Driving customers to your website

As we have been stressed in number of posts in our blog, website owners need to do more than just launch a website to be successful online. It used to be that website owners and managers assumed customers will come just because they have launched a website. This led to the phrase "if you build it, they [customers] will come.” It does work although it has in past.

Now days, there are not just one or few websites for a particular product or services. Actually there are many and many more. Websites today are counted with automated or software tools because counting websites by humans is not practical any more. What this means is that people have many website choices, whether they realize it or not, and they cannot understandably be expected to visit all or most of the websites out there.

Perform a search in your favorite search engine. Search for example for "plumbing services”. Observe how many results you get back. No one has the time to search through all the plumbing services websites. The customer instead is going to visit only top few websites to decide the service provider they want to use and not bother with other countless websites.

Although we are using the search engine as an example here, we are not aiming here to devote this post to optimizing your website for improved search engine results. Instead what the example reveals is what customers do to find a website. It is a powerful piece of information, if you know how to use it. So we will discuss here number of techniques known to work in attracting customers to a website. Hopefully, you can adopt these techniques to do the same for your website.

As we said earlier, there are so many websites for given topic, product or service. What further complicates the problem is that most, if not all, of these websites are spending money to attract customers. A website owner that does not spend money to attract customers will have hard time bringing in customers to the website because other websites owners are spending money to drive traffic to their website. Simply put promoting websites increases website traffic while ignoring promoting of a website does not increase website traffic.

Ways to promote your website for free

We are not suggesting spend money on any promoting vehicle to get a decent return. Instead, do your homework if you want to do promoting on your own. Here are some promoting ideas that are almost free and worth exploring:

  • Keep your site fresh, relevant, and credible. Why? Chances are if your website is perceived to be trustworthy by one visitor, he/she may share this resource with others. Think of a book or magazine author, reporter, student, professor, or an organization visiting your website to find it very helpful and resourceful. A author or reporter may use it as an example to provide free publicity. The student may use your website as an example in a class presentation.
  • Have a recommend or email a friend button. This is an effective way to help spread a word about your website. It is almost certain to be clicked if someone found it to be of an interest to someone else.
  • Consider writing an article or book chapter to get a credit back to your website and business.
  • Build online linking partnerships with other online businesses. Ask your suppliers to link to your website. The more websites link to your website the better.
  • Place a link to your website in your email signature box. Ask of the same of your employees if they have a company's email address.

Paid promotion for your website

Beyond these free ways of promoting your website, you can use these other promoting options as your budget and online strategy permits:

  • Place your website address in all print advertisements. Don't just list the company name. If you only list the company name, your customers are forced to search for you company online. When this happens, your website may not appear in top of search results thus resulting in lost business to your competitors. So use the company name and the website address when promoting your company in ads.
  • Promote your company, specifically the web address, in promotional items such as pens, company clothing, and other stationery.
  • Consider advertising in local media outlets: television, radio, newspapers, local websites, etc.
  • Consider advertising on Google AdWords or some other well known search engine. Consider advertising for keywords where you website is doing poor. Don't spend money on keywords that are already performing well!
  • Email your customers to remind them to come to your website. If you don't have an email list, you can purchase it or you can start building your own. You simply have to ask your customers (preferably online) for en email address.

Don't assume you have to use either free or paid promotion. You can and should count on using all or most of free promotion and select paid promotion. You just have to try different techniques to determine the most effective method for your business. If you are completely new to the world promotion especially as it relates to promoting websites, keep your promotion budget low. As you build confidence in your promoting skills and decide on options that best work for your business, you may consider increasing your promotion budget.

Remember we know exactly what works and does not work when it comes online promotions. Whether you need search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, email marketing, blog marketing, social marketing, website marketing, multimedia marketing, or other technical help, we are here and ready to help your promotion succeed.

Posted on 5/29/2011 3:07:59 PM