Subscribe in a reader Whoop Ass Internet Marketing: February 2008

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Online Marketing on a Budget

Time and money are two things that seem to go hand in hand. When business is good, you don't have any time, but when things slow down you might find yourself counting your minutes and your beans. This post focuses on a couple things you can do with your time to increase business without increasing your budget.

Internet marketing is great... most of the time it's the most cost effective marketing you can do! But we've all had those times when we've been forced into virtual "no-spend" mode. Yet, these are the times we need to look to market the most! So how do we do that?

Believe it or not, there are many FREE ways to gain visibility online. One of the best examples is this blog. It doesn't cost me a cent, I have an RSS feed to stay in touch with my readers frequently, I'm establishing myself as an expert in my field and if I was really pushing my company, I could include links back to our website everywhere! All I invest is time (and how long does it take me to come up with a 250 word article about something I know a good deal about? Not long!)

It could even help you make a few pennies... Remember that post about placing ads on your website? You can do it with blogs too!

Another way to gain some inexpensive visibility is through online PR. There are a multitude of sites out there that act as a syndication point for articles. Some are topic specific, others are open to anyone. Places like are a great place to start for online publishing.

If you do choose to do some online publishing, be prepared for some work. It's going to take a lot of research not only on your topics, but in finding places to publish your work. Other bloggers and published online writers make a great resource to helping you learn the dos and don'ts of online PR.

Last, but never least, don't forget about the best form of free marketing... word of mouth. Sure these last two ideas can help you generate some chatter, but what are you doing help? Get out to your community events, visit your local chambers of commerce... just find some way to get out and meet people! You might be surprised to learn that although I work for an internet marketing company, nearly 90% of our business comes from old fashioned verbal communication! You just can't beat it!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Buy More than One Domain Name for your Site

When creating a website for your business, it's beneficial to register more than one domain name. It prevents other people from scooping up those similar names and using them for their own sites, which could possibly take business from you!

Let me give you an example: Your business is Surf Shirt... Your website address is Anyone else could register the name,, etc.

You get the idea. This could really hurt your business if the people operating those website with similar names offer similar products. It could really hurt when someone thinks they're at your site, but they're really at someone else's, and they have a bad experience. Now they have a bad impression of when they thought they were at

And trust me... when people have a bad experience, word travels extremely fast!

To avoid this problem, the easiest solution is to register those similar domain names when registering for the one you wish to use. Just because you register a domain name doesn't mean you have to do anything with it.

My suggestion for each of those similar domain names you purchase is to put up a page saying "You must have been looking for Click here to get there." Or something to that effect. By doing so, you allow yourself to capture visitors who type in similar addresses or use a common misspelling.

For the very small investment of registering a domain name, it won't take many additional sales to cover your costs! Check out domain name availability here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Make Money from your Website? Might not be such a Great Idea!

Yes, you can use your website to make money while doing virtually nothing. But be careful, what seems like free money might actually come at a higher cost than you think!

Anyone with a website has the ability to publish ads on it and make money. It could be a corporate deal or it might be with another online tool. One of the most popular programs used for making a profit with your website is Google's Adsense.

This is a totally legitimate practice, and people use it all the time. You pay taxes on your earnings , and the money can be deposited right into your bank account.

With this program you can actually choose the size, colors and placement for ads to other web destinations on your website. If you look to the right, you will see an Adsense ad on this web page. (Yes it's true, someone is making money if you click on that ad... Not much, but a couple pennies.)

That sounds like a sweet deal, but you might actually be the loser if you're trying to use your website to convert visitors to clients... which should be the goal of every businesses website!

You see, while you may have just made a buck on that click, the person that was at your website has now gone to someone else's. I'm willing to bet for most of us, that potential client that just got distracted somewhere else is worth a whole lot more than $1.

What may be even worse is this: Because the Google Adsense program tries to match the ads to be complimentary to your website content for a better click rate, that visitor may have gotten sent to one of your competitors who offers similar products and has a pay-per-click campaign.

You'll notice a lot of the Adsense ads on this website usually have something to do with some part of internet marketing. If I was trying to sell my own internet marketing services from this website, sending them to somewhere else would be terrible for me even if I did make a buck!

There are tools that enable you to block certain websites from advertising on yours, however I would still be wary of sending a potential buyer elsewhere before they were able to become a client of my own!

Monday, February 11, 2008

How Important is Updating?

Congratulations! You have a website! But that's not good enough... Updates are needed and should be done on a regular basis. If neglected, you will find people lose interest and so do the search engines. So how can you keep your site up to date?

Updating is a way of telling your visitors you care enough to keep them informed. Not only that, it's a way of telling the search engines you care enough to put current information out there. A huge bonus when you're trying to boost your search rankings!

There are several ways in which you can keep your website up to date. Most don't require much, if any knowledge of HTML coding or any other technical expertise. If you know how to work your keyboard and mouse, you should be able to up date your website. Let's go over several updating options.

Option number one is always having your web manager make updates for you. This option doesn't appeal to many because it usually takes two things a lot of us don't have: extra time and extra money! This option works fine for those who only make a few updates a year, but most of us should be updating more regularly than that!

There's always the good old editing programs. Adobe has Contribute, Microsoft has it's own programs and there are many more to choose from. You can spend as little or as much as you want on these programs. It all depends on what you want. Most make it fairly quick and easy to update, but you may need to install some extras to upload your changes to the website such as FTP programs. Definitely not something to be afraid of, but an extra step none the less.

Installing a blog on your website is another way to update. Wordpress Blogs are very common. They offer a lot of nice features and are fairly easy to use. The tricky part is getting them interfaced with your website layout. The best course of action here is to probably contact your website manager and discuss adding a blog so you can do your own updates.

These are just two common ways that are fairly simple and require little or no knowledge of HTML coding. Most of us (myself included) have very minimal understanding of HTML, so this is a very easy way to keep our visitors happy with current information, and keep boosting our rankings on the search engines!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Facebook and Myspace can Help Your Business!

Social network marketing is a becoming a key are in internet marketing. The websites your kids use to stay connected with their friends - Facebook and Myspace - might be a key part of increasing the business you get from the web.

Your probably familiar with the two social networking sites mentioned above. You may even use them yourself. But did you ever think of using these online communities as an online marketing opportunity for your business? There are cool new social networks forming everyday. One is sure to have you target audience in mind.

Thousands of people use sites like Facebook and Myspace every day. How many business owners would turn down the opportunity to get in front of that size audience? Not many. But that is just the beginning. There are an ever growing number of focused social networks out there for just about any topic you can think of. Many of them allow you the ability to create a personal profile or a business profile for free. (The best kind of marketing!) Some also allow you to place the equivalent of a pay-per-click ad on their networks.

Facebook has developed it's own "market place" allowing people to place what amounts to a classified ad. Myspace also has it's own version of classifieds for users. Both mega-networks allow you to place pay-per-click ads. Many of the smaller, more focused social networks allow you to do the same thing.

The first step I would take in social network marketing would be to identify which networks would work best for your business and create a free profile. If you've got a service or product that promotes healthy lifestyles you might search for a dieter's social networks or exerciser's social network. If you're a business coach you should look for things like small business owners networks or a business coach network to share ideas.

Whatever your business is, it shouldn't take you too long to identify some social networks to get involved in. If you can't find what you're looking for, create your own!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Add Video to a Webpage? Think Twice!

Putting a video viewer on a website on a website may actually detract from your visitor-to-client conversion rate. Websites with videos may seem to be everywhere, but is online video advertising really helping your business?

Website animation is a very touchy subjects for a lot of areas especially if you're a b2b company. Depending on how you utilize your video, you may be drawing attention away from the message you want to convey to your audience.

If you've ever tried to hold a conversation with a male in a room with a TV on, you know it's nearly impossible to keep him entirely focused on you and your message. Putting a video viewer on a website can have a very similar effect.

The reason for this with males is simple. As a species, we've been genetically hard wired to pay attention to things that move. In our earliest forms (whatever that means to you), if we saw something move, as a male we had only two thoughts: Is it something I can eat? OR Is it something that's going to eat me?

The end result: As males, our attention is always drawn to motion no matter what situation we're in. That includes any video added to a website.

The Remedy: Use video sparingly and with purpose! Just like you've developed the rest of your website with primary and secondary goals, do the same with your online video or website animations. Giving your audience the ability to choose whether they watch the video or not can be an effective way to use this tool.

Whatever you do, keep your online animation and videos minimal. If you must have them, have them run once, or give your audience a choice. Constant motion will only detract from your message.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Using Link Popularity to Boost Visibility

Growing your number of inbound links is a great way to increase traffic on your website and boost your search engine ranking! The best part is... it's simple to do yourself and very inexpensive!

All of the major search engines (Google, Yahoo!, MSN, Ask, etc.) place significance on how many other websites link to your website. This is known as "Link Popularity". The higher your link popularity, the higher your site will appear on search engines.

It's a way of telling the search engines that other people think you're important and they should pay more attention to you too!

How do you go about getting more inbound links? The answer may be simpler than you think... you just request it from another website.

Some good places to start building your link popularity are with associations you might belong to. Chambers of commerce, networking groups and any other organizations you're a part of will typically list your link for free. There are also usually hundreds of directories out there for almost every industry. Some will let you publish a link for free while others may charge a small fee or require you to link back to them.

The one area to watch out for when requesting links is where the link will actually be on a site and if the site linking to you has any traffic. If you're going to have a link you want people to get to it and see it.

Another useful thing to do is take a look at what your competitors are getting their inbound links from. You can Google for any link popularity tool, and you should be able to find some information on who links to your competitors. Now get out there and grab those links!