Your website is the most important element of yoursmall business marketing mix. It's more important than a brochure or a business card. Let's face it—few people are using the yellow pages to find vendors these days, so your no. 1 job is to make sure that your customers can find you on the Internet. So how do you market your website to build your business and get more customers? Here are 10 tactics:
1. Fortify Your Home Base. Make sure your site is professional looking, and that all the links work! Have clear information on how people can hire you and complete contact details, and use a contact form. Make sure that you have three to five ways to engage potential customers once they arrive at your site. Examples: Offer them a free monthly e-newsletter, give away a free chapter download of your book or e-book, orask them to sign up for the RSS feed of your blog.
2. Develop a Blog. Make sure that you know the search terms customers will use to find you online. Once you have this information, you should develop content that specifically addresses their needs. Create a content strategy with articles, videos and audio clips that answer questions and provide solutions. You must blog two to three times a week to be taken seriously and to stay on your customers’ minds. The more the better. Producing quality content is your best website marketing strategy.
3. Use Keywords Intelligently. It is important that you know your top 5 keywords. It is particularly important to place the words in the titles of your blog posts. They should be used throughout the website content too, but be careful not to overdo it. You want to make sure that you do not turn off your target audience or search engines by stuffing your site with unnecessary keywords.
4. Offer a Free Giveaway. You should create a special report from your signature content that you give away for free in exchange for an email address. It should be your best stuff. You will never get a client to do business with you if you start the relationship by giving them junk.
5. Use SEO. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of awebsite in search engines via “natural” or un-paid search. Your activities boost your online brand and you drive traffic to your website.
6. Set Weekly Goals to Obtain In-bound Links. Ten to 25 links per week is a good number. List yourself in business directories, comment on blogs and send out press releases to help achieve your weekly goals. SEO optimization is highly reliant on in-bound link numbers, but quality of where the links come from is important, too.
7. Review Your Google Analytics. Check your analytics for your “bounce rate.” Do people leave your site quickly after they arrive? If so, why aren’t they staying? You can do a lot to draw traffic, but if they come and leave quickly, you’ve wasted all your efforts. Invest in having your Google Analytics results reviewed by a professional so that you can tweak your content strategy. Once your figure out what your audience likes, give them more over it.
8. Leverage Social Media Profiles. Take advantage of all opportunities to link your website to your social media profiles. For example, if you use LinkedIn, make sure your have pulled in your blog (if you have one) and list your website in your Twitter profile. Also, create a Facebook Fan Page with a link back to your business website.
9. Use Social Networking Sites. Choose two social networks where your customers are hanging out online. Use social media to network and push out your blog content. Use a 4:1 ratio of promoting other people’s content over your own. Remember that social media is about mutual interaction, so don’t be all about promoting your business. Share other people’s content, and they will promote yours.
10. Build Community Online. Use social media to win friends and ask and answer questions. This will help you demonstrate your thought leadership. As you build your online reputation, it becomes a valuable asset to bring in more site visitors.
Do you have another method to promote a small business website?
Melinda F. Emerson, known to many asSmallBizLadyis one of America's leading small business experts. As CEO of MFE ConsultingLLC,Melinda educates entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies on subjects including small business start-up, business development and social media marketing. Melindais also the author of the national bestsellerBecome Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works. Melinda is not a Pitney Bowes employee, and shares her opinions on this blog as a paid contributor.