Last in a Series

Lets say for a second your website is perfect. Now imagine that your website sits on a high dusty shelf in an empty building that no one knows about. Why? Because you haven’t done any marketing to promote it. Being perfect doesn’t seem all that important anymore, does it? Being good isn’t enough to be successful. You need a solid marketing plan to keep your site from dying of loneliness.

There are as many ways to promote your website as there are websites. But here are a few proven strategies to get you started.

• Use social media (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) to drive traffic to your site.

• Write and speak about your area of expertise and use those opportunities to draw traffic.

• Show thought leadership with a blog and user-submitted content to attract search engines.

• Use advertising, media relations, Google AdWords and/or email campaigns to increase traffic.

• Include your URL on your email signature and on all collateral (business cards, brochures, letterhead).

These may or may not work for you. Every business has different goals and different constituencies, and you have to develop a marketing strategy that will reach your target market.

Your Website Itself Is an Important Player

In previous posts we’ve outlined some of the basics in drawing the right crowd to your party. These include optimizing your site for search engines; insisting on smart, intuitive navigation; making sure your content is smart, concise and speaks to the right audience; taking care to ensure that your site looks engaging, credible, professional, up-to-date.

Other strategies to promote your website include creating videos, images and audio content that can live on sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, and draw people back to your site. Write articles for others to use on their websites or in their newsletters. Issue press releases. Begin a blog that shows off your expertise – not necessarily self-promotional. In fact, that can be counterproductive. Instead, just offer solid information and advice that shows off your expertise.

A Few More Suggestions

• Fine-tune your search engine optimization

• Promote your video, images and audio content

• Write articles others can use in websites, newsletters

• Install a “signature” in your email program

• Aggressively ask for email sign-ups

• Send offers to your visitors and customers

• Issue news releases

• Begin a business blog

• Develop a free service

• Hold a contest

• Create a site map

• Publish an email newsletter

• Purchase pay-per-click ads

Take our website scorecard test and see how your site stacks up.