As a new web site promotion consultant I have been surprised to learn that more than half the struggle in getting started comes with having to convince business owners that they need to actively promote their web site. I was probably naive to think all I had to do what tell people I was 'out there' and they would come flocking to my business in droves. . . I was very wrong.
I once met a man who had a business web site he paid thousands of dollars for and had never promoted it. I tried to explain to him in the simplest terms that his web site should be bringing him more business instead of simply floating around in cyber-space. He looked at me as if I had three heads, mumbled something about his new customers coming from other forms of advertising and shuffled away. This was an intelligent man, a highly successful business man in his own right but he had never made the leap in his own mind, to understanding the sky-rocketing market place found online and the potential it held to create more leads for new business. Oh yes, someone convinced him he should have the business web site to showcase his services, but they failed to mention that he had to promote it and make it easy for people to find amongst the tens of thousands of other web sites on the internet that Were all competing for visitor traffic.
This barrier is something I encounter frequently. Typically I find that either the web designer people hire to do the work does not understand the necessity for their clients to optimize and promote their web sites or they simply do not care to pass along this vital piece of information. Now I'm not knocking web designers here, I know a few that are very good at what they do and they realize that web site promotion has to be incorporated into the design elements and architecture of the pages. Unfortunately, the day has long since passed when adding some meta tags and keywords to a web page was an adequate solution to promoting the site. You need to engage the services of someone who is abreast of the rapidly changing field of search engine optimization to really get the job done properly.
Search engine optimization and web promotion in general has evolved as the search engines have created more sophisticated ways of judging the value of a web page. Having a beautiful web site that is designed to capture the visitors attention and answer a call to action is a complete waste of time if not one searching the web can find it!
Paying to have a business web site built purely so you can give the url of the site to your customers so they can go and see how pretty it looks is a complete waste of time and money. Your web site should be a work horse, tirelessly working to attract visitors. And those visitors should be 'targeted' shoppers -people who are actively looking for your goods and services on the internet. Without your business name is already a household word with most of your target market, chances are no one will ever get to see your web site unless you are actively promoting it.
A smart business person knows that every marketing effort has to be measured in order to determine whether or not the money they have invested in it is paying them an adequate return. It is a fundamental of good business practice to ensure this is done. You have to know where your advertising is paying off for you and where it's not. In the case of your business web site, it is vital to your success!
If you're hiring a firm to design your web site, make sure that they understand that you need someone that provides current search engine optimization for the site pages, and understands current web site promotion techniques. Another option is to hire a search engine optimization expert to work with the designer to make sure you have the very best search engine placement you can possibly get based on current search engine ranking criteria. I say this because there are elements in web design itself which have a direct bearing on search engine optimization. Web design and seo go hand in hand. Do not let anyone tell you different! Some designers can do both but it's rare that you find someone that really understands both very well. Search engine optimization by itself is a full-time job.
Make sure you are provided with some way to track your visitor traffic so you know what's going on. There are a number of great tracking services out there that can provide you with all sorts of valuable information to help you track visitors which will in turn help you develop a better sales message to get the business. Tweaking your presentation and call to action is easier to do if you can analyze the statistics regarding your visitors behavior when they come to your web site.
I once talked to a client who told me, "… if it's not on the internet, I probably will not use them." Think this is a rare thing? Think again! Millions of people are online every day shopping for information about products and services. People are sharper, more savvy consumers than we have ever seen before and the internet is rapidly becoming the place to go when people want to shop.
So. . . How about putting your web site on steroids instead of nursing a 90 lb weakling?