Do you need to create a “portal site” — a main company website — for your Internet marketing business?

The short answer is yes.

Let me explain…

In the Agora Model of Internet marketing — used by Early to Rise — each product has its own dedicated landing page or “micro site.” You drive traffic to the landing page using a variety of methods, including e-mail marketing and pay-per-click advertising.

The primary role of the landing page is to get visitors to buy the product being advertised. The secondary role is to capture the e-mail addresses of those who do not buy. You can then add them to your subscriber list — and attempt to sell them again via e-mail.

Since each product has a dedicated landing page, there’s technically no reason why you need a main company website. Yet I recommend that you create and maintain one.

On your portal site, visitors can find brief descriptions of all your information products — each with a hyperlink to a landing page. So why do you need that when you can drive traffic to the individual landing pages directly?

Here’s why: Landing pages are essentially sales letters. And Google gives higher rankings to websites that contain useful content. Since landing pages are sales copy, not content, they never rank very high on Google or the other search engines.

To get higher search engine rankings and drive more organic traffic, you need a content-rich website optimized for the search engines. In other words, you need a portal site.

My main portal site is my freelance copywriting website www.bly.com.

There are a few things you will notice when you look at this site. The first is the large amount of useful content on the site.

Go to www.bly.com and click on Articles. You’ll see dozens of articles posted there. Many of them turn up in Google searches on various topics. And when searchers click on them, they are taken to the article as it is posted on my site.

Of course, you could post libraries of articles on your landing page in hopes of attracting more organic traffic. But that would be a bad idea.

The only choice you should give a visitor on the landing page is to buy the product or leave the site. As soon as you start adding articles, you risk having the prospect start reading the free stuff instead of purchasing the product — and your conversion rates will suffer.

Google likes original content, and so the content on my portal site is original — my own copyrighted articles, not stuff I downloaded from free article sites.

My site also has a blog on it. You can see the link to the blog at the bottom of the left margin. A blog gives you a mechanism for adding fresh content to your portal site on a regular basis without writing full-length articles. A lot of my blog posts are short items of just a few paragraphs.

In the right column, I have a “What’s New” box that helps visitors identify the new content I have added to the site recently.

Like Google, visitors like new content. So when you add content to your site (whether your write it yourself or hire a ghostwriter), make it easy for them to find.

Creating a portal site and putting a lot of content on it is just the first step in having a successful Internet marketing business. There are a number of other things you must do to improve your search engine rankings.

These include: strategically placing keywords into the text on your Web pages… writing optimized title tags, description tags, and keyword tags for every page on the site… and getting respected sites in your niche to link to your site.

P.S. You’ve just read why your Internet business should have a portal site. But that’s just one aspect of making money online. As a member of the Internet Money Club, you’ll learn search engine optimization, e-mail list building, Web design, and much more. Sign up here to be notified as soon the “Class of 2010” opens.

[Ed. Note: Bob Bly is a freelance copywriter and the author of more than 70 books. To subscribe to his free e-zine, The Direct Response Letter, and claim your free gift worth $116, click here now: www.bly.com/reports.]

Bob Bly

Bob Bly is an independent copywriter and consultant specializing in business-to-business and direct marketing. He has been hired as a consultant by such companies as Sony, Chemical Bank, J. Walter Thompson, Westinghouse, and Prentice-Hall. Bob is also the author of more than 50 books including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Direct Marketing (Alpha Books), Targeted Public Relations, Selling Your Services, How to Promote Your Own Business, and Keeping Clients Satisfied. A phenomenal public speaker, Bob will share with you how easy it is to start your own business. Whether you’re ready to quit your job or are just looking to make a little money on the side, you’ll want to hear Bob’s advice.

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