By Michael Fleischner
I've heard it time and again, "Paying for online marketing is killing my business." Many of the small businesses I consult with, and even some of the larger ones continually complain about the cost of online marketing and advertising, especially when it comes to pay-per-click advertising.
Many small business owners don't have the resources necessary to effectively manage online marketing or have the experience to implement productive pay-per-click advertising campaigns. All too often the result is an abundance of clicks and few, if any, sales. This happens because pay-per-click advertising can be very expensive and it's only half the equation.
Once you obtain the appropriate traffic you need to convert that into paying customers. Improving onsite conversions can be a full-time job, and in most major companies it is. Many Web site owners have little knowledge or interest in creating and testing dynamic content, continually reinventing the purchase decision process, or evaluating their Web site's deficiencies. The end result is an outlay of money with nothing to show for it.
Changing the Equation
Make no mistake about it; improving conversions on your Web site is important. If you can also reduce the cost(s) associated with driving traffic to your site, the equation can shift in your favor. Enter organic search. Instead of spending money on pay-per-click advertising, invest that money in improving your organic search results.
To enhance your results, start with the basics of on-page and off-page optimization. For complete details, you can learn more in my SEO guide available at The Webmaster's Book of Secrets. As a top-level primer, let me highlight some of the key factors for both areas of optimization.
On-page Optimization Factors
When we talk about on-page optimization factors, we're referring to the proper use of HTML to signal the search engines what your site is about and what keywords best define your offer. On-page optimization, when done correctly, provides a strong platform for enhancing your natural search results.
Off-page Optimization Factors
Factors such as link popularity and page rank have a significant impact on your natural search results. Be aware of the competitiveness of other Web sites seeking optimal placement for your keyword or keyword phrase. This can also add a layer of complexity.
A great place to start your off-page optimization effort is through link building. Find other Web sites who are willing to exchange links with you, place a one-way link on their site to yours, or perhaps provide a link to unique content or tools you offer. By getting other Web sites to point to yours, you're well on your way toward enhancing organic search results.
Generating traffic to your site can be accomplished via online advertising, pay-per-click marketing and organic search results. All too often, individuals believe that pay-per-click advertising is a quick way to Internet riches but quickly find out the opposite is true.
If you use SEM (search engine marketing) to promote your products, consider it to be only part of your overall marketing strategy. Invest your time in improving organic search results and the Internet marketing equation shifts in your favor. This method costs less and can drive significant traffic to your Web site, resulting in a positive return on your time and marketing dollars.
For more information, visit Michael's Web site or call him at (800) 338-3280.
Adapted from Webreference.com.
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