[skimp: To deal with hastily, carelessly, or with poor material. To give inadequate funds to; be stingy with: misers who skimp their own children.]
Your web-based business is your baby. This article is all about not being stingy with your baby!
I recently completed a series of articles about search engines, and it got me thinking.
Everyone knows search engine placement is right up there when it comes to marketing your web site, product, or service. What makes it doubly important is that it is generally free, which makes this avenue of promotion vital for smaller entrepreneur.
I'm not a marketing expert. My articles on web search trends tend to focus on things like whether search engines offer relevant results, or whether they are easy to use for average consumers. But research for my most recent article [http://www.traffick.com/story.asp?StoryID=65 ] - on pay-for-placement search engine Goto.com - convinced me that this is a vastly underrated marketing tool that entrepreneurs need to find out about and begin deploying to their advantage.
Most won't, and that's to your advantage.
Of course, you should optimize your site and work on submissions to get those "free" listings in major search engines and directories first. But if you're like most, after you've done that, you are looking for means of attracting targeted (eager to buy) and incremental (not same folks who are already finding you) traffic to your site.
The days of "free" search engine positioning are coming to a close. Looksmart charges $199 for business express submission, and now, there is a new $25 fee for non-business submission. So in future, it may come down to what is most cost-effective, not what's free.
In weighing various alternatives - banner ads and expensive marketing campaigns - larger businesses ask following question all time: what's a new customer worth? Many have determined that a customer is worth a lot!
The quintessential example is AOL. They don't wait around for people to figure out that they are best Internet Service Provider. They send out as many CD's as possible, and blitz us with television advertising telling us that AOL is easy to use. So what if a lot of other services are easy to use? Generally speaking, after customer is signed up with AOL, it doesn't matter what others are doing.
You're not AOL, but shouldn't you learn from them? If a new customer is worth $20 or $50 to you, or even more, why are you content to spend zero on getting them to notice you? Even if there is a slight chance that someone may pay you $1,000 for your accounting services, or buy a $500 item from you with a $100 profit margin, wouldn't chance to have that customer come straight to your web site be worth a few pennies, maybe even more than a few?