Everything seems to be easier for the big brands: people already have faith in them, Google loves them so they dominate the search result pages for most of the commercial terms, they have big budgets and entire teams dedicated to creating and performing online and offline marketing campaigns – yes, everything seems to work for them, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t fight, and that you can’t win.
If your website is looking good and you believe that it’s ready to be shown to the people who might be interested in what’s on it, then it’s time to start promoting it. Visitors, especially targeted visitors, won’t come to you – you have to take your website to them, to show them it’s there. And here are some of the best ways to do that.
Search engine optimization
If you manage to get your website on the first page of Google and other search engines, that will probably mean a significant increase in sales for your business. It’s not a sure way though: first, SEO is a complex process and it will take time for your website to rank, especially if you’re only just starting out and your competitors have been in the game for some time. Then, you have to choose the keywords you want to optimize your website for very carefully – ideally, they should have a commercial intent, high search volume and low competition, and this kind of keywords isn’t that easy to find (some say that they don’t even exist anymore). Then, there is link building that has to be done carefully because you don’t want to trigger any of the Googles spam filters … In short, it is a long term process that is best to be left to professionals – that is, if you can afford it.
If you have a product to sell but don’t have the resources to invest in marketing, then referrals are the solution for you – they will send visitors who are already in the buying mode your way, doing all the promotion and marketing stuff for you. You can find referrals among your existent customers, find experienced affiliate marketers on forums and other kinds of communities, check the CPA networks and connect with them, or engage your networks on Twitter or Facebook. However, you will want to make it clear if you don’t them to use certain kinds of promotion, and if you want to attract the best professional referrals out there, you will have to get them interested in promoting your offer with a big commission.
Connect with local blogs and portals
Since you’re running a local business, it makes sense to advertise your business on local websites. Getting in touch and creating a relationship with the webmasters can help you get loads of targeted visitors who read some good things about your company on a blog they trust. To make this easier, see if you can come up with a coupon code or a special discount for the readers of these blogs, or even organize a giveaway that a blog will host. It’s a win-win-win situation: for you, for the visitors and for the webmaster whose readers can get something valuable through his blog.
Create email list from the very beginning
Email lists containing names and email addresses of people who are genuinely interested in your niche is the very best asset you can have; with one click you can send them notifications about the new product launches or coupon codes and discounts, or reach out to them when you need beta testers who will probably turn into referrals if the product is good. So while you’re bringing visitors to your website, don’t just stop there, don’t let them go without buying anything – or even if they do buy something, why not try to sell them something more? Do what you can to get them to leave their contact details: offer them a free report, promise (and deliver!) that if they get onto your email list, they will be getting priority discount notifications – anything that they can’t get any other way. Set up an autoresponder sequence to regularly send them some useful tips, informative articles and occasionally, just occasionally, a new promotional offer.
Andrew Handley, a technology writer for http://www.midislandcollision.com/, a small business website, wrote this article from personal experience. There are, of course, many more ways to get visitors; but it’s important not to stretch too broad and to concentrate your efforts on a few channels at one time. These tips should be enough to get you going, so go for it!