"Understanding on-Line Marketing Strategies"
So now you have a website...but there are so many websites on the Internet.  How can you be sure you are receiving the exposure you need to make your website presence successful?  That's where our experience at WebNet Navigators can help you.

Marketing on the Internet is a relatively new venture.  Let our experience at WebNet Navigators help guide you.  Some helpful on-Line Marketing Strategies are:

Website Design and Content

Internet marketing is different than traditional methods. Your potential clients are 'web surfers' they might spend an average of 1-2 minutes visiting your site.  If your site isn't designed to grab and catch their interests, you've lost them fast. Good website design will help hold their interests.  

  • Easy Navigation - If they can find useful information quickly without having to click '100' times to find substance, your potential customers will appreciate it.
  • Good Content - Web content should be updated regularly to keep the interest of your 'regulars'
  • Graphic images and text should load as quickly as possible.  
  • In our website design we avoid frames, pop-up windows and animated banners. All of these are annoyance over-head.  If you wish to incorporate them into your website, do so with caution.
  • Use Meta Tags to help rank and list your web pages within the Search Engines.  See Internet Search Functions and Meta Tags for more details.


Yellow Pages & Directories

A good way to get exposure and most listings are Free.   Some common back end phone directories that supply their directories to major Search Functions include:

Data Provider Search Function Submit URL
InfoUSA Yahoo, Netscape

GTE Superpages / Big Yellow AOLNet Find, Lycos, Go/InfoSeek

WorldPages Excite

Ameritech LookSmart

Call, email, or fax for free listing

MSN MSN Charges for listing in their phone directory
At Hand HotBot Uses directories supplied by: Ameritech
US West Dex

a US West Dex listing is costing $15.00 (email & website link) per month.

Link Strategies

Link Strategies are great.  You find other websites that compliment your website and request a link.  Typically they will request a reciprocal link of you, so it's good to build in a 'link' page to provide the ability for reciprocal links.

Using this method you can direct traffic and share potential customers with other website ventures and the cost is typically free. You can also increase your 'popularity ranking' with Search Functions using links.  See Internet Search Functions and Meta Tags for more details.

Some sites will request that you pay for a link.   Ensure that their site is receiving enough traffic to make this worth your while, as there are so many that are willing to exchange links with you for free. Ask to verify their statistics on-line prior to paying for the link.

Use 'users' verses 'hits' per day to calculate site popularity - one user may hit 20 pages - so hits are higher but doesn't give you a good feel for how many visitors your site has had.

There are several on-line tools to help you determine hits to a page.  One tool that can give you a general idea of statistics Alexa.   If you download the Alexa plug-in you can bring up any website and 'right click' in your browser to display Alexa statistics. Although the numbers are pretty general (< top 100,000 - top 100,000) it's a handy tool. We would recommend a site was receiving at least 2 stars from Alexa before I purchased a link.  To download the Alexa plug-in go to www.alexa.com.


Banner Strategies

Banner Strategies are touted to be great.  We are currently in the process of researching their claims but as of today, I would have to say - I don't totally agree.

You can join a Banner Exchange program for free.  You submit a banner of your website to be displayed on 'random' websites chosen by them.  In exchange you input a banner tags on your website for 'other' websites.  Which ones are displaying on your pages differs each day.

We consider website space and usage a premium. Listing someone's banner 468x60 pixel space can take up valuable space.  Animated banners distract the viewer from the content you are trying to provide.

To create a banner you can use a photo editor program and create and image that is 468 width x 60 pixels high in size.  Most Banner Exchanges also request that you keep the file size down to 10-12K in size.  If you want to add animation you can use a shareware program - GIF Construction Set Professional to help you. To download GIF go to: http://www.mindworkshop.com/alchemy/alchemy.html

Banner Exchange Advertising can be purchased from Alta Vista, Lycos, etc for under $1000.00.  To view rates and areas for advertising please see http://store.linkexchange.com.

We are continuing this research and will have a solid opinion formed soon of whether we consider Banner Linking worth it's cost in premium website space.

On-Line Advertising

Internet advertising is aware of the potential customers out there and are charging a premium prices for on-line advertising.

One small advertising banner on Yahoo can run you $1,000.00 for a week. Most will refer you to the Banner Link Exchange if your on-line advertising budget is under $30,000.  An AOL advertising can cost as much at $5000 per week.  Our thoughts on that is - if people don't pay that price, then they wouldn't be inclined to charge the outrageous figures.  Law of supply and demand.  

Other on-line advertising will charge you with a 'click-through' pricing scheme.  You will be charge according to how many 'clicks' (people directed to your site through their advertising).  Click pricing schemes vary.  Click through sites include AOL (America On Line) and other lucrative Internet advertising spots. 

The problem with click through advertising is that you don't have a solid price of what this advertising will cost - until after the fact.

E-mail Strategies

E-mail marketing can consists of Spamming and opt-email.

How many of you like and read SPAM mail?   Spam e-mail can hurt your business reputation beyond compare.

Another e-mail strategy is opt-email.  Opt-email uses the fact that the potential customer has already agreed and expressed an interest in your website content area.  You can purchase a opt-email mailing list from Internet mail list providers. Costs for these lists average from 15 cents - 20 cents per e-mail address. 

Ensure you are buying a list from a reputable company and not just a company that has gathered a bunch of e-mail address. This may you are truly doing an opt-email mailing and not a 'spamming' mailing.

On-line Classifieds and Auctions

There are several places to post on-line classifieds and list your products in on-line auctions.  Our experience from these has been good and bad. We have developed the following guidelines based on our experiences.

On-line classifieds - Provide a good method for listing your items.  Most on-line classifieds won't let you reference your website directly, so it is typically per product sales and exposure. 

On-line Auctions - For the most part if your product is over $200 per item, on-line auctions won't bring you many potential customers.

Usernet Groups

Initially we were told these were valuable sources for website traffic.  After sending out some messages and being 'yelled' at for spamming by members of the usernet groups, we've learned differently. 

These newsgroups have rules and much like spam, most don't appreciate being blasted with blatant advertising.  There are specific newsgroups that can provide you a good marketing arena, but you should be careful with blasting any and all newsgroups with your advertising hence it becomes newsgroup spamming.

Traditional Marketing Strategies

Never give up Traditional Marketing Strategies - Let me repeat that to make an impression - Never give up Traditional Marketing Strategies. They are a great source for directly traffic to your website.

  • Put your website address on everything you own, flyers, brochures, business cards, etc.
  • Mention your website in your phone messages


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