There’s an old cliche played out on TV shows and movies that’s almost as common as two people who hate each other falling in love, or the underdog triumphing over some big, powerful rival. It’s a theme you’ve probably seen for yourself, where the central characters create a website, and within literally seconds start receiving orders by the truckload.
If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably seen this happen whilst watching shows like the popular sitcom The Big Bang Theory, and thought ‘wouldn’t it be great if the web really worked like that?’
Well sure it would, as we all know, the web, much like everything else in life, is rarely as perfect as its made out to be on television. Instead, attracting any orders at all, let alone a truckload, often requires hard work. It means making our website as good as it possibly can be, and then going out there and actively promoting it to bring those customers to us.
Need a little hand to do just that? Not sure where to start with marketing your website? Here’s four key things you’ll need.
A solid plan of action
With so many marketing tools and methods of promoting your website out there (far more than we could ever hope to list here), it can be pretty tempting to dive right in, try all kinds of different things and just see what sticks.
Tempting as it may be, it’s not an approach we recommend, partly because it can be more time consuming than marketing your website needs to be, but mostly because, if you’re doing so much at the same time, you’ll find it a lot harder to find out what’s actually working and what isn’t.
Before you start then, create a solid plan of action detailing what you want to achieve, how you’re going to achieve it, and how you’ll measure your success en route.
A social media presence
There are those who claim that having at least one social media presence isn’t actually necessary, but we argue differently. Setting up an account on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin in or Instagram can be a great way to share your content, drive traffic to your site, and engage with your customers in real time.
You can do even more to promote your site through social media by taking advantage of the free Facebook advertising credits that most of the best web hosting providers bundle in with their plans.
An updated blog
Everything you’ve heard about content playing a vital role in the success of your website is true. Need a simple, sure-fire way to enhance your Search Engine Optimisation efforts, to attract new visitors, develop an audience and establish a reputation as an expert in your chosen field?
Write a blog and write it often.
Nobody’s saying you have to pen a two thousand word essay or reveal some ground breaking piece of news or information, but do write something. Ideally, your blog should be providing value to your customers by helping them to tackle problems they face, answering the questions you’re often asked, or even giving away some information or product that they’d otherwise have to go to your competitors and pay for.
Remember earlier when we talked about creating a plan of action? We touched briefly on measuring your success. To do that effectively, it pays to have some kind of tool in place to track which of your marketing efforts are working, where those visitors are coming from, and exactly what they’re doing when they reach your website.
Free tools like the widely-known Google Analytics do a great job of this, though there are plenty of other options available, such as those provided by Hootsuite and Spring Metrics.
Put one of those in place, and if you do suddenly receive a truckload of orders from your website, at least you’ll know what you did to make that happen so that you can repeat it over and over again and enjoy success with your website for a long time to come.