Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Your Birth Business Part 4B

Advertising and marketing. Marketing and advertising. Aren't they the same?

In the book, Creating and Marketing Your Birth Related Business, the differences between these two important terms are identified. However, once your have declared your target market, it is then time to advertise your business.

Take websites for example...

Some business owners believe that if they have a website, everyone will flock to it. While that may be true, first the web visitor must know that the website is there! How do you let people you and your website exist? Simply put, it takes alot of hard work.

Meta tags are HTML elements. Meta tags may contain information about what the page is about (keywords and description), who wrote the page, when they wrote it and much more. Many search engines use this information when indexing pages. They are hidden from the view of the visitor but are located on the creative side of the web page.

Spiders are actually a program which gathers webpages to allow them to be indexed by search engines. They crawl through the internet by following links on a webpage.

Traffic Counters can tell you who is visiting, where they are from, and what pages they are looking at. Some counters rank the pages of your website by "most popular", showing you what topics your visitors are the most interested in!

Reciprocal links are similar to an agreement between two websites to provide links to each others sites. It can provide visitors with links to other sites of a similar topic. Search engines take the amount of incoming links into consideration when ranking your site.

Advertisers are companies that purchase advertising space on a website in the hopes of driving more business to their website. An affiliate (such as Google Adsense) is a marketing program which enables webmaster to place banner ads on the website and received a referal fee or commisson when customers click on the link to visit the merchants website. Why don't some websites (such as www.thebirthfacts.com) have advertisers or affiliates? First, websites such as this want the visitor to stay on the website and in these two cases, for educational purposes. The creator of both Birthsource and Birthfacts (me!) does not want the visitor to be distracted by other websites.

Most important, content!

Content may be, for the birth related business website, the most important item bringing visitors to the site. If the content is stagnant (is not frequently updated), is not relevant, or is just boring (lack of graphics, photos etc), then visitors may not visit or if they do, they may not return. Begun in 1999, www.birthsource.com now has over 1400 different articles and pieces of information for the visitor. Whether the visitor is an expectant parent or birth professional, there is something for everyone who visits there. The sister website, www.thebirthfacts.com, is an evidence-based website with links directly to research, searchable by topic. No opinions or commentary here, www.thebirthfacts.com is dedicated to the individual who wants just the facts for decision-making.

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