Website launch tips – part two

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 by Richard Howe

Website promotion tipsContinuing with the theme of new website promotion, this week’s blog post focuses on three areas: paid advertising, email marketing and old-school methods.

By using these techniques in conjunction with SEO, social media and so on, you can really ensure that potential visitors are engaged and filtered through to your website, the heart of your marketing efforts.

Paid advertising

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

There tends to come a time when most new businesses look at the possible benefits of using paid advertising to improve page ranking and generate increased click-through-rates (CTR), and there are several ways to do this. One of the most common is PPC – Pay Per Click.

Google AdWords, Microsoft adCenter or Yahoo! Search Marketing all run PPC services, and the way they work is as you’d expect – you pay every time somebody clicks on your advert.

Whilst this sounds good, the strategy can quickly become expensive and it’s therefore vital to ensure that the people clicking on your ads are those who are genuinely interested in what you’re offering and are ready to buy. To do this, you need to plan your strategy carefully upfront, monitor what’s working and what’s not, and adjust your efforts throughout the process. Here are our tips on what to do:

  • Research your keywords carefully before you start, using free or paid online tools.
  • Use ‘long tail keywords’ to target a large number of lower-traffic searches. This means that you will have less competition for those words and get greater results for your money.
  • Use the right type of advertisement. Banner or display ads make a visual impact and are suitable for attracting people who weren’t specifically looking for them. Text ads, on the other hand, appear in prime locations on search engine results pages and are more effective for people who were searching for your particular keywords.
  • Make sure your content is extremely well written, tight and tailored precisely to what your visitors are looking for.
  • Create dedicated landing pages for each advert so that when people click, they are directed straight to the appropriate page, and not to your website homepage. In this way, there is more chance of making a sale and less chance that they will click away.
  • Set a budget and stick to it.
  • Review what’s working and what’s not, then adjust accordingly.

Affiliate programs

Starting up your own affiliate program can be another paid way of bringing in new clients and driving new users to your website. Essentially, the way it works is that you pay your affiliates a commission to sell your product on your behalf. 

If you choose and train your affiliates well, the strategy can be very effective and needn’t be too expensive. As well as generating sales and promoting your website, the practice will also help to build your community and raise awareness of your brand.

Email marketing

Email marketing has been around for a long time now, yet it continues to be one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of reaching a wide audience and encouraging website visits.

Email newsletters

One of the best email-based ways of generating website clicks is by creating your own monthly or weekly e-newsletter. This might include articles, links to your blog posts, special offers, discount coupons or subscriber-only exclusives which require a customer to click through to your site. 

Although click-through rates might be not be terribly high, if you build a large enough mailing list and you make your newsletters enticing enough through compelling copy and tempting images, you can improve your chances of success.

Old-school methods

With the plethora of online marketing and publicity strategies and practices we currently employ to drive visitors to our websites, it can sometimes be easy to overlook the ‘oldies but goodies’. So to conclude our roundup of methods, make sure that you don’t forget the following:

  • Printed materials – Letter-headed paper, envelopes, business cards, labels and so on should all include your URL, social media details and, if appropriate, a QR code.
  • Email signature – Make sure that your URL is included in your email signature as standard.
  • Printed promotional materials – From posters and flyers to T-shirts and hot air balloons, anywhere can be a good location for a URL or QR code.

When carried out systematically over time and with a visitor-centric approach, the techniques covered here and in last week’s post will help improve your start-up website promotion practices. And before long, you should find those visitor numbers creeping up and making a significant impact on your business.

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When I began my first start-up adventure, I knew that building a full-featured e-commerce site would be challenging, but Richard made it feel easy!

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