Friday, May 29, 2009

Internet Marketing - Day 1

To the internet novice, internet marketing can be overwhelming. Google “internet marketing” and you’ll be bombarded with ads to pay to learn strategies, or join groups or lists and so on. The ones that make me nuts are the ones that say they’ll give you FREE TRAINING, but you go to the site and you have to pay to find out about their free training. Then you enter your name and email and the next thing you know you’re getting bombarded with emails from everybody and their brother – when all you wanted to was to LEARN about internet marketing! I especially love those vague “here’s how you do internet marketing” videos where they tell you to – and I quote – Get a site, and place ads somewhere. REALLY? THAT is a class in internet marketing? (Where’s that rolly-eyed dude when you need one!)

Enough already! How about some simple step-by-step instructions of what you can do to drive traffic to your site? Sound good? Let’s go!

This blog is going to move slow and define things that you may be unfamiliar with. You can’t learn internet marketing in a day and you can’t learn internet marketing from a single article. And I have a day job, so I only have so much time to write this stuff! Ok?

Whatever it is that you do on line, you have a website and you want traffic to go to it. Do not fall for any of these “get rich overnight” promises…you will have to work! Do not pay for a Google Adwords account until you know what you’re doing and have a marketing budget! If you are just getting started, then you should constantly be using one of my favorite four-letter “f” words….FREE. There are plenty of free tools out there so use those to learn how to do this without breaking the bank.

How do search engines find websites?

Search engines use keywords to decide which web pages to show on a results page. Whenever someone goes to a search engine (like Google) and searches for something, the words they use to search with are called keywords. It’s very important to choose the right set of keywords to drive traffic to your website. The good thing is that you can change keywords if they aren’t working for you.

How do you know what keywords to use?

Well, there are free online tools that help you find commonly-searched terms. If you’re just getting started, I like to use Wordtracker or Spacky. Both have a free keyword suggestion tool online. Are they the best? I don’t know and that’s not the point. This is an exercise to get your feet wet…so go. Type in a word and see what related words come up.

Related words are alternate words that you can use that are related to your keyword or concept. For instance, if I sell daisy seeds and want to find the best keywords to use so that people searching for daisy seeds find me, the keyword search tool will tell you other words that were also entered by people searching for daisy and seed.

Here’s another example. Let’s say you sell chocolate. A keyword program can help you find related search words such as:

Chocolate chip cookies
Hot chocolate
White truffles
Gourmet foods
Chocolate rabbit

All of these words are relevant to the original word. You don’t want to attract only the people who type the word “chocolate” into a search engine, you want everyone who types in a word that can be associated with chocolate (is related) to find your site.

Bottom line, you want to turn searchers into paying customers. So, check your keywords with Wordtracker or a similar program to get started.

Ok, so you have your keywords, now what do you do with them?

One tool at your disposal is to name each page of your website with a keyword that is relevant to your site content, services or products. If you name your web pages with common keywords, your page will likely show up higher in the search engine results.

If you have a website, each page is going to have a page name. This is something that is either automatically generated or deliberately named, whether you use a web template to create your site or have a professional build it. For instance, if my website domain is, then the first page that people see when they go to it is really (or whatever the web builder named that page). You could name that index page and that will be easy for a search engine to find and report back to the search results page.

Other ways to use your keywords:

  1. If you write articles to post online, create a title that includes a primary keyword in it.

  2. Create headings in the article that include keywords.

  3. Keyword Density – there are guidelines about how many times your keywords should appear in an article based upon the number of words in the article.

  4. If you create hot links in a page, make sure that the linking text uses keywords. (Linking text is the actual word(s) that people see as a link to another page or site.) For instance, I can write a line of text that says “Click to see my selection of homemade chocolate candies; homemade, chocolate and candies are all keywords that a search engine will return in a results page to the searcher who only typed in the word “chocolate”.

Ok, that’s enough for the first day. I recommend that you subscribe to my feed so you don’t have to check back for the next article. I’m writing here as I learn tips and in addition to my real job. Feel free to ask questions via email.