(originally published in The
Jerusalem Post, October 2003)
How to Market your Web Site
The main reason most companies and organizations set up
a Web site is to aid in their marketing efforts. A good site is a
powerful marketing tool. But, in order to have maximum effect,
the site itself needs to be marketed. While many companies
invest in Web sites, fewer effectively promote them. It's
a pity, for this is how amazing results are obtained. A good
site doesn't just sit there looking pretty. It directly affects
concrete goals: increased revenues, expanded memberships,
enhanced customer service -- or any other immediate aims
of your company or organization. But to achieve these goals,
you must actively attract visitors to the site.
So what should be done? Let's assume that the site in question
is already of good quality – solid, credible, and designed
for optimal search engine placement. How do you promote it,
and make it benefit your business? Here are some ideas to
get you started:
- Keep improving your "link popularity" --
links to your home page from good quality sites. Make a
page on your site that lists links to other sites that
would be of interest and relevance to your target audience.
Then send to the owners of each of these sites a polite
e-mail that describes the nature of
your site and how it can benefit their own visitors
-- and request a reciprocal link. Track responses; if you've
had no reply within 6
months, try again.
- If rapid inclusion in SEs is crucial for your site, you
can consider paid inclusion to sites like Yahoo.
It's also possible to purchase highlighted text ads in
the Google and Overture indexes.
- Every single piece of printed collateral that
leaves your office should include your site's URL.
- Send out press releases, which include your URL.
Craft a release that's succinct, accurate, and has an attention-getting
headline to "hook" interest. Write it so well
that a reporter can use it almost as-is.
- E-mail newsletters are gaining increasing importance.
While a Web site must passively await the visits, a newsletter
actively invites interaction with the company or organization,
and helps maintain existing relationships. But approach
the design and mailing of your newsletter with care. Make
the content truly relevant for your target audience, send
only to qualified contacts, and offer clear and easy opt-out
instructions for those who no longer wish to subscribe.
Being perceived as a spammer is not the way to enhance
- Ideally, your host provides traffic analysis tools.
Periodically examining these reports can give you a lot
of insight into aspects of the site that can be improved.
If you notice that many visitors are using old browsers,
make sure your site is viewable for them. If you have a
Flash intro but people are bolting the site before it's
even had a chance to load, reconsider if it's really worth
retaining, or if you should substitute a static HTML page
instead. Is there a pattern of a lot of people leaving
the site from the same page? Examine that page carefully
and try to identify potential problems with it.
As in all marketing efforts, persistence and consistency
pay off. As long as your site is solidly designed, it won't
take long to see substantial results. Good luck!
Do you have any questions? Contact
me and I'll try to answer them in upcoming articles. Also,
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