Saturday, May 21, 2005

If You Build it They Will (not necessarily) Come

If you website is user friendly and provides visitors with the tools to readily find what they are after you have won only half the battle. For once you have built your website, how do you attract visitors?

Of course you can splash out on a glitzy advertising campaign across multiple media if it for a special promotion, but if you are looking to drive day to day traffic, you need to look elsewhere.


Even with today's problem of spam mail, well crafted email newsletters targeting those people who want the information (ie. Subscribers to your newsletter such as customers and prospects) can drive visitors to your website. Build in links to your email which direct your readers to the website for more information.

Once they have landed on your site, your visitors are free to move around to other parts of the website. But again, this reinforces the point that you have to make your website easy to navigate so that your readers can quickly move from the news to other useful information.

Search Engines

There is a little conundrum when developing a website. While you need to make it user-friendly, you need to make it search engine-friendly. Sometimes these two things don't go quite hand in hand.

While for smaller websites you might be able to perform search engine optimisation yourself, it can pay to outsource the search engine optimisation and placement to a professional company. BUT make sure they are reputable.

If you go with the wrong crowd you could end up getting your site blacklisted by the search engines due to the dubious techniques used by some of these companies.

Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)

Popularised by Google's Adwords program, PPC is a very hand tool for advertising if you have a limited budget. The great thing about PPC is that, as the name suggests, you only pay when someone clicks on your advertisement. You set the price you are willing to pay when someone clicks on your ad and set a daily budget.

Again, PPC is something you can do on a small scale, if you have the time and resources. The success of your PPC campaign is very much determined by the testing and refining of the various aspects of your campaign - price, copy, keywords selected. The more time you have to carefully measuring and refining your campaign the more success you will achieve.

There's more to advertising your website than the above, but I will save that for another day.