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evansvisualarts
28-06-2005, 03:50 PM
Hi, we have a specialized Illustration company that provides designs for products (such as book illustrations, branding, Signage etc)

Do you have any good advice on where to find the best places to advertise these services both online and offline?

Search Engines

Do you have any idea how to get your business web page better listed on seach engines so that they show up higher up the page

Best regards

Scott

Pip Martin
29-06-2005, 10:19 AM
Dear Scott,

Thanks for writing in. As I'm sure you appreciate, this is a very big question!

There are two main ways to promote your website online in the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN etc)

1. Cost per Click advertising.

This form of online promotion means you only pay for the traffic you receive. These types of listings typically appear as sponsored links on search engines.

Typically you bid for keyword terms or terms against your competitors (in your case one set of keywords could be "book illustrations"). Often the more you're willing to bid the high up the sponsored links you will appear.

There are three main providers for cost per click advertising:

Google (Google only)
Overture (covers multiple search engines)
Espotting (covers multiple search engines)

2. Search engine optimisation
You may also want to pay to have your website optimised by a search engine opimisation company. This is where you appear in the main index of a search engine. Search engine optimisation may take a bit more time ro yield the results, but some people argue that people are more likely to click on websites they perceive are not ads.

In my industry, in market research online advertising has proved significantly more effective than offline in terms of return on investment for many companies (but note this is my industry only, and yours may dance to a different tune).

In terms of getting your name out there, there are many routes to market to consider, the ones that immediately spring to my mind are:

Yello pages
Yell pages online (enhanced listing)
Networking organisations (chamber of commerce, BNI, Ecademy)
Professional directories
Cold calling
Magazine/newspaper/radio advertising
Press releases

Start ups often don't have the funds to spend much money on advertising, so they have to be enterprising. Whichever options you choose, it's key that you analyse their effectiveness for your business (their return on investment). To do this, ask a simple but very important question to ask any potential customer - "where did you hear about us"?

Finally the Business Link website is packed full of useful information on subjects like this.

Best of luck with your business.

Pip Martin