A collection of links, articles and 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 you do your homework and try services such as HostSearch.com to make sure you get a hosting platform that is considered quality. I haven’t had a ton of luck working with firms that offer that $3-4/month hosting. Its very cheap until you need something, then the nickel and dime kicks in, big time. Personally the best company for hosting from my experience is Liquid Web. I started hosting my clients with them a little after 2,000 and have been a very satisfied customer since. They offer probably the best tech support in the industry, but just a heads up that they aren’t cheap.
WEB SITE 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 misconception that having a web site will make you a millionaire is still around, way after the internet bubble. Well, the reality 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. This requires the development and implementation of good marketing plans, marketing strategies, and so forth.
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.
- 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 search engines will punish you for keyword stuffing. 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.
- A link or a banner swap with complimentary services/products may work in your advantage. 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.
- Place your web address on every piece of stationery you have. Exposure is key here, and so it becomes crucial to put your web address on your business cards, email signatures, 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 online presence. While you are at it, don’t forget to ask for referrals!
- 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.
- 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 them, introduce yourself, and ask what they found to work for their business and what did not 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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. 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 what your 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 that 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.
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