Part 9 of 9 Conclusion

This has been a multi-week look at marketing your shop or site on the internet.  I have been trying to drive traffic to my site(s) for over 10 years and have used all of these methods at one time or another with varying degrees of success.

What I can say about many of these methods is that at one point or another, I believe they worked.  Some worked for a while and as internet tastes and practices changed, no longer brought in the traffic they once did.  Others have always worked.  Some are hit or miss.  In other words, they may work when you use them with a particular site (such as paying a site for advertising space), then not work on others.

The smart marketing campaign includes elements of all of the above.  I am a firm believer in not putting all of your eggs in one basket.  This is certainly true here.  No matter what avenues you choose to market your site, you can count on one thing, you will have to invest both time and money.

Part 7 of 9 : Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This is the granddaddy of them all.  This is the one internet marketing avenue everyone wishes and strives to achieve.  For those of you who don’t know what SEO is, basically, it is optimizing your web page so that when people search various search engines like Google and Yahoo, they get your site.

First thing you needs to understand is how a search engine finds your page and how it evaluates it.  There is nowhere near enough manpower for a human to come to every site Google lists and take a look to figure out what it is about.  So, a computer has to perform that task (the program is called a web crawler).

Now, contrary to popular belief, computers are stupid.  They are only as smart as the programming (or instructions) given to them.  So, they cannot take a look at your page and infer what it is about from the graphics or implications on the site.  Really the only way a computer program has to determine what is on your page is to collect links and text, figure out what appears most frequent and then display it when those words are entered in a search.

So, you can see that it is very important to have the correct words appearing on your web page in order to steer people to it when those words are typed into a search engine.  The truth is, all a search engine does is display pages that have words and phrases similar to the one you typed in.

Now, there are other criteria that a search site uses to determine which pages should be displayed first.  This includes the number of hits on your page (page rank or PR to Google), how many other sites are linked to your site and some other things.

The long and the short of it is that if you have an optimized page, that displays to people when they type in related keywords, you will start getting traffic to your site without working too hard (after the initial work to get it there) and without much cost (actually any cost).  That’s why this is the holy grail of internet marketing and why companies pay handsome sums to SEO professionals to get them to the top of search engine listings.

Internet Advertising Part 1 of 9 : Introduction

Today begins a nine part blogricle (my own creation for a multi-part article posted on a blog) focusing on Internet Advertising.  After writing my article on Etsy vs. Artfire, I realized that there was a very large part of running a successful web site that I had really not touched on.  That is Internet Advertising.

When I say internet advertising, I am actually not talking about getting your products or site to pop up in a search on Etsy or a search on Artfire.  I am talking about getting your shop or site to popup when someone types ‘gold ring’ into Google.  I am also talking about showing a banner on someone’s site.  Basically, when I think of ‘internet advertising’ I think about driving someone to your shop or site who doesn’t know you exist and is just browsing the internet or doing a search for something they are looking for.

First, let me qualify my experience.  I opened a web site in 2001.  The site is a subscription site (basically people who like it and want to stay must pay a subscription fee to belong).  It is still open today.  In addition, I have a BBA in marketing, granted that was long before this ‘internet’ thing was around, however, many of the underlying concepts apply.  In 2010 I decided to start Berkshire Bowls.  This was a departure of sorts for me because I was selling a product rather than a service as I was with my first venture.

I have been marketing my site(s) for 10+ years with the least amount of expenditure.  Over that time I have found a number of outlets that have provided various levels of success.

I have always been willing to try something out that doesn’t sound like a total scam and just a way to get my contact information or other vital data.  So, there are some unique avenues to get the word out here.  I have found that many of these solutions boil down to one thing, the balance of time vs. money.  If you are willing to spend a lot of money to advertise your site, you will probably have some success.  If you have a lot of time and don’t get frustrated, you can also achieve success.