Subscribe in a reader Whoop Ass Internet Marketing: March 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

Using a Blog for a Website

Brand new businesses typically don't have a lot of capital to invest in an online presence. Using a free blog as your website can be a logical solution until your company has enough money to pay for a top notch site!

Let's face it, if you're trying to build a legitimate business, you need an online presence. What that usually starts out as is a place where you can send people online. It doesn't have to be optimized with all the bells and whistles and everything a search engine web crawler is looking for. You just want to be able to hand out a business card with a URL on it.

Blogs are your solution! There are several blog places online that actually let you create different pages along with your blog. The result is a blog that has the look and feel of a website and only seems to have a blog component to the typical internet user.

These online tools allow you to upload pictures, videos and music in some cases. For a minimal investment you can even have your own domain name. This way no one associates you with your blog host. There are even templates to help you design a nice look that fits your business in most cases, and the best part is... you don't need to know a lick of HTML or any other kind of coding to use this method of website creation!

Are they indexed by the search engines? Sometimes this depends on which blog provider you use, but for the most part, yes!

To check this option out, do a little digging at (Ooo, I'm a trader! but hey, you gotta go with what works the best, right?). Chances are you've already visited a "website" that was built entirely around a blog!

Remember: This isn't the permanent solution to your need for a web presence, but it can be very effective to help you get to the point where you can invest a little more!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Urgent Update: Google Reads Flash!

Yes it's true! Google now effectively indexes flash sites for search engine placement! I know the internet is an ever-changing environment, and if you read yesterday's post you see first hand just how quickly things can change!

While Flash sites are still a bit more expensive to develop, they are no where near the money suckers they used to be because of this one change by Google. If you can afford the development, Flash looks brilliant and now will be able to boost your search rankings as long as you do so in the correct way.

We'll try to keep you posted on the subject of Flash sites as we learn more about how Google is indexing these sites. Until then... Flash on (if you want to)!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Planning for Future Web Presence

As a small business just entering the online world, it is sometimes out of our reach to do everything we need to in order to have a marketable image and gain visibility. Many of us prefer to take on projects in steps anyhow. With proper planning, this approach works well for those wanting to make the financial burden of online marketing more affordable!

One of the first steps (and most important) for your business' online livelihood is having a website. Not only does this give you a place for your customers to learn more about you, but it gives you a point of credibility as a legitimate business. (Two very important things!)

It's been my experience with companies I've worked with that often the cost of websites AND establishing visibility are just too much money for the typical small business. At least all in one chunk. What ends up happening most of the time is a staged project with the first part being a website development and the next piece a visibility project.

Designing your site to help you control costs and ease of use later on is a huge advantage if you can manage it. One of the biggest problems in this area is Flash. This web development platform is absolutely wonderful for creating outstanding images, videos, etc. However, it is a nightmare when trying to add/change any online aspect.

Flash sites are typically more expensive to begin with, and they are practically invisible to the search engines (remember google and the like can't index images... which is what a flash site is composed of).

That's not to say there aren't ways of making Flash sites visible to the search engines. There certainly are plenty of ways to do that, but be prepared to open the billfold if Flash is what you want. It's more expensive to develop, edit, optimize, etc.

My advice to those wanting to get the most out of their website is to develop first in HTML. You can always add Flash components to those pages. Save your fancy Flash development for when your bringing in the big bucks!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tying Online Marketing with Print Marketing and Word of Mouth

While online marketing is widely considered the best money spent from your marketing budget, don't discount the importance of other forms of marketing as well. The value of well planned print marketing materials and word of mouth can be a major factor in the success of your online marketing!

Think of all the people you come in contact with everyday. They may be customers/clients, friends, family or the guy sitting next to you on the subway. The point is, all of these people have the potential to be a marketing vehicle for you. All of these people can also help drive traffic to your website!

Talking with people about what you do and what they do is a great way to benefit your business. You may also discover you can be a client of someone else too! The benefits of not having your head buried in the newspaper on your commute home don't stop at business. You might find a more personal satisfaction in connecting with more people as well!

What's even better than just establishing a connection with another person? Having something to reinforce that potential business relationship you've just built. Things like business cards, brochures or handouts are a great thing to carry in your briefcase or binder. You never know who can benefit from your product or services. It may be your new bus riding companion or a friend of his friend's.

Whatever material works best for your business, make sure to tie in the same ideas and themes you use in your website. (Most people know this as branding!) And make sure your web address is on everything you hand out! The web is your opportunity to share the most in-depth information about you and your business! Make sure you're taking full advantage of the many ways to bring people your message!