Seven Secrets of Grassroots Internet Marketing

    September 8, 2000

Marketing your small business online can look like a complex and daunting task when getting started with your ecommerce enabled web presence. But listen folks, there just ain’t that much to it! Lend me an ear while I set the record straight.

Here are a few of those closely guarded secrets held by the internet marketing gurus and sold to unsuspecting newbies in e-books and membership sites and internet conferences, classes and courses that sell for anywhere from $20 for the e-book to $2,000 for the weekend conference!

Secret number 1). Create an attractive and usable web site. Duh! *Don’t* do-it-yourself unless you have plenty of time on your hands and a considerable skill in design. Front Page will give you a web site, but only a designer will give you a professional looking presence with intelligent site tools like effective navigation and attractive layout and working links. They usually know all the stuff you may take months to learn on your own. How much is your time worth?

Secret number 2). Learn to use metatags on all of your pages. Yes, even though you paid a designer to craft your georgeous web site, you still need to understand and use metatags, which tell the search engines the content of your site and help to get it ranked highly for specific search terms at the search engines. If you take a basic class in web design, it will no doubt explain this basic ingredient to web marketing. If you want a crash course go to:

Secret number 3). Submit your site to the search engines. Another DUH! but often overlooked by top web designers and simply not done by many web development companies unless you pay extra for the service. Those promotions you see all over the web that will submit your site to 9,000 search engines are utterly worthless. Just *eight* search engines and three directories provide 90 percent of all traffic to your site! Here’s a page to learn more with links to those 11 submission pages:

Secret number 4). Seek quality links from complementary sites. The search engines use another tool to determine your ranking (if you’re not in the top 30 results you’re invisible) called link relevancy in which they look at how many *quality* web sites link to yours. Want to know that number now? Visit the number one search engine at and type the following into the search box: Then look just above the results to the right where it will tell you how many sites are linked to yours. That is a very important number, but to complicate things they also consider the *quality* and popularity of those sites linking to yours.

Secret number 5). Distribute a business press release online. This technique is worth more than any other if it’s done well. WebSite101 has successfully submitted releases and has been mentioned in Entrepreneur, Inc. and Oracle magazines online! Most press release distribution services offer tutorials on their sites that help you write an effective press release that will get picked up by large and noteworthy web and print publications. Here are a few tutorials to get you started:

Secret number 6). Get your butt outta that chair and network! Have your web address on all business cards, invoices, signs fliers, letterhead, email signatures, promotional material, newspaper ads, etc. and get them in front of as many eyeballs and in as many hands as you possibly can! Appear as an expert on your subject or business category at meetings, events, radio shows, trade shows and make sure you mention your web address in your presentation. Be a guest in online chats and post comments at high traffic discussion boards like those at in your specialty area.

Secret number 7). Give great content, request e-mail addresses. There just can’t be anyone out there that *still* doesn’t know that creating an email list of interested visitors is critical. Offer great information for free in exchange for the email address of visitors to your site. Then produce and distribute a regularly scheduled email newsletter or ezine to your site visitors to keep your business and web address in front of the people that have already shown an interest in your site. What? You say you can’t write or don’t have anything to say to your potential customers? Your site is about something you have devoted your business life to! You must be able to talk about it! Here is a place to get free small business related content:

Oh-Oh! Now you have NO more excuses!

Mike Banks Valentine operates SEOptimism, Offering SEO training of
in-house content managers
as well as the Small Business Ecommerce Tutorial at and blogs about SEO at
where this article appears with live links to SMO stories, buttons, blog posts and examples.