You’ve had a beautiful web site designed, so now you can sit back and wait for your visitors to come flocking to it, right ? Wrong!

Sitting back and doing nothing will achieve exactly that, nothing

You need to market your web site just as you would market any other material you have in your company’s arsenal. You need to make sure that everyone who is a customer or potential customer knows about your web site, can readily find it and uses it as often as they can.

People fail to attract visitors to their web site because they sit back and just expect visitors to arrive in their droves. If you wrote a beautiful article about your business and never published it, would you expect anyone to read it and then act upon it. No of course you wouldn’t. This is exactly the same with your web site. If you don’t tell anyone about your site how on earth are they going to know it’s there?

You need to tell every person you can about your web site using a combination of online and offline methods. Using one method alone to tell people about your web site is not enough as you are relying on those visitors to use that method as well. If they don’t then you have missed out on some great opportunities.

Try as many of the following methods of promotion as you can:

  • Search engines
  • Email
  • Sponsorship
  • Affiliation
  • Word of Mouth
  • Networking
  • Your customers
  • Friends and family

Some of the methods shown above sound so obvious, but you would be surprised how many people miss them thinking that they are too trivial or won’t benefit them enough to bother with.

Don’t just rely on search engines

Search engine marketing is very reactive. You basically sit back and wait for the visitors to come to you. You are relying solely on a potential visitor selecting a search engine you are registered on and then specifying the exact keywords you have selected. It’s a pretty hit and miss business.

Search engines are definitely worth the trouble of going to and registering your web site with. Just make sure that you don’t rely solely on them.
Make sure that the keywords you have chosen for your web site are being looked for. It’s no use promoting a web site for something no one ever searches for.

Email

The first way you should start promoting your web site is with your address book.

Collect all of the email contacts from everybody in your company and send them an email announcing your web site:

  • Make sure that you eliminate duplicate contacts so that you don’t send the same email to anyone more than once. This will do more harm than good.
  • Keep your message short and simple. Remember you are asking them to visit your web site, not trying to replicate your web site in an email. All you need to do is encourage them to visit your site. Everything else they need to know should be there.
  • Make sure the email format is plain text as well as HTML. You don’t want to learn the hard way that large numbers of people are unable to receive HTML emails.

Telephone

Please be careful when using this technique. Cold calling all of your clients or worse still others, won’t help your cause. Instead make a point of mentioning your web site when you are next talking to them as part of your daily business. When you do mention your site make sure you focus on the benefits that the site brings to them.

Postal

The policy here is the same as for email. Consider writing a short mailshot that details a specific benefit to be found on your web site. Maybe a short term offer to attract people to your site.

Word of mouth

Networking (the posh new name for word of mouth) is one of the best ways to communicate with your clients and customers. The benefits are limitless using this technique.

Make sure that you people with your business card so that they have your web site address readily available. Don’t assume that your web site address is easy to remember just because you know it off by heart.

Printed Material

Make sure that you update every piece of literature you have, from business cards to brochures with your web site address.

Think: “wherever your logo appears so must your web site address”. Some take this concept one step further and incorporate the web site address into the logo design. Think about amazon.co.uk.

Either way, may sure that all printed material has your website address displayed prominently.

Affiliation

You can offer other web site owners an incentive to have a link on their web site to your site. Having an affiliate program to provide commission for referred sales is an excellent way of cross selling.

Sponsorship

Purchasing sponsored links allows you to place an advert on another related web site promoting your site. The fees for these vary from an advert on your site to cold hard cash. Shop around at the places you think your customers are likely to visit, check out their sponsorship program and take it from there.

Repeat Visitors

So now you have told everyone you know about your web site, this is the time to sit back and wait for visitors, right? Wrong again !

Do not become complacent about your visitors. You need to reinforce again and again to your visitors that they need to be making regular visitors to your web site. Don’t miss any opportunity to tell everyone you have contact with the address of your web site.

Your Email address

Make sure that everyone in your organisation is using an email address with the same domain name (the bit after the www) as your web site.

Make sure that every email you send has your standard company signature on it. This should be no more than four lines and must have your company web site address on it.

Consider using email auto responders. They will automatically send out a reply to incoming emails informing the originator that you will be in touch shortly. Make sure that you reinforce your web site in the response.

Telephone

If you are constantly answering the same questions from your customers, point them to a frequent questions section on your web site.
Doing this by email makes sure that you also obtain an email address for your records.

Regular Updates

Your web site cannot remain static if it is to remain useful to your visitors. Regular updates help to keep your site visitors coming back for more. You must make sure that your content is fresh, up to date, relevant and is what your visitors want.

  • Consider writing articles about your particular market sector.
  • Send a link to the article via email to your current contacts and post it onto your web site for your other site visitors.
  • This will increase the content of your site and establish you as an authority on your chosen subject.

Your web site design company will be able to provide you with this capability for a minimal cost. You will then be able to add and update articles as you require.