How To Attract More People To Your Web Site

How can I get more people to my web site? …… Although the answer does depend on the particular web site, the basic marketing strategies that you need to consider apply to all businesses. As you will read, they are not new concepts.

First, do you have a marketing plan? If not, create one by going through the basic marketing steps …..

Once you identify your target audience for your web site (or a product that you sell online), consider whether that target audience uses the internet and whether they buy online? This is very important and is not as daunting as it sounds. For example, we sell wedding rings online for Gillett’s Jewellers. Our target market for wedding rings is “couples getting married” and we know that those couples are online because we already sell many wedding rings online and our experience in the wedding industry has shown that couples often perform wedding related research online.

The next step for your marketing plan should identify where your target audience ‘hang out’ online? We will look at an example of the ‘hanging out’ part below.

Now the exciting part …. the marketing options. Ideally a range of strategies is best, rather than relying on just one strategy. Your marketing options should be focussed towards attracting your target audience to you web site, rather than just a volume of general visitors.

So, what are the strategies?
At the recent ‘How to grow your business using the internet’ workshop I presented for QBR and Women in Business I delivered 18 marketing strategies that can be used for promoting web sites.

Here we will discuss five of those marketing options.

1. Industry directories

The first is easy to identify, though is generally not fully appreciated.

In our example, we know that couples ‘hang out’ at the many wedding web sites that provide tips and advice for planning weddings. We also know that the people who visit those web sites will most likely need a wedding ring. So, by simply being linked from those wedding sites we place our web site directly in front of our target audience at the time they will be interested in wedding rings.

Similarly, our advertising investment to get a link from a jewellery portal that lists a range of jeweller’s specialties has proven to be a very effective means of attracting people to our web site. As the visitors are highly targeted we have seen a very high return on advertising investment.

Now it’s your turn, you may know of industry directories or portals that are relevant to your business. Write down a list of them and contact them to find out how you can get a link from them to your web site.

2. e-newsletters

E-newsletters are a great nurturing tool for your business. Another cost effective marketing strategy is offering to write for someone else’s e-newsletter.

E-newsletter editors are often looking for fresh information and content, so if you offer your services for free they are sure to be welcomed. This form of marketing will generally only cost your time in preparing the article, and if you provide interesting information that is useful and relevant to the e-newsletter’s audience it is likely to generate business for you. You may also gain trust and creditability through your association with the business that produces the e-newsletter.

3. ezines

Most of you will be familiar with the concept of advertising in niche magazines that your target audience are interested in. The same strategy can apply online with ezines (Ezines are an e-mail version of magazines).

For example, there are many e-marketing and e-business ezines. We have found advertising our JAZconvert currency conversion service in some of those niche ezines to be very effective.

You will probably know the ezines relevant to your industry and you should choose an ezine that you know your target audience will be interested in. You can then contact that ezine to enquire about their advertising rates.

4. Affiliate programs

There are many affiliate programs now available in Australia and internationally. ClixGalore and Commission Monster are just two examples.
Affiliate programs work by allowing other web sites to promote your web site products. If an affiliate web site refers a visitor and that visitor purchases through your web site, you pay a small commission on that sale.

In other words, affiliate programs help to set up a network to promote your products and you only pay when you make money. This is an effective supplement to your marketing mix and if it assists by generating a few extra sales each month, it will be worth it.

5. Business Cards

The most cost effective method of attracting people to your web site is to tell your existing customers.

Make sure that all of your stationary and business cards include your web site address in a prominent position.

With our example, in the Gillett’s Jewellers store, just before customers leave the store we hand them our business card. We then point to the web site address on that business card to advise them that we do have a web site that displays our products. We then reinforce that the customer can view the product they were interested in online. This multi-channel marketing strategy to alert customers to our web site and entice them to visit it has proved effective in increasing sales through the store.

You will see from these five strategies that knowing and understanding your target audience is a prerequisite before planning an effective marketing plan. Once you have developed and documented your marketing plan you need to measure your marketing results over time which leads to the very important topic of ‘measuring your success’. See an article on measuring your success here.

Looking to increase your website sales? Find out how websites around the world have increased their international sales by upto 140%. Discover how automatic currency conversion can work for you. Find out how....

Sharon Wild writes ecommerce articles for Qld Business Review, she is also Strategy & Marketing Director of e-JAZ.com.au

Sharon Wild
Strategy & Marketing Director of e-JAZ, Sharon has been involved in the e-commerce community for several years. She successfully manages Australia's largest online jewellery store, Gillett's Jewellers.

Sharon can be contacted via email on sharon@e-jaz.com.au