Professionals in tend to under-estimate the power of the web to bring them business, and to bring them precisely the kinds of clients they want! And, a few, invest in a great web site, but then don't market it effectively! There are some wonderful sites that are virtually "hidden" out there on the web. Web marketing has one thing in common with other advertising: no matter how good the ad, it won't build your business unless lots of people see it.
I tell my clients to view web marketing as having two separate components: first is the creation of a site, and second is marketing it. Building a site requires creativity, design skills, and an understanding of color, images, and popular trends. Marketing a site, on the other hand, is a much more routine, repetitious, even boring task that must be done consistently over time. The following are my Top 10 suggestions for marketing your web site:
1. Hidden Title. This is the first of three critical items that are coded in the "Head" of every web page. It is the first thing a search engine sees at the top of your page. While this title is visible on browsers, most people ignore it. I've seen great sites that have no title at all! Use 3-8 words that describe what you do and flag your site for the search engines.
2. Meta Tag: Keywords. The second item in the "Head" of your page should be a hidden Meta tag with 15-25 words to help people find you. These are words people are likely to enter in a search request to find you. An Accountant might have a string that started with: "Accounting, bookkeeping, records, taxes,?."
3. Meta Tag: Description. The third item in the "Head" is a hidden sentence that describes both your page and your site. Make it vibrant, use as many of your Keywords as possible, and make it accurate. This is a one-sentence description of who you are, what you do, and why people should visit your page. You've got 15-20 words. Use them!
4. Visible Title. This is the first thing people will see, and it's what most people think of as the "title" of their page. Again, you want it to invite people, be accurate, and brief. While a beautiful logo or banner may look nice at the top of your page, remember that 3-5 powerful words will down-load faster. The words in your title will also connect with search engines in a way that your logo can't.
5. First words on page. The first few seconds as a page down-loads are critical, and a short statement of what you do will down-load faster than most images. First impressions count! And again, search engines can catalog a brief but exciting description of your business, but they won't catalog your pretty picture!
6. Have multiple pages, each with their own marketing system. A simple way to increase the "hits" on your site is to increase the number of entrance paths. Rather than have one long page, divide it into three pages, each with their own title, meta tags, and descriptions! If your pages are all linked within one site, you vastly increase the opportunities for people to find you.
7. Submit to search tools repeatedly. Search engines constantly up-date and expand their databases. To stay in the game, I suggest you re-submit your site at least once a month and re-submit after every change. Using the web to draw business is an on-going project, not a once and forget it task! There are services that will do this for you (for less than $100), or you can do it yourself. But schedule several hours every month, and do it!
8. Include your web URL on your other advertising. This seems obvious, but lots of people forget. Have your site on your business card, brochures, all of your advertising! If people are interested, want more information, or are just curious, make it easy for them to check you out. Display your URL on everything!
9. Exchange links. One of the best ways to increase traffic, and to target specific audiences, is to trade links with other sites that attract a similar audience. I recommend that you have a page dedicated to "Favorite Links" that have agreed to also put a link to your site on their page. "You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours" is a great way to build your web marketing impact.
10. Have something of value that changes often. Give your visitors something they can learn, do, or enjoy each time they visit. Let them sign up for your newsletter, post a "Joke of the Day" or a daily quote. It doesn't have to relate directly to your business. People love parenting tips, humor, inspiration or practical tips for better living (Think Martha Stewart!). Give them a reason to come back!
Have a wonderful week, and remember to have some fun!
© Copyright 2003 by Philip E. Humbert. All Rights Reserved. This article may be copied and used in your own newsletter or on your website as long as you include the following information: "Written by Dr. Philip E. Humbert, writer, speaker and success coach. Dr. Humbert has over 300 free articles, tools and resources for your success, including a great newsletter! It's all on his website at: http://www.philiphumbert.com