Success of any business model which relies heavily on online transactions, or that have a target audience in the age group 12-35, depends heavily on how popular its website is. Good examples in this case would be naukri.com and Sathyam Cinemas (Chennai). Both target the neo-rich and the IT employed youth, and their websites automatically come to people’s minds whenever a job search or online movie ticket booking comes to one’s mind. To put in other words, both these businesses would have failed miserably had their websites not become as popular as they are now.
Therefore, if you want to promote any business to today’s youth, the best and most efficient option available to you would be to create a website, and make it as popular as possible. At the same time, you need to ensure that your website is known for all the right reasons. There are many ways of doing it, goods ways and bad ways. In this article, we discuss the top ten right ways of promoting your website.
Search Engine Optimization: If you run a furniture shop in Chennai, you must show up in the first page if your prospective customers search Google or Yahoo with “furniture shops in Chennai”. Here again, there are many ways of doing it, about which you can read in another article. To put it briefly, this depends a lot on where all links to your website appear and in what context, and how relevant are the keywords you use for your website compared to the content in your website. The advantage here is that apart from the initial investment, there is very little maintenance costs, and this would ensure a steady traffic to your website if done properly
Pay-Per-Click Advertising: The easiest way of implementing this is to use Google Ad-words. This ensures that your banner ads are shown in other websites based on the appearance of your keywords in those website’s content. The rates you pay would be a function of the keywords you would want to use your ads on, and the number of clicks you get from those ads.
Blogs: Write a general blog, with subtle references to your site in such a way that it doesn’t look like an advertisement by itself. Blogs have a higher chance of showing up in search engine results, and having a relevant blog helps you in Search Engine Optimization as well.
Forums: Be a regular contributor to forums discussing matters related to your business, make valid points (unbiased), but put your website address as part of your signature.
Social Bookmarking: Signup in social bookmarking sites, and add your own website address with the right keywords, and share your links with your network
Social Networking: Make most out of the opportunities given by social networking websites such as Facebook, Orkut, Myspace, etc. These websites not only help you to build a network but also a golden chance to promote your website. You can make widgets and applications for your website on these social networking avenues, as well as manage a group/community/fan club of your website through these.
Directories: Submit your website for listing in online directories, under appropriate categories. This would also help indirectly in getting better results on search engines.
Press Releases: Making press releases about your latest product/service offerings would not just get you attention from conventional media, but through news websites they help in attracting a significant level of traffic.
Word of mouth: If you live up to your ads in terms of quality of service, mere word of mouth would get you more results than costly advertising. For this to be easier, keep your domain name simple and catchy.
Email Marketing / Email Newsletter: This is one of the ways of keeping in touch with your prospects, though there is a risk of being considered as a spammer by the very same people. If done though opt-ins, these can generate a conversion rate of 3-5%.