1 Update your site regularly
This is a chore for both business owners and webmasters alike. Finding new
content can be difficult, but it essential to getting regular crawls from search engines and to attracting visitors back to your site. It is also a great reason for other sites to link to you. The best way to start this discipline is to put the task in your diary with a regular slot, say several hours a fortnight. Make sure that content will be of interest to your visitors by making it newsworthy or controversial if possible. Remember that the web is a graphical medium, and that changing photos and colours can also give your site a fresh look, if you have the skills to change them.
2 Collect email leads
People who have come to your site have been searching for products and information which is relevant to your business. Some may want to purchase products immediately and your web design should make this easy for them. However, some may be thinking about a future purchase and are looking for information. If your site looks like a good source of information, you could tempt them to give them your email in return for regular updates and even special offers. If they are doing this type of research they are likely to be willing to give you their details in return for further information. If they do give you their information, you must remember your side of the deal and you must give them interesting updates and offers and not just a heavy sales pitch or the same offers that they have seen before. A light touch always works better because of the natural fear that people have of spam.
3 Improve your search engine rankings
First, let me define two types of search engine optimisation (SEO). “White hat” techniques optimise websites using techniques that are within the guidelines laid down by the search engines. For example the Google guidelines are listed here. White hat techniques do not try to fool the search engines into giving false rankings. “Black Hat” techniques use a range of methods to improve the rankings of websites by fooling the search engine when it crawls the site. A blog on black hat techniques can be found here, although we recommend that you do not attempt to use any of them. The penalty for being caught is a lengthy ban for the listings as some high profile businesses have found.
If you are not familiar with SEO, contact your webmaster or an SEO expert.
4 Start a Blog
Blogs are one of the phenomenon’s of the recent internet history, but they are really only understood and used by a portion of the population outside of the US. In many ways, that is because most of these people see themselves as internet consumers of information, rather than people who can take part. Younger people, who have grown up with technology are less constrained.
So what is a blog? It is a series of web pages, where anyone can comment about anything that they want within reason. Why would that be remotely interesting? Well, it may be interesting to read first hand what life is like for an ordinary citizen in Bagdhad, for example. Also, most people has some form of expertise or special knowledge, and a blog gives them an opportunity to share what they know. The proof is, they say, in the eating. There is a blog created in the world every second, and quite a few of them are very highly ranked by search engines as authorities on their topics. If you can build this authority on a topic related to your site, you can link back to the site and bring both additional visitors and an improved search engine ranking. Regular blogging also gives site visitors some fresh content to keep them coming back to your site.
5 Put Your Website URL Everywhere
I am always amazed by businesses who will spend £5-10,000 on a website, but they do not use their own stationery to advertise their site. Put your URL on your headed paper, business cards, compliment slips, product packaging, invoices, and any other piece of printed material that you produce. Look for opportunities to draw visitors to your site. If you are recruiting, direct potential candidates to an “About Us” page on your site. Similarly, if you are looking for new suppliers, direct them to the site for more information. All of these activities builds awareness of your site and it makes it a part of how you do business, rather than just your brochure that you put on the internet.
6 Link promotions back to your site
If you run promotions or special offers, it is useful to direct customers to your site. As well as building awareness of your business online, it can be a very cost-effective way of giving information about the promotion or of fulfilling it directly. The internet can take the pressure off call center resources and can also help to smooth out peak demand when an offer first breaks. Your website is a good alternative to offer customers when phone lines are busy. If customers can place their orders themselves, this is the best solution for everyone.
7 Advertise on the internet
More and more people are using search engines to look for the best suppliers of goods and services. If you do not have the highest rankings in search engines for the keywords that people might use when searching for your product or service then it is worth investigating whether Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising could work for you. The way it works is simple. You create an account with a search engine of your choice. You select the keyword that you believe are relevant to your product and you tell the search engine how much you are willing to pay for each visitor to your site. You then need to put together a small ad for the search engine and, hey presto! you are advertising. The search engine will place ads in order starting with the highest bid. Ads are usually rotated during the day. The two vital things in getting PPC to work are to pick the right keywords and to write an ad that will draw the right visitors to your site. You can experiment with low cost keywords until you get it right, or you can seek the advice of an internet marketing professional.
8 Register with comparison shopping sites
If your website can take orders for products, take a look at comparison shopping sites like Kelkoo and Froogle. These sites rank well for the items that they list and they provide shoppers with information on where to get the best deals. While they are mainly price driven, they also contain information on delivery, availability, and other services that you may offer. If you have products available at a reasonable price, this is a great way to get your brand known in the market and to attract buyers to your site.
Not all of these actions will apply to every business, but if you implement 4 or more of them you will get a lead on the competition. The truth is that very few businesses are making the most of these opportunities, so if you are the first in your market, or your area, then you steal a march on the opposition.