Internet advertising has changed drastically in the past several years. In the late 90's before Google came to rule, industries such as hotels or real estate had many "directories" that were owned by early internet-savvy programmers and web developers. Yahoo and MSN were easily manipulated by keyword spamming and metatags, and those who knew the tricks were able to create sites that were little more than pages of banner ads. If you could make a website that ranked well in Yahoo for a term like "Myrtle Beach Hotels", every hotel and rental company in town would pay thousands a year to put the biggest banner ad on the homepage. It was a competition between the advertisers, and the directory owner just sat back and smiled while they raked in the money.
Google came along, and the other two search engines took a back seat. Google didn't work by keyword spamming. They wanted to have the best search engine that produced the best results and the best websites. To do this, they created an algorithm that was mostly based on how many "links" a website had coming from other websites. This has been described as "votes", meaning when a website links to YOUR website, it is, in essence, giving a recommendation or vote for your site.
Not only do the incoming links count, but the site that links to you has to have links too! The more popular the website, such as Amazon, Ebay, or Wikipedia, the more powerful that link to your site becomes. SEO professionals began making huge link directories, exchanging reciprocal links with anyone, to pump up a website in Google's search results. Re-acting to that, Google decides the links must be from a website that is topically related. Yahoo got fed up with all of it and started banning sites that were building these large link pages. Eventually, all the search engines have just about stopped counting reciprocal links at all. The power changed to one-way links, which spawned sites that started selling text links. Google decided this was against their rules, and have now clamped down on any site that appears to be selling links.
Most of the smaller topical directories are now almost worthless. They can't rank by demanding a reciprocal link back, and if they were accepting money for links, Google has stripped them of being able to pass on the juice to other sites. Many are lost on the 3rd or 4th pages of search results, so really are no good for banner ads either. The old kind of internet advertising has virtually vanished. (pun intended :-)
That leaves two main choices. Either you can spend huge amounts of money for "pay per click" ads on the search engines, or build the biggest and best website you can, and have it optimized by a professional SEO so that it will rank for what you are selling.
Needless to say, search engine optimization is the better answer.
Now, Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter have changed the landscape yet again. The search engines initially rejected these public collections of links, profiles, jokes, and photos, but have finally realized they are becoming as important as a search engine themselves. Many people even email back and forth using Facebook instead of standard email. Blogs are everywhere, and Twitter is the original and wildly popular "mini-blog".
McDonalds' Facebook Page
So how does a business advertise now? All these ways! It's not easy anymore. If you want to promote your website, or just your brand, you should take advantage of all of the main social sites. Build a good profile on Facebook, and then create a "page" for your business and try to get "fans" for it. Be sure that you have a blog (or more than one) and tell your potential customers why YOU are the expert and have the best service or product instead of your competitor. When you run a sale or have a featured "deal", be sure and use Twitter to announce it. Add it to your "status" on Facebook and MySpace. Do a press release, talk about it on your blog. If you have a list of customers who have given your their names and emails, send out an email blast with attention-getting photos. Use your video camera and make a video, or have a professional do one for you. Upload that to YouTube and announce it on your Facebook profile, Twitter, and blog.
Or you can hire an experienced marketing company to do all these things for you. Myrtle Beach Web Design is this experienced marketing company. We can create your profiles or train you how to do it effectively. We even have several high-ranking real estate websites that we can use to help sell a property or product that is related to housing.
Call or email us today and let us help you sell your brand. We'll do the work, and you can concentrate on your company!