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How to Increase Traffic to your Site

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The process of advertising and marketing products and services online is commonly referred to as Internet marketing. Popular modes of online marketing include Search Engine Marketing (SEM), affiliate advertising, email marketing, banners, blogs, interactive advertising, and information articles.

SEM is the largest subsection of the marketing strategy pool. It seeks to boost the visibility of a website on a search engine and thus garner more traffic onto the site. The tools of SEM are search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click marketing and paid listing.

SEO allows marketers to improve the quantity and quality of the search engine rankings or 'hits’ by optimizing the site structure and content for easy identification by relevant searches performed by search engines and people. The idea is to be able to reach your website’s target market by using the correct set of optimization tools to be listed on the appropriate searches and on the right search engines. Some common ways to achieve SEO:

• Keyword basics – Selecting relevant, widely used keyword sets and making certain that the number of times these keywords appear in the content ensures a good search engine ranking. This is known as keyword density or saturation SEO, and the belief is that when search engines 'spider’ or scan through content on a site, they look for a certain percentage of keyword density (say 2-5%).
• Website architecture – A clear, understandable structure and a site map may encourage search engines and people to spider or scan the site effectively and easily.
• Link Strategies – A marketer can create links that point towards the page, also known as 'inbound links’ that should be relevant, keyword-oriented and plentiful to direct traffic towards the web page and improve its search engine rank.
• Optimized content – Well-organized and grouped content and reduced graphics for quick loading time is said to be another subset of criteria for SEO.
• Though algorithms used for search engine rankings vary, are kept secret and are said to keep changing, an SEO consultant can apply some to your site based on experience and analysis.

Pay per click (PPC) advertising or sponsored searches are sites or pages that are displayed in search engine results pages, which the advertiser pays to have displayed. Some of the major search engines such as Google will display these separately from the 'organic’ or SEO-based pages. The marketer only pays when the link is clicked on, hence the name 'pay per click’.

A hybrid of SEO and PPC is paid listings. The advertiser pays a fee that ensures the website is listed in the organic search results but does not promise the ranking or placement.

Email advertising is an instant, low cost way to reach your customer and build awareness of your product or services. It can also result in conversion in the form of requests for information or customer acquisition. According to the Direct Marketing Association, businesses in the US spent $400 million on email marketing in 2006. It entails advertising to past, present and potential customers via email and experts claim that it ranks next only to SEM in efficacy.

Banner ads, blogs and informative articles are a part of Internet marketing that help to create awareness and link to related services or products. Websites sell ad space for this purpose.

Affiliate advertising works like the finder’s fee concept – the affiliate is paid for every visitor or customer. Certain sectors are expected to benefit more than other by affiliate marketing – finance, retail, travel and gambling. There exist networks or intermediaries that offer this service.

Interactive marketing is a sophisticated use of technology to set up a dialogue with potential customers in an effort to persuade them to buy the product or service. Viral marketing is one of the most popular instances, and it implies the use of links, video clips etc sent out via email to be forwarded on from one person to another. There are specialized companies that undertake interactive advertising, other than major advertisers.

Overall, there are a number of ways to increase traffic to your website and you simply need to select the best fit for you. Create an effective, relevant marketing strategy involving these methods to aggressively push your product.
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