So you decide to finally get a website. After launching your site out into cyber space, you sit there anxiously awaiting the floods of business to come your way. But nothing happens. And worse yet, your traffic shows only 2 people came to your site in the last week and most of those are probably you.
So what happened? If you build a website, shouldn’t the people come?
The truth is “No!” – Not without some work. Educating people about how to get your website to work for you is something many web designers don’t do. But its important to understand because building a website is like having a garage sale. You can sit there all day alone, waiting for people to happen to drive by and see you or you can get the word out and have people waiting outside your door before you even open shop.
Building your website is just part of creating your successful presence online. You are going to need more than just a great website.
- SEO - (Search engine optimization) Getting a professional to optimize your site will ensure you are being found organically
- Adding link to your email signature line
- Press Releases
- Become an expert in your field with an internal blog. Write useful and engaging articles that bring people back for more.
- Submit your articles to Bookmarking sites like Digg.
- Market your website in your store and on all your marketing materials. Give people a reason to go there!
- Try doing incentives like contests or events to get people interacting online
- Do searches for people asking questions in your field that you know you can answer like on forums, blogs and social media sites. Answer them and include a link to your blog.
- Be sure you have a Google Places/Maps page with your website in it.
- Add yourself to all the free local business directories
- Utilize Social Media such as linked in, Youtube, Facebook and Twitter
- Create a Craigslist Ad for your business and keep it active
- Periodically run some Google Ads.
- Find trade organizations, specialty directories and business organizations like the Chamber of Commerce.
- Develop a FREE service for your visitors. (free home remodeling calculator)
- Contribute articles to local publications, and include your website for more useful information.
- Submit your site to DMOZ
- Be sure to sign up for google alerts and monitor all things said about your business online so you can protect your brand
Being an expert in your field by writing useful blog content brings traffic. Notice the image of my traffic, that the top traffic to my site is not my business pages, but the articles I have written. The most business I get is from word of mouth and people who have read my articles and liked what I had to say. I have also had various press and publication quote me or use my content. Remember, that writers are often researching something they don’t know and looking for someone who does. Positioning yourself as a resource can give a lot of credibility to you and your business.
The internet continues to grow and the businesses and soon all businesses will have to be successfully navigating the online landscape to stay in business. Staying on top of it is crucial, as the more your competitors compete for online business, they more your proactive involvement will pay off. Those who wait too long will have to spend more money to compete with those who have a solid online presence already.