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Website Marketing:
10 Points to Consider in Promoting Your Website

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August 30, 2005

Website Marketing opinions are like belly-buttons - everyone has one. When I am asked what type of business I am in, I respond 'real estate'. When further asked about the homes I sell, I respond that I don't sell homes because my real estate is entirely digital. I then further explain with real estate comparisons. Imagine building a house in the cheapest, most run down part of a town located in the middle of a desert. That may appealing to some, but the likelihood that you will make a lot of money on that home is slim compared to say a 10 acre seaside villa on Martha's Vineyard. Let us further imagine that after building your desert tenement, you can develop it into the waterfront resort home without moving the building an inch. Digital real estate can do just that. It doesn't matter where you are, but with a little work and very little cost, you can make your site into a valuable piece of your business property.

I have encountered business owners who wanted a website merely to have "an Internet presence". Being one of a million websites that sell the same product you do have a presence, but not a very useful one unless you take steps to set your web apart from competition both locally, and worldwide. I present here 10 points that you need to consider in promoting your website to make it work for you as a major part of your marketing strategy.

First things first...

1. Do you have a Website?

A website is your most permanent and dynamic form of advertising. If done properly, it can be the most cost efficient! Just having a website is irrelevant without considering it's use as a means of increasing your business traffic. Questions you should ask yourself (or better yet, others) are the following:

Is your web useable, understandable, and navigable?
Your website should be well laid out and clear about the product. It should contain well written content, and have clearly defined links. The menuing should be apparent and constructed to be obvious to the user how to find information on your site.

Does your web take advantage of the most useable tags? To read more about proper use of keywords and metatags, see the article on Search Engine Positioning. We will discuss the use of tags more in point 7.

2. Is your website more professional in appearance than your competitions website?

I was asked by a local lawyer to create a website to focus on his firm's particular legal services and to pull potential clients from a competitor.  The competitor's web did pretty well in the search engines, however it had the appearance of having been designed by his sister's friend's nephew for a 3rd grade school project. Once the customer's site was set up with all the keywords and phrases properly embedded on every page, it went to the top of Google and Yahoo for searches on regional+services search phrases. If you compare the sites, you would probably pick the lawyer with the better designed website because of the impression the web site provided to visitors. A professional website = professional lawyer. Even though the competition was the leader in his legal field, my customer's practice received a tremendous amount of new customers that responded based solely upon the website and it's information.

3. Does your website and web marketing compliment your other marketing efforts?

This gets into the area of branding. it is not really so much a website issue as it is a marketing issue. Your web, brochures, business cards, envelopes, etc, should all have the same color, theme, and logos.

4. Advertising your website

Do you have an appropriate domain name for your business or organization? With more simple domain names being swallowed up, you need to be creative.

Chesapeake Bay Market is an online shopping and classifieds website. The domain name www.ChesapeakeBayMarket.com is pretty long, and not to hard to remember as long as you can remember how to spell 'Chesapeake'. One solution to a long domain is a simpler alias. You can get to this website also through the domain www.cbaymarket.com. A bit easier to remember, especially at 60 miles per hour (I'll explain in later).

Now that you have your domain, where do you want to display it? I am surprised by the amount of business owners that fail to add their domain name to other advertising. Put your domain name on everything you can:

Invoices, bills, business cards, answering machine message, on your product, print ads, envelopes, bumper stickers, and don't forget your vehicle. As previously mentioned, this is where a simple domain name or alias (another domain name that points to the actual site) comes into play. If someone can pass you on the highway, read the back of your rear window and remember your domain name, that may be worth the $75.00 to slap that ad on the family van. For vehicle ads, forget the phone number, just state the company name, purpose or services, and the domain name.

Chessapeake Bay Market

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