As you begin, marketing and promoting your online business you are going to run into some unbelievable advertising opportunities. If the ad offering sounds too good to be true--It is.
There are companies that will tell you they will get you listed in the top 10 search engines or place your link on millions of sites or they will get you listed in the top 10 returns of search engines. This last one sounds similar to the first, but there is a big difference.
Google searches over 3 billion pages during their searches. The companies that tell you they will get you listed in the top 10 of the major search engines would have to defy all the principles of math to do this. They could not work with more than a few companies in order to achieve this and honestly, there is no way they can get you listed in the top 10 of the search engines placements at all unless they make up their own search terms and people search on that specific term.
Stay away from the companies that tell you they are going to place you in search engines for a fee, for the most part they will do nothing more than use a site software submitter. You can get your own software for this or use an online service and submit your site yourself for a lot less than what most SEO companies charge for this service.
Guaranteed traffic-- They work fine for free sites or if your goal is to build a database of names, but if you are selling a product or service, you will get hits, but not many sales.
Mass email -- Any company that tells you they will send your ad to millions of people for $20 or $30 is simply taking your money. This might sound inviting, but do not waste your money. They are either using site submit tools or sending your ad to millions of harvested email addresses. The companies who tell you they are going to submit your site to millions of pages will most likely do what they say, but you will not see any return and may even get you Spam complaints.
Mass emails are a complete waste of your money regardless of what product you are selling. Many sites will tell you they will send your ad to double opt-in lists of people. We have tried over a dozen of these services and have barely received a hit, much less sales. The problem is you lose control over your ad when you use mass email companies. There is no way to verify the ad was sent and if you could verify it was sent, there is no way to tell it was sent to the numbers they promise. Plus, you run the risk of being accused of Spam.
Solo ads-- These are by far one of the best methods of promoting your product and service. They are targeted, you can verify the numbers and you can subscribe using a unique email and verify the ad was sent on the day and time it was supposed to be sent.
Consultants-- Use your best judgment when hiring consultants, call some or send an email and ask about a money back guarantee if they cannot meet the objectives they set forth. I am not a big believer in money-back guarantees because if a service is valuable and you can see the value before you buy, then a money back guarantee is not necessary. However, if someone comes to you and says, I can make your site profitable within 30 or 60 or 90 days and it is going to cost you X amount of money, then they should give you your money back if they do not achieve the desired results.
A good consultant will work with companies that he or she knows they can help by relying on their background and expertise in certain areas of marketing and advertising. Nobody knows everything, but if someone has an expertise in an area that I lack knowledge with, I would hire him or her in a second if they can honestly help me and they can prove they can help me and they will back up what they tell me.
There are consultants who will tell you what you want to hear, just to get your business. They take your money and run and they will not help you a bit. We hired a copy writer one time that seemed like a good fit for our company and only after she finished the writing at $120 an hour did she tell me that she would not buy my product. Not because she could not benefit from it, but she refused to pay for anything online. Her copy was terrible and we ended up re--writing the entire sales page. Her feelings and beliefs came across in her writings. It was simply impossible for her to write positively when her mind was telling her negative things.
Research your advertising options carefully and do not get pulled into a good deal just because it sounds like a good deal. You do not need to spend a lot of money to advertise and promote your business, you just need to use your common sense and think long term.
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