Electronic Commerce - Marketing
Three Step Marketing Plan
Marketing your website doesn't have to be complex, or expensive. Here is a three step plan to market your website to the outside world.
1. Prepare your website for search engines
Let's face it - search engines are one of the best ways of finding information on the world wide web. For users its as simple as entering a few keywords, and clicking on the search button. However, there are SO many sites out there, most sites will never be seen. They're ranked towards the end, where only the most dedicated of surfers will find them. If only one could find out how professional sites get ranked so high......
The answer is simple - meta data. Learn how to use it effectively, so customers and vistors can find your site!
2. Get your website known
The next step towards marketing your website is to get it known! This means submitting your website to as many search engines as possible, and establishing an online presence through advertising.
Submitting to search engines
You can do this manually, or use a commercial service. Here are three services, which offer to submit your site to literally hundreds of different search engines - but before you submit your site, use the free MetaBuilder tool to add meta-tags to your site.
EuroSubmit.com - FREE URL submissions to 12 Search Engines and regular submit to more than 900 directories and search engines! FREE WebSite promotion tips and much more! Promote Your Site And Add Your URL To The Web. 800+ Search Engines!
Submit-It offers a wide range of web marketing services, as well as consulting. They also have a commercial service, which can submit your site to over 400 search engines. Submit-It allows you to submit two different URLs, for a reasonable price.
WebPromote.com offers web marketing services, which will submit your site to search engines. This is a commercial service, which requires payment to use. However, they also offer other services, including a free marketing newsletter which is packed full of useful tips and information. Whether or not you feel you need to submit your site using their service, the newsletter is definitely worth the effort - and its free!
Online Advertising and Promotion
There are plenty of ways to advertise and promote your site online. You can choose to do banner advertising, but this can be expensive and doesn't always ensure results. Other forms of promotion include word of mouth, advertising with a newsletter or e-zine, shared links between sites, newsgroup postings, associate programs and mass mailings.
One of the easiest, and low cost, ways to set up online advertising is to use a service such as ClickTrade. ClickTrade allows to set up your own affiliate program and reward your affiliates on a pay-per-click, lead or sale basis. One of the disadvantages of banner services is that you are usually charged per thousand impressions, so even if no-one clicks on the banners you are still charged. ClickTrade allows you to set up a pay-per-click campaign, so you only pay when a visitor comes to your site.
3. Content is king - so develop content for your site
Visitors don't want to read advertising copy - they want genuine content that is useful to them. Developing content is easy. Find a topic you're interested in, and passionate about. By giving away information for free, you are generating goodwill, and users will return to your site.
What types of content should you be creating? It could be as simple as information on a topic, or links to other pages. If you're able to create CGI applications, you could set up online searches, database lookups, or interactive applications. Perhaps you could offer your visitors clipart or downloadable software. Perhaps you could offer them news items, with links to articles or events that would interest them. Content creation is easy, and gives people a reason to keep coming back to your site.