‘A web site without marketing is like a shop in a cul-de- sac’ – the goods are on display, the cash register is set up and the store is open, but customers don’t know that the shop even exists.
Here are some great tips for marketing your web site to make sure that prospective customers know where and how to find your business.
1. Think of your domain name as a short classified advert
Choose your domain name carefully. Consider the value of multiple domain names to increase the chances of catching passing traffic. Use
domain name strategies to attract customers from particular geographical areas; for example in the UK, 72% of adults visit a .uk web site first when browsing or shopping online. When faced with a list of domain names on a search engine, people don’t necessarily click on the top one, but quickly scan for a link that sounds appealing, useful or interesting.
2. Be aware of opportunities for publicising your business
Proactive media relations (with online and offline publications) are a core element of many marketing strategies and an extremely useful tool for raising awareness within a target audience. Be aware of opportunities to publicise your business – ranging from new product launches and
promotional offers to charity initiatives and executive appointments – and use them as opportunities to drive traffic to your web site.
3. Mention your web site URL at every opportunity
Include it in email signatures, marketing literature, business cards, adverts, promotional gifts, packaging material ….the opportunities are
endless! Also consider offering online services, such as a delivery tracker for goods ordered or discounts for online purchases, in order to drive repeat traffic to your web site.
4. Make your web site more than a shop window
Research shows that, in Britain alone, 5.4 million Internet users research buying decisions online before completing their purchase in the shops. Providing a free information resource for people to research their decisions is a very effective way of attracting traffic – therefore
prospective customers – to your web site.
5. Search engines remain the first port of call for finding a web site
With more than 95% of web surfers using search engines to find what they are looking for, achieving a high ranking is often regarded as the holy grail of online marketing. Search engines tend to apply individual techniques for ordering and displaying results making this even more of a challenge, but there are experts who specialise in optimising search engine rankings.
6. Consider a paid for listing on major search engines
Whilst some consumers prefer to sift through search results, others find it easier to look at the paid for listings services that are provided by most major search engines. This can be a way of ensuring that your company is listed on the front page of a relevant search query every time.
7. Banner ads should be treated with caution
Few people tend to knowingly click on banner ads and instead they are often regarded as an irritant for Internet users with few generating a good click through rate. The problem is that they are rarely designed to provide a compelling reason to be followed, so, if you do choose to include banner ads within your marketing strategy, make sure that they have a clear ‘call to action’ and are attractive and interesting.
8. Explore the opportunities of affiliate marketing
Links from other web sites can drive traffic between sites hosting complementary goods and services, raising awareness of both as a result. Do your research and make sure you are partnering with reputable companies that will enhance your own profile and market perception.
9. Invest in tracking software to understand your market
Tracking software is a valuable tool for monitoring the number of visitors to your web site, tracing navigators around the site and measuring
conversion into actual transactions. The more advanced tracking tools on the market also enable you to see from which sites or search engines customers arrive, as well as where they go afterwards. This can help you to target your marketing efforts and also provide insight into buying behaviours.
10. Open customer dialogue channels
Create interactivity through your web site and make every effort to get to know your customers, what they want and how they shop. Registration, loyalty schemes and customer feedback forms are all great ways of collecting information, which can then be used to feed into an effective marketing programme for your web site.