In the movie Field of Dreams a farmer gets convinced by a mysterious voice saying “If you build it, they will come.”, that he is supposed to construct a baseball diamond in his corn field. This catch-phrase ruled the dotcom boom and it worked. Unfortunately, web entrepreneurs cannot cope with it anymore. You need to do more.
People come to your site if they can find it. Whether they stay there or not after they land, it’s a story discussed in other posts on this site.
I am sure that the basics on getting some attention online are quite well known and pretty vaguely mastered. I shall write them down without going into depths as every web entrepreneur works toward fulfilling them to the best of his knowledge and abilities for as long as its online business shall be.
- Know your purpose. Master your goals. Have a roadmap and don’t try to start Google-size but get there.
- Write and design for your target audience. Some industry best-practices work for everybody.
- Expect to change your knowledge about your audience. Apply what you learn from your traffic metrics and adapt.
- Follow design guidelines and don’t overkill. There are more than 11 billion webpages out there, try not to scare me off.
- Use every marketing technique (online and offline) available to get the word out.
- It helps to own a domain name. (you can park it or taste it while you start up)
And the list can go on, feel free to add to it and let me know.
Here are a few items not everybody follow up with routinely and that need a little paragraph on the side.
- Optimize your site for Search Engines.
- 80 percent of website traffic comes from a search engine query, states McAfee in “The State of Search Engine Safety”. I don’t know about you but I would use all the techniques to make search engines love my site.
- Use site submissions, search engine optimization and search engine marketing and don’t expect immediate results and don’t expect to rank high on results either. You need to earn that but “if you work it, it will come”. This entire topic is an art in itself.
- Link to others and exchange links. Don’t hold back on linking away (you can start by linking to this site .. no ? well .. I tried ). Try building up the links and having a few links back to you a day on some other sites or directories. This pays up.
- Link and endorse your clients. Make them feel important (they are by the way) by linking to them (if they have a web presence) and giving them a small presentation. Your business feels more established and they will link back to you helping you grow as well.
- Use reviews of your products and testimonials. Word of Mouth online ? Yes, third party sells work.
- Use professional digital images to illustrate. A good picture is worth a thousand words. Let the user see the product it buys, provide video or links to reviews.
- Answer the people. If you receive emails or comments, don’t leave them there forever, answer them and get an honest opinion back.
- Let’s be honest, not everybody is cut to spend hours programming and building websites or even marketing and optimizing them. Weigh the value of your time and consider hiring a pro. Who’s that ? A friend of a friend ? Well, measure up your goals, dreams, ambitions and you will know how expensive you should go.
Blogs can be both entertaining and informative and it’s free to get out there. News and honest opinions help the community and help your traffic as well. Needless to say that every comment is welcome and enriches your view and your ways.