Don't make the mistake of ignoring website promotion. Every website is selling something, be it a product or a service, or maybe simply trust or a brand. This means you need
visitors - the more targeted, the better.
Simply building a great website isn't enough, although it is an excellent first step. You need to be out there actively promoting
your website if you truly want to achieve revenue from it.
- Web Catalogs & Directories - Taking out annual subscriptions in one or more of the major web catalogs (e.g. Ask.com, etc.) and business directories (e.g. YellowPages, Superpages) can help garner some immediate traffic for your website.
Web Catalogs tend to work well for new sites, as they get you some all important links in the early stages. Business directories work for virtually any business as they put a listing (or ad) for your website right
in front of people looking for exactly what you're selling.
- Link Exchanges - This is a fantastic way to increase the importance of your website in the eyes of the search engines. The rationale that the search engines use is that if other sites are linking to yours, then your site must be important. A link from another site to your site is considered a "vote" for your site. The more of these votes, the better; to an extent, of course.
Steer clear of such black hat techniques as link farms and free for all (FFA) sites. I recommend starting by asking your vendors, suppliers and customers if they could link to your site in exchange for a link to theirs.
You could then branch out into related businesses that service a different audience (e.g. a competitor in another city that you don't service).
- Submit your website to several high-quality Directories. A great place to
start is RLROUSE Directory and DMOZ.
Getting listed in the top Directories will have a springboard effect on getting
your site lots of other inbound links
- Electronic Newsletter - An electronic newsletter is a fantastic method for staying in touch with not only existing customers, but potential customers as well. Provide useful, interesting information on a regular basis and be sure that people can subscribe and unsubscribe easily.
Utilizing a good tool (e.g. Constant Contact) will make your life easier and allow people to forward the newsletter to their friends and colleagues (known as Viral Marketing).
You can also use the newsletter as a vehicle for announcements or specials. Never charge anything to subscribers, and build your list by running contests or promotions.
- Pay-per-click Search Engines - I saved this one until last as I believe it is the single most important item in this list. If you remember nothing else from this article, remember pay-per-click (or
By paying for visits from people who are searching on keywords related to your product or service, you are almost ensuring that your website will generate more revenue with a higher conversion rate of visitors to customers.
The more popular programs include Google AdWords, Overture Content Match and Site Match, as well as smaller players like FindWhat, Kanoodle and Mamma.
About the author:
Robin Eldred is the president of Apis
Design, a Calgary Web Design and Promotion company specializing in building, managing and promoting quality,
results-oriented websites for small businesses.
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