March 20, 2011
Have you ever wondered, “now that I’ve got a website, what do I do?”
Is having a website stressing you out because it isn’t giving you the return on your investment you were hoping for? Are you worried because it isn’t producing the results you thought it should?
The old adage, “if you build it, they will come” simply doesn’t happen in the World Wide Web. In order to get visitors to come to your web site, you need to make a concerted effort to attract them.
Here’s a checklist of basic things you could be doing now to start promoting your website and getting those desired results:
Use your domain name for your email address in all of your email correspondence. This way, with each email you send out, you are advertising your website URL. For example: if your website domain is www.mywebsite.com, then you should ensure you use an email address that uses “mywebsite.com” like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. This technique also promotes you as a professional; often seeing a Hotmail or Gmail address can appear to others as “amateurish”.
Create a signature that goes on the bottom of all your emails that you send out. In your signature, put whatever caption you like – such as, “Contact me to find out how you can [fill in the blank]” along with your contact information and of course, your website URL!
Put your website address on all of your print/promotional material such as business cards, promo cards, letterhead etc. Often your website is the first point of contact for new and potential clients. Make it easy for them to find your website so they can find more information about you and your business and feel comfortable about contacting you directly.
Create reciprocal partnerships with complementary websites to do a website link exchange. The more high-traffic websites that link to you, the more the search engines will think you are a high-profile website and your search engine ranking has the potential to go up.
Send out regular e-newsletters or some form of written communication to your existing and potential customers. Have a prominent sign-up form on your site so people can receive your e-newsletters on a regular basis. The more people trust you and what services you have to offer, the more likely they will contact you or purchase your product!
Share the benefits of what you can do to help others; what need can you fulfill for them? Be sure to list those benefits on your website and use it as a reference point to send people to for more information.
Encourage referrals – your existing customers can be an amazing promotional tool for you. Offer a referral incentive program if you can.
Take advantage of any upcoming holidays – what contest can you run? What special can you put on? (Caution, try to avoid discounting your products or services, this devalues what you have to offer. Instead, offer gift with purchases or entries to a prize draw as an enticement to make a sale)
Bonus tip: Engage in Social Media such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Create a professional profile and have conversations with your followers. Engage with the intention of being helpful and offering useful information. This will build your credibility as an expert in your industry and start to create an important, “know, like and trust” factor that is needed to attract clients.
There are many things to consider before having a website created for you. You first need to have a thorough understanding of what you want it to achieve – and be reasonable about your expectations. Will it be a simple “brochureware” piece that is meant to provide visitors with a basic overview of your products and/or services, or is it going to actively sell for you? Hiring a professional website developer can help you sort through these questions, create a design to best achieve those goals, and produce an effective site that will deliver what you want.
Once built, be sure to follow the
8 9 simple steps outlined above and you will be well on your way to having a website that is working for you and your marketing efforts.
eBusiness Mentor and Developer
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About the Author: Susan is president/founder of eVision Media, a web development and eMarketing firm specializing in building effective brands for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations for over 11 years. With a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, she is able to provide an authentic and personalized service for those wanting a trustworthy member of their team for their brand & marketing design, website development and SEO/eMarketing needs. Visit www.evisionmedia.ca to receive your free report, “10 Key Strategies You Need to Know Now to Prevent Your Website from Being a Marketing Disaster.”