For anyone who is in the internet marketing business, the biggest challenge is driving large numbers of unique visitors to your website. However, it is also vital to understand that sheer numbers, alone, are not going to generate business for you. The key element is QUALIFIED visitors. "Qualified," means people who are INTERESTED in what you are offering, and are ready to do business with you. A very simple example of this is; you may be offering the most delicious filet mignon, and you may be selling it at the most competitive price, around, but if you are marketing this to vegetarians, it's a pretty good bet that you're not going to see all that many sales .
There are many ways to generate leads and traffic. If you have the marketing budget, you can invest in:
PPC advertising (Pay Per Click)
Paying for banner advertising on other websites
Google and / or Yahoo AdWords
Paid Classified ads, either online or offline
Radio and / or TV commercials
All of these methods can produce a lot of traffic, but they also require significant monetary investment.
The alternative to these methods is free or nearly free advertising. Since most new entrepreneurs are usually operating on a limited marketing budget, when they start, here are some suggestions for where and how to promote your business:
Online Business Forums
Free online classifieds
YouTube Video advertising
It is very important for you to understand and realize that the free and low cost advertising can be just as effective (and sometimes more so) than the paid advertising. The trade off, however, is the time factor. Free advertising requires time to "percolate" and build. You shouldn't expect immediate results, however, over time you can build a large presence on the web, with hundreds of links that point back to your business. One of the biggest positive points for many of the free methods is that you can control the targeting audience for your advertising market.
Both the paid and free or low cost advertising methods have their merits. If possible, (depending on your budget realities) you will want to incorporate both, in your marketing promotions.
See you at the top!