Look at your website as a tool for marketing. Because the return of it is hard to gauge, your job is to learn how to get the most from the web. Why you ask yourself? Why not? The world wide web is a very powerful tool. Especially for marketing your business and the best thing about it is that there are ways to market your business without spending a penny. Just your time. But, I will get into details about that later on.
So, let’s begin with your website. Now that your site is up, you begin to wonder when somebody will show up. First, let me say by don’t let your site become a dead site. A way to tell if a site is dead is by the last time it was updated, in most cases the launch date will be the last time it was ever updated and this is a tattle tale way of knowing if the site is a dead site. Always update your site. At least once a week. That way, when you start getting visitors, they will know that your site is being updated and it isn’t just sitting there collecting dust.
One good way to market your site is via social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, etc. These social networks are very useful. If you have an account with a social network, start by telling your family and friends about your site. You can add your link and a description to it and share it with others. Also, ask your family and friends if they would help you by sharing your website to their family and friends, and so forth. This has been my favorite way of advertising my business.
Another useful way is typing in the search engine, “Free search engine submission.” There are a lot out there to choose from. Most of these sites only ask you for your name, website URL, and an email address.
Now, let me let you know that getting visitors to your website can be maddening and a great challenge but this is part of running a business. Treat it as a job. Don’t just get on your computer for a few hours a week and think that is all you have to do. It’s not. One of the most successful ways in running your business or website is to treat it as a job. Now, you may be asking yourself, “What is the purpose of being my own boss if I have to treat it as a job?” The keyword is, “My own boss.” Yes, that’s right. You are your own boss and it is your job. No more of that 9-5 from a boss that is breathing down your neck. You are your own boss. Got a smile on your face now? You should.
Now, there are paid search services out there and many companies are using them as a supplement to search engines. These services pretty much allows you to pay to have your web site be a part of the results of a user’s query on a search engine site. There are three types of these services.
The first is called paid submission, where you can submit your site for review by a search engine service for a fee. Normally a preset fee with the expectation that the site will be accepted in the company’s search engine provided it meets the guidelines. Yahoo! is the major search engines that accepts this type.
The second is called pay-for-inclusion where you can submit your site for guaranteed inclusion for a set period of time. AltaVista is one that does this type of listing.
The third and final is called pay-for-placement where you can guarantee a ranking in a search listing for the terms of your choice AKA paid placement, paid listing, or sponsored listings.
Another way to get visitors to your site is through online newsgroups which are basically online forums for sharing information and you can get a list of newsgroups by visiting Google Groups at https://groups.google.com.
Once you get visitors at your site you want to keep them at your site and a good site design and strategy for attracting visitors takes you three-quarters of the way to success. The best way to get people to try your offerings and to come back for more is to treat each customer as unique. You give your customers this and they will keep coming back and also refer people whom they know to you.
Oh, and be sure you keep your site simple. Don’t build a site that’s more than three or four levels deep. Internet users love to surf, yet they will get bored when they have to surf through loads of information to find what they are looking for.
One tip that I like to leave to people that are in business for themselves is once you get that customer and they make a purchase, follow up with them in about a week either via phone or email. Or send them a post card thanking them for shopping at your business and ask them if they have any questions or anything you can help them with. Also, when they say thank you, reply back, “It’s my pleasure,” and be sure to smile.