Does this sound familiar? “My web site has been up for 3 months, but I still haven’t had a single customer. I thought once the site was built customers would pour in.”
Assuming that building a web site will automatically draw in customers is one of the most common misconceptions about online marketing. Creating an online business is similar to creating a brick-and-mortar business, you MUST advertise. We’ve got several online and offline tips to help your web site get the exposure it deserves.
Tips for Getting People to Your Web Site:
1. Join small business discussion groups and participate. Interacting with an online community through answering business-related questions or providing occasional information on your products/services, is a great way to become that group’s “expert.” Ask to lead a free workshop on your area of expertise at the next meeting. You will be able to share your knowledge, draw people to your site and perhaps pick up new customers at the same time.
2. Register your site with search engines. There are several search engines that let you submit your site for free, such as DMOZ, http://www.dmoz.org and Google, http://www.google.com . Other sites require you to pay for listings. You may also want to look into a featured listing program. This is a paid service where your web site will always appear at the top for the keywords you’ve chosen.
3. Have a link exchange. Ask businesses with similar products/services to add your link to their website. In return, you place a link to them on your site. For example, if you are a graphic designer, you may want to link up with web designers and multimedia specialists.
4. Put your web site address everywhere you put your phone number. This means, include your website address on business cards, business checks, advertisements and promotional materials.
5. Use your e-mail signature to your advantage. Include your company name, web site address, and a brief description of your products/services in your e-mail signature. This way, anyone you send an e-mail to will have access to your web site.
6. Create a blog to share your knowledge. By creating a blog, you will give potential customers an easy way to learn your style and consider using your products or services. You can also add links to your web site on the sidebar and posts, where appropriate.
These are only a few tips to get you going. Remember, your website is an extension of your business. It takes time to grow a good customer base. With the right amount of advertising and a great site, your online business will be profitable in no time.