BG on a billboardFrom Wikipedia - "Internet marketing is the practice of using all facets of internet advertising to generate a response from your au dience. It ties together both the creative and technical aspects of the internet, including design, development, advertising and marketing"

How do you do this?

You can rent a billboard.

Phil Greenspun suggests advertising on the Superbowl.

I will get back to these suggestions. They are not facetious and they are relevant to internet marketing.

Billboards and Superbowl ads are effective, but that's not really what you're asking. What you really want to know is this:

Since the internet is effectively free, why is it so difficult to get people to my site? Why doesn't it work like in Field of Dreams?

If We Build It, Will They Come?

Scene from the Movie Field of Dreams

This is not Hollywood, major league ballplayers don't walk out of cornfields, and vast numbers of people don't browse your web site.

People - customers, prospects, users, - will not come to your website unless they:

  • know about your site
      and
  • think there is something in it for them

after all, they could be at cnn.com.

Getting the Word Out - Telling People About Your Site

Three ways exist:

  • Search Engines: people are looking on the internet for something and they type your product's name in Google. Your website is displayed.
  • Word of Mouth: your friends or colleagues talk about your site. They access it.
  • Conventional advertising: print media, TV, Billboards, the Superbowl, etc.

Search Engines

Ideal Search Engine Products

One ideal search engine product is a brass nozzle on the hoses that fireman use to put out fires. One company in the United States makes them and they are expensive. Your can be wildly successful at search engine placement developing a website for this company. You put up the website, wait a few months, then type in "fire hose nozzles" into Google. Your website is displayed and you start a lucrative new career as a Search Engine Optimization consultant.

Another ideal search engine product is a pizza place. You put up your website for your pizza place in say, Encinitas California. Include your address and phone number. Wait a few months, then type in "Encinitas pizza" into Google. A list of pizza places in Encinitas is displayed, including your own, along with phone numbers and pictures.

What do both of these products have in common? Google loves them. Google loves rare products that people will search for using very specific character strings. Conversely Google loves very common products that Google can organize into categories an make it easy for people to find what they are looking for.

Products and Services That are Less than Ideal

Products in the vast middle. These are products and services that are less than unique, but not so common that Google helps you organize them. These products and services often benefit from search engine optimization. Search engine optimization, or SEO, refers to the practice of designing a website in a manner which allows Search engines to identify what the web site is about and to place the website high up in search engine listings.

How much SEO do you need?

How much is a new customer worth to you? Are prospects likely to look for you on the web?  A personal injury lawyer whose clients may represent fees of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and are likely to browse the web looking for a lawyer would see SEO as a valid investment. A yogurt store whose customers spend under ten dollars and don't browse the web looking for yogurt stores, has less need for SEO technology.

 

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