So, you have a website which you have spent hours building or spent thousands of dollars having some other company build it, and you have no idea what to do with it other than displaying it proudly at the bottom corner of your shiny, flashy business card in bold letters. Don’t worry, you are not the first, and you surely will not be the last.
Your business is slow and you are looking for alternatives to advertising on yellow pages, radio, magazines, trade shows or event on TV. You are anxious, impatient and you want results fast. Not only do you want results fast, but also you do not want to commit thousands of dollars in setup charges. Well, a lot of online marketers would probably start laughing after you mention the fast results and lack of commitment to spending the big bucks. However, we do feel your pain and we do have some good suggestions;
1) Evaluate Your Website
Before you start bringing traffic to your website, you have to make sure that you can deliver what you promise. You do not want to spend dollars bringing traffic to your site before you actually perfect your web pages.
a. Your textual content needs to be easy to read and easy to access. If you have long complicated sentences explaining your services or products, get rid of them. If you have too much textual content, decrease it and implement more visuals. (Images, graphs, charts and videos)
b. Visuals are everything to the users since the average attention span of an online searcher is about 5-15 seconds, so you better project your message quickly and directly.
c. Use as few links as possible on your site. Make all content easily accessible.
d. The most important factor is “Call to Action”. What kind of conversion are you looking for? A form submission, a phone call or a click to chat, or all of the above? Make sure you display your call to action towards the top of the page (above the fold) and make sure it’s clear.
e. Please use analytics so that you can actually track what’s happening on your site. You can even use the server stats of your hosting company. If you have no idea, just ask your hosting support for “Server Stats Access”. We suggest using Google Analytics.
2) Best Part: Bringing the Traffic
Now that your site is up to the task, you can start generating some traffic and start getting leads, orders or phone calls.
a. Google Adwords: It’s easy to setup but expensive to maintain. However, it will get your phones to start ringing. You can go to adwords.google.com and create an account in minutes. Try to stay away from general keywords otherwise it gets really expensive. For example, if you sell “perfumes”, you do not want to advertise for the keyword “perfume”. You should go after the “long-tail terms” such as “Dolce Gabbana Light Blue Perfume”. The more specific the term, the higher your conversions (ROI) will be. However, you should keep in mind that advertising on Google Adwords (Pay per Click) is expensive and requires an aggressive strategy and constant review of analytics.
b. Google Base: I love Google Base and the best part is that it’s FREE TRAFFIC. You can learn more at base.google.com. You basically upload an excel file (text, or csv file) of your products, services, events, listings (real estate or entertainment) or any type of services your business offers. The only trick is to make the listings as relevant as possible. You can start getting clicks from Google Base right away. It’s a bit technical at times (depending on your listing), however once you get familiar with it, you just have to update your feed every 30 days. Let me just say I have submitted eCommerce sites with hundreds of thousands of products to Google Base within minutes. Google Base has the potential to generate thousands of dollars worth of orders or leads monthly if it’s correctly implemented.
c. Social Bookmarking: One of the best ways to display your website, products and services on the internet is using social bookmarking sites such as Digg.com and Delicious.com. It also helps if you have a great article, an idea, an experiment, or a really different or innovative product. Users respond to “out of the ordinary” ideas and messages. With a single article, visual images, or a video, you could possibly bring thousands of people to your site in one day. But remember, you need original content or a unique idea.
d. Interactive Videos: Imagine that you owned a men’s’ clothing store and you were the first one to come up with an idea to make a video of “How to tie a tie”. Or imagine you sold chocolates and you made a video of packing and shipping the chocolates in boxes with ice packs and named it, “How to ship chocolates without melting”. You could alter the idea for your own products or services and come up with an amateur video, which might take you 45 minutes. It would create and bring you thousands of visitors, brand recognition, and bring revenue.
I know, I know. There are no easy answers here since the competition is so fierce on the Internet. However, this can be a good start. If you are new to all this, it would be wise to get assistance from marketing professionals or consultants. It could never hurt to get some information and learn a couple of new tricks along the way.