Marketing Your Website
Here are a few ideas to get your site and your company noticed:
- Social Networking Sites Create Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter profiles for your company. Be sure to update them regularly to maintain interest. It's a great way of keeping in touch with your customers, getting feedback and developing a community around your brand. If you're new to social networking, the website Mashable has some excellent guidebooks.
- Image Sharing Sites Set up a profile (for you or for your business) on photo sharing sites such as Flickr, Pinterest and Instagram. Add images of your products and tag them with keywords. Add a link to your website on your profile page and in the description for each image. Image sharing sites are a particularly useful means for artists and designers to share their work. Again - it's about community.
- Maps & Directories Add your business to Google Places. It's free and will help reach a local audience. Don't forget to include your web address in traditional business directories such as The Yellow Pages and Thompson Local. Investigate niche directories for your industry and local area. For example, the Craven Herald has a directory of local businesses; for artistic types there's Creative North Yorkshire.
- Email Signature & Stationery Don't forget to add you web address to your email signature and stationery.
- Press Coverage Press coverage is a great way of getting publicity. Think of an angle - something that makes you stand out and would make a good story. Are you raising money for charity? Do you have an unusual new contract? Have you won any awards? Are you involved in a community project? Are you doing something special for a big event, e.g. the World Cup or the Olympics? If so, it's worth approaching the local press with your story. You can make a busy journalist's job easier by including a 'Press' page on your site to provide press releases, photos and logos.
- Videos Imagine uploading a video to YouTube that is so funny, unusual, inspiring, controversial, moving or eye opening that the people you send it to immediately forward it to their friends. They in turn post it on their Facebook walls and tweet about it and before you know it, your video has gone 'viral'. Creating an effective viral campaign is the Holy Grail of internet marketing. It's tricky to get right but if you do, the awards are huge. What's more - it's free and these days, can have more reach than TV advertising. Click here to see a particularly effective viral marketing campaign from Samsung that at the time of writing has had over 16 million views.
- Blogging Blogs are an excellent method to share your expertise, build additional web traffic and connect with potential customers. You might choose to build your whole site in a blog format or have your blog separate from your main site. The key to a successful blog is keeping it up to date. Nothing looks more unprofessional that a blog where the latest entry was written in 2007.
- Link building The more sites that link to yours, the better. For more information, read our article on attracting links.