about 50 of them worth bothering with. (see www.wordsinarow.com/wheretogo.html)

    How that works: Search engines have programs called "robots" or "spiders" that automatically and continually go from one link to another on the web. It's called "crawling". If they see a web page with text on it they will index that text.

    You can also speed up that process by telling the search engines that your page exists and ask them to come visit it. Important: Only do this once, as frequent submissions are considered "spam" and you can be penalized.

    Define "Directory": An organized, categorized listing of websites, like the Yellow Pages book. Normally broken down into subjects like "Arts", "Health", "Religion" or "Business". You usually must pay to get your website listed in a directory. A human reviews your entry and puts your site into the right category. Directories don't crawl the web, they depend on website owners to register their websites with them.

    Examples:
    Yahoo! www.yahoo.com
    Open Directory Project www.dmoz.org
    Goguides www.goguides.org

    How to: www.wordsinarow.com/wheretogo.html

    Costs of registering in directories: www.wordsinarow.com/hardcosts.html

    Note: Google crawls through the directories, and if it finds your website listed in the directories, Google considers it more important than a website that isn't listed in directories, and ranks it higher.

    Define Search Engine: No humans are involved in the process. It is usually free to get in. A robot comes to your site, crawls through it, reads all the pages it can, sometimes makes a copy of them, distills them and indexes the words in them. Compares each page against billions of other web pages and sees what it is about. When someone searches for a word in your site, the search engine considers whether or not to show your page based on a complex mathematical formula, called an "algorithm". If that word isn't in your site, it has zero chance of showing up in a search for it.

    Examples:
    Google www.google.com
    MSN/Windows Live search http://www.live.com/?searchonly=true
    Yahoo search.yahoo.com

    (Those are the three most important ones)

    How to: www.wordsinarow.com/search-engines.html

    There is a subset of Search engines called "Shopping" search engines that list only products for sale. Two shopping search engines are: www.Froogle.com and www.Shop.com, where you can list particular products and prices.

    The single most important thing to know about search engines:

    Search engines can only index text.


    Not pictures, not Flash, not JavaScript. If the search engines can't READ your site, or they can't find any TEXT in your website, then they can't display it in their search results.

    As long as the site is optimized first, registering a website with the directories and search engines "works" if it is done right, by hand.


  4. Get lots of links to your site from other sites

    How to get more visitors and better placement in Google's search engine results: Get thousands of links to your site from other relevant websites. Contact them directly, or use an automated link directory system.

    How to: www.wordsinarow.com/how-to-get-links.html

    Resources:
    Zeus www.cyber-robotics.com
    LinksMaster www.LinksMaster.com
    Link Market www.linkmarket.com
    Eloquex Link Community www.eloquex.com

    Never link to any link farms. Link Farm: An automated place where anyone can put in a link, not reviewed by humans, not organized, not maintained. (Link Farms are going extinct.)


  5. Get good Search Engines natural results:

    The end goal of web design is to make a beautiful site that also is #1 at Google for a tough key word. Like "christmas gifts", for example. (See www.christmasgifts.com, it is #1 at Google for that phrase and has been since 1998.) Because it is "optimized" in every possible way to do well in the search engines for that search phrase.

    How to: www.wordsinarow.com/seo.html

    Resources:
    Jere Matlock - www.wordsinarow.com
    Bruce Clay - www.bruceclay.com
    Jill Whalen - www.highrankings.com


  6. Advertise in Pay-Per-Clickthrough (PPC) Search Engines

    It sometimes "works" to pay for traffic at the PPC (pay per clickthrough) search engines. At PPC search engines, you can bid as little as 3 cents, or as much as you can afford, for visitors to your website. Your ad displays on the right of the search results when someone searches for the words you bid on. If someone clicks your ad when it displays, then you pay the amount that you bid to the search engine.

    Examples:
    https://adwords.google.com/select/? (Google Adwords)
    http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/ (Yahoo Small Business)
    https://adcenter.microsoft.com/Default.aspx (Microsoft Ad Center)

    How to: www.wordsinarow.com/pay-per-clickthrough.html
    www.wordsinarow.com/google-adwords.html

    Paying for PPC traffic works for some sites, but not all. It depends upon the viability of the ad; the ROI (return on investment) in the advertising. Small, cheap, common goods don't usually work well in PPC, because there isn't enough profit in them to pay at least five cents per visitor to the site. Larger, expensive, and uncommon goods work best in PPC. For instance, $25,000 consulting packages work well in PPC. One of our clients pays up to $25 per click for very specific keywords. PPC does not work for a bottle of lotion selling for $12.95, when the keyword is "dry skin" — the higher priced creams and lotions can afford to pay more for clicks, and they get all the buyers. The most that the inexpensive lotion website can pay is $0.05 per click, and even then it is not viable. They can't pay enough for the clicks to keep their ads displaying because PPC companies stop displaying ads that don't get clicked on very much.

  7. Advertise in E-zines.

    Ezines are online newsletter or magazines, such as the weekly "This is True" from www.thisistrue.com. Some of them have a huge distribution (half a million weekly readers), and you can advertise on them cheaply, often for less than the cost of a postcard to your own existing customers.

    How to: www.wordsinarow.com/ezines.html

    Resources: http://new-list.com/

    Advertising in ezines sometimes "works". Test it yourself and see if it works for your product or service. Do "split tests" wherever possible, tweak and keep testing.


  8. Email Advertising "Works":

    Send out (by email) offers to opt-in email lists, including your own list. Gather names of people coming to your website by inviting them to join your mailing list. Then send them emails. This is not spam, because they agreed to join your list.

    "Opt-in" means that people in the list chose to be in the list; it wasn't harvested without their knowledge. If you voluntarily join a mailing list for software designers, you have "opted in" to that list. If someone figures out how to read your email address on your website and adds you to a list of people to receive ads for their day care center, then that's not opt-in. If someone who owns the list you opted into (software designers) sells it to someone else (a day care offer), then you didn't opt in to that day care list. Warning: there are many rip-off artists in this area of mailing lists and spam.

    Important: NEVER SEND OUT SPAM, defined as "Unsolicited Commercial Email" or "UCE".

    How to: www.wordsinarow.com/optin-email-lists.html
    www.wordsinarow.com/optin.html

    Resources:
    www.flyingpost.com
    www.yesmail.com
    www.namefinders.com

  9. Press Releases Work:

    There are many places online to publish press releases, some free and some paid. If the press release is picked up by other media, and mentions your website, it can lead to an increase in traffic to your site. The press release itself will help raise your site's ranking in Google.

    How to: www.wordsinarow.com/marketing.html#press

    Resources:
    www.powerpr.com
    www.expansionplus.com

    Press releases can work to get traffic and create buzz online, but these have to be done right. A bad press release is a waste of money and everyone's time. See B. L. Ochman's www.whatsnextonline.com for more advice on this subject.


  10. Blogs "Work":

    Start a "blog" or online web journal, aka "web log" or "blog". Update it daily. That's called "posting" to your blog. Some blog software allows you to send an email to the blog and it will automatically post what you emailed it (www.WordPress.com).

    Blogs are given special treatment by search engines, ranked more highly because they are updated more often than regular pages.

    Setting up a blog is easy and typically free.

    Resources:
    www.blogger.com
    www.wordpress.com

    Blogs can work, if there is interest in your area or product. For example, www.mattcutts.com/blog/, the blog of a Google SEO engineer talking about how Google works, is extremely popular and is visited by thousands of people every day.

    Promoting through blogs is done this way:

    • Mention and link to your main website from your blog.

    • Link to your blog from your main website. Put this link on your home page, make it prominent.

    • Put an "RSS feed" button in the blog. "RSS" means "RDF Site Summary" and has also come to mean "Really Simple Syndication". "RDF" means "Resource Description Format", a kind of language used to describe a web page.
    • An RSS Feed button enables whoever reads the blog to click that button and have his blog reader (also called a "feed aggregator") begin to automatically check that blog periodically and tell him whenever it is updated, so he can come back and read the newest blog postings.

    • Register the site where blogs are registered: the blog search engines.

      resources: www.wordsinarow.com/blog-registration.html
      www.wordsinarow.com/blogs.html


  11. Articles "Work":

    Establish yourself as an expert in some area, however small. Write articles and get them published elsewhere, and get articles from others and post them on your website. If you know everything there is to know about duct cleaning, write up what you know and put it on your website.

    How to: www.wordsinarow.com/marketing.html#articles

    Resources: www.ideamarketers.com (40,000 cheap or free articles you can use)

    Writing articles often works for the people who can do it. You must be able to write well, or at least understandably, in order for this to work.


  12. Affiliate Programs "Work":

    If you have a popular site but it's not making money, try sending traffic to another site, and get paid for sales made there. If you have a product but no visitors, try paying affiliates to send traffic to your site.

    How to: www.wordsinarow.com/affiliate.html

    Resources:
    Commission Junction www.cj.com
    LinkShare www.linkshare.com

    Example: www.christmasgifts.com/clothes-apparel-gifts.php There were over 3 million page views on that website during Christmas 2005. See bottom listings on that page - all are affiliate links, for which ChristmasGifts.com gets paid whenever someone buys.


  13. What Never "Works":

    • Doing nothing - this never works.

    • Throwing up a cheap website.

    • Frames-based websites. Search engines can't read them

    • Cheap or free hosting. You get what you pay for.

    • Websites built with Flash. Search engines can't read Flash.

    • Too many images in a website, not enough text. Search engines can't read images.

    • Bad Press Releases. Generally, people hate reading bad press releases and they do you no good.

    • Spam. If you send out spam, you can go to jail for it.

    • Registering it in 30,000 search engines for $19.00. There aren't 30,000 search engines, and this is a scam.


  14. What Usually Doesn't "Work":

    • A blog that never gets updated or is boring.

    • Websites built around databases or shopping carts that the search engines can't read.

    • Google Adsense - diagram of how it worksBanner ads -- these are dying out across the web. However, a banner ad on the right website can do a world of good. (see www.christmasgifts.com, for example.) Banner ads have mostly been replaced by contextual ads, which often DO work. Contextual ads are based on whatever text is displaying on the page they are shown on, their "context". The most widely used of these is called Google Adsense. The Google Adsense publisher program is part of the other end of Google's AdWords advertiser program; it controls and tracks where the advertisements are displayed on websites other than Google. Yahoo! also has its Bing /Yahoo Advertising for contextual ads and there are several others running similar programs.


We are available to answer any questions on the items above. You can call us at 541-655-0285.

Best regards,


Words in a Row
Writing | Website Design & Marketing | SEO




Note: This page is https://www.wordsinarow.com/talking-points.html, and is copyright © 2006 by Jere Matlock.

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