The final installment of this series by DuVall Designs in Phoenix, Arizona, will cover getting your website launched well with effective website marketing. Most small business owners view marketing their business and business website as an overwhelming, expensive, complicated undertaking. But it does not have to be. With a little guidance about where to look and what to avoid, the process of website marketing can be easily tackled.
The first thought to keep in mind is that marketing is never finished, but rather it is an on-going process. Try to budget a little time each week for online website marketing activities. One best practice: set a timer and work for exactly one hour. The timer will help keep you focused and will curb any tendency to stray off and browse. During that hour each week, focus on these types of activities:
Submit your website to search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. This is a free activity, and each search engine publishes its own guidelines for how to submit a website.
List your website in any directories related to your field and any for general business. Do not pay to be listed. Listing activities are not difficult, and there are plenty of free resources available. Paying for a listing will not generally increase your traffic, despite what the fee-charging service might claim.
Sign up for as many social media sites as you can comfortably maintain, such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, StumbleUpon, Digg, etc. It is not necessary to be on all of them or to update them daily. In your hour per week, simply check your chosen accounts and make a few comments or links.
Seek out and join chat rooms and forums where your customers might be and participate in their on-going discussions. Resist the temptation to market directly on any post unless a link is specifically requested. The best practice is to find a thread and contribute useful information on the topic. Once other members become comfortable with the quality of your answers, they will find your website by linking through your profile.
If you simply cannot make time for online marketing activities, make sure to engage a reputable website developer, SEO company, or blog content writer to assist you. These professional service providers will be able to demonstrate their effectiveness and will provide references for you to call. Be wary of any service that claims instant results, promises a #1 ranking, or contacted you through bulk email or from outside the US.