Online marketing is an enormous subject. Any way you can think of to legitimately and honestly promote your website on the internet is online marketing. Although technical knowledge and quality content are absolutely necessary, traffic is king and the key to making or breaking a website. No website can become successful without users and the only way to find them is by online marketing. But, while one person has her own way of promoting a website, there are methods that are more popular and are used regularly by thousands of internet marketers.
Here is a brief description of the FOUR most popular types of online marketing.
Backlinks are probably the oldest and cheapest form of online marketing. They get the word out about websites and help to get websites indexed with the search engines. Basically, they serve two purposes - to get traffic to your website and to make your site more important in the eyes of the search engines. Backlinks are actual links from other sites or pages and are seen as a vote for your site. Reciprocal links are the easiest to find. You approach webmasters from sites in the same niche and ask for a link to your website in return for a link on your site to their site. The more quality backlinks your site receives, the higher the search engine positioning. Nowadays, however, link hubs or wheels are very popular. Instead of straight reciprocal links (two), at least three links are needed to complete the circle.
Search engine optimization is about as old as backlinking and it is free, too. Getting your site to the top of the search engine results is a key ingredient in making a website successful. By making a site search engine friendly, more traffic can be obtained because the search engines will display your site when a search for a particular topic is made. Today, many people search for specific things. For example, when the internet started, a bride might just type in wedding dresses and see what happens. But that is not going to be useful in today's market. Now, she will type "size ten, winter white, lace, wedding gown". This is called a "long-tail keyword" and is most important for a site selling gowns. Because this is creating traffic, it is another popular form of online marketing because it generates potential customers.
Article Marketing is hugely popular. Not only are website owners using this technique, but also affiliates with no websites are using their own articles to promote merchant products and get commissions. Sometimes article marketing is known by its slang term "bum marketing". You write articles with a link to your website or whatever you are promoting, then you submit the articles around the internet. The most common places are to article directories. Then two things happen. Your site gets more traffic from the article directory but also, you give permission for your content to be redistributed. Other webmasters publish your content and link to your site sending you traffic.
Pay-per-click methods are very popular for advertising a website. You create a small, three-line text ad and decide how much you want to spend daily, then your ad appears in the sponsored results of a search engine page. Hopefully potential customers will see the ad and click on it as opposed to the other results. And you only pay for the number of clicks so it can be a cost-effective way to market a website online.
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