Low Cost Web Site Promotion For Small Businesses

Written by Daria Goetsch

Continued from page 1

Looking in Yahoo! and ODP categories for business directories can be very helpful in getting a start on your search for links.

For link popularity, searching in Google is a quick way to find suitable websites to request links from or submit to.

Search for specialty search engines. If your business is inrepparttar medical field, search for medical search engines.

When looking for link partners, select sites that reflect your website's topic or subject. Links from sites that are not related to your site are not weighted as heavily byrepparttar 125027 search engines in deciding how to rank your site.

Visit your competition's websites. See how they are ranking inrepparttar 125028 search engines and find out which keywords they are found under.

Link popularity is a very time-consuming activity, be prepared to spend a minimum of 10-20 hours in order to start building your link popularity. This may be a daunting enough task you might want to consider working with a search engine marketing professional.

Helpful Tools

It is always a good idea to keep in mind that many tools are not "exact" and can vary due to repparttar 125029 search engine algorithms changing (which can be often). I like to think of it as an "approximation" ofrepparttar 125030 information I am seeking.

The Google Toolbar (http:/ oolbar.google.com) shows yourepparttar 125031 approximate link popularity of other websites (noterepparttar 125032 green bar that says "PageRank" after downloadingrepparttar 125033 tool), as well as giving you choices such as checking backlinks (who is linking torepparttar 125034 webpage), similar pages, a cached snapshot ofrepparttar 125035 page and more when you right-click onrepparttar 125036 web page. Visit your competition's webpage, then userepparttar 125037 toolbar to view who is linking to them.

The PageRank and backlink information is very helpful in regards to researching your competition. The backlinks you find viarepparttar 125038 toolbar may show you some quality websites to submit links to. Seek out websites with PageRank 4 and up to getrepparttar 125039 most out of your submitted or reciprocal link. Hovering your mouse overrepparttar 125040 Google Toolbar tells yourepparttar 125041 page rank ofrepparttar 125042 website.

To learn about writing an email request for a reciprocal link and other linking strategies, visit Eric Ward's website (http://www.ericward.com/articles/index.html).

The Overture suggestion tool (http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion) is a free way to check how popular your keyword phrases are in comparison torepparttar 125043 monthly results of Overture. This will not give you a complete picture since Overture is used on many but not all search engines. It will help you decide which keyword phrases arerepparttar 125044 best choice, as well as as variations on your keyword phrases.

MarketLeap (http://www.marketleap.com/) measures your link popularity, and that of three of your competitors. The report is free and gives you a benchmark showing where your popularity lies online vs your competitors.

Lastly, if you want to "do it yourself",repparttar 125045 top places I've found to research and learn from are Search Engine Watch (http://www.searchenginewatch.com) and Webmaster World (http://www.webmasterworld.com). Search Engine Watch and Webmaster World's sister site, Search Engine World (http://www.searchengineworld.com) both have free newsletters full of information to help you promote your website.

Daria Goetsch is a Search Engine Marketing Consultant for Search Innovation, a Search Engine Marketing company serving small businesses. Her background involves many years as a Search Engine Marketing Consultant, including three years as the Search Engine Specialist for O'Reilly & Associates. http://www.searchinnovation.com info@searchinnovation.com

A Beginner's Checklist to Promoting an Online Business (Part 1)

Written by Angela Wu

Continued from page 1

9. Join a webring. Link to other sites like yours and build an online 'community.'

10. Offer coupons or gift certificates to entice visitors to make a purchase *now*.

11. Make good use of referral marketing. Ask happy customers to refer prospects to you. Many people are so busy these days that they're willing to rely on a trusted friend or contact's advice -- it saves them repparttar time necessary to do allrepparttar 125026 research themselves.

12. Write and distribute articles in your area of expertise. This is a great credibility-builder! People who appreciate what you have to say are much more likely to check out your business. Another 'bonus' is that articles are often archived on websites for visitors to refer to time and time again.

13. Become an 'expert'. If you like to write and haverepparttar 125027 time to do so, consider partnering with a high-traffic site within your niche market and offer to write a regular column or article. You establish credibility and get exposure; your partner site and their readers get great content.

14. Use a 'Recommend-It' or 'Refer-A-Friend' script. These scripts let visitors send your URL to friends.

15. Make it easy for others to link to your site. Consider adding a 'Link to Us' section where you providerepparttar 125028 HTML that visitors can simply cut and paste to their own web pages. Again, this helps to build your link popularity (see point #4).

16. Hold contests. For example, every month you could give away one of your products to a lucky subscriber or customer.

17. Use a signature. Also known as 'sig files', a signature is a brief blurb about your business along with your URL and/or contact information. Put a signature on every piece of email you send out, as well as on any message board posts (if appropriate).

18. Give away a quality free eBook or report. eBooks and reports can be excellent viral marketing tools. You can even offer them as a 'premium' to other businesses within your niche, so that they can give it away to their own customers or subscribers. This is an effective way to build a network that will willingly promote your business for you! More on promoting free eBooks and how they can help you can be found inrepparttar 125029 article, '10 Quick Tips on How to Create, Distribute, and Profit from Free eBooks': http://onlinebusinessbasics.com/articles/ebooktips.html

Hopefully this has given you a few helpful ideas on how to market your online business. Inrepparttar 125030 next installment of this series, you'll read about several marketing techniques that may cost you money, but that can be worth repparttar 125031 investment many times over. The final installment is all about marketing your online business inrepparttar 125032 'offline' world! Stay tuned.

Angela is the editor of Online Business Basics, a practical guide to building a business on a beginner's budget. It's a proven hit with beginners, for the down-to-earth style and loads of instantly useable tips! For details, visit http://onlinebusinessbasics.com/article.html OR request a series of 10 free reports to get you started: mailto:businessbasics@workyourleads.com

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