Web Development Essentials — Promoting Your Site

How to Market and Promote Effectively

Websites have the unique ability to enable their owners to have electronic one-on-one conversations with people visiting them. As a new or existing website owner, you must recognize and appreciate your site's enormous marketing and promotional value.

But before a personal conversation can begin, you need to attract people to your site. Advertising, marketing, and promoting efforts, whether using print or electronic media, must succeed at inviting people to sit down at a computer and converse with you through your site. Your primary objective: To create an effective, comprehensive advertising campaign that attracts your targeted audience.

Your job is to make your electronic one-on-one conversation interesting, informative, and personal enough to persuade individuals to contact you. Maximizing website traffic doesn't happen on its own, but your work can pay big dividends. Warren Camp can help you earn such dividends when you market and promote your personalized website message with him.

Online and Offline Promotion

Promoting your site is an essential step once it's been checked, double-checked, proofread, and validated. Search engines (SEs) are the primary way people find information on the Internet. Failure to optimize and submit a site to top SEs would be similar to building a brand-new store without telling people about it. To facilitate this process, Warren provides a two-part marketing and promoting checklist.

Step 1:  Optimizing the site, then submitting it to SE directories before its launch.
Step 2:  Announcing, advertising, marketing, and promoting the site at launch time.

Step 1 — Search Engine Promotion Plan Options

A basic plan includes minimal optimization and submission only to Google. Once submitted, a site's listing cannot be guaranteed.
A complete plan includes significant optimization and submission to numerous top SEs, such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, MSN Search, Alta Vista, and AOL. When this is done properly, customers should easily find your site through the top SEs.

Step 2 — Promotion Possibilities

Once an SE promotion plan has been implemented, it's time to consider preferred ways to announce, advertise, and promote your site's launch to the world.

  • Press Releases:  Hire a qualified professional to write and transmit press releases to relevant publishers and broadcasters. Media representatives should include your site's URL in articles or segments they produce.
  • Phone Book:  Don't forget to include your URL in your upcoming Yellow Pages ad; it's one place people can see it every day.
  • Paraphernalia:  Include your URL on all promotional paraphernalia you give away, such as T-shirts, hats, mugs, rulers, key chains, pens and pencils, mouse pads, fortune cookies, and bumper stickers.
  • Printed Promos:  Put your URL on letterhead, business cards, cars and trucks, uniforms, tools, warranties, receipts, packaging, catalogs, store windows, and artwork — wherever potential visitors are likely to see it.
  • Pamphlets and Posters:  Place your URL on all your printed literature: pamphlets, brochures, newsletters, product leaflets, ads, posters, and prayer cards — everything.
  • Periodic Publications:  Try contacting publishers of magazines and newspapers and offer news or valuable tips from your company. Include your URL in articles and artwork you send them.
  • Postcards:  Use postcards! People can’t fail to miss seeing your URL on them; there’s room for only a small message, which usually keeps people happy. Try free postcards; on your countertop, keep a stack of nicely printed, interesting or funny postcards showing your URL; encourage people to take a few to send to their friends.
  • Publications:  Send out e-newsletters to site registrants, offering tips and news related to your company, church, or organization, with hyperlinks directing readers to your site.
  • Presentations:  E-broadcast a well-planned, customer-focused email promotion presenting a new product, service, employee, ministry, or program aimed at a targeted list of potential visitors. Offer a freebie or credit toward the purchase of something from your site.
  • Preferences Surveys:  To connect with new and existing customers and site visitors, create an online survey. Ask for their opinions about your new or renovated website. Be sure to respond to every participant.
  • Press Releases:  Email press releases to the media and to your clients, friends, and associates.
  • Popular Pages:  Add a “Favorites" or "Bookmark this page” script to your popular Web pages. Consider adding a "Recommend this site" feature; when visitors know others who might enjoy your site, this feature emails your page's link to recipients. Include an "Email this page" feature on popular pages to allow quick and easy sharing of your site's content.
  • Prize Offers:  Hold a sweepstakes contest offering those who register on your site or subscribe to e-newsletters or a blog a chance to win a free prize. Announce winners on your site.
  • Polls:  Invite visitors to evaluate your site. Reward participants with product samples, books, booklets, or tracts.
  • Publicity Posts:  Email everybody in your address book; have everyone in your company do the same. Be careful to keep it short and simple — four to five lines including the URL are sufficient — because this can be considered spam. In addition, include your URL in email signatures — yours and your employees’. Change e-signatures occasionally to highlight new promotions.

Promote your new or renovated website with a launch party. It can attract local clients and potential customers to your place of business. Have fun; provide hands-on demonstrations of what your site offers; give away a variety of printed promos such as those listed above.

Choose your preferred options. Complete Step 1 and both parts of Step 2. Rake in the dividends.

Check out Warren's web-specific pages:

Web Design  |  Web Development

Examples of Effective Website Basics

Informational Q & A  |  Search Engine Optimization

Improving SEO Rankings  |  Tracking Site Performance

Evaluating Google Analytics  | Marketing and Promotion

Analyzing and Improving Your Existing Site

If your website doesn't stand out and do a lot of things right, chances are it's not going to achieve your goals. If you need a new site, discuss the possibilities with Warren to get a feel for the effort and cost involved. If you want to renovate an existing site, Warren can examine it to see what you're doing right and wrong and what you're forgetting to do. New or existing, his insights and recommendations can help make a difference in the success or failure of your site.

If you'd like Warren Camp Design to create a new site, redesign or freshen up your existing site, or evaluate your site objectively, or call WCD at 209-795-7661.