You have launched your web site and now what? “If you build it, they will come”—well, not exactly. Without a marketing strategy to accompany your web site, there is no roadmap to getting visitors to your site.
Remember that your web site is a part of your whole marketing strategy and not your only route to increasing and retaining your customer base.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When your designer creates your site, there are technical aspects that can make your web site appear higher in rankings when a user does an online search. There are also fee-based options to increase your search engine rankings. Optimizing your site for search engines helps your site appear in the search results list. Make sure that SEO plays a part in your web site design.
While the world wide web has become the center of communication and finding out about everything, potential customers still respond to traditional marketing. This means that you have to get your name out there, whether it be in printed advertisements, sponsorships, mailers, or on your business card. Saturating the market with your brand message and company name is still a key component to a successful marketing plan. Your web site is a part of your business plan, it isn’t the only part! Even if you are running a web-based business, you have to invest in ways to get potential customers to your web site. Be creative and perhaps you can save money (think social media and free networking events). Building your site is only a portion of the process; make sure to plan to get customers to it.
Update your content frequently
Many businesses build a web site and then allow it to stagnate. It is critical to update your web site content frequently and engage users with a reason to regularly visit your site. Consider posting monthly newsletters, weekly special offers, coupons etc. Do not underestimate your customers’ desire for a bargain or their interest in knowledge. Once your site’s content becomes outdated or starts to look like it is from the previous era, it is time to re-assess your goals and determine whether you want an online presence or if it’s time to let your domain name expire.
Another option for getting customers to your web site is online marketing. You can advertise online, send customers newsletters or promotional materials via email, and create viral marketing campaigns through networks like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. Most of us may have good intentions to return to a web site, participate in an online promotional offer, or take a survey, but life sometimes gets in the way. Make it easy for your customers to remember you and your service through various online marketing channels. Consider hiring a professional who specializes in online marketing and communications. It may be worth the investment.