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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Marketing Your Work-at-Home Website in 4 Simple Steps

Contributed by Sylvie Charrier
By: Sylvie Charrier

Attention fellow telecommuters: If you thought just having a professional website was enough to land you more business than you could handle, think again. Just having a website is pointless if you don\'t let people know you exist. That?s right: you need to market your site. But, don?t worry; you won?t have to spend your hard earned of dollars on advertising. Believe it or not, there are simple, little-known, and?best of all?free techniques you can start using today to effectively market your website to your target audience.

See instant results in your home-based business and discover how easy advertising can be with these top 4 ideas for marketing your work-at-home website.

1. Market your site using search engines

Everyone wants to be at the top of the search engine rankings, right? And, everyone wants to know the tricks that will get them there. The down side is that no one seems to agree with what works for every search engine. It can be downright confusing! To give yourself and your site a fighting chance, you?ll need to design for success.

Make It Relevant! Start by designing your site correctly. Use your most important keywords?the ones that best describe your products and services?repeatedly throughout your site. This helps search engines determine the relevancy of your site when someone is searching.

Meta Tag It! Use proper meta tags within your code. Meta tags are snippets of HTML code that ?talk? to search engines and tell them what kind of content you have on your site. The better you can talk to the search engines with your meta tags, the better chance of a higher listing you?ll have.Submit It! Submit your site URL to the top search engines on the Web. Don?t get fooled into paying for a service to submit for you. Manually submit your site to the most used search engines (e.g., Yahoo, Google, Excite, and Lycos).

Be patient. Search engines can take up to 4 months to list your site. If you want immediate results, keep reading?Pay Per Click It! While not free, Pay Per Click advertising is the most effective way to get your site to the top of the search engine list in a matter of minutes.

With Pay Per Click companies, such as Overture and Google Ads, your site?s ad shows up whenever someone searches on the keywords you?ve chosen. If they click on your ad, you pay the company a few cents per click and you\'re all set. Instant top listings in the search engines! You can?t beat it!

2. Market your site using discussion boards

Discussion boards are online groups where people who enjoy the same things get together and talk about them. Topics are unlimited! To market your site on discussion boards, start by visiting boards that relate to your business. Take a front seat as you learn about your colleagues and customers. And, when you?re ready to jump into the conversation, share your thoughts with the board.

How does this help promote your site?

By simply adding a \"Signature Line? (or \"Sig\") at the end of your postings, you will be able to advertise your site and what you do. A Sig is simply your name plus a little tagline about who you are and how you can be contacted (e.g., via your website).

Discussions boards and Sigs are the perfect place to get the word out about what you do without spending a dime.

3. Market your site using reciprocal link exchanges

Reciprocal link exchanges are a wonderful way to generate a lot of traffic for your site, but most importantly, increase your rankings in major search engines.

Reciprocal linking is the internet\'s version of \"you scratch my back, and I\'ll scratch yours.\" The idea behind it is that you have a website about a specific topic and on your website you provide a list of complementary or similar sites that you enjoy.

In return for driving traffic to their sites, you ask those sites to display your link. The more websites show your links, the more likely that search engines will place your listing towards the top because your site is popular. Win-win!

4. Market your site using articles

This technique can place your name and website in places all around the web for years to come. And, it couldn?t be simpler to get started. All you have to do is write short informational articles, between 500-750 words, on relevant topics to your business.

Articles should be helpful to your readers and not blatant advertisements for your business. Submit the articles to the many free article posting sites (like www.goarticles.com) and give the right for anybody to post your article anywhere they please as long as they keep your byline (or Sig) in tact.

Then watch your articles spread across the internet like wildfire. Interested parties (read ?prospective buyers?) will see your articles and expertise and will flock to your website to learn more about you and the services you offer.

No matter how you go about it, marketing your website does not need to cost an arm and a leg. In fact, with just these simple 4 techniques you can begin marketing your products and services like a pro and watch your sales increase with every passing day!

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This article is excerpted from ?You Can Work in Your PJs?, a real world guide to telecommuting. Sylvie Charrier works from home full time and wrote this book to share her unique techniques with others.
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