I was telling my father about my on-line marketing and how it was effective at driving business and contacts to me for very little money. I was telling him that my blog and FaceBook are serious tools that allow me to be found when I am doing other things (like home inspections!) He mentioned that he really had no idea what I was taking about. So I started to think about my understanding of this on-line world that I have so-far been able to leverage.
I watched the movie, “I love you man,” the other day and I got to thinking about billboards. In the movie, the real estate agent’s friend puts up all kinds of silly billboards for his friend. The advertising was very visible and really got the agent noticed.
I told my dad that blogging and networking on-line was kind of like that. I put up a billboard in cyberspace every time I write a blog or post a comment. The freeway on and off ramps are controlled by search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN). If you are looking for, say a Home inspection in Salem Oregon, for instance, you would drive your car into cyberspace and ask one of those engines to show you where to go and the applicable billboards.
Now to back track a little; the way a search engines work is by continually cruising around on those freeways. They all have little robots or spiders that are driving around looking at billboards that are being erected in cyberspace. They take note of these billboards and catalog them according to what is on the billboards and where the billboards point. The more entries the spider robots get in their catalogs that point at one place, the higher they rank that location for those terms.
Of course that is a very down and dirty explanation of things and there can be a significant amount of refinement and development. That is a basic idea of how Search Engine Optimization works. The point of this; is that blogging and on-line social networking is very inexpensive compared to real world (as opposed to cyber-world) advertising. For much less than $1000 dollars a year I have easily doubled my business and done my fair share of puttin’ my name out there where it is going to be seen.