Business people tend to underestimate the power of the Web to bring in business. A few invest in great Web sites, but then don’t market them effectively! There are some wonderful sites that are almost “hidden” on the Web. Web marketing has one thing in common with other advertising: no mater how good the ad, it won’t build your business unless a lot of people see it.
We tell our clients to view Web marketing as two separate components: First, is the creation of a site and second, is marketing it. Building a site requires creativity, design skills and an understanding of color, images and popular trends. Marketing a site, on the other hand, is a much more routine, repetitious, even boring task that must be done consistently over time. The following are 10 suggestions for marketing your Website:
- Hidden Title. This is the first of three critical items that are coded in the “Head” of every Web page. It is the first thing a search engine sees at the top of your page. While this title is visible on browsers, most people ignore it. I’ve seen great sites that have no title at all! Use 3-8 words that describe what you do and flag your site for search engines.
- Meta Tag Keywords. The second item in the “Head” of your page should be a hidden Meta tag with 15-25 words to help people find you. There are words people are likely to enter in a search request. An accountant might have a string like: “Accounting, bookkeeping, records, taxes…”
- Meta Tag: description. The third item in the “Head” is a hidden sentence that describes both your page and your site. Make it vibrant, use as many of your Keywords as possible, and make it accurate. This is a one-sentence description of who you are, what you do and why people should visit your page. You’ve got 15-20 words. Use them!
- Visible Title. This is the first thing people will see, and it’s what most people think of as the “title” of their page. again, you want it to invite people: be accurate and brief. While a beautiful logo or banner may look nice at the top of your page, remember that 3-5 powerful words will download faster. The words in your title will also connect with search engines in a way that your logo can’t.
- First words on page. The first few seconds while a page is downloading are critical, and a short statement of what you do will download faster them most images. First impressions count! Search engines can catalog a brief but exciting description og your business, but they won’t catalog your pretty picture!
- Have multiple pages, each with their own marketing system. A simple way to increase the “hits” on your site is to increase the number of entrance paths. Rather than have one long page, divide it into three pages, each with its own title, meta tag, and description! If your pages are all linked within one site, you vastly increase the opportunities for people to find you.
- Submit to search tools repeatedly. Search engines constantly update and expand their databases. To stay in the game, I suggest you resubmit your site at least once a month. Using the Web to draw business is an ongoing project, not a once and forget it task! There are services that will do this for you (for less than $100), or you can do it yourself.
- Include you Web URL on your advertising. This seems obvious, but lots of people forget. Have your site on your business card, brochures, all of your advertising! If people are interested, want more information or are just curious, make it easy for them to check you out. Display your URL on everything!
- Exchange links. One of the best ways to increase traffic and target specific audiences is to resubmit your site at least once a month. Using the Web to draw business is an ongoing project, not a once and forget it task. There are services that will do this for you (for less than $100), or you can do it yourself.
- Have something of value that changes often. Give your visitors something they can learn, do or enjoy each time they visit. Let them sign up for your newsletter, post a “Joke of the Day” or a daily quote. It doesn’t have to relate directly to your business. People love parenting tips, humor, inspiration or practical tips for better living (Remember Martha Stewart?). Give them a reason to come back!