The Web Pros



If You Build It, They Will Come

Okay, you have a web site. A smart, sassy, slick movie aligned
with the high standards you've built into your offline site.
Ambiance perfected, parts in place, t's crossed, and i's dotted.
Now what?

Although it's a marketing tool in itself, you'll need to market
your web site. It's a strange oxymoron. But, similar to your
offline shop or service, you now need to pull in visitors - not
foot traffic, but eye traffic.

Marketers use the terms push and pull to differentiate web site
from other, more direct forms of marketing. Push marketing
tactics are put directly in front of your potential customer.
We're inundated with push marketing techniques on a daily basis
while watching television, listening to the radio, reading
magazines, opening mail, and passing billboards. The popularity
of the phrase 'Can you hear me, now?' attests to the success of
push marketing tactics.

Pull marketing requires action on the receiver's part. You
discover the benefits of pull marketing when visiting web sites.
You control when you go, where you go, if you'll wait for
loading, where you'll navigate, and when you'll leave.

Pull marketing is most effective in retaining existing business
and strengthening services, while push marketing is best in
cultivating new customer interest. When combined, you'll grab
the attention of a larger client demographic.

Web site promotion tools include:

Search Engine Submission
Search engines are automatically developed through spiders that
crawl your site for relevant content. The first step in drawing
targeted traffic to your web site is through URL submission to
the major search engines. Major search engines include Excite,
LookSmart, Google, AltaVista, Lycos, Northern Light, and All the Web.

Search Engine Optimization
To receive heavy traffic from search engine listings, you'll
need to appear in the first 1-3 pages of search results for
popular search phrases. Achieving this is a full-time job in
itself and can be compared to chasing a moving target. However,
there are a few ways to improve your search engine rankings.
First, develop quality inbound links, as the amount and relevancy
of inbound links determine the status of your search engine
placement. Second, use relevant title, key word, and description
tags. Optimize your web site for one key phrase; using too many
can dilute your rankings. A comprehensive key phrase research
tool can be found at Finally, include rich,
custom, web site content utilizing your chosen key words and

Directory Submission
Internet directories are developed manually through human
editors. Internet directories often have stringent guidelines
and frequently require annual submission fees ranging from $15
to $300. The most popular directories are Yahoo! and the Open
Directory Project (DMOZ)
responsible for listings in AOL Search,
DirectHit, HotBot, Google, Lycos, and Netscape Search. Industry
specific directories are found by searching the phrase 'Industry
Directory' in any search engine or directory; for instance, find
restaurant directories by searching for 'restaurant directory'
in Google or Yahoo! Other useful searches include 'addurl.html',
'addlink.html', 'add URL', and 'add link', as well as the many
variation of these terms. Due to submission quantities, search
engine and directory listings can take up to six months to appear.

Publication and Banner Ads
Publish Yellow Page or Magazine Ads in less space by simply
listing your web site address. With minimal display inches, your
content and sales pitch will actually grow! Even static, paper
ads will always be current. Banner ads, the online equivalent to
display ads, allow a direct hot link to your web site. Place
banner ads in strategic locations where your target audience

Direct Marketing (paper or electronic)
Targeted distribution of newsletters, mailers, and post cards
lead customers into your web site to hear your full sales
message. But, always keep your audience specific. Don't inundate
people with information they don't need. Everything you send
reflects your company; sending teenagers information on
retirement savings wastes everyone's time.

Business Cards, Letterhead, Company Vehicles, and Signs
Showcase your web site address next to your physical address and
phone number, directing your customers toward your full, online
sales pitch.

Email Signature
Include a web site link on your email signature to make it easy
for customers to click into your site.

Press Releases
Public Relations is an often forgotten form of promotion. Submit
a press release announcing the opening of your new web site to
local newspapers, business associations, alumni publications,
industry specific magazines, or national wires such as PR
Newswire or Business Wire. Publicize business milestones in
trade journals.

Article Submission
Promote your new web site by writing and submitting articles for
electronic or paper publications. Require inclusion of your
final credit paragraph that lists your web site address. If your
article is published online, you'll receive a hot link directly
back to your site, not only increasing your traffic, but also
improving your search engine rankings. Although considered a
passive marketing tool, articles strengthen your credibility in
the industry and can lead to buyer interest.

Print your web site address on giveaways like pens, hats,
stickers, and post-it pads. Wherever your company giveaways go,
so does your sales pitch!

Generate an Opt-in Email List
Place a sign-up book in your shop and/or a sign-up button on
your web site for customers interested in future promotions or
news. Send newsletters, promotions, or noteworthy accomplishments
to this list to generate web site traffic and repeat business.

Your web site address is a quick, one-line sales message. Instead
of spending thousands on printing for small, frequently updated
fliers, print generic pieces directing people to your web site.
This is specifically beneficial to organizations with small,
promotional mail runs.

So, give it time. If you build it - and market it - they will

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