12 January 2016

Promoting Your Site for a Profitable Internet-based Business


This is lesson eight of the Internet Income course which brings out the ins and outs of starting and running a profitable online business in today's ever-changing global market by breaking down important principles using simple English. Course author, George Little continues to reveal tips, real-world advice, and in-depth, step-by-step instructions on setting up your Internet-based business. Read the 7th lesson here.

This lesson will continue our overview of the many strategies available to publicize and promote your website. Since we have titled this lesson "Promoting Your Site", that should give you a clue that we will be emphasizing those strategies that increase the quality and standing of your site, rather than just its visibility.

Making your site attractive

We have mentioned (repeatedly) that you must have interesting and entertaining content on your website. There is another very important factor, though. Your interesting and entertaining content must be presented attractively. It is well worth the time involved to pick out a color scheme and fonts that are pleasing to the eye. You should create a logo and style, as we discussed in Lesson 4, that best communicates your brand. You should also use a format that works well on different types of media. Your site should be readable and attractive on smart phones, tablets, TVs, and desktops, regardless of operating system or browser used to view them.

1). Keep It Simple

Not only must your site be attractive, but it must be simple to use and navigate. The easier you make it for someone to browse through your site and wind up subscribing or purchasing, the more it will happen. Like all things, you must find the proper balance. I have seen sites that were too simple – too few choices for you to understand what the site was about. On the other hand, I have seen sites that were too complicated and offered too many choices. Your goal is to find the perfect balance that allows the visitor to understand the site, understand how to use it, and understand the key choices available to them - while avoiding confusing them with too much information or a convoluted navigation scheme.

It is also important to make sure your site has a fast loading time. Do not use big images or fancy features that slow down navigation on the site. Make it clean, simple, sleek, and fast.

2). Provide Many Ways To Interact With Your Site

The more ways that visitors can interact with your site, the better chance your site has of becoming known. In addition to your email contact form, allow users to comment and have conversations in response to your articles, photos, or videos. Allow visitors to rate and rank your site. Use the familiar buttons that will allow them to like, favorite, or post your page on social media. Allow users to vote or otherwise express their opinions on subjects easily just by the click of a button. The more you allow users to interact on your site, the more they will do so. The more they interact with your site, the more likely they are to become interested in it.

3). Respond Quickly

If you have done it right, your site will have multiple ways for your visitors to get in contact with you. Whether by commenting, filing out a form, or sending you an email, your visitors will hopefully use your website to make that contact. When they do, it is crucial that you respond quickly.

There, of course, will be many contacts that are just spam. You understandably will not want to reply and thus encourage further spamming. (Spam comments are a big problem on new Wordpress blogs. There are plug-ins that help you to deal with it efficiently, a necessity to efficient management of your site.) But, you should quickly and thoughtfully follow up with those contacts that are not spam. Timely responses move the relationship forward while the interest is still keen.

4). Allow Your Visitors To Shine

Understanding basic psychology is important to a successful website. While a percentage of your visitors may be very impressed with what you have done and become dedicated fans, most are more impressed with themselves than they are with you or your site. Everyone wants to be seen and heard. Everyone wants to express his or her opinions. When you think about ways to allow visitors to interact with your site, keep this in mind. In addition to letting them make choices, allow them to explain their choices. In addition to letting them like or dislike particular things, allow them to add their own knowledge to what you have offered.

The proliferation of social media has created an expectation that when one browses the web, they will be allowed to interact and express themselves. They expect an opportunity to add their knowledge and wisdom to the conversation. Giving them that opportunity will create more interest in your site.

This does not mean that you should allow them to promote products or services in competition with yours. Neither does it mean that you allow them to dominate the discussion or your site. Instead, you should facilitate their opportunity to politely express their own thoughts within the boundaries that you set out for them. To set and maintain these boundaries, you must monitor and moderate your site.

5). Monitor And Moderate Your Site

Allowing users to interact with your site creates the need to monitor your site because many people abuse the opportunity to interact. Not only will they spam, but they will offend – not just offend you, but offend other visitors to your site. These spammy and offensive comments need to be deleted or at least moderated. This will take an investment of your time, but it is necessary if you allow interaction – and allowing interaction is crucial to a successful site.

6). Create A Community

Implicit in the above mentioned strategies is the notion of creating a community. By allowing interaction, responding quickly, and moderating the discussions, you are, in essence, creating a community. Creating a community is exactly what you want to accomplish. By building the site and promoting it, you are creating a vehicle that allows this particular community to exist. As you design and build your site, think of the type of community that you want to foster.

Assuming your primary purpose in creating the site is to promote a particular product or service (or group of products and services), you will want to build a community around that product or service. You will want to build a community founded on interest in that product or service. But, you want to do this with some subtlety. You want to build a community based on the subject matter that creates awareness for the need for your product or service. Then, when the awareness of that need is highest, you will make the product or service available.

The best salespeople do not introduce themselves as someone with something to sell. Instead, they introduce themselves as someone who wants to be helpful – to make your life easier and more convenient. Then, they make their product or service available at the point where you reach full awareness of your need for the product or service. Your website and the community it fosters should be designed to do the same thing.

7). Make Your Site Part Of Larger Communities

We mentioned using social media to publicize your site in our last lesson. Social media also allows you to integrate your site into the online community. If you are thinking, as you should be, that you need to create a community on your site, you should also be thinking of how to make that community a part of the larger online communities. The most obvious way to do this is with social media. Use social media sites not only to draw traffic to your site, but to demonstrate how your site – and the community you desire to create on your site – fits into the larger community.

In the offline world, you would find events and meetings and attend them to get to know those most likely to be interested in your product or service. If your goal is to market tires, you would naturally want to spend time at the race tracks and with the various racing groups and clubs. You would also want to spend time with antique car collectors. You would also want to be a part of the off-road vehicle enthusiasts community. Groups interested in family safety would also have interest. In the online world, social media makes that very easy to do. Find these groups and make your presence known. Get to know the people who have interests that relate to your product or service. Build relationships with these people. Integrate as many of these people as you can into your own community.

All of this can be approached through social media. Create profiles on the social media sites. Design your site with the social media features that allow for easy integration with these larger communities.

In this lesson we have provided an overview of the website promotion strategies that focus on the quality and function of your website. Getting people to look at your site is of little use unless your site does it job properly. Your site must create a positive feeling for its visitors. To do this, your site must be attractive, it must be simple and easy to use, and it must allow for interaction. When interaction occurs, you must respond quickly. Your site should not just allow for interaction, but allow visitors to express themselves and share their knowledge. You must monitor and moderate your site and facilitate the creation of a community among your visitors. Finally, you must use social media to integrate the community you have created with the larger online communities.

In our next lesson, we will introduce you to some of the commonly used paid promotion techniques. Read the next lesson here: Using Paid Advertising.

By George Little, Panhandle On-Line, Inc. For more information on the Internet Income Course and other works and courses by George Little, see http://www.profitpropulsion.com

No comments:

Post a Comment