Millions of businesses, both big and small, compete for online dollars, and large companies have even dedicated entire marketing departments to promoting their websites. It’s not uncommon for companies to hire agencies to help claim shares of the lucrative global market available over the Internet. Thousands of SEO experts offer services to help businesses attract that all-important website traffic. However, many methods of attracting viewers cost little or no money. Small business owners can spend a little time on promotion and get the same results as the big companies who outsource their internet marketing without spending fortunes on advertising.
Websites Alone Fail to Attract Viewers
Online marketing generates billions of dollars in revenue, and even local mom-and-pop businesses feel the pressure to build a solid web presence or risk losing local customers who search online for goods and services. Many entrepreneurs spend thousands of dollars on site development and wait for orders to arrive. Usually, these marketing beginners experience shock when they discover that nobody can find their sites.
Customers find websites through paid advertising, generic searches, referrals, and direct links, which come from many sources, both online and in traditional media or promotional materials. Large marketers spend millions targeting audiences, and the competition for shares of the online pie becomes intense. Minnows thrown into the pool with sharks and piranhas stand little chance of eating tuna.
Free Ways to Target Customers
Small marketers have some things in their favor, however. Minnows can maneuver with extraordinary agility, and their size causes bigger fish to overlook them. Minnows need less food to grow, so they often stand better chances of success in crowded ponds when food supplies grow scarce.
Large companies with huge budgets must make millions to stay afloat. Small businesses need fewer orders to make profits. Business owners can get part of the action without spending their advertising dollars. Five excellent ways to draw traffic include the following ideas.
1. Join the Blogosphere. Professional networking takes time, but the rewards could prove substantial.
2. Social Media and Guest Posting. Social media offers forums to post blogs without cost. Marketers can spend some time learning to promote through social media, which includes active, engaged viewers who willingly trade links and visit sites of interest. Create funny, entertaining, or useful content to share, but avoid promoting too obviously.
3. Classified Websites Offer Free Posting. Whether selling products or services, free classified websites reach millions of viewers. Several sites offer sections where companies can post free listings. The best-known site is Craigslist.org. The site has become so popular that few businesses advertise in their local newspapers’ classified sections anymore. Other sites include the following sources that offer free listings:
4. Article Marketing. In addition to social media, owners can post articles that link to their websites on free services such as www.goarticles.com and www.ezinearticles.com. The articles can link directly to owners’ websites, and the use of keywords helps improve the rankings that search engines give businesses in generic searches. NOTE: this is about traffic not linkbuilding as this technique has decreased rapidly in popularity with the release of the Google penguin update. You should consider that before doing article marketing and make sure there is a strong editorial process at the sites you use.
5. The Classic Press Release. The classic press release lets viewers know what companies are doing, promotes new products, offers valuable maintenance or energy-saving tips, and announces special promotions.
Creative strategies help owners find ways to attract traffic without cost. Most involve some sort of writing or posting, which owners can do personally or outsource to writers. Concentrate on solving consumer problems, helping viewers reach goals, or getting some laughs. Use these methods to get part of the lucrative online market.← 5 Ways to Find and Leverage Expert Bloggers | 7 Ways Guest Posts Can Harm Your Site →
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