- Everyone knows you need a great website. But what comes after that?
Building the website is kind of like building a brand-new store for your business. You build the store to look as good as possible, you try to make it easy for people to get around in it, you fill it with things you think people will like. Once you have the store all built, it’s time for your grand opening! You pass around flyers and put ads in the newspapers and people start flowing in.
So what’s different when it comes to websites? It should be the same thing right? No, Websites aren’t enough.
A lot of people compare websites to online storefronts. For the most part this comparison holds true, but not when it comes to one key factor.
When you built the store, the first thing you probably did was pick a great location where people could find you. You try to locate your store or restaurant so people walking by can see into your windows, look at your signage, etc. The amount and type of people walking by on a daily basis probably played a major factor in where you set-up your new building. If you were trying to attract the type of customers who want to buy feminine clothing, sticking your brand new store between two auto repair shops wouldn’t be your first choice. You probably want to find out where those customers hang out and shop and try to get as close to that as possible to increase the chances of them walking into your shop.
In building a website, there’s no physical location. There’s no flow of people walking by. In fact, if you don’t handle it correctly, you could be building your brand new website in the middle of the desert where no one will ever see it. So how can you make sure people are going to find your brand-new “store”?
The answer is online marketing. Online marketing covers how you get people to come to your website. It covers how you attract specific types of people to your website. It also covers how to make sure these people do what you want them to do once they land on your website.
Without online marketing you can spend a ton of money on websites or building special custom functions to be “super cool” and still end up with your sales at the same level or even lower than they were before.
There are many things involved with online marketing, but there are a few key elements to keep in mind:
- First, you have to figure out who your target audience is.
- Second, you have to find out what is important to that key audience and what sort of things they are already looking for online on a regular basis.
- Third, you need to ensure that your website is tailored to meet those needs and expectations so that it is very useful, informative and helpful to your target audience.
- Fourth, you now need to ensure that you inform people that your website exists. You do this in various ways, writing blog posts and getting other people in your industry to read and refer back to them on their own sites, paying for advertising to drive people to the site, etc
Soon it starts to take on a life of it’s own, word begins to spread, search engines start showing your website as a top result in popular searches, and, if you manage it right, you can create an avalanche of visitors to your site that turn into paying customers.
Here’s a link to a case study showing some recent results from an actual client who signed up for marketing:
After building thousands of websites, from the very high-end to the very basic I can tell you one simple fact. Building a great website is not enough.
You need to market it.
How do you market your website? What questions do you have about this subject? Let us know in the comments below.