Step Into My Parlour? Easy Ways To Entice The Right People To Your Website

Though traditional marketing methods cannot be ignored, having a website is a very effective gateway to getting new business. Not just that, you can maximise sales to existing customers with your website by making it easier for them to do business with you. Now, this sounds really rosy?you put up a website; you become a millionaire. Though that is not such a far away possibility, a lot comes in between the two.

Once you put up a website, it is important to market it right and generate tremendous traffic inwards before you can start converting your leads into cash cows. Now, you would ideally want everyone and their cousin to check out your website, right? Isn't that what we mean by 'tremendous traffic'? Think again. No matter how great products or services you sell, you will not start making a profit until you have the relevant people hitting the right buttons on the website. By relevant, we mean people who fall within your targeted segment and who are most likely to buy your products and services. Hard as it may sound, traffic generation should be a top priority for a home business owner. Here are some effective ways to market your website online and not have to pray for fortune to fund them:

  • Register with 'Affiliate Programs': Undoubtedly a great way to market your website would be to get your affiliates to do it for you. An affiliate program is a revenue sharing program where an affiliate website receives a portion of income for driving traffic, sales or leads to your website. Most affiliates use a pay-per-sale model and by far get you the most focused traffic than other methods.

  • Email Promotions: Email is god's gift to the home-based businesses. You can use email to get in touch and keep in touch with existing customers and prospects. Initially, target your existing customers. If you run a weekly newsletter, use the subscribers' email database for your email promotions. One of the easiest ways to encourage visitors to keep coming back to your site is to offer value. Get the word out on discounts on purchases from the website, e-coupons and other attractive promotional offers. Try to resist the temptation of buying email addresses from web companies, for 2 reasons. One is that not all the people on that list may necessarily be part of your target audience. Second, and more important, you could be seen as a "Spammer"! That would not only not give you much sales; it will also spoil your company's reputation.

  • Search Engine Optimization: Free search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN are 'the' places people go to when they are looking for information. Make sure that your website gets in the top 10 of these websites' result pages. This is a sure shot way to attract quality traffic to your website. Take a four ?pronged approach to do this:
    • Submit your site's URL to these and other free search engines and online directories (www.goto.com, www.altavista.com, www.morpheus.com)
    • Optimize your website so that it can be easily indexed by search engines. You can also use website optimization and SEO placement agencies for this purpose. (www.proboostgold.com, www.addpro.com)
    • Make your website's content rich in keywords and pay special attention to keyword placement
    • Finally, create a content rich site, which actually gives useful information to the customer

  • Reciprocal Links: Reciprocal link is a hyperlink you place on your web page with the understanding that the linked web page will do the same for your website. The obvious choice for a partner here is a website that is related to your business but not in direct competition. For instance, if you sell contact lenses, choose websites that sell eyeglasses or related products like cleaning solutions. Another good choice would be websites that give out clinical information on contact lens usage. Reciprocals are a cost-free and effective way of attracting focused traffic to your website.

  • Give away free content: A major online golf publishing company offers visitors syndicated articles on golf and related products. The people who use this syndicated content not just get free content from a credible source, but also visit the company's other websites. Anything 'free' induces happiness; and when it is free content, it gives you delighted customers who keep coming back for more. By offering them free content in the form of articles, information for use in their newsletters, product reviews etc. you are doing them a favor as well as giving more exposure to your website.

  • Get Interactive: Get your customers talking, to you and to each other. Offer advice columns, message boards, and articles relevant to your product and to the industry. Archive these into a separate section where visitors can browse to look for specific information. A good idea would be to include an " email article to a friend" button with these articles. This way your visitors will do some marketing for you. If you offer a newsletter, contests, a 'tip of the day' or other fun stuff, include a " tell a friend" click box with these. People love to share fun stuff with friends. When you see the number of jokes forwarded to you in your email, you'll believe us.

  • Be seen & heard: Build an online identity by networking. Participate in newsgroups, discussion forums and message boards. Starting a Blog is also an idea that is picking up currency. This will allow you to develop a relationship with potential customers and allow them to identify you as a recognizable name. Tools like these will also help you determine, to an extent, what your target segment really needs.

    For a home business owner not having a website is a little like Robinhood without his bow and arrow. But for a business to have a website without much traffic is like Robinhood with no one to shoot at! Still the idea is to not just have "everybody" clicking in to your website, but a chunk of the target audience who really need the product you are selling. It is better to have a sizeable number of focused potential customers clicking on your website than to have a whole lot of curious ones who just stumbled on. It is from the potential customers that your conversions will come. Finally, it is bet to use a combination of all the tactics listed above. Put a "tell a friend" button on the newsletters, or include your top keywords in the free content you give away. Think out of the box to use these tactics for traffic maximisation to your advantage.

    Also see:
    http://www.bytestart.co.uk/content/22/22_1/poor-web-page-design-will.shtml
    http://www.powerhomebiz.com/vol18/limitedbudget.htm
    http://www.powerhomebiz.com/vol4/hardknock3.htm

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