Part 6 of the Series: How to Make a Great Website
Introduction: How to Make a Great Website
Part 1: Choosing a Domain Name
Part 2: Building Your Website: Evaluating the Choices
Part 3: Six Major Questions a Website Should Answer
Part 4: Fundamental Website Pages
Part 5: Is Your Website an Asset…or a Liability?
Part 6: How to Promote Your Website
If you build a website, will they come?
Yes — but you need to get the word out. Luckily, there are many ways you can promote your website.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
If you’ve been hiding from social media, it’s time to make yourself known. With Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you can start a buzz about your business and drive traffic to your website. You can share:
- links to new blog articles you’ve posted,
- company news, such as an expansion or a new product, or
- personal messages to your customers.
A few caveats:
- Share something of value. People tire of pointless chatter or redundant postings.
- Be human. Don’t always talk about yourself or your business. Have a little fun. Consider social media an opportunity to develop a two-way relationship with your friends, acquaintances, potential business partners, or investors.
- Regard your time wisely. Do not spend your time tweeting at the expense of your business. Social media should be just one part of your overall marketing plan.
For more tips, read Promoting Your Website With Social Media.
Identify the Marketing Opportunities
Your potential website visitors may arrive from different paths. Here are three possibilities:
People searching for your business directly: Who are they? Customers, friends, family, others who type in your website address or your company name. They find you through Facebook, a business card, mailer, signage, billboards, etc. To encourage this traffic, advertise your website everywhere. Talk it up among your friends.
People searching for your type of business. These prospects have a need or a problem, and they’re searching for solutions. If you are a home builder, and you use relevant keywords in your website such as “Cleveland home builders,” “Ohio builders,” etc., and your website has been around awhile, it may rank high in the search engine results pages (SERPs.) How do you find relevant keywords? Conduct your own keyword research with Google Adwords Keyword search tool or Google Trends.
People searching for something related to your business. This group may not be ready to buy, may not know they need your business, may not know what the heck they want! But, you can reach them. Become a trusted source on all things tires. Or coffee. Or holistic medicine. Whatever it is that you’re selling.
How? You know your typical customer: their thoughts, worries, questions. You also know the answers! You can start a blog and generate valuable content for your website. For example, say you sell tires. Potential customers may be searching for:
- Winter driving techniques.
- How to determine the correct tire pressure.
- How often you should rotate your tires.
- What to look for in a high-quality tire.
- Different types of tread.
- How to change a tire.
So, when someone Googles “Winter Driving Techniques” and clicks on your insightful blog article, you have a new website visitor!
The key: Keep visitors coming back for more “Things of Value.” Invite them to sign up for a blog, take a guide or a white paper, or try your product. You’ll stay in contact while gaining authority. Then when they’re ready to buy, your company — trusted friend that it has become — will be at the top of their minds.
A Word about the Search Engines
You can spend a lot of time, money, and energy puzzling out the secret algorithm that determines which sites will rank well (good luck!) But in general, Google favorably ranks sites with fresh, original content that others see as valuable, evidenced through links, tweets, shares, etc.
Conversely, they may punish (ding, downgrade, etc.) flimsy sites that are padded with keywords, duplicate content, or questionable linking practices. These are “black-hat” techniques, and you should stay away from them.
Instead, focus your attention on creating the most valuable website that you can. Make it relevant, timely, and interesting.
This is when it gets fun. The more your website becomes content-rich, widely read, linked to, tweeted, shared, and celebrated, the more it will gain in the search results, and the more business for you!
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