To make money online means you have to market your products and / or services. While a lot of self-started businesses don’t have the budget or really the need to hire marketing experts, business owners need to understand the basics and make sure they don’t fall for any myths or mistaken impressions about internet marketing.
First, don’t equate a high search engine rank with high sales figures. Traffic doesn’t necessarily convert into sales. So you have to address the conversion issue, and you have to be sure that you’re getting targeted traffic that is interested in what you’re selling. To do this you need to tag your content with fairly specific keywords. Understand that sites with highly specific and targeted keywords can rank very high in search engine rankings without necessarily having a lot of traffic. It’s just that there is little competition in the particular niche.
Another common misconception is that lots of hits means lots of high quality traffic. While more hits certainly means your site is exposed to more people, the numbers that matter are how many of those hits convert to sales. To determine whether you’re on the right track, you should evaluate your keyword phrases and analyze the sources of your traffic. This will help you deduce whether your traffic is well-targeted to the purpose of your site.
Many people believe that the easiest way to drive traffic is with pay-per-click, or PPC programs. While it can be done effectively, it’s not the best way for new players to go, because it requires a lot of time, a lot of effort, and you risk losing money. Don’t get into PPC unless you have the budget for it, and be sure you read up and learn everything you can about PPC before trying it.
Here is a common misconception about internet marketing: “After I get my search engine rankings high enough, I can stop trying and just coast.” Unfortunately, as good as a top search engine ranking for your keywords is, it doesn’t mean you can stop trying. That’s because search engines are constantly fine tuning their algorithms in order to give users the most relevant results possible, and this can result in slippage of your ranking if you’re not observant.
A final myth that needs to be debunked is that you don’t need to promote online businesses offline. While there is no disputing the importance of online promotion and marketing of your site, in some instances, careful offline marketing can boost business significantly. For example, if you want to target your particular service (say, graphic design) to local customers, a bit of offline advertising could help tremendously. Don’t discount ads in small local newspapers. They’re among the few print publications that haven’t succumbed to online competition.
Internet marketing is constantly changing, so it’s something you can’t just set and forget like a rotisserie chicken cooker. Keep on top of internet marketing trends and you’ll keep your traffic flow and sales consistently high. If you want to make money online, you have to be able to separate myth from truth when it comes to marketing on the web.
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