Arguably the most important aspect of a website these days is its marketing. The total number of websites (registered domains) is about to exceed 700 million according to Netcraft. Everyone seems to have their own websites these days, some people want to earn, others want to sell. Regardless of the purpose of a URL it is important that your website has a steady flow of visitors. When you open a business you would advertise your opening and perhaps have promotional offers or events. Similarly, if you open a website you have let people know you exist. Once you are successfully able to direct traffic to your website, you can then think of how to generate financial income. The virtualization of marketing has created an industry in and of itself.
If you think you will have to spend money to promote your website you are mistaken, we are not in the sixties! Most of the promotional activities can be done by you, free of charge, while some may require a small investment.
So what do we need to do to get people visit our website?
– Get Yourself Heard: By this I mean you have to use as many ways as possible to let people know that you are there. This may sound to abstract but there are many practical ways to do this, for example;
1. Use social media platforms (like Twitter, Facebook) to advertise via comments and posts
2. Register your webpage on StumbleUpon and Digg
3. Write guest posts for other blogs, as it will generate more traffic for both of you if the subject of your website and post are the same as the blog you post on.
4. Comment and discuss on related forums. Leave a signature on your username of the forum so that people know that it is your website.
5. Drop a review of a gadget, book or other type of product on youtube.
6. Develop a network of websites/bloggers and actively communicate with them. Again, comment on other websites and socialize!
– Develop A Customer Base: Regardless of what services or products you offer you should always have an updated customer/visitor database. You can do this by placing a ‘Sign Up’ button on your website. To keep your visitors loyal and active send a weekly newsletter which could include updates, news, information depending upon the website you have.
– Search Engine Optimization: When you have to look for something online what is the first thing you do? Google. To be able to generate organic traffic you need to optimize your website so that it appears number 1 when someone looks up a keyword. Register your webpage on search engines initially, and then use specific keyword for your website. This will help generate traffic from search engines. There are various other methods by which you can tweak your website so that search engines give it a higher ranking.
– Paid Marketing: The methods outlined above are free and you can do them yourself. However, if you have a few bucks to spend the whole world is open to you. Investing money in your website you can promote it faster. Here are some of the ways to generate promotion:
1. You can advertise your website using Google Adwords
2. You can buy traffic; essentially you will pay another company to send people to your website.
3. Pay a company to generate backlinks for your website.
4. Pay your Affiliates to promote your products and let them have a commission on every sale!
Promotional marketing is about the right strategy and finesse, not about brute force. You should be able to attract the right customers, not just any customer. While buying traffic for your website may we tempting, you must ask if these are the right people for your website? Targeted marketing will generate a lot of loyal long-term relationships and a strategy based on that is more likely to succeed.