Posted on February 8, 2000
By Karen Kalis
If you haven't done so, make sure your URL is easy to remember, spell and is descriptive of your industry or business. No matter how good the content is, few will visit if they can't remember or spell the name. Choose a URL that is representative of your company's name, an abbreviation of your company's name, or a description of your product or service. People who use the web frequently seem to favor short, to the point descriptions. Keep that in mind when registering for your URL.
Next, add your web site information to as many search engines as possible to allow your web site address to come up during category and subject searches. Most search engines have instructions for submitting your URL, but if you can't find them, use the "help" feature. Submission services such as "Add Me!", (www.addme.com) make listing your web site a snap by automatically sending information to the search engines with a few clicks of the mouse. Most of these are free or have a nominal charge. Remember though, that a lot of search engines do not immediately update their files, so you may have to wait from a few hours to several weeks to have your web site added to their lists. Once you have added your URL to the search engines, make sure to check your email regularly to see if there are any follow-up instructions. Several search engines require a confirmation from you or they won't list your web address.
Another way to help people find your web site is to add your web site address to all of your promotional materials including business cards, letterhead, brochures and marketing materials. In this day of immediate information, people want to know more about you NOW. Make it easier for them by adding a signature line to your email with your company's name, tag line and web site address. It's a terrific marketing technique! One quick click and people have access to your site. Finally, don't forget your print, TV or radio ads. Consumers can quickly access more information about you and your services if you remember to add your web site address.
Fourth, make sure that your current clients know about your web site. Send out a specially designed direct mail piece, a postcard for instance, announcing your web site and offering a brief overview of the contents and features. Current customers can be a great source of referrals and may even be willing to add a link to your site on their own web site if they are impressed with your services. Make sure to ask your clients to recommend your web site, and therefore your services, to others. Incentives are not a bad idea either. If you get a call based on your web site, and a current client made the referral, don't forget to send a thank you in the form of a discount on services or small gift. These personal recommendations can be powerful and extremely profitable.
Finally, if you are part of an industry that is represented by an association, professional or trade group, find out if they host a "circle". A circle is a group of web sites comprised of common subjects that are linked together. Being part of a circle is a great way to attract customers searching in a particular category or subject area. Potential clients may discover that you have just the service they are looking for! In addition, you may be able to partner your services with another company who needs your skill and expertise.
Promoting a new web site is not easy. It requires a
lot of hard work, hours on the computer and ingenuity
to attract potential customers. Be creative, because
this is the age of the Internet. The rewards can be
enormous if you do your homework.
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