Promoting a Website is not an easy task. New Website Developers may have the impression of building a Website and sales are generated. This is far from true. There are millions of Websites. Within those millions, there are bound to be competitors. To rise above, or obtain a portion of the market-share, developers need to utilize an effective promotion campaign.
Establishing a Website is not much different than a brick-and-mortar business. Open a Deli in the heart of a City and millions of potential customers will pass daily. In contrast, open the Deli in the suburbs, and there would be one quarter of the potential customers. Obviously, the City would be much more expensive to get started and maintain, but the revenue should provide for the added expense.
The same holds true in Website Promotion. However, the landscape is different. There are no streets and sidewalks customers have to use. Therefore, our businesses need to be found by customers in a variety of places. It needs to be brought to the potential customer, or viewable from wherever they may be lurking.
Where do we start with Website Promotion?
One of the topics sweeping the developer's world is Optimization. The internet will naturally bring potential customers, if the site is optimized properly. Computers work hard on matching relevant information. This is a huge benefit to e-business owners.
Before promotion begins, or altering existing efforts, understand the Internet's backbone. Why has the World Wide Web become popular? Most should agree, information retrieval rules. Internet users don't have to sit down and watch television waiting for local weather. They don't have to wait for news of interest. They don't have to drive to find the best prices. They don't have to look through cook-books to find a recipe. They don't have to talk to salespeople for a car. Today it's all on the, "information," super highway.
As a developer, focus on information delivery before beginning promotion of a Website. If a page can be divided into two topics, make two separate pages. Over-use of graphics can present problems too. While it's nice to make a Site pretty, most people don't care. They want the information or products they are seeking. Sectors such as art could be an exception, but for the most part, lots of graphics are a waste. People read on the internet. Give people something to read, not just something to view.
If launching a new campaign, it may take time to decipher an effective budget. There are simple variables that should be considered with budgeting. Given the potential scope of a Website, advertising should be devoted to different areas of the site. For example, paying to promote the free portion of a Website is not logical. In contrast, a free forum may sell advertising. The advertising segment of the site should be exploited.
There is a simple formula to develop a budget. If a site is new, it takes some research and investment to draw an accurate conclusion. Put simply, consider the following; how many potential customers are required to make a sale? From each sale, how much profit is generated? Of the profits, how much is invested into advertising? This identifies the value of potential customers. If ten customers make one sale, and ten dollars are allocated towards advertising, each customer is potentially worth one dollar. However, room for growth could be made by reducing the value of a potential customer or increasing the advertising contribution. A competitive sector may force reduced profits rather than reduced value of potential customers.
Comprehensive budgeting could be applied to aspects of the business. Promote each aspect as a unique entity. For example, a Website that sells music and movies could have separate budgets for the segments. This could reveal vital information to the survival of a business. Implement effective models that assist in tracking expense and results. This is fairly simple with website statistics and tracking tools.
Free Traffic Promotion ? Keywords and Phrases
When it comes to free traffic, it's about information retrieval. People utilize tools that provide information accurately and quickly. These tools rely on the developer's interpretation of a Website or page (On-Site Optimization). What is the Website or page about? What phrases are people looking for that want to use this site? Information retrieval is a complicated double-edge-sword between people surfing the web and people creating the web. When the people creating the web do not create clear and focused pages, people surfing the Web cannot find them.
Free traffic is a gift from creating user friendly pages, clearly focusing on a specific topic, and the result of promotion efforts. It stems from a good balance. While free traffic primarily comes from Search Engines, it also comes from referring sites. People will write about a Website in blogs, forums, or on their personal pages. People will add links to Sites they like.
If developers hunt for free traffic, problems can arise. Hunting for free traffic has made developers try tricks that got the site removed from Search Engines. This can present a big problem as they are a large source of free targeted traffic. Keep free traffic in mind while promoting a Website, but don't make it the focus of promotion. It will come naturally over time. Take it as a gift and an acknowledgement that a Website has been optimized well, presents clear information, and is promoted in the right places. Although some may argue the point, don't anticipate quality free traffic to begin immediately. It takes extensive thought, advertising, and planning for this to happen, especially within competitive sectors.
Promoting in Directories
One place to start promoting a Website is Website Directories. Most directories are organized by topic. Some are more comprehensive than others. In addition, there are, "Niche," directories that focus on one topic. For example, there are directories for shopping, reference, art, and automotive sites. In contrast, there are general directories that provide all the niches.
Finding an appropriate place within a directory may be difficult. Directories can a large structure. However, a comprehensive structure benefits advertisers with targeting. Comprehensive directories enable developers' to classify a Website. For example, it maybe possible to promote a site the sells speakers, for cars, but only domestic cars, and ones that are late model. In addition, some directories may implement regional indexing. Targeting an index in a directory can be complex, but it can be a great benefit too.
Don't expect to rush from directory to directory and establish a bunch or references. Each directory is unique. Take time to understand how the directory is structured, what they expect as a title and description, and how the suggestion process works. Seek similar sites; take note of where they appear, and how they are described.
Directories are generally affordable solutions. Most Directories are indexed by search engines. They help search engines understand a sites focus. In addition, they are a reference point for some people. It may be a good idea to seek-out one or two directories a week, or as appropriate to a budget. Finding good directories will consume a lot of time. However, once a link is added, it will remain there for a long duration.
News and Media Promotion ? Public Relations
Public Relations an important factor when promoting any Business. News and Media channels are the vehicles that convey information to the public. News about a business can make a huge impact on the public. Good news can make lots of people remember a business. Some developers release news about every change or added feature to a Website. Ironically, some developers never utilize this area of promotion.
There are a variety of distribution sites that will expose news releases to numerous channels, for a modest fee. In addition, most will offer free options. It may be a good idea to utilize free options for news that is not very important. For example, adding a, "Calculator," to a Website probably will not gain much attention. However, anything that may be important to the public needs to be announced.
If it can be added to the budget, outsource public relations efforts. PR companies have knowledge of what the media likes and contacts that make them valuable. PR specialists can be found in almost every City.
Ezine Articles - Provide Rich Content
Writing articles is a powerful promotion tool. Some developers refer to this as, "Viral Marketing". There are Websites that require content. Content brings them traffic. Traffic builds valuable ad space.
Article Distribution sites assist promoters with circulating articles. Many Ezines rely on Distribution Sites for their content. Post an article to a distribution site and the article is, "up-for-grabs," to anyone. The article begins to circulate the internet like a virus. Everywhere it appears, reference is given to the author and their Website.
Advertising on the Web
There are a variety of reference websites. Generally, these sites consist of Forums, Article content, and Online Chats. They rely on selling ad space as the main revenue stream. While some reference developers are, "trying to rich quick," there are sites that offer affordable solutions to promote a Website. With free traffic in mind, seek-out text link advertising venues. Look for sites that charge a flat fee. Sites that charge per click or by the impression usually mask links for tracking. This does not build good recognition with search engines.
Seek relevant opportunities for promoting the Website. If the allows people to buy tennis shoes, a sports reference and information area may be prove beneficial. Another might be a reference site about footwear. Trial and error will reveal good advertising sources for promotion. Regardless of the site being promoted, there are reference areas that are valuable promotion tools.
The internet moves fast in certain aspects. When it comes to Website promotion, it moves slowly. Modifications that are made to a Web Page are not going to be seen the next day. Significant results appear months later. The most important area of promotion, is keeping accurate records. Website promotion is complex. Developers need to consider on-site and off-site optimization, targeting, and ad construction. The right mix can provide a significant advantage over the competition.
Michael Medeiros has an extensive background in business and advertising. He is the proprietor of the Mjmls Classifieds (http://www.Mjmls.com), which is an open-source advertising solution for businesses and individuals.