Being a Christian and living in this world is hard enough. When you try to start an internet business, many times you find that you have to choose between your beliefs and making a profit. I will step you through the process of running a Christian business online and not having to compromise your beliefs or ethics.
When most people start an internet based business they try to find every way imaginable to market it. They submit it to search engines, look into low cost advertising and try to get a link on every site they can to establish backlinks. Search engines love the fact that you have a bunch of relevant links pointing towards your website. Most people figure “the more the better” in this area. This is not the case when you are concerned about the type of site you are placing an ad or link on; we have to be very careful not to give the wrong impression.
Before you get started, please understand that this is a very time consuming process and can take hundreds of man hours to complete. If you are serious about your beliefs, it is well worth the time. If you do not have the expertise or the time to do this, you should contact a reputable seo/SEM company to do this for you. If you do contract this work out, make sure that you do business with people of the same belief structure as your own. I know this may be difficult, but if you want to be taken seriously about your beliefs and your ethics, you have to go the extra mile.
First and foremost; set up every link to your site manually (other than organic search engines) and have a working relationship with the site that your link is on. Search out other Christian based businesses and contact them directly. If you have a local business and you are trying to target that area specifically, contact other people that have a web presence in the same area first. Ask them if they would consider exchanging links or ads with you. Check out their site in its entirety to make sure of the content and that you agree with it. Do not compromise here, it will reflect directly on you and your beliefs!
List your site and services on local classified ad websites. People understand that these listings are not a reflection of your ethics or business practices and you do not have control over the content of the site. Whenever possible, use a Christian/ethics based classified ad directory.
Submit your site to the major search engines, most of them will find and index your website without your input, but you can speed up this process. Go to their manual submissions page and enter you information, it is a very easy process. Repeat this step for every engine you want to submit to, I suggest all of them.
Lastly; understand that you do not have control over the other sites on the internet. You can and probably will get listed on a site you do not agree with. When this happens, you have a few options. Contact the site directly and ask them to remove the link to your website, ask your hosting provider to block all traffic coming from the other site (this can be done some of the time) or put a disclaimer on one of your pages that tells your customers about the issue. Most of all; be diligent and check/search the web for links to your site often, know where you are listed.
I pray this article was of some help. “The content of your site is not the only online content that reflects on you, where your links are placed reflects on you as well”.
Daniel M LaFontaine – Search Your Town Maine