Many people make the mistake of viewing a website merely as an online promotional brochure. They make it look pretty but it doesn’t get traffic.
In fact, it’s all about the “SEARCH” – your website must be search engine friendly. SEO is the name of the game today. It must be Search Engine Optimized! And today, the interactivity of the “blogsite” allows you to develop a community and tons of “raving fans” that can make you a social media superstar! (Meaning, you’re likely to get a book deal, get media attention and make lots of money).
All that from a website? Yes!
The key is to add value to the visitor’s experience. With your website (which we recommend the wordpress.org platform) you can handle:
- Lead generation
- Product sales
- Customer service
- Frequently asked questions
- Electronic newsletters
- Promotions, contests
- Podcasting, Video & Livestreams
- Links with other programs
- Press releases
- The Press Room (with media)
- Links to appropriate content-related sites
- Search tools
- Customer surveys & Forms
While this list of potential applications is extensive, you can probably add items to it based on your ministry, book or business. Each day people are finding new applications, new sources of information, new customers, and a getting an edge in their specific marketplace.
How to Promote Your Site
It’s not enough to just establish a Website (this is your hub); you must actively promote the site so that prospective visitors can find it.
Below is a checklist of the steps to successfully market your Web presence:
1. Develop Your “Internet Image”
Your identity online should establish brand. I always suggest obtaining your NAME as one of the domain names (www.yourcompany.com), then your company/ministry and possibly your book title or publishing company. Just make sure that your online image reflects the image you present in your marketing materials. Branding is so important – don’t be random!
2. Integrate Your Web Site into All Marketing Efforts
Mention your domain name in all advertisements, PR, brochures, email signature and your social media sites. Your letterhead, envelopes and business cards should contain your url for your domain name too. Let nothing go out without that website address on it… not even a napkin!
3. Add KeyWord Rich Title Tags and Descriptions and Meta Tags
The Internet search engines use text hidden within your Website’s code to properly catalog your site for customers who are looking for your services. Describe your company/brand in 25 words. Make a list of up to 150 key words that describe your company and products. Put the most important words at the front of the list. Work closely with your SEO web developer to make sure this information places you in a favorable position – like page one of Google!
4. Gather Visitor Data for One-to-One Communication
Conduct surveys, contests, and opinion polls on your site. Gather e-mail addresses of visitors. These addresses may be used to send e-mail messages (ezines) about new information in your ministry, industry, your company and/or book. Keep e-mail messages short and include a way for people to unsubscribe from the list. Use the personal, interactive nature of the blog to maintain a dialog with those who are interested in you. Do not EBLAST! Read this article I wrote about it.
5. Use Social Media and SEO Press Releases
Use social media to push out your content and use SEO press release to get backlinks – and also get media exposure. I use the blog as my main tool to brand and post info to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, FriendFeed and other mobile blogs to get good “google juice.”
6. Is your website WHACK? (Not getting traffic?)
If your current Web site was designed by graphic artist rather than SEO professional, consider a redesign to make sure that your message is being adequately presented on the Internet.
Finally, Measure the Results
Measure traffic to your site in numbers of unique visitors and page impressions. This gives you a good idea of how many different people saw your message, and how many people visited each page on your site. Don’t be satisfied with a simple “hit count” which measures the number of files opened (there are many files for each page). Measure the number of times your message was seen. Of course, the ultimate measure is return on investment. Your SEO professional can help you understand all of this.
Don’t put up a website or a blog simply because everyone has one. Make the site useful and informative for your target audience.
Make certain the information flows. Make certain it pays off for the person who has gone to the trouble to come to your site.
Make certain it pays off for you. And make sure you have an “opt in” box to build your list. That is mandatory.