There's two major ways to advertise online, one is using paid advertising programs and the other one is using free advertising platforms. The idea is to send targeted internet traffic to an offer in order to get responses and feedback from interested prospects.
Paid advertising can come in different forms but the most popular ones are called: SEM (search engine marketing) using PPC (pay-per-click), display advertising, shopping networks, video advertising using Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Yahoo Ads, just to name a few. The idea behind PPC is a simple one, advertisers are only charged by networks when their paid ads running are clicked on and prospects are directed to the web pages or landing page offers. Depending on the type of industry or niche market and advertising networks, PPC prices can vary greatly from.50 cents to $ 60.00 or more each time a prospect clicks on a running ad.
In general insurance, loans, mortgages, attorney services are among the highest cost-per-clicks. Obviously, the most expensive advertising network is Google.com with their AdWords program. It's a powerful money making machine if used properly. It could also leave you broke if don't properly understand the platform. As long as you have the budget and the know how, you can really make a different in your overall conversion and ROI (return on investment).
There are other popular paid advertising methods out there using social medias and their paid advertising programs again using PPC (pay-per-click) technologies. Networks such as: Facebook have a huge and also powerful paid advertising program called Facebook Ads with the option to also use Instagram Ads since they also own that social network. You can also buy paid traffic with Twitter Ads, LinkedIn Ads, YouTube Ads (AdWords program). Besides that, there are other social media paid advertising platform such as Snap Chat and Pinterest that are also gaining ground.
The advantage of using paid advertising is the quick entry. The paid traffic is offered almost immediately once you finalized your advertising campaigns and it's officially approved by the network. The drawback is that you need a good marketing budget to collect important data insights, test and fine tune to get satisfying results.
First, let's get something straight about free traffic and web page positioning in the search engine result page also known as the acronym (SERP). Google and other search engines rank web pages and not websites. You can have a web page from your website that appears on the first page of Google for a particular keyword query while other pages of the same website are nowhere to be found in the search result pages for the same keyword query.
Google and other search engines will give priority on their respective first page results based on their algorithm (mathematical equation) which contains many ranking factors. The six most important ranking factors are as follows:
1- On page optimization, the action of making a web page compatible to search engines and also human friendly (meta tags, keyword selection, interlinking, etc.)
2- Great relevant content
3- Back links (relevant links from other high authority sites pointing back to your web pages)
4- UX web page design (easy to navigate for a good user experience)
5- Page load speed (the time it takes to load a web page)
6- Responsive design (each page must be compatible to mobile devices)
So the job of a webmaster is to prepare each page of the website using search engines industry standards best practices. In return, search engines will provide the best possible match to the users searching for a particular subject. Google thrives to always deliver the very best of user experience and sets the bar very high for webmasters to provide The “Wow” factor each time a user lands on a web page following a search engine query.
How to build back links?
As mentioned above, a back link is created when an external website links to your own website. There are many ways to build back links and get free traffic on the internet. The most common way is to post articles on social media sites with a link back to your website to get some post engagements. Also submitting content articles to well-known article directories will also get you some good website visitors to your money pages. Among many good article directories, at the top of the list is EzineArticles.com which really helps SEO organic search result ranking with strong back links due to its long time presence online. The directory is also considered an authority site in the eyes of Google and other search engines.
Another popular way is to create and submit interesting videos to YouTube and other well-known video sites. Another method to get good quality free traffic to a website is using directory submissions. Guest blog posts are also very popular where an author has the permission to post an article in a popular blog site therefore gaining a strong back link. Forum posting is also a familiar way to create strong back links as long as the topic is relevant to the web page it links to.
The back linking process for organic search results should be created slowly but steady. Search engines are very smart now days and can spot spammy links a mile away. It's always advisable to use white hat (ethical) methods when building back links to avoid being penalized by search engines.
In conclusion, it's always advisable to use many marketing channels to get your marketing message across. Use both online traffic generation methods, paid and free organic traffic building if your budget allows it to get the momentum going.