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Website Marketing Guide

The old saying is that if you build it, they will come. But when it comes to something like a new website, that may not always be the case. The last thing you want to do is put your time and resources into building a nice website, only to not get the return on investment that you thought you would. This is where Website marketing comes into play. Just like opening a store on the corner in your city, you will need to let people know you are there!

Reaching People

Marketing your website is all about getting traffic to it. Assuming you have created an effective website by having a clear and concise message with a call to action, you just need to get people there who may be interested in what you have to sell. Whether you are offering a product, service, or something else, once you have a professional website up and running, you will help convert more sales when you can tap into your audience and get them checking out what you have to offer.

The first order of business when it comes to website marketing is to identify who your audience is. Who is your target market? Once you know a little about who it is that buys your product or service, you will have a better idea of where to find those people, so you can market to them.

Here are some effective ways to engage in website marketing:

  • Use SEO. When creating your website, you should use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in order to reach your potential customers better. SEO is the process of you thinking more like your customers, which will help them find you. Use an online keyword tool to find out the keywords that people are using when searching for what you have to sell. Then sprinkle them throughout the pages of your site, which will help you get picked up when people conduct searches. Also, if your site is locally based, be sure to add in your city or geographic area as a keyword.
  • Add it to everything. Be sure to add your website address (or URL) to all of your collateral material, including business cards, post cards, brochures, flyers, and letterhead. Also, add it to the signature line at the bottom of your email. Get in the habit of including it everywhere you are providing information to help people locate your physical address.
  • Submit the link. Your new website will be picked up by search engines when they do their crawl across the Web. However, you may be able to speed up the process some by submitting it to them. Search engines typically have a “submit a link” page where you can submit the link to your website, so it may include it in their index.
  • Think press. A new website is a great reason to write and submit a press release. If you are not sure how to write a press release, hire a professional writer to do it for you. Then, you can submit it online, where it can be picked up by search engines (and it will have a link to your site), as well as to your local media, bloggers and reporters covering your genre, and more. You should also have a press area on your website, where you can post the press release (copy and paste, so it can show up in search engine results).
  • Try advertising. There are a variety of avenues online for advertising your website. Consider which ones may be the most effective and try it out. There are Google Adwords, as well as banner advertising opportunities, and placing ads on blogs that your potential customers may read.
  • Give it away. If you have a product that you offer, consider contacting some bloggers who may be able to reach your audience. Offer them a free product of yours in exchange for a review and link to your Website. Most are more than happy to do this, and it can be an effective way to drive traffic to your site.
  • Add a blog. While websites usually remain static once in places, blogs are frequently updated. The blog posts should be on topics that relate to your business or that your potential customers will find of interest, and they should be written using SEO. Adding a blog to your website may help drive traffic to your site because it's updated more frequently.
  • Get social. One of the ways that businesses are spreading their website URL is through social media outlets. They make it easy for your customers to pass your site link on to others, as well as keep in contact. Consider Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Pinterest, for getting social and reaching those customers who utilize such sites.
  • Have a contest. Giving something away on your site, such as a product, free service, or even a discount coupon, can be a great way to get people to sign up to receive email messages from you. Once you have a database of opt-in email addresses you can use that to continuously market your website and products.
  • Going Forward

    Once you have your website up and running and start marketing it, be sure to monitor your activity. Find out what works and doesn't work. If you are putting a lot of time into a social media outlet, or you are spending a lot of money advertising, and you don’t feel you are getting a good return on your investment, try something else. You want to make sure that the marketing efforts you choose are ones that will pay off. If you are getting traffic to your site and it is not converting to sales, it's time to take a look at your marketing message to make sure it’s on target for what you are offering, as well as your copy on the site. With all your ducks in a row, you website should be a wonderful sales tool for years to come!

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