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Increasing -and Keeping- Web Site Traffic

Jennifer Wewers
Marketing Communications Consultant

Driving customers an prospects to your web site is crucial for the site's success and, ultimately, increasing your company's sales and revenue. In the past few years, we've seen all sorts of gimmicky ads and concepts that claim to exponentially increase traffic on your site. Most do not work. Most cost too much money.

It turns out that marketing your web site is not too different from marketing your phone number. And you don't have to blow your annual marketing budget to do it. Following are ten proven methods of getting the word out and driving traffic to your site.

Top Five Off-line Web Site Marketing Tips

  1. Make sure that your URL is printed on every single piece of paper that leaves your office. From traditional marketing pieces like brochures and business cards to invoices and fax cover sheets. Wherever you would put your phone number, include your URL.

  2. Send announcements to everyone on your contact list and to a targeted mailing list of prospects. It doesn't have to be fancy, a postcard will do.

  3. Leave your URL on your voicemail message and whenever you leave a message with a client or prospect. "Thank-you for calling. Leave us a message or visit us online at www.ourwebsite.com"

  4. Give talks or write articles that promote your site. Belong to a civic organization or networking group? Volunteer to speak or to write an article about a relevant subject. Mention your site frequently in the talk or article-where appropriate, of course.

  5. Network, network, network. Tell everyone you meet, everyone you come in contact with. Personal referrals are the best way to generate interest in your site and in your business.

Top Five Online Web Site Marketing Tips

  1. Use e-mail as you would snail-mail. Send a free e-zine, newsletter or promotional e-mail to all of your customers and prospects. Be sure to give them an opt-out method if they don't wish to receive e-mail from you-nobody likes a spammer.

  2. Give something away. People like free stuff. "Buy one widget, get a thing-a-ma-bob free." "Visit our site today to get a free copy of Jim Bob's article, Top Ten Ways to Get Yourself Noticed."

  3. Trade links with customers and other relevant sites. Is there a site out there that sells a complementary product or service? Offer to place their link on your site in exchange for placing your URL on theirs.

  4. Create an e-mail signature. You wouldn't dream of sending a letter without your company's phone number on it, would you? Then why would you send out an e-mail without your URL?

  5. Submit articles or volunteer to host online chats and conferences for busy sites, e-zines and online magazines. Include a pitch for your site in appropriate places.

Search Engines, A Necessary Evil

It's like putting your phone number in the phone book. You may never get a single hit off of the listing, but you should list your site anyway. With the millions of sites available on the Internet, it will be very easy for your site to get buried in the list returned on any query. Using Meta Tags and keywords effectively will help, but those who rely solely on search engines to advertise their sites will not remain in the online business for long.

Remember, just because you're listed does not mean that customers will beat down the door to get to your site. As with traditional marketing, the key to a successful web site is letting customers and prospects know that you are there.

Jennifer A Wewers is a marketing communications consultant in Duluth, GA. She specializes in helping small to medium-sized companies create clear, concise communications that win new business and keep customers informed. Wewers saves her clients time and money, freeing them to do what they do best-run their business. She can be reached by calling 678-524-6180 or by e-mail at jennifer@jawewers.com