By: Wendy Ogryzek, June Bachman and Teresa Mitchell ~
Are you making the most of marketing your website? Here is a refresher of things you can be doing to increase the exposure of your website - based on six "C" words!
1. Copy – The website content.
Your website content is the most important part of your site. It is both how you communicate with your visitors and how you attract the search engine spiders. Tips to make the most of your copy include:
Spell out your domain. Ensure that the name of your website is mentioned in the body text of your website, not just in the graphics, header and images. Search engine spiders can’t read images, by using text you ensure the domain URL will be seen. Additionally, it provides a link to your website.
Perfect your signature. Include your email address AND your website’s address in the signature of every email that leaves your inbox. Make it easy for visitors to find your website!
Balance the simple with the complex. Have a blog that shares information in its simplest and most complex form – content that targets more than one audience. The real key here is relevance. Use current and up-to-date information that is useful and of value to your visitors.
Don’t be boring. Update your website frequently . . . once a week add or update something.
- An image with accompanying keyword rich text.
- An announcement about an upcoming event relevant and of value to your site visitors.
- An interesting blog post that solves one of your customer’s problems.
- A link to a relevant YouTube video that is of interest to your clients.
Be legitimate. Seriously, would you take a website with nothing but a phone number and an email address seriously? Include your mailing address and phone number on every page of your website! The more transparent you are, the quicker you will build trust with your visitors.
User composed content. Tap into your visitors and create an opportunity for them to create content. They could guest write a blog post or share a piece of information that your website visitors will need and appreciate.
Converse. Do a little research and find discussion groups online that you can contribute meaningful, helpful information to the conversation.
Big news! Create a space on your home page that you use for announcements, about products, services, upcoming events . . . get as excited about your business and prospects and inventory and services as you would like your customer’s to be.
Create a fan club. Build a facebook fanpage for your business and begin building a community around your page, website and business.
Get chatty. Comment on other blogs where your customers are gathering to find the information they need to solve their problems. Read the walls of your Facebook fans, and leave comments.
Act locally, think globally. Claim your local listing at Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Ride on bumpers. Order bumper stickers with your domain and tag line and get them driving around town.
Textile art. Wear your URL on a ball cap, a t-shirt, a sweatshirt, a banner.
Bees do it, educated fleas do it. Create a “buzz” about your business, website, customers . . . Offer something for free (of value) to your community. Encourage your visitors to share the offer with their friends and colleagues.
Reciprocity is mutually rewarding. Identify who your partners are in your industry and ask for a reciprocal link. They link to your website and you link to theirs.
Watch and learn. Link media websites that have video clips that are informative to your customers and relevant to your business.
Follow-up and follow-through. If someone takes time to contact you in any form – a comment on your website, an email asking for more information, an RSS subscription . . . any contact with anyone that can be tracked back to your website needs immediate and courteous attention. Personally, acknowledge the gift they have given you. Thank them for the comment they made on your latest blog post, send them more information than they asked for, thank them for subscribing to your blog . . .
Cross pollinate. Find complementary businesses and use your eNewsletter to mention and promote their business / products and services.
Everything is personal. The adage, it’s business, it’s not personal does not work in cyberspace. On the internet everything is personal. Every encounter with every customer needs your full and undivided attention to building a relationship and community around your business.
Compel me to visit your website. If your blog is hosted by a third-party and is not integral to your website, find a way to include a link back to your website.
Compel me to bookmark your website. Ask your site visitors to bookmark your site, add it to their favorites.
Compel action. Write, craft, compose compelling copy and a call to action for every page of your website. Make it easy for your visitors to know what you want them to do next!
Compel me to subscribe. Ask your site visitors to sign up, subscribe to your blog . . . and save them a trip back to your website, instead what you have to say will be sent right to their inbox via an RSS feed.
Compel viral content in your writing. Share the insider knowledge about your product or service, ask yourself what tips and tricks do I know about caring for, buying, researching et al the product or service you sell and share them with your customers and site visitors on your blog. If it has value, other complementary businesses will link to your blog post . . . why should they reinvent the wheel when they can swiftly create a link to the wheel?
Compel me to slow down. Bake sticky content for your website. Use humor, insider tips and tricks, share something you know that is of value or interest to your customers.
Embrace change. Shake things up, change elements of your website -- words, images.
Test is not a bad 4-letter word. Test elements of your website. Test calls to action. Test, test, test. Each week try a different call to action. See which ones generate the most action.
Know your competitors. There is much to learn from your competitors, by what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong. What are their strengths and weaknesses. Sign up for their newsletters, read their blog, analyze their keywords . . . compare, contrast and act. If your competitors are outranking you . . . do what they are doing better, smarter, faster, more efficiently. Give the search engines valid reasons to put your website at the top of the search engine results, ahead of your competition.
Define yourself as the expert. -- You are an island of specific skills and knowledge. Embrace the fact that you do what you do well, and there are other people out there that are looking for your expertise.
Remember that your website is NOT a field of dreams. Just because you have built it – doesn’t mean the visitors will just come to it. You need to be making weekly efforts to drive those visitors to your website and encourage them to take the action you want them to take!