As a basic condition for online success is that a marketer has to create website visibility. Visibility, put simple, is nothing else than to ensure that Internet surfers find your website. Only if your website has visibility it will be able to generate traffic. Only if your website has traffic there can be conversions from casual visitors into paying customers, and only then you will be able to make money online.
With literally millions of pages being added to the Internet each day and the competition (i. e. the pages that are indexed by search engines, Google “knows" 215.000.000 pages for the keyword “web hosting at the time of writing) growing fast, generating visibility for a website does not get any easier.
Hence, the key question: How do I get my site to the top of the list?
There are three popular methods online marketers have been using to find the answer:
1. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising: PPC is a very powerful method indeed and increasingly popular. The price for a click in a PPC program is determined by bidding. Hence, the more popular a search term, the higher the price per click. According to CNET News the average fee is about 45 cents. So, only a website can deliver high enough a conversion on sales and the margin per sales is high enough this is a viable method to promote your online business. An additional turn-off is the issue of click fraud that keeps marketers wondering about the amount of legitimate clicks to a website.
2. Search engine optimization (SEO): SEO is the application of strategies intended to position a Web site at the top of Web search engines and is arguably the most powerful way to create visibility for a website. Simply because it is free and the top results are likely to receive the highest click through rate (CTR) on search engine results pages. However, given competition for high search engine rankings on the Internet, this is a rather daunting task. It generally requires a lot of expertise and increasingly also patience.
3. Paid inclusion: A search engine marketing model in which Web site owners pay a search engine company to guarantee their sites will show up in search results. This method can be very rewarding. It is not as popular as PPC advertising and there are various smaller players with moderate fees that can, however, deliver substantial traffic to your website.
Svend Nelson is a university lecturer and Internet entrepreneur. Svend lived and worked in various countries across Latin America, Europe and Asia and spends most of his time in Thailand these days.