Web Marketing and Web Ownership Resources
A collection of links to other web resources dealing with a wide array of web development and web promotional issues.
Web Hosts: There are a variety of web hosting companies out there, and as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. With that in mind, I strongly recommend going with Liquidweb. I started hosting my clients with them in 2,000 and have been a very satisfied customer since. They offer anything from shared hosting to full scale server farms and their tech support is phenomenal. If however you feel like shopping around, then here is an great place to find yourself a web hosting firm: www.HostSearch.com
MARKETING TO DO’s and NOT TO DO’s
If you don’t know how to begin a marketing campaign then here are eight tips to get you started.
A word about this article… There is a BIG misconception that having a web site will make you an instant millionaire. Well, the reality of it is that having a web site is like having a tool and what you do with this tool is completely up to you. Just like everything else the more time, effort and thought you put into it, the further it will take you. With that said, remember that in order to get your site noticed you need to work at it just like you would with any business; marketing plans, marketing strategies, implementing of strategies, etc.
These tips are rather elementary, but they are a good starting point if you really don’t know how to go about promoting your site.
1. Submit your site to multiple search engines. Make sure that all the meta tags are unique and implemented into your pages. Do not repeat words too often as some search engines will punish you for trying to cheat. Make sure that each page has some kind of an opening statement with the words that are descriptive of your business and location(s) you service. Search engines will also give you a popularity advantage. If there are many other web sites that link to you, search engines will start to consider you “important”. Though make sure these site are somehow related to your business or industry.
2. Banner Swap with complimentary services/products. Find out who your audience is and find out how to go after them. Banner swapping doesn’t have to cost anything and increases your exposure. You can either swap or pay someone to put your banner on their site. Expose yourself everywhere you can, but make sure your site doesn’t look like one big ad. Banners are a bit controversial these days because they don’t really generate that high of a click-through traffic. Regardless, as long as you can strike a deal then you should take advantage of this.
3. Place your web address on every piece of stationery you have. Exposure is key here, thus it becomes crucial to put your web address on your business cards, letterheads, envelopes, pens, answering service, advertisements, your doors, license plates, everything!
Try to inform your existing clients of the site. Ask them for their input on your site (this often makes them go through the majority of your site) as well as for any tips they might have on improving your site. Also, don’t forget to ask for referrals!
4. Offer incentives to your existing clients for referring others to your site. Referral is an ideal source of potential growth so make sure you can reward those that give you leads.
5. Ask for Advice! Look around the web for someone who is doing exactly the same thing that you are, but perhaps in a different geographical market. Contact that person, introduce yourself, your company and ask them what they found to work for their business and what did not to work for them. You wouldn’t believe the kind of advice you can get from the internet community. The key is to build relationships with those who are geographically unable to compete with you but can offer you some solid advise. Learn from others mistakes and make sure you don’t repeat them.
6. Advertise Advertise Advertise! Put some money into the advertising element of this equation. Find out who your audience is and what they like to read, listen to, watch and put an ad in those mediums. This costs, but it can lead to some serious exposure. At the very least you may setup an adwords budget and try to promote your site through Google Ads or Bing Ads.
7. Be the consumer! This is one of the strongest pieces of advice I can give. Have you ever thought of what other things your typical consumer might be exposed to before finding your site? Act like your potential consumer and do some searches, visit other sites and ask yourself what works, and what is lacking. Its very difficult to lure the audience to your site so make sure that once they are there they are captivated and like what they see!
8. Read the Logs Captain! Already have a site? Do you know what your previous audience enjoyed about your site? If not make sure you contact your web hosting provider and find out how you can access the raw log files. In lamens terms these are the data records that tell you how many visitors you had and what they clicked on, what pages they stayed on long and what pages they hardly paid attention to. In essence, this will give you a true understanding of where the traffic is focusing on and will allow you to redevelop a site with a better understanding of what the typical consumer is looking for! I am often surprised when I take over some of the sites only to learn that they have been in business for several years and they never looked at their data. YIKES! This is the best way to learn how people surf on your site and what they like to click on.
REMEMBER: The internet will not make you rich over night! It takes time, effort and money to get going. Not everyone has the money so learn how to dedicate at least an hour a week towards promoting your site. One thing I can say for sure from watching my clients in the past is that as long as you commit yourself to working on your marketing plan, and do your homework, you will get positive results out of this. Never go for the quick slam dunk. In your marketing endeavors you will find many sites that offer the solution to your problem for a “low monthly fee”. I advise you be extra careful with that. Stay involved and never assume someone is looking out for your best interest, especially when they are getting paid a small monthly fee. There is no such thing as free lunch.
Please contact me and let me know if you have questions.