A blog about Internet, the Universe and Everything
There is no point in having a web presence without people knowing about it. This calls for co-ordinated campaign of marketing and advertising, some of which can be handled by a third party if required.
The key things to do to promote your ecommerce website online and offline are:
• Make your web presence part of corporate identity
• Advertise on the Internet
• Advertise in relevant media – TV, Radio, Billboards
• Optimize your website for search engines
• Get links and banners from other websites
• Create a brand presence on social networking sites like facebook, twitter etc.
• Encourage user ‘loyalty’.
One of the biggest challenges in terms of getting visitors to the site lies in creating successful branding. Research has shown that Internet users are busy and prefer to use a known brand as a short cut to obtain the goods and services they want as quickly as possible.
Make Your Web Presence Part of Corporate Identity:
Your clients and trading partners should know that you have a web presence, as should every potential customer you speak to. Your stationery (letterheads, compliment slips, fax templates and business cards) must all carry your URL and e-mail address. If the site has any special functionality, such as online ordering, then spell this out too. You must set your ‘signature files’ (which determine the standard text at the end of your e-mail) to point to your Web site, too. This information should be concise as it increases the size of your messages.
Any promotional material you use, such as:
should all include your web branding. If you run a fleet of cars or vans, then brand these, too.
Advertise on the Internet
Research what sites you could benefit from advertising on. Ask the right questions about their readership and get proof of any claims to number of impressions (or visitors). Advertising on the Internet will probably involve the
use of banners. User experience seems to indicate two important points as far as the use of banners placed on small specialist sites are generally more effective than those on large sites where they can simply get lost; some form of animation on the banner tends to increase click-through rates significantly.
Advertise in Relevant Media
If you already advertise then well and good, but at this stage a review of the type of media you use may be prudent. If you have significantly changed the way you run your business then be canny and make sure you
get editorial coverage as well as placing your advertising.
Optimize your wensite with Search Engines
This is probably the most important thing you have to do. People who are looking for goods, services and information on the web without any prior knowledge of where they are going to find it invariably turn to
one of the search engines. This is probably the most important element for properly promoting your website. Search engine optimization or SEO has three main elements:
1. Keyword research: find out what keywords you want to optimize your website for and if they are viable
1. On page SEO optimization – involves optimizing the code, contents and site architectures of and on your web site
2. Off page SEO optimization – involves getting back links from other web sites, bookmarked in social bookmarking sites, getting shared and talked about in social networking sites
Establish Reciprocal Links
Not all publicity need be paid for. There is still a reasonable amount of friendliness in the net community, and sometimes all you will need to do is request a reciprocal link with a site that is related to yours (or indeed you may be asked for a reciprocal link by someone else). The usual etiquette is to establish a link yourself and then politely inform the webmaster of the other site. As an example, your links page should contain links to all your customer sites and, if (hey think highly enough of you, you will probably get links back. If they have reasonably well established sites, then this can be worth a reasonable amount of traffic.
Join Web Rings and Affiliates
A web ring is a group of related sites which provide links to each other – either in a structured or random way. A piece of HTML code is inserted in your home page and allows users to bounce across to another related
site. Be careful, though, as web rings are good when they are small, but are sometimes counter-productive if they grow to large. If the overall effect is that visitors are being taken away from your site, then they are a mistake.
Encourage User ‘Loyalty’
If your site is:
By the way, you can read some interesting (well, may be not so interesting…) history about the emergence and growth of e-commerce here.
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