Internet Marketing, Website Information, Web Site Design

Put your website to work now!

Here are 10 inexpensive ways to build your business with your website (yes some call it internet marketing). Some cost a little bit of money and all are worth it. If you currently have a website take note of the things you can do to turbocharge it. If you don’t have a website, print out this list and take it to your webmaster to discuss. Let’s get to it! (in no particular order):

1. Get your website found in Google. Search around Google for your competitors. if you find junky sites you have a great opportunity. If you run a local business, build a solid website and search engine optimize it (SEO) for local searches (such as “boston catering companies”). SEO is one of best investments you can make on your site and enables your site to rank higher in Google when someone searches for your services. You will pull in new leads, boost your sales and kick some competitive butt!

2. Build a mailing list. Collect email address from every source possible. Put a sign up box on your website, sort through your database and get your client and prospect lists out, if you have a storefront put a pad on your counter and tell customers to sign up for your specials mailing list. Email is cheap and proactive. You don’t wait for customers to come to you… you fire out emails to them. And as a bonus email is viral. One of your customers might forward that massage special to a friend in need!

3. Start a blog on your website that offers information about your company.. sort of a PR online approach and also offers helpful advice about your types of products or services. If you were a wine shop you could post the 4 cases of red wine you just got in, and if you are really smart you can set the blog up to automatically email your customer list. 1st come 1st serve!

4. Track the effectiveness of your print or direct mail advertising. Taking an ad out in your newspaper or sending out postcards? Build a landing page with a unique address and measure how many visitors come to that page from your ad. it might look like this: www.yourwebsite.com/bostonglobe. Better yet put a link on that landing page to encourage visitors to provide an email address so they can download a brochure, case study, recipe, whitepaper or fill out a form for a freebie from you. Start the conversation with your prospects!

5. Advertise your website address on voicemail. When clients/prospects call in do they hear your website address mentioned on your voicemail? i know a landscaping company that landed a contract without even talking to a prospective customer. The client noted their website address, checked them out online and left a 2nd message on their voicemail saying they would like to go ahead!

6. Advertise your website address in your email signature. Every email you send out should have a clickable link that takes recipients to your website so they can check out your business. Keep it simple and don’t worry about adding fancy graphics. Better yet… add a one sentence description or tagline underneath your website address. It’s amazing how many emails come into my box with no email signature!

7. Track what pages visitors are going to on your website. You should easily be able to see how popular different pages are on your website. This will tell you what pages visitors on your website are gravitating towards. Make sure those popular pages reflect your message appropriately. Perhaps you will find out that your [About us] page is getting hammered. Well… are you providing lots of information on your businesses background, experience, clients, testimonials, and why customers do business with you? FYI the [About us] page is usually the 2nd or 3rd most viewed page on business websites. Yeah prospective clients want to know who you are!

8. Make sure you have the ability to easily update your site (preferably without the need for software). Why do I bring this up? To keep the information on your website fresh. Your business, pricing, services, products, staff, news, goals, and promotions change. That’s right your business changes, shouldn’t your website reflect those changes? Think about the last time you went to a website and it looked out of date. What did you do? Curse and click away I bet. When you have the ability to easily update your website you can create that wow impression when visitors come simply by publishing whats new on your website… and today you need to show prospective clients that you are technologically and trend savvy.

9. Meet the press. If you participate in any kind of public relations (PR) you must, absolutely, positively, have to have an up to date website to show off your business. Newspapers will publish website addresses and I am astounded by how many articles that cover interviews with business owners do not print the website address simply because the company did not have one! If anyone is interested in more information on a company they will want go to visit your website.

10. Promote your website in Social Media (like HubPages, Facebook, etc.). What is social media? It’s your 2000+ website online community… a place to network, share wisdoms, and get recommendations… a space that is now bigger than Google search… a space that is becoming the new way for word of mouth to travel. Start by looking at the big social media sites and search for smaller ones that are targeted to your client base. Where do your clients hang out? Go there and help them!

Bottom line: you don’t have to spend much money on your website to build your business (and internet marketing is just a fancy term for promoting your business online).

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