If you want to promote your website and increase sales, boost your website traffic or raise brand awareness, then a combination of online and offline promotion is the solution. With an online strategy in place, you can achieve your goals and see a huge increase in visitor volumes.
1. Research your market
The first step to promoting your website effectively on the web is through researching your target markets, products, competitors, technological and social forces, suppliers, intermediaries and other stakeholders that are important to your business.
This is about carrying out an audit into your business environment and identifying the resources that you will need to achieve your mission and goal. Research is the first and most important thing because it is this that feeds into the rest of your online strategy.
You can carry out two types of research: secondary/desk research which is the most common and is about finding out information that already exists about your target markets and industries; or you can carry out primary research through online surveys, questionnaires etc into your target market – and this is to fill any gaps in your secondary research results.
2. Create your marketing objectives
Having completed your research, you are now better placed to create marketing objectives that set out how your website will help to reach your business goals. Your objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Related (SMART) and they should be a one sentence line like the following:
“Increase website visitors from Organic search by 20% by Nov 2015”
3. Study your competitors
Next you should study your competitors’ websites, online strategies and products or services. You should understand what tools and channels they use to promote their website and what results they are getting for key metrics such as bounce rates, pageviews, time on site and so on.
It’s unlikely that you will have website conversion rate data for your competitors, but studying their engagement metrics helps you to assess how effective their website is.
4. Plan your strategy
Next, you should plan a strategy that covers all the promotional tactics you need to implement to promote your website easily. Your strategy covers website promotional tools and channels, target markets and positioning and they are the next steps listed below.
5. Target your markets
Your strategy should identify which markets to target. In your research you will have identified market segments that are of interest to your business, however not all will be viable, so this is the stage where you decide.
The customers you want to target should also be accessible on the online channels that you want to use and you can use the tools available to reach them.
6. Position your website, products or services
How do you want to position your website and products or services in the market? This is an important question to help you differentiate from competitors and create a unique position for your business. Creating a unique selling proposition is a benefit to customer too because it makes choosing a supplier much easier and you do this by promoting your strengths and competitive advantage.
7. Choose promotional channels
A combination of online and offline channels should be part of your promotions mix. Online channels include organic search, pay per click advertising, social media, affiliate marketing and others. These are easy to implement and drive high volume traffic to your website.
Offline channels to promote your website include television, print, word of mouth and others. These are often more expensive but are good for mass promotion and raising brand awareness quickly.
8. Launch promotional tools
Having chosen which channels (both online and offline) to use to promote your website, now you need to choose the tools that are related to these channels. For example, with the pay per click channel, you can use tools like Google Adwords and Bing Ads. The internet has hundreds of tools to choose from and you should research them to find the most suitable ones to use to promote your website.
9. Create your budget
With a complete list of the channels and tools you want to implement, you now need to create a budget to make implementing your online strategy possible. Budget setting is not always easy, but one effective way is to add all the tactics and their related costs and then add this to come up with a total budget.
10. Report on results
Using a tool like Google Analytics, you can track, measure, monitor and report on traffic and actions on your website. Some important metrics to report are conversion rate, bounce rate, sessions etc.
To promote your website effectively, these are the steps you need to take and your business will benefit from qualified traffic and new customer acquisition. Download a digital marketing strategy template to start planning your campaigns and to realise your goals.