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If you build it ... they still won't come, your WEBSITE that is w/o website marketing!

One of the most common misconceptions we encounter with persons that are designing their websites, is that if they build the website people will automatically come to it. Now, most people are realistic and don’t expect to get rich from their website, they are however, misguided that website traffic will magically appear once their site is up.

We wish it were as easy as building your online website, flicking the on button, and you’re up and running on search engines and website traffic stumbles onto your website. Even better, setup your Facebook and Twitter and sit back and watch your website traffic multiply. If it were only that simple. 

Like anything worth having your website will take some work, building traffic to your site requires some sort of strategic plan … there is no ‘EASY’ button. Are there tools that can help? Sure. Are there books you can read or information available online that can help? Of course. Will it take much time and effort? Well that’s a yes and no question, here’s why.

In case we’re not on the same page, let’s start here. I’ve built over 300 sites. You didn’t see 300 in my portfolio, you say? That’s because of the sites I’ve constructed, only a handful (the ones still online) are recent projects. Most of the sites failed, miserably.

If the sites are still up, many of them are not reaching their full potential, as a marketing tool for the business. Often times sites don’t make it, not because of poor design, it’s because not many people came to see them or even knew they existed.

Most of clients don’t extend our services beyond execution of their design. We ALWAYS offer extended services, to assist clients in building traffic, however, we find that most clients just think we’re trying to up-sell them. So this article is just meant to help manage your expectations for your website or to put you on the right track of what to do once your website is up.

Search Engine Ready
Search Engine Optimization is critical to the success of your website UNLESS you believe all of your potential customers will search your business by it’s direct name. Unless they type “YOUR BUSINESS’ NAME” into the search field, people will NEVER find you. Without giving you a long drawn out description on SEO, the moral of the story is if you elect to leave this little detail out, expect your online presence to be minimum to non-existent. There is plenty of information online to get you started with SEO … search it. Yes, you can hire someone to do this for you, however, you need working knowledge of how the process works.

It’s ONLY a brochure
Although this speaks to when you’re producing your website, it still applies for after your site is up.  If you’re building your website to merely be up because people keep asking you, or if your site is just a glorified brochure, then don’t bother. Although you may believe people don’t take websites seriously, you’re very mistaken.  Nowadays, people make purchasing decisions based on the quality of your website and the content on it.  If they have purchased from your business, they’ll be more apt to share your website, if you have a quality site. If you have a site and people don’t mention it much to you, chances are you have a poor website or your content isn’t worth talking about.

Make sure your potential clients questions are answered.
Have a website up, however, people still call you with many questions. Simple fix.  The questions people ask a lot, need to be answered on your website.  When you’re site is being constructed it’s hard to remember all the details, all the little questions that come up. That’s why an ongoing updating of your FAQ is critical.  Save your business some needed time answering questions on the phone and update your website to answer frequently asked questions. It only helps your business, and potential customers for them to become as knowledgable as possible about your product and service.

These will get you started for now, the most critical part of this discussion is the fact that your website needs you to help it grow. Just as you would water a flower for it to grow, your website needs just as much cultivation and CARE.

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Comment by Felecia Lastrapes on July 23, 2011 at 10:14pm
Amen.

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