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Dominating The Search Engines
Over 80% of people use search engines to find products and services on Internet. This and links from sites they already know are by far biggest new traffic drivers to most sites. The good thing with traffic from search engines is that it is free. The bad news is that you have to be positioned at top 30 or so results on any search to get any traffic from engines because most people do not look beyond top 30 results returned by a search. The good news is that search engines primarily rely on mathematics to figure out rankings of search results, which means you can make pages designed to come up tops. You can either create these pages manually (see The Unfair Advantage Book on Winning The Search Engine Wars for details) or using software such as PositionWeaver and WebPosition (see http://www.aboutwebmasters.com/free-tools.shtml).
Building Your Own Viruses
Convert your site, products and processes into viruses. Make them viral by nature. For example, Hotmail grew by leaps and bounds with hardly any advertising because it was very viral by nature. By using it to send email, that little signature at bottom informed everyone you contacted that a service called Hotmail existed. The easier it is to spread word about you, more opportunities there are to do so, more integrated this spreading is with actual use of your product or site, and also more benefits a user gets for spreading it are, more viral you can get. For details on this, download a free copy of Seth Godin's Unleashing Ideavirus at www.ideavirus.com.
Its Your Turn Now
Of all these methods, most critical to have on your site to succeed is an affiliate program of your own to offer other webmasters a commission for driving your sales, good positions on major search engines, and a newsletter or a way to contact customers with useful free information and product offers periodically. Have those three at very minimal and you are assured of online success. If you absolutely cannot have either one of these three, then you must build in viral marketing to a very high level into your site, products and processes. Do you doubt this strategy? Have a look at Amazon.com, Napster, Ebay, Hotmail and Blue Mountain Arts. Each one of these is a highly successful venture (some maybe not profitable, but definitely leading their space). They all employ all or at least 3 of these 4 critical principles and because of that they have succeeded.
These principles, more than having a cool fast loading site or lowest prices or any of that other stuff, are most important ingredients for online success. Plug them in and you will surely profit.
David Gikandi (email@example.com) is CEO at SearchPositioning.com (http://www.positionweaver.com).