How to Promote Your Website / Business

Note: This page presumes you have completed the steps on http://swiftwebdesigner.com/welcome to communicate value. If your website doesn’t yet demonstrate clear and compelling value, have a clear call-to-action / way to earn you money, don’t take these steps. Go back. You’ll be pouring water into a sieve without those – you’ll spend time and money to get traffic, then leak it all out and away and maybe damage your reputation. Please review http://swiftwebdesigner.com/welcome again if you’re not 100% confident your website is ready to promote and show the world.

Still with us? Great! Let’s get you some traffic. Remember, Compelling Profitable Offer + Big Relevant Traffic = Success.

Rather than focus on a single horse below, I want you to bet on the horse race – multiple methods. Communication is always two parts: Message + Medium. The message is more important than the medium; and whatever medium is best is simply whatever works at an effective cost-per-client-acquisition. There should be a lot more focus on creating a magnetic message than all the talk stemming from “shiny object syndrome”.

Read this Article then Make a Plan.

Only Take 3 Actions Today – or you’ll get mired in details and lose the big picture.

  1. Setup Google Places HERE then come back.
  2. Find your keywords by watching the video immediately below then logging into Adwords.Google.com (using your new email account we’ve set up for you (which is on google apps), or your gmail account) and watch video #1 on http://swiftwebdesigner.com/help/seo/how-to-be-1-in-google
  3. Read all options (this article) and think about it, and choose *1* method to focus on first. This means you must disregard the rest for the moment.

First, the universe of options: Which is best for you depends on your availability of time vs. money and your type of audience (niche vs. wide, B2B vs. B2C (business-to-business vs. business-to-consumer)).

  • Basic Setup: Offline Promotion. This goes without saying, that you’ll add your website to anything you currently have – from business cards, to signage, to your store window, etc.
  • Friends & Family / “Wedding List” (i.e. anyone you’d invite to a large wedding) email / postal mail. Think about it – do you know what all your friends really do? Do you know what they’re looking for, or who you should refer to them? Make sure those around you are referring you!
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)– which includes several types:
    • “Organic ranking” (main middle results, not the “sponsored results” in the top and right) in Google, Yahoo, Bing via conventional listings. This is done by making you #1 in Google for a given search-phrase. NOTE: this is like building a house vs. renting a house – it takes more time, but is cheaper long run, also, the traffic will convert better for research-phase / early-stage-buyers (because it’s like having a magazine article written about you, vs. being an advertiser in a magazine) – but for buying-stage, commercial-intent traffic conversion is the about the same and possibly inferior due to heavier shopping (getting multiple quotes, buyer fatigue).
      • “On-Site SEO” / “On-Page SEO”. This is mostly done for you automatically as part of our system, but definitely requires some attention. Usually, this is done by a Swift Consultant once you have added some content. Also, articles you write can be “spun” – for example, if you write a few paragraphs on “mercedes mechanic”, this can be “spun” into “mercedes collision repair”, “mercedes-benz auto mechanic”, etc. for example to thus show up for variations in human searches. This is harder to outsource because it works best when you truly demonstrate some expertise, so ideally it is done by you, or someone close to you for the “seed content” then “spun and farmed” into a wider variety via slightly rewriting your expert content.
      • Off-Site SEO. This is technical, tedious, and easily outsourced, because it’s more about backlinks and “anchor text” and technology more than expertise per se. We have packages for this available, and it’s best when done via consistent drips to continually tell Google / Yahoo / Bing that “this website is important for phrase X”. [Jan 2012 Update: This is decreasing in importance for some items; recent news has fewer backlinks for example than old established resources]
    • Video-SEO. Ranking in video search engines like YouTube, and blended results via video on Google and Bing. Video is huge, and for some products and categories, this is far superior to conventional SEO. Video also educates the buyer better, so for complex services, it works especially well.
  • Local-Only / Maps SEO. Google and Bing are smart enough to know you won’t go too far for certain search results – i.e. a restaurant, so it will automatically show you mapped results based on certain keywords, or if you include a local-city modifier i.e. Las Vegas Web Designer.
  • Google Places Login (do this now! find your business then click “business owner”)
  • Image SEO and other specialized SEO.
  • Product / Shopping SEO
  • Pay-Per-Click (“PPC”) and Paid Display Media
    • Google Adwords, Bing & Yahoo Text Ads
    • Facebook Ads
    • Banner ads & various display media networks
    • Popunder ads, traffic exchange
  • Mass Email / Newsletter. This is “whitelist” (people who expressly opt in to get communication from you specifically) or “blacklist” (a.k.a. spam).
  • Social Media. This really means consistently posting customer-centric, useful content on various social platforms such as LinkedIn.com, Facebook, Digg.com and other social media hubs. The big question here to ask oneself is do  you want to listen to your customers? If so, you must have social media as a core strategy. If you just want to talk at them, (and have conversations offline i.e. listen to them offline, but online just talk to them one direction), then social media isn’t really social but simply a syndication message-channel. This is easier, but you won’t get any feedback.
  • 10 Steps to Social Media Influence
  • Mobile Marketing. White-hot and growing like gangbusters as more people have internet access on their phones. That said, the basics still apply here, it’s just a few new variations in tactics related to SMS text message marketing.
  • Blogging, Forums & Online PR (Public Relations). This is about engaging in real conversations with real people. Upside: free. Downside: Requires time and some expertise to be any good.
  • Conventional Media PR / Publicity. Obviously the goal here is getting you interviewed in industry magazines, on TV, on radio, etc. This is done by stalking (in a good way!) reporters and journalists gently offering to help out when they’re researching stories, developing relationships, and telling the world when you truly have something newsworthy via press releases, which are then “picked up” and “run” in conventional news.
  • Postcards, Direct Mail. Usually used when the data-source of a narrowly targeted group only contains their physical address. Because of expense of printing and delivery, it’s not for the casual marketer, but the upside is the cost keeps many away and done right, direct mail can still be a consistently profitable mechanism to deliver your message and elicit response.
  • TV – still big power, and easier to get into that you might expect.