Include Relevant and Useful Content
1) INCLUDE USEFUL INFORMATION – Create helpful information and content on your website, adding new content regularly. Google, and other search engines, use keyword phrases to perform their searches. Find out which keyword phrases are most relevant to your site (the words your prospects search for to find your services) and use them wisely. Include your keyword phrase throughout the body of content, especially in headings, and near the end of your page. The first sentence should also contain your major keywords.
2) ADD REFERENCES – Include client testimonials on your web pages. These can be short 2-3 sentences each, and allow potential clients to hear for themselves, the quality of your services.
3) MAKE IT EASY FOR CLIENTS TO RECOMMEND YOU – Include a “Recommend Us”, or “Tell a Friend” online form on your website. It is an easy and efficient way for your clients and friends to refer you to others.
4) BLOG – Add a blog to your site and write new (can be a brief 200-300 words, on a weekly basis) articles related to your industry and keywords. This is a great way for you to add new content and ideas to your site, automatically improving your search engine ranking. Invite your clients and friends to participate, writing about their experiences of doing business with you and telling others how you helped them to succeed. Everytime you add a new blog entry to your website it generates an RSS Feed – which Google quickly sees. .
5) ADVERTISE ON YOUR BUSINESS CARD – Add a note on the back of your business card, inviting people to visit your website blog and read about other people’s experiences, as well as writing about their own. You could also direct potential clients to a page on your website that contains useful content or answers their questions. Develop the habit of handing out lots of business cards and self-publicizing your services.
6) DOMAIN NAME REGISTRATION – Register your website domain (dotcom) name for more than one year. Search engines (GOOGLE, etc.) give some points in ranking to domains that are registered for more than one year. An easy way to improve your ranking with the search engines is to register your domain (website dotcom name) for more than one year — for 3-5 years. To do this, simply login to your hosting account and register/renew your domain name for a longer period of time.
7) RESOURCES – Add a RESOURCES page to your site and include links to useful sites that your clients may find beneficial. Publicize these sites in your email newsletters and recommend that clients visit your site to find out more information.
Generate Inbound Links to Your Website
8) DIRECTORIES – Search for appropriate free web directories where you can submit your website. Apply to the Yahoo! Directory. Submit to directories such as Joe Ant, GoGuides, BOTW, Ezilon, Rubberstamped and Massive Links. Once you add your website link to the category that best describes your business, you will receive inbound links to your site. Google uses the number of inbound links to rate sites, so this can improve your ranking.
9) GOOGLE BUSINESS DIRECTORY – Submit your business address, for FREE, to the Google Business Directory. This is very easy to do, requiring only that you sign up for a Google account and submit your business information.
10) NETWORKING SITES – Join Linkedin.com as well as any other relevant business networking sites. Search for national and local business networking sites online and do not hesitate to sign up. You should include your keyword phrases in your personal profile, and you must always insert your website link as a matter of course.
11) VISIT BLOGS & FORUMS – These should be related to the subject material of your website and you should leave good information and comments that are relevant to the discussion. Always remember to include your website link, as an integral part of your signature, and leave it at the end of every single comment. This is a good way to generate inbound links to your site.
Promote Your Website
12) PRINT IT – Always try to draw attention to your web site by adding it to all of your business literature. Include your website name on your business card and all of your correspondence, publicizing your business and generating easy hits. You could even include the name of your website address in your telephone voice-mail message, encouraging people to visit for more information.
13) GET FOUND IN ONLINE YELLOW PAGES – Most people use the internet when they are shopping locally for business products and services. Get your business listed in the online business yellow pages, allowing your site to be easily found by potential clients. In the U.S., you could use ‘Superpages.com’ and ‘Yellowpages.com’; in Canada, use ‘YellowPages.ca’; ‘Canpages.ca’ and ‘Canada411.ca’.
14) EMAIL – Include your website link, alongside your signature, at the bottom of every email you send. If you have a great and informative content page on your site, such as a page containing Financial Calculators or other useful resources, include a link to that page alongside your electronic signature.
15) NEWSLETTER – Create an electronic newsletter and gradually build up an electronic mailing list. Write content that is relevant to your client’s problems; you are aware of the issues that they face, so you can give real and pertinent solutions to their problems.
Better yet, invite some of these people to tell their stories. Share those stories on your website or simply in an email format, generating a lot of positive publicity for your services. Include a link to your website in your email newsletter, making it easy for the readers to follow up on any information they find interesting. Add an “opt-in” email newsletter link to build up your newsletter mailing list and network of potential clients.
Another good method is to post your newsletters on your website and invite prospects and clients to visit your website and keep up to date with the latest information.
16) EMAIL MESSAGE – This is an inexpensive and easy way to keep in touch with your friends, clients and associates. Write a funny or informative email, relevant to your industry, and send it to everybody that you know. Ask the recipients to pass it along to their friends via email, always including your name and website link, as the author of the message.
17) EMAIL AUTORESPONDER – Use email technology to follow-up with prospective clients and avoid wasting leads. When you receive an email through your website, have an auto-responder immediately reply by sending your marketing message or an E-Brochure.
18) SHARE EMAIL LISTS – Collaborate with associates and friends in other businesses who have email lists, who would be willing to promote your site to their customers if you reciprocate in turn.
19) BOOKMARK YOUR SITE – Invite your family and friends to bookmark your site and use it as their landing page. Your partners and staff should all do the same, increasing the volume of hits on your site. Make it easy for visitors to Bookmark your site by placing a ‘Favicon’ on every page, useful for people using Internet Explorer based browsers.
20) WRITE articles – Write articles using the keywords that you would like the search engines to rank you by. Post your articles to free sites, such as ‘ezinearticle.com’ and ‘youpublish.com.’ Keep searching for other places to post your article, publicizing your site and attracting new visitors. Make sure that your website link is included on your article, providing yet another one-way link to your website, which significantly improves your ranking with search engines.
21) MORE LINKS – The idea behind Link Exchanges is that they bring traffic from a website with which you set up a reciprocal link. Some of these sites charge you for using their system for contacting other webmasters and exchanging links, but you can search for free sites where you can submit requests for reciprocal links. It is good practice to use your keyword phrases in your link exchanges for gaining an extra advantage with the search engines.
22) PAID ADVERTISING – Pay-Per-Click advertising, using services such as Google Ad words and Overture.com, the power behind Yahoo and MSN advertising, can cost between 1 cent and several dollars per click. You can bid on keywords for your industry, create an ad online, and pay only when users click the advert that directs them to your site. Facebook advertising is becoming more popular as you can choose your target market and demographic for your ads.
Use specific keywords and, if your business is local, include your city/town in the keyword phrase. Be very careful with this service, because attracting clicks without generating business has the potential to be expensive. You must monitor your pay-per-click ads carefully and set dollar limits.
Make a video about your services and publish your knowledge online. Websites such as ‘YouTube’, ‘Google Video’ and the newer ‘YouPublish,’ which allow you to store and share videos. Make sure that you include your website URL in the video, and invite your friends and clients to watch the video through your website.
Make an audio welcome message and post it on your HOME page, next to your photo. This only needs to be a brief 15-second introduction, with the idea being to make an immediate and personal connection with the client. This is the extra subtle touch than can turn a potential client into a paying customer.
Make a podcast to build up a core audience that keeps on returning to your website. A pod cast is an audio file that you record and create in MP3 format, which your intended audience can download from your website and listen to at their convenience. For more information on this, Google the term “How to Create a Pod cast” and see how this powerful tool can attract regular visitors to your site.
24) BANNER ADS – Banner Exchanges can bring targeted web traffic to your site and can be a very effective, albeit slow burning, method for attracting clients. You will need to have a banner ad designed professionally. The banner should look like text and arouse the curiosity of the user, prompting them to take action and click on your banner.
25) OPTIMIZE – Choose a domain name that utilizes strong keywords for your particular industry and specialty. Have your website designer optimize your website, using these keywords to ensure that it performs better in search engines. See our article on article on search engine optimization.