Probably most people think that Online Business has nothing in common with Offline Business, but that’s not true. There are a lot of differences but there are also similar aspects. Human are the customers for both online and offline business.
If you run an offline business you have to go after your customers, this is why most clothing shops are in malls. In a mall, people come because they get bored and they are eager to spend their time on anything. That’s why you will never see a TV repair shop in a mall, instead, they are around TV shops, so TV buyers can see and come back if they have problems.
Even a certain place is visited by a lot of people, you gain nothing if you just set up there, and no have interest in what you do. That’s why a successfull taxi won’t stay at the hypermarket where most shoppers are coming with their own cars to carry what they buy. Instead, they go to Airports and Train Stations where they can easily find a lot of people who are really interested in having a ride.
The difference for an online site is that your business can be anywhere and the space doesn’t matter. What matters is that the visitors or buyers have to reach you in a way or another (online this time). Most of them will reach you by searching on Google and through social media, but search engine rankings is what a SEOs do, so it is fair to assume that this kind of very targeted traffic is not available so far. This results in a similar problem for offline and online businesses: to be where people are interested in what they offer.
If you want to be a succesfull SEO it is a bad idea to work hard and pay a lot to get your link into high traffic general websites. There are a lot of people that see your ad but most of them are not interested, and the biggest part of those who would be interested are not prepared to use your website.
What you can learn from an offline business is to go to low traffic but targeted places, where the ads have a lower price and there is a less change that you will be accused of spamming. The secret is to get involved in related communities and you will be connected to the topic your website is in. You will know better what people are looking for so you can improve the website and what you should offer to get them to visit and more important, to like it.
The same thing applies for PPC marketing, instead of paying a lot to get top paid position on keywords with a lot of traffic, that may not be completely related to the website you are promoting, you should go for more low traffic keywords which will have lower costs.
Advantages of going for low traffic and more related websites:
- It is easier to get links because it is not spammed by all the bots and seo newbies
- The prices for ads and links are lower
- You get more targeted customers and it is a higher chance that they will like your website and taking an action: subscribe, comment, etc.
- There is a better chance that you can perfectly blend the links into the content
The best way to get those very relevant and targeted links is to join communities related to your topic, or communities who have a section dedicated to your topic. Only by joining the community you know what type of people are there, what they expect and how likely is that they will follow your links. In the same time you know what they expect so you can write about it and then share with them.
Here is a list with some examples of communities where I am involved and receive good traffic to my websites ( they are mostly related to web and computers ):
- Digital Point Forums. It is a great place to learn new things about web development, to share ideas, to find deals ( sell or buy websites and links ), and to share your links. They are certainly looking for something you wrote about. I don’t say to spam, just give the response with the resource attached.
- Overclock forums. This is more related to Computer Hardware, but they also have sections for programming and web development.
- Android Forums. Well, It is only about Android, I’m involved because i have some sites related to the Android Operating Systems.
- Yahoo Answers. Despite this is very very general, it is a good way to get some traffic. Their users are asking all kind of questions about everything, so it is a great chance that you will find questions asked related to your website topic. Don’t hesitate to answer, but don’t spam. Link building is possible without spam too.
I will not list all online communities I’m involved in, but these are just few examples for you to see what I’m talking about. In this way I know what is going around and I get articles ideas for my blogs. I can see what people are more interested in, so I can provide this content on my blog to serve their interests, and if I am lucky enough I will get ideas for building new tools that maybe help my blog visitors and those who are interested in the topic of my website, this resulting in more popularity and links for me, because I can host the tool on my website and spread the download link.
I hope you enjoyed my article and to remember that involving and helping communities have a lot of advantages, and please don’t spam.