The biggest challenge of running an online business is making it known to the public that you indeed do exist. Having an online storefront is not enough. No one will find you on online if they do not know where to find you. The following list contains tips that can help make your business more visible on the Internet:
•Submit your business URL to search engines. In order for your business to show up in Internet search results, you need to apply to search engine directories so people can find it. The URL is the website address that people will use to access your site. For example, if your website address is www.mybusiness.com that would be the place where people would go to find your business. Usually when you submit it to a search engine you would do so in the following format: http://www.mybusiness.com. You can either manually submit your website URL (address) to search engines or you can have it submitted for you with automated systems. One very popular automated search engine submission program is called Traffic Blazer®, which is sold by GoDaddy.com. Some search engine submissions are free while others cost money. Usually you have to pay in order to be guaranteed a search engine spot, but you can also work your way up the ladder without having to pay to have your site submitted.
•Use link exchange services. Link exchange services are communities of website owners who gather together at one site to exchange links. When you sign up to be a part of a link exchange service you will be added to the same directory as everyone else that signs up at the same link exchange site. In return, you put a code (or website address) on your site that later publishes on your site as a link directory. In this directory that is placed on your site everyone’s name, including yours, will be placed in it. This is a way to exchange links without having to manually solicit individual sites. Sometimes you can even place your link in some directories without having to place their link on your site. This is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to advertise your site. Not only that, but the more inks you have on your site the more popular your site becomes.
•Submit to free directories. You can find countless free directories in which to place ads relevant to your site. Some of these directories are classified ad listings, while others are just places that you can add your link. Usually you are not even required to place their link on your site in return when you place an ad at one of these places. Along with that, even though submitting to free directories does not necessarily give you a very high position as would a paid directory listing it does help you gain a little more exposure.
•Create interaction on your site. Customers have a tendency to stay at websites for longer periods of time if they have a reason to be there. For instance, if they can find a fun game or puzzle to play, a helpful article to read, or interactive forums to join, they will stay at your site for a longer period of time. Not only that but they will come back more frequently, and will be apt to remember you. If they remember you they will want to come back to visit again and again. The more times they visit your site the more likely they are to buy a product or service from you or one of your site sponsors.
•Purchase pay per click ads. When people search for a particular key word or phrase on the Internet, a list of websites relevant to those key words will show up in search results. You can purchase those key words for a certain amount of money, which is called bidding. Then, you will create an ad that people can find by typing in the key words that you have bid on. The more money that you put on a key word, the more chance you have of your pay per click ad being on the first page of Internet search results. To make this concept clearer you can read this following fictitious example: If you bid five dollars on the search word “angels”, your ad could be on the first page of the search results. Therefore, it will be more visible to everyone, versus if you were to only bid one cent on that very same word. The way you make money with pay per click ads is by people clicking on the URL which you used in the pay per click ad, which would usually lead to your website. The URL is a link to a page in your site, either the home page of your site or another page.
•Purchase banner impressions. Banners are the image ads that you see usually on the top of websites, but sometimes within the body of a web page as well. When customers see these attractive banners they usually click on them to find out more about what the advertisement says. You can purchase these for a low price, and some banner ad services are even free. You can also do banner exchange advertising just like you can for link exchange.
•Join blogs and forums. If you join blogs and forums and interact with the Internet community you will often make new friends. If you do this eventually your business will come up in conversation. Also, most forum and blog sites allow you to place one or two links at the end of your signature. This link (or more than one link) would be the address to your website or the way people can access an online publication for free, and this contains useful information to visitors. This useful information, then, is surrounded by product that you would sell to them. The secret to this type of promotion is to be involved in it respectfully. Blogs and forums (unless they are run by you) are not solely meant for advertising. Instead they are meant for online members to get to know one another. However, this form of communication can often turn into a subtle form of public relations.
When you communicate with others by way of forums and blogs, you are taking part in interaction with your community. In turn, this community will then learn more about whom you are, and the company that you run, which is a part of you. This is something that simply cannot be avoided, and helps you reach out to others without having to pay outrageous advertising fees.
You may want to know also that some forum and blog sites will even devote sub-forums within a forum designated for promotion. In the case of a particular forum being a place to market, you can say promote yourself as much as you would like. The point is to use this type of promotion to your advantage but do not abuse the privilege.
These are only some of the ways you can promote your online business. For more information about advertising and ways to build your online business you can turn to respected business experts, and you can read more articles such as this one.