This article is the first in a series of Spider Food / Search Engine Optimization / SEO articles. Your website should promote your business and your business should promote your website.
Before we get started with Search Engine Optimization, and learning to feed the Spiders, let’s take a much broader look at your business and website promotion. Any truly effective website promotion campaign will also include several offline website promotion strategies. Getting your website online is not enough; having a page one ranking in Google, Yahoo and MSN is really fantastic but it is not enough either; you need to promote your website, both online and offline. Think of your website as a new and valuable dimension to your existing business, think of your website as part of your business and not as a separate cost or, hopefully, profit center. Create your marketing campaigns with your website as an integral part of them.
Your website should be an integral part, not only of your marketing, but also of your business. In fact, instead of being a drain on your precious resources, did you know that your website can actually help you to manage your day-to-day business operations more effectively? Strategic database design can and will help you to manage your day-to-day business operations and can also be used to automatically update your website with key business information. A well designed database-driven website will help you to manage your business more effectively and will also work for you 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. This is what we mean by “Web Designs That Work”.
Online, your site needs to be promoted through search engine optimization, directory listings, strategic link exchanges, effective advertising, publicity through free and paid press releases and other promotional strategies that will vary with the nature of your business. These will be some of the subjects of upcoming Spider Food articles.
Offline you should always include your web site address anywhere that you place your business name. Don’t write, print, or even say your business name anywhere, or any time, without the website address being included. Here are some ideas:
- Answering Machine and/or Voice Mail Outgoing Message
- When you leave a message for someone
- Your email signature
- Return Address Labels
- Business Cards (make some special website business cards also)
- Yellow Page Ads
- Newspaper Display Ads, Flyers or Inserts
- Classified Ads
- Sales Receipts
- Product Packaging Materials
- Direct Mailings
- Post Cards
- Press Releases
- Company Brochures and other Literature
- Radio and Television Ads
- Signs in Your Store
- Signs on Your Vehicles
- Your Shirts
Place signs with your website address on them in your physical location to generate more traffic to your website, and to remind your customers that you are a progressive company that uses technology effectively. Make business cards for your website and place them on or near the signs. Integrate, don’t isolate. Your offline and your online campaigns should really be ONE cohesive campaign. An integrated marketing approach is your most effective strategy.
Get the picture? Does it have your website address on it? I hope so. Any material that you produce for, or about, your business should always include your website address. The more you use your website address the more impact it will have. Using your website address in print, television or radio advertising allows you to effectively communicate the full breadth and depth of your business in a much smaller, or shorter (i.e. cheaper) ad. www.4yourwebsite.com tells you all that you need to know to find out all that you want to know about us. Do you have a www (World Wide Web) address that tells me all that I want to know about you? If not, Contact Us now. Your website will show your customers that you are interested in serving their needs in every possible way. For your younger customers, and some of your older ones too, your online presence verifies and legitimizes your very existence.
Now that I’ve got you thinking more effectively and globally than just search engine optimization (SEO), Spider Food (2) will get down to the business of getting your website found by those search engines, you will learn to feed the spiders. It’s all just a matter of learning what, when and how they like to eat. Remember, your website should promote your business and your business should promote your website.