For many small companies who delve into the exciting new level of business that can only be obtained by getting a website, often times they don’t understand “why” they need a new website. The good news is, they do understand that they need a new website, so understanding “why” is of minor importance. Many business owners need a website to serve as a glorified, modernized version of what the yellow-pages once were, an easily accessible way to find your contact information. Increasingly so, yellow-pages are becoming obsolete due to the benefits of a website over a static yellow-page ad. (When was the last time you used your yellow-pages, versus simply searching for the information online instead?) Other businesses have more complex needs, such as the need to sell products on line, or the need to establish their brand in interactive ways, and so they need a website to perform these functions.
If you build it, will they come?
A common misconception among business owners is that simply building a website is enough. As I tell all of my clients, it is emphatically not enough. You must have a website, granted, but you must also drive traffic to that website. A website without a marketing strategy designed to bring visitors to your website is essentially worthless.
Now, there are many ways you can bring traffic to your website:
- Do it yourself - via word of mouth, you directly tell a prospective customer of yours to visit yoursite.com
- Print it on your marketing materials - Business cards, brochures, etc., can all be used in conjunction with your other marketing strategies to drive more traffic to your website.
- Online Marketing campaigns - Ads (text ads, banner ads, content ads) can be used to drive traffic to your site from other pages where visitors might be looking for products and services similar to what you offer.
- Google Adwords (Pay Per Click) – These ads target users where it counts, on the search engine pages. If a user searches for a keyword that matches your ad, then a link to your website will come up, often in the first page of results.
Now, these methods are for those who want a pro-active approach to actually drive traffic to their sites. But what about a more passive approach?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is a method of optimizing your web pages so that your site will come up higher in the list of “organic” results. Organic results are more attractive to searchers than paid search results. You need to make sure your website is optimized so that people can find your website amid the billions of others out there. Relying solely on SEO is not an effective web marketing strategy, in and of itself, but it is imperative that SEO techniques are incorporated into your web marketing activities.
How many visitors do I need to be successful?
This question is commonly asked by businesses. The truthful answer is, “it depends”. Some sites I have built need only 10 visits per day to be effective. These 10 visitors were driven to the site by the business owner via word of mouth. They would check out the site, get more information, and decided to engage with my client in business. This same client tried much more broad-reaching strategies, and found that the increase in clients only succeeded in wasting his time, because of his unique selling proposition.
Depending on factors such as local competition, Internet competition, and factors unique to your product, service and business model, your web strategy needs to be custom designed for your needs. It’s a fairly complicated process that should be entrusted into the hands of a competent professional.
WorldLight Media would love to help you create your web marketing strategy. Contact us today via our contact form, or at (360) 547 – 1087. Of course, as we’ve already established, the first step is to get a website, which, incidentally, we would love to help you out with that as well!