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Website Marketing Increases Traffic to Your Website

MARKETING YOUR WEBSITE

Marketing your website entails finding ways to drive more traffic to your site. That traffic ("hits") can then be turned into sales of products, services, ideas or information. The first step in increasing traffic is to optimize your site for the search engines, then list the site with search engines and directories. But more is needed because...

...the bad news is...

...registering Your Site with the Search Engines is NOT ENOUGH!

Although being indexed well on the major search engines is the most important thing you can do to promote your Site inexpensively, you must find other effective ways to promote your site.

More Information

We have some background and specific tips on using each of the approaches shown in the right column:

When you get a website, you have just created a new business in a remote location ("somewhere" on the Internet). Once your website is registered with the search engines, you generally have the equivalent of a listing in the White Pages of a small town telephone book. Good start, but not enough. Sometimes, you’ll get really good placement with the search engines and that’s like a small listing in the Yellow Pages. Better, but still not enough. You’ve got to market your Website just as if it was a small store on Main Street, Anytown, Planet Earth (or worse, it’s not even on Main Street).

Although being indexed well on the major search engines is the most important thing you can do to promote your Site inexpensively, you must find other effective ways to promote your site.

So what are some other ways to promote your Website? How do you make your Site "sticky", i.e. get people to your site and make them want to stay long enough to buy your product, service or idea?

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become a specialty all its own. While we do not specialize in SEO, we can evaluate your site for needed optimization.
     
  • Offer something for free: This one is used all over the Internet and can work well if you can offer a free product or service related to the product you are selling. This could be getting people to register for a drawing to be held periodically for some specific item or service. Say, a gift certificate awarded quarterly. This registration process also gives you a targeted email list for people who will likely be interested in your product and can create an effective basis for a banner ad.

    However, it doesn't matter what you have for free, if people still don't know about it, you'll have a hard time increasing traffic based solely on this strategy. (Unless you're giving away free trips to Cozamel or something). So, combine this technique with others, such as emailing and banner ads to be effective.

    Because so many things are "FREE" on the Internet, you must work harder on your Web page's content and design to add a perceived value to your product/service. Otherwise, you'll have potential customers leaving thinking they might be able to find the same thing for free somewhere else.
     

  • Put your Website address (URL) on everything you send out. Letterhead, cards, invoices, email, product labels, shipping labels, anything you can think of. Get a stamp with your URL and stamp it on everything that leaves your office or home, until you have your letterhead, cards, etc. reprinted; and when you do have it reprinted, be sure to include your Website URL.

  • Cross-linking: Find sites which attract the type of customers you're looking for on your own site. If you're not a direct competitor, you could e-mail the owner or webmaster of those related sites and ask them if trade a link or banner ad with your site. Larger sites may want a fee for doing this. However, successfully negotiating a link from another site can do wonders for improving quality traffic to your own site.

  • Use print advertising for your product. Take smaller ads than normal in print media, radio, TV that simply points to your Website. A food related site, for example can take a small classified in a national cooking magazine for a much more modest fee than a full 4 color advertising layout. 

  • Banner ads: They are everywhere on the Internet, but how effective are they? Average response rate is reported to be about 2-4% click-through for each banner displayed. Rates can vary though from zero to 17% or higher. They can be cost effective if you use an eye catching design and slogan and you target your message, especially if you are giving away something for free or advertising your drawing. Try to advertise on sites that are related to your target audience. Or, most of the search engines now let you display banners based on the keyword the user is searching on! However, banner ads on the "Biggies", like the various search engine sites (Yahoo, etc.), browser homepages (Netscape and Internet Explorer), and high traffic sites like Amazon.com are really expensive.

    However, there are drawbacks such as the risk of losing your own customers prematurely who chase after someone else's advertisement. Also, banners can increase the load time of your page somewhat. Still, it can be an effective way to help increase traffic to your site.
     

  • Newsgroups: Visit newsgroups that your target audience would participate in. Leave helpful messages and sign your message with a tag line describing your website, product or services. Be careful to observe the rules and protocols of the newsgroups and not sound like a blatant sales pitch or you'll get lots of negative responses, ("flamed").

  • Email: Email can be a powerful sales tool but you should avoid sending unsolicited and untargeted emails ("spam"). You'll get far more hostile and negative responses than positive responses, if you spam. Use email for follow up to your "give away" registration process or where individuals asked to be on a list or to receive certain types of information. You should not share the names on your mailing list without first informing your list participants of this possibility or getting their permission.

  • Newsletters: If you have good writing skills, write a free newsletter about the subject area you are targeting and send it by e-mail to subscribers. These newsletters are sometimes called e-zines. Make the content fresh and interesting and you can build a large following in no time.

  • Advertise in E-zines. ListCity which is a directory of email newsletters which accept advertising, is broken down by category, with subscription and advertising rates. You should be able to  find relevant e-zines in which to advertise at reasonable rates from this compendium. (BTW, the original of this site was developed by BsD and sold by it's owner for quite a profit.)

  • Keep current on Internet marketing trends. Figuring out how to effectively market a Website is still a new game. To keep up to date on the latest ideas, and to learn additional details and tips for promoting your Website, (while taking some of it with a large grain of salt), subscribe to one or more e-zines on Internet marketing. One source of information is Virtual Promote - subscribe to their newsletter and spend lots of time exploring their website. Another resource is the e-zine,  MarketPosition Newsletter.

  • Write a press release or article. Write a press release or article about your site. Send it to your local and regional newspapers and even national magazines--you never know who might publish your story. 

 

Beachsite Design - Websites that Work - Fearrington Village, NC
ccbeach@beachsite.com 
37810 S. Silverwood Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85739

 


13 ways to market your website:

  • Optimize your website for the major search engines (SEO)
  • Offer something for free (carefully)
  • Put your website address (URL) on everything you send out
  • Cross-link with related sites
  • Use print advertising for your product 
  • Use banner ads
  • Post at newsgroups
  • Targeted E-mail - not spam
  • Publish a newsletter
  • Advertise in E-zines
  • Keep current on Internet marketing trends, especially social networking
  • Write a press release or article about your website

For more information, see the detail in the center column.

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