How To Advertise Your Business Online Effectively in 5 Easy Steps

Building Community and Great Ways to Meet Your Neighbors

So you have a business and you are really anxious to get visitors to your site. You have three main tactics to get customers to your business.

You can either –

  • Tell your network about it (ie, word of mouth, social media)
  • Try to be there when other people are asking about you (ie, search engine optimization)
  • Just advertise your business to people who might be interested.

Advertising is by far and away the fastest and most scalable right away, but it’s hard to do right – even if you have the budget.

Here’s how to advertise your business online effectively in 5 easy steps.

1. Understand Internet Advertising Jargon

Advertising itself has a ton of jargon – from inventory (not what you think) to mindshareto retargeting. Online advertising has even more, but here’s what you really need to know.

Fat-head vs. Long-tail

The basic concept is that the broader your make your advertising (the fat head) – the more traffic you’ll get. But the less conversions (sales, emails, etc) you’ll receive versus specific advertising to the targeted few (the long-tail). The more “targeted few” are fewer in number for each category and are much more qualified to convert. It can be tedious to target very few. And it feel like it’s smaller potential, but in aggregate the “long-tail” or “targeted few” is larger than the big, broad approach.

The best example is in keywords. See the example from Google’s Keyword Planner –

If you have a review about honda hybrid car rental, or are selling honda hybrid car  services– you’ll get the most customers from an ad campaign targeting “rentals/services” though it won’t be as effective as a campaign centered around “honda hybrid car rental” or “we service honda hybrids” for example.

When it comes to how to advertise your business – it pays to spend the extra bit of time finding all those little niches to advertise in, rather than wasting your cash on the “fat-head” terms (unless you do just want to spend the money…if so, have at it).

CPM vs. CPC vs. CPA

These are the three ways of paying for your advertisement. With CPM (ie, cost per thousand impressions) – you pay a set rate every time your ad is shown. With CPC (ie, cost per click) – you pay a set rate every time your ad is clicked. And with CPA (ie, cost per action) – you pay every time someone who clicks your ad does something on your website.

By far and away the most common is going to be CPC. You only want to use CPM or CPA if you know what you’re doing, but it’s good to know that they are out there.

Do More Research According To Each Platform

Those are the two big concepts in online advertising – but there’s a ton more jargon in each ad platform. Be sure to to do your research and ask questions whenever you see something you don’t understand – otherwise you’ll be spending money you don’t have.

For example, Facebook has several flavors of CPM/CPC. They also allow you to advertise according to “objective.” These are different than Google or Twitter. Don’t assume that each ad network has the same terminology among them.