Building Your Web Presence and Launching a Web Site
Posted by Dena Meeder on June 26, 2008 in Internet Marketing, Marketing, SEO, Web Design [ 0 Comments ]
This Ain’t No Field of Dreams
Your website design is killer; you FINALLY have it up and running. You have all your content, maybe some cool bells and whistles, and you are ready for business. As the movie says, you “build it and they will come” – soon thousands of people will visit and learn all about your great products or services. Right? Well, not really. According to a Netcraft report from May of this year, there are over 168 million web sites and counting. The word is out and businesses large and small know that having a web site is no longer optional it is mandatory.
So, how do you get people to visit your site? Unless you are a large company with plenty of brand recognition it may take a little time to build up your traffic, but there a variety of ways to begin doing so that are free or relative inexpensive. Here are few simple ways to start.
1. Include your site address on everything you use as collateral. This seems obvious, but it is surprising how many people forget to include their web site in their advertising or their email communication.
2. Make sure to register your site with all the free search engines such as www.dmoz.org, www.scrubtheweb.com, and www.ineedhits.com. There are a lot of these search engines and it can be time consuming, but it is worth it. There are also companies that you can pay to submit your site to a variety of paid and free search engines. Note: It can take up to 60 days for your site to show up when searched.
3. Affiliations and linking are a great way to build traffic to your site. You can offer to include links of other businesses that compliment your own, in exchange for them to do the same. Another way to increase your links is by social networking through sites such as LinkedIn, MySpace and Facebook. Link popularity has direct benefits, but can also increase your rankings with popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN. Check out www.linkpopularity.com to check your sites links.
4. Send regular email announcements that link back to your site, with specials and news just for your customers. Not only does this drive traffic back to your site, but also reminds them you are still around. There is an added bonus in that it makes them feel special, like they have the inside track. Always remember to capture email contact information when ever possible so you can build up your email database. I always recommend my clients get an account with Constant Contact (www.constantcontact.com). It is easiest way to build a database, organize it and create communications for your customers. Plus they allow your visitors to opt-in and opt-out as they prefer.
5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – There are many ways to optimize your site, but the simplest way to start is by making sure you have good content on every page and that the content is reflected in your META tags and keywords. Make sure to use words that your target market will use to search for products and services your offer. Be warned – SEO is not something you do once, just when you launch your site. It is an ongoing process. Many companies now have an SEO as a line item in the marketing budgets.
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