If You Build A Website, Will Customers Visit?
OK, so you have your website now what? It’s all about marketing after your website is built.
The single biggest mistake made by most website owners is that too little marketing is done to create awareness and generate enough interest to see the benefits a website can provide.
Simply creating a website will not generate mobs of traffic and will not cause your website to be immediately listed in all the search engines.
Having a website is meaningless if no one knows about it, yet many businesses spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars building their website and then sit back and wait for the business to come rolling in. It just isn’t going to happen. Don’t expect it and you won’t be disappointed. Building a website is only one step in an overall marketing plan.
Promotion of your website is an ongoing process. You should make your URL (website address) known to the public by using as many methods as possible.
The options listed here aren’t the only ones available, and regardless of which methods you use, remember that there are many ways to increase your website traffic, but traffic really is not the key. The key factor is trying to get qualified sales leads and customers. I would rather get 25 people who are actually looking to purchase than 2,500 people who are not.
Search engines are becoming the online equivalent of printed business directories, such as the Yellow Pages.
It is important that you optimize your website for listing its details with search engines otherwise, you may be missing potential customer leads. Search engines want to deliver the most relevant pages at the top, so they use highly sophisticated and complex algorithms to rank websites.
Focus on three key factors to improve your search engine positioning: Highly targeted keywords, content, and optimized web page code.
Manually submit your website information to each individual search engine regularly. Automated search engine submission software is not recommended.
Most search engines have a formal, online process for submitting website details, but the process varies with each search engine.
For the majority of search engines, all you need to do is provide the domain name of your website e.g., www.andrechelle.com a short description, and your keywords. You should also resubmit your website to the search engines after any significant change is made to your website.
Buying keywords and phrases from all the top search engines is also an option and will ensure excellent search engine results placement.
Make a short list of your most important keywords and phrases, then contact the sales departments at the major search engines and ask them what it would cost for each one of your keywords and phrase.
The cost will depend on what words you are asking for and the number of times that they are searched for on that particular engine.
E-mail Targeted, subscription based e-mail can be a very successful strategy for generating repeat and added sales to existing customers and interested potential customers.
Sent at a reasonable frequency and full of useful, relevant information such as product recommendations and reviews, values and discounts, editorial articles, and notifications about website content updates an e-mail campaign can be a very successful part of your Internet marketing strategy. But only use true opt-in e-mail lists.
Spamming is the most certain way I know to lose your e-mail account, website, Internet Service Provider (ISP), and your reputation, both personal and professional.
The best way to have a true opt-in e-mail list is to gather it yourself by asking visitors to your website to join your mailing list (newsletter).
Always make it at least as easy to unsubscribe from your list as it was to subscribe. Don’t let customers simply slip away. Make an effort to reel them back in. It costs a lot less to retain a disgruntled or inactive customer than to acquire a new one.
If you haven’t heard from a customer in awhile, send a personalized e-mail, inquiring if all is well.
You can also utilize the convenience of e-mail to send appointment reminders and thank you notes. Customers may forget you’re out there unless you remind them.
Target regionally specific directories These smaller directories are usually tightly focused on your particular area and customer base.
Newspapers, ISPs, local business magazines, and other regional guides are often popular with residents because they carry information about local news and entertainment events.
Search online for your local city, town and state. Many have local business directories that are free to place ads or links on.
Write them a short e-mail and description about your business. Getting your website listed in regionally specific directories and business listings can allow you to reach your target market where they visit most.
Also, actively monitor and participate in user groups, mailing lists, and discussion groups. Research active e-mail discussion lists and online bulletin boards relevant to your business and audience.
Link popularity is an important criterion in most search engine ranking algorithms. Some use it almost exclusively.
Developing quality inbound links can be critical for high rankings in some results.
You have created great content and offer a superb service and now, you want people to know about it.
To ensure that your website has the visibility it deserves, you will need other websites to point (link) to yours.
Reciprocal links form a vital part of any website promotion effort and while the process of exchanging them is essentially a simple one, there are various approaches that can be taken in searching out and requesting links.
Reciprocal links generally bring in more qualified visitors than the search engines. Requesting link exchanges with other websites, although necessary for good search engine placement, can unfortunately be rather time consuming.
Search for websites that support the professional cleaning industry, such as trade organizations and suppliers, and write the webmaster a nice letter or e-mail asking for a reciprocal link to your site. In return, put a link on your site to theirs.
Don’t overlook your existing customer base for link partners. There is a good chance your business clients have established websites.
Ask them for reciprocal links, which can lead to increased traffic to your site.
Your website is only one tool in your marketing toolbox, and is most effective when used in conjunction with your other marketing tools.
Whatever you have printed, make sure it has your website address on it, including letterheads, postcards, brochures, sales letters, invoices, and business cards.
Add it to any advertisements you place in newspapers, magazines, on the radio or television, or in the Yellow Pages.
Include it in any e-mail correspondence, and be sure to mention it in any conversations you have with potential customers.
Display your website address on all company cars, trucks and vans. Vehicular advertising is a great method of promotion.
This way you can advertise your website wherever you go even in traffic.
Free media promotion
Press releases are excellent for getting the attention of the public.
For example, this may be to announce the opening of your new business where you will have an excellent opportunity to display your URL.
Once your site is launched, or after a major revision, get out a press release. Almost all e-Zine, TV, radio, newspaper, and magazine editors accept press releases. Now that most media sources are online, e-mail is the preferred way for them to receive your releases.
Your release should be one page long and offer valuable information of interest to publications readers.
Editors won’t print a blatant ad that is not accompanied by newsworthy information. Success Well-designed, content-rich web pages are imperative if you wish to have success in marketing your website.
Dedicate yourself and recognize that you will need to spend the time and energy required promoting your website and services, both online and offline.
This extra work may seem daunting when you are first planning the development of your website and online marketing strategy, but it is well worth the effort.