Internet Marketing - You Have to Give a Little to Make a Little
Internet marketing by definition is "the use of the Internet to advertise and sell merchandise or services."
Most people when trying to sell their product/service go for the cheapest solution possible; why pay $40 for 2,000 targeted visitors when you can pay $2 for 1,000 untargeted visitors (resulting in 20,000 untargeted visitors for $40), why buy a banner on the top of the page when the bottom is half the price, why pay for Adwords when I can try to optimize my web site for search engines for free. This is the type of philosophy of a small business. A business that will survive only a few months, maybe a year at max, and then die out do to the strenuous work on the behalf of the webmaster.
What about a new philosophy? A philosophy taught to us in the earliest years of our life. "You have to give a little to take a little." Now normally this refers to compromising with the toughest of our childhood friends, but in internet marketing, it refers to paying money to eventually make money. There are really three parts (that I mentioned earlier) to online marketing that I feel you can make money by spending money.
#1 - Paying for Targeted Traffic
Most people sell specific products or services online, unlike our fictional store of the day, Jalmart, which sells everything from groceries to car tires. Now if your site is a "Jalmart" than congratulations on becoming a super store franchise, but for all of you who are specialized in one area, listen up. Being a somewhat small business means that we cannot expect one out of a thousand randomly selected people from around the world to buy our product. We need "targeted" customers to come to our site, unlike Jalmart which can sell products on a wide scale. Buying untargeted traffic, no matter how cheap, is mostly pointless. Maybe you will make a sale or two, but in the long run, your more than likely going to lose money. Targeted traffic is most expensive, I'll give you that one, but it also has higher conversion rates than untargeted traffic. If you feel you have a quality site, try investing $20 for 2,000 visitors. It's not the deal your used to, but then again, we have a new philosophy now.
#2 - Splurge for Banners on Good Sites
Getting a free banner put up on your buddies Geocity site is not what I'm trying to get at, actually, it's what I'm trying to get you a way from. Banners on the top of qualities give huge turnouts of targeted traffic (see #1). Make your banner display what your site is about. Don't make it too flashy, don't make the animation to long, and don't use neon colors! A well designed, good looking, and brief banner will get people to your site, where you can hopefully work your magic and make a sale. As for banner placement, either the top or the sides of the page (there is a reason why they charge more for prime locations). Only use the bottom of the page if it's after a quality article, or something of that nature. It's hard to say how much to spend on banners because they range from site to site, but ask the web master a few questions before you sign up including: The previous banner got how many clicks? Is is going to be up at all times of the day? How long does the campaign last?
#3 - Pay for Ads on Search Engines
Many new businesses will not be able to get a high ranking in search engines for awhile, no matter how good your SEO tactics are (sandboxing and the such). Yes it is good to optimize your site for the search engines, but we want results in the present, not in the future. This is where using search engine PPC (pay per click) programs comes in handy. There are a few things to think about though before you go and sign up though. First off, you'll notice that the bids for clicks are huge! When I first started out in my niche, the bids were as much as $5 per click! Obviously a rooky business (we're the underdogs now) cannot afford to pay this price, so we adapt our methods. Instead of using "buy salmon" try "buy fresh salmon," "buy pink salmon," or "buy good salmon." In other words, use different keywords. Use less popular keywords, and use them effectively. Normally a good bid for PPC can be anywhere from $.05 to $.20 in a under developed field. Try it, you might be surprised at your results.