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Internet Marketing: Affiliates to Website Promotion

Internet Marketing Overview

Internet marketing is basically a catchall for the older techniques that use older internet protocols or programming. For the most part they are in a grey area of techniques that are often maligned, as in the case of email and affiliate marketing, sometimes for good reason. IWB occasionally advises using display advertising on websites, however, generally it is to augment other activities like paid link ads or another service such as a product feed or coupon site. We use these techniques to better access a website audience. In some cases it works, sometimes it fails, and sometimes we learn it is only effective in a particular season or for certain events.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is likely the oldest form of marketing on the internet. Email marketing can be done responsibly through the use of double optin lists which means the person receiving the email agreed to receive it and that agreement has been verified by the owner of the email box accepting a subscription notice. Email addresses harvested from the web are not double optin they are stolen and will only end in little profit or in a worse case scenario a blacklisted email server. Double optin lists are often developed by websites offering newsletters, discussion lists and or free internet or email providers like Gmail who have always included advertising in their services. Unlike Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE) or spam developing your own or buying ad space in optin lists is one of the most cost effective internet marketing techniques.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing was one of the first methods of monetizing website traffic outside of selling products and services. In fact, IWB CEO Terry Van Horne earned his first dollar on the internet as an affiliate selling a rank checking product. More recently IWB has chosen to go another route, however, we still stay on top of this industry since Amazon's program has worked so well for some clients. The deal killer for us is it is always a bad deal for everyone but the consumer. Sites don't own their customers, in some cases neither does they are owned by the promotion company promoting the program. We will never use affiliations to monetize our sites and for our clients we'd rather develop a direct relationship with a site and work out a deal everyone can live with.

Link Development, Website Promotion & Site Monetization

Developing links is likely the second oldest internet marketing technique. This can be done in many ways but some of IWB's favored techniques are directory submission, Online organization and association Membership and including links and email addresses in company communication, business cards and offline display ads (signage and vehicles). The least favored techniques in order of most effective paid links, display advertising and reciprocal links (a complete waste of time and energy particularly where no relationship is attempted with the site). Paid links are mainly for kick starting a new sites traffic so we can get more activity to analyze for usability and calls to action. The more control you have over the link the better the results will be for enhancing other activities.

You're wondering what site monetization is aren't you? Site monetization is often called buying links, or paid linking, however, Google takes a dim view of the technique so you must walk a thin line when either buying or selling ads in link text. IWB chooses to buy links based on their potential as advertising and believes they are a short term solution to a long term problem, Therefore, too risky with too few benefits to be used for SEO. In other word we'd rather pay to exploit a sites traffic rather than pay to exploit a search engine or directories results.

Our philosophy is simple "the organic search engine results provide top level navigation for the internet and should be treated with respect." That was the IWB philosophy in 96 and will be our philosophy as long as Search provides the backbone for navigating the net. If users can't easily find the best sites then the internet will likely cease to be a catalyst for economic growth. That also means we don't care how much money you will pay we will not provide services that will help a site achieve results that don't improve the SERP. Sorry but to do that is to jeopardize not only our business but also all of our SEO clients.

Press Releases

Ten's of millions of people in the U.S. visit online outlets such as Google News, Yahoo! News and MSN News looking for fresh information about a many topics that interest them. Neilsen/NetRatings indicate the unique audiences of Yahoo! and Google News are gaining on the global news destinations like CNN and the BBC. Optimized press releases increase your  brand visibility and Search Engine footprint. Optimized online press releases reach business prospects and many journalists using the news search engines to discover new stories and companies to write about.

Article Syndication

IWB provides both syndication hosts and copy (if needed) for this marketing technique. Google wants links to your site to indicate authority and trust in your site and this is one of the oldest and truest means of doing that. Recently with the addition of the NoFollow attribute in the link element it has been rumored that a diversity in the techniques leads to a more natural looking link profile. One excellent way to develop inbound links is to write articles and distribute or syndicate them on authority sites. The sites that syndicate the articles usually allow a link or two to your site. I wouldn't point all of these links at the home page it is also good to link to related content on your site. This gives the link more context and is easier to get link text accepted that is more than your sites name.

Website Branding

IWB has never been a big believer in branding as an effective internet marketing technique. The reason is simple brands and branding are synonymous with loyalty to a product or service. Loyalty on the internet is hard to develop and maintain because price plays such an important part in the process. Internet brands are hard to develop because killer products in the internet space all depend on the same protocols. MySpace was though to be all that and more as a brand. In less than 3 years the brand is languishing because it was unable to counter the popular FaceBook service. Yahoo! the best known Internet brand was easily usurped by Google providing what is "perceived" as better results.


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