Having a great website is… well… great!
But no website succeeds without visitors. If you have a shop and no one comes through the door you’re not going to sell anything!
So how do you get people through your virtual door?
Two ways: Time or money.
The hard cash route
Let’s deal with this first.
Online advertising does work, but you need to know what you’re doing. Most people will have a go with paid search results – the ones you see at the top of the list when you search on Google, Bing, etc.
If you need visitors today you can run these adverts and people will visit your site within hours. But you will pay a small amount for every person you get. The trick is to get more money back from the visitors than you’re spending on getting them in the first place.
This is a whole other topic which I’ll cover elsewhere in the site, or give me a call to discuss it.
Taking your time
We talk about the free search results in Google, Bing, etc., but they’re not really free. To get anywhere near the top of the search results list you’ll need to spend time building up your website to show the engines you deserve to be listed. Search engines work with the content you put on your site and what the rest of the web says about you.
Content is the articles, blog posts, product descriptions, galleries, and everything else you put on the pages of your site. The search engines read these pages, log the information and then rate how good it is to work out if you really do know what you’re talking about, and if people will find it useful.
When your website gets mentioned on other websites, or in social media such as Facebook or Twitter, the search engines see this as a vote for your site as being useful. If lots of other good websites are linking to you then they know your website must be good and contain quality content. So the more times you’re mentioned the better.
By combining how well your content reads with your rating throughout the rest of the web, the search engines rate you and then rank you against other websites with the same sorts of information. This is how the search results list are built up.
OK. This is a bit simplified but the essentials are there.
So you need a content strategy to make sure you write about the right topics in the right way. You also need to encourage other websites to link to you, and people to discuss you in social networks. If you’re into buzz words this all comes under the heading of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). There’s lots of information in my site about this so have a look around, or get in contact with me.
Whether you’re into Facebook, Twitter, etc. or not, social media is very important for online businesses. It’s a great way of getting your message out to a large number of people. News, comments, competitions, etc. can all be put into your social streams to build up your followers. And don’t forget it’s one of the quality signals the search engines look for – lots of social mentions equals a site worth looking at.
Other promotion techniques
- There are lots of other ways to promote your website. Again have a look through my blog posts to find out more, or give me a call.
- Make sure you put your web address on everything you do.
- Try to build up an email mailing list (why not sign up for mine! – on the right) so you can call people back to your site.
- Banner advertising, video advertising, the list goes on with plenty of places for to spend your budget.
The Plan, Build, Promote steps are a repeating cycle. You keep going round the loop designing new ways to improve your online marketing, build the necessary parts and then promote what you’re doing. If you keep it going you will succeed!