New website owners assume that traffic will develop automatically, but over and over we’ve seen that the best marketers (of books, paintings, bicycles, non-profits....) also market their website. Here’s how:
- Include your web address in all correspondence. Set up an automatic signature block in your email program and add it to every message. Don't just sign off with "linda" but with:
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- Maintain a list of email addresses, contacts to whom you can send updates from time to time, perhaps to let them know about new content on your website. Always give recipients the option of easy removal from your list.
- Keep your content fresh. Add something new to your website--an updated appearance schedule, a monthly calendar of events, a special offer--at least once a month, and when you do, let your contacts know about it.
- Get your URL out there every way you can. Donate something to an organization and make sure they list your name and web address in their program.
- Order printed advertising material with your message and URL on it. Give it away to every potential customer.
- Exchange links with others. This is the most powerful way to get noticed by Google, so-called “native” results.
- Per Click advertising on Google and Yahoo should be reserved for after you've taken these basic steps to market your website.
- Every print ad you buy should include your web address and email address.
- Speaking of email addresses: go to the trouble to set up and use your domain address for mail. Don’t know how to configure your computer to receive POP3 mail? Ask macrogirl.
- Check your web statistics. A quick glance will tell you how visitors are reaching your site and help you refine your meta-tags (hidden text that directs search engines.)
Find your webstats through macrogirl’s user-friendly interface on the homepage. Type in your user/password and learn how the control panel works. Many services are available for advanced users.
For example, you can set up new mailboxes or manage mail forwarding while you are away. Be sure to return to the control panel and log out when you’re through.
- Macrogirl also offers free indexing on Google, Yahoo! and Bing when your new website is published. You can visit these premier search engines and find other ways to advertise your site, including per-click programs that allow you to set a budget for your ad campaign.
- If you’re a business owner, take advantage of search engines’ free business mapping. Here are links to get you started: