Internet marketing is rather complex subject. It is not limited to searching engines optimization, however searching engines optimization plays almost always the main role here.
There exists several most common internet marketing techniques. Their effectiveness depends on product or service you want to sell, and below are the main ones:
- searching engines optimization
- Google Adwords: both link placement on searching results and using banner for Google Adsense
- banner/links placement on other websites
- mailing systems both subscription type and other ways
- placing ads in free or payable advertising websites
- usage of some “carriers” which convey message about your product or services
- virals: video and images
Searching Engines Optimization is described in details in organic SEO category – here. What can be stressed here is, that SEO used as marketing tool can be several times cheaper compared to other internet marketing methods. I recommend ONLY organic SEO techniques, with other methods SEO becomes more gambling than predictable science and art.
Google Adwords – very popular internet marketing technique. It is highly predictable, computation of ROI (Return Of Investments) is straightforward. You pay, and you know for what you pay. Drawback of this method is price. For one click on Google Adwords link pointing to your website you can pay £3, £8 or more, depending on key phrase competition in your business niche. Your competitors can click your links as well, just to put you a little bit down. There is possibility to block some IP addresses which you think are used in dodgy way, however it is not possible to exclude loosing money by click done by “bad guys”. Google Adwords has some algorithm which is supposed to prevent such activity, but like everything in this world it is not perfect. Despite the problems Google Adwords method can be highly recommended for most businesses.
Banner and links placement on other websites is usually not free, but can be very effective, depending on the website where you place information about your business. Sometimes the links are marked as “nofollow” which gives no additional SEO points, but whatever way they are placed, after click potential customer is transferred to your website. It seems, that banner, especially nice graphic banner, is more effective than just plain link. Because of SEO issues, it is recommended to avoid FLASH banners. They are usually more beautiful and can have advanced functionality, but they can be problem for searching engines.
Mailing system usually exists in two different categories: you can send emails to your website’s subscribers, or you can pay for mail advertising. Some internet portals have email accounts and they offer this king of advertisement. To some extent email system users can not prevent getting ad emails, or they agreed to some small font rules, that is to some kind of functional disability. Sending emails to your website’s users/subscribers can be free, but it depends how many emails you can send per hour, or per 24 hours. Usually, webhosting companies set email limits for shared hosting accounts and it can be impossible to send, lets say 2000 emails per day. In such case, you would be forced to use dedicated server, or pay money to a company which specializes in email marketing. Effectiveness of such marketing tool depends on product/service you want to sell and on graphic/content architecture of your email. Some portals can delete your emails, or set it as spam, depending on such factors like email subject, content, sender IP etc.
Another way, similar somehow to Google Adwords, is placing paid ad on big ads websites. On some of such websites you can place information about your products/services with link pointing to your website. Effectiveness of this way is difficult to predict, again it depends on what and where you advertise.
The “carriers” way can be extremely effective, but not suitable for every kind of product or service. This marketing tool assumes that you use some software or other digital “device” which holds information about your website or your product/service. It can be, for instance, some very useful but free business application or game, which people would be interested to download and use. And this application can have link, which when clicked open browser widow with your website. In much simpler level you can use just PDF eBook. PDF as such is a kind of application which shows formatted text and images. But possibilities of PDF format are much bigger. You can place semi-transparent watermark across pages – the watermark text can be your website name. PDF enables also linking text, so in PDF file it is possible to link text, which clicked opens browser window with your website page – in the same way like for business application or game. Some modification of this method is enabling people to download and install some useful script on their website with link to your website. The link can be removed only if they pay for it. This way has huge advantage over downloadable, desktop type applications, because the link can be seen by searching engines and you can get many inbound links for free (except cost of developing online application). The worst case scenario – but still you can get good results – is to use nice desktop wallpapers with embedded watermarked name of your website. The “carriers” way effectiveness depends strongly on how much useful is your free downloadable business application, PDF eBook, free online script or how eye engaging is desktop wallpaper. Big advantage of this way is that people can send the “carriers” to one another via email or download from some websites which store such digital formats.
Viral marketing method can be one of the cheapest, but at the same time one of the most unreliable and unpredictable. The aim is to produce video or image with so strong emotional charge, that people start share information about it. The number of people visiting youtube or other online service to see the video or image can grow exponentially. Within week you can have millions visitors. It sounds very sweet, but is very difficult to achieve.