Homestead Review: Promotional Tools (3 stars)
Pay-Per-Click Marketing Campaign is Unique, but Not Much Else
Homestead is the only website builder we reviewed that has a program that runs your pay-per-click marketing campaign for you. You have to pay for it of course, but it's a good idea. Unfortunately, Homestead doesn't have much else for promotional tools beyond this.
Pay Homestead to Run Your Pay-Per-Click Ad Campaign
If you don't have the time to run a pay-per-click ad campaign (i.e. paid search results on Google, Yahoo! and other search engines), you can pay Homestead to do it for you with their SearchLight program. It's not cheap, but it does save you time. They guarantee to bring in a certain number of clicks per month (amount depends on package). They also optimize your campaign to improve return on investment, sending regular progress reports, and they monitor click fraud. And with certain packages, they have a consultant go over your website and provide tips to increase sales.
There are 3 packages:
1) Starter: $29.99/ month with a $30 set-up fee. Guarantees 240 clicks/ month.
2) Standard: $49.99/month with a $50 set-up fee. Guarantees 400 clicks/ month.
3) Turbo: $99.99/ month with a $50 set-up fee. Guarantees 800 clicks/ month.
We didn't test SearchLight, but we like the idea. If you have the money to spare but not time, it's a handy program. However, if you have a little extra time in your daily routine, it really doesn't take that much extra effort to run a pay-per-click campaign once you learn the basics.
SearchLight - An Elite Promotional Program for Those with a Bigger Budget
A Few Useful Articles
In addition to SearchLight, Homestead also provides a few useful articles that give you the basics on how to help search engines find your website (a.k.a. S.E.O. or Search Engine Optimization). They also provide a couple of very basic articles on promotion strategies, but they mostly just explain the benefits rather than actually teaching you how to implement them.
Incomplete Meta Tag Editor
To help get your website found in search engines, you're provided with the opportunity to enter descriptions and keywords to help search engine spiders understand the content of your site. These are known as "Meta tags." It's easy to do through the "Meta Tag" tab on each individual page.
The only problem is that there is no option to enter a title tag (the text that appears in the blue bar at the top of a visitor's Internet browser when they are at your web page). This is one other place in which you can plant your marketing message, so it's surprising that Homestead has left this out.
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