Marketing and Publicizing Your Site

“Build it and they will come” is not a very good web strategy.
Instead, think “if I spent $3000 on a website but no visitors came, did
I spend $3000?” There are no guarantees that anyone will ever visit a
site. But there are ways to make sure they do.

Much of web mar­ket­ing fol­lows the rules of any oth­er mode of
pub­lic­i­ty: iden­ti­fy an audi­ence, build a brand, appeal to a lifestyle
and keep in touch with your cus­tomers and their needs. A sucess­ful web
cam­paign uti­lizes print mail­ings, man­u­fac­tured buzz, gen­uine word of
mouth and email. Finances can lim­it the options avail­able but every­one
can do some­thing.

One of the most excit­ing aspects of the inter­net is that the most
pop­u­lar sites are usu­al­ly those that have some­thing inter­est­ing to
offer vis­i­tors. The cost of entry to the web is so low that the lit­tle
guys can com­pete with giant cor­po­ra­tions. A good strat­e­gy involves
find­ing a niche and build­ing a com­mu­ni­ty around it. Per­son­al­i­ty and idio­syn­cra­cy are actu­al­ly com­pet­i­tive advan­tages!

It would be cru­el of me to just drop off a com­plet­ed web­site at the
end of two months and wash my hands of the project. Many web design­ers
do that, but I’m more inter­est­ed in build­ing sites that are used. I can
work with you on all aspects of pub­lic­i­ty, from design to launch and
beyond to ana­lyz­ing vis­i­tor pat­terns to learn how we can serve them bet­ter.

Making sites sticky

We don’t want some­one to vis­it your site once, click on a few links
and then dis­ap­pear forever. We want to give your vis­i­tors rea­sons to
come back fre­quent­ly, a qual­i­ty we call “sticky” in web par­lance. Is
your site a use­ful ref­er­ence site? Can we get vis­i­tors to sign up for
email updates? Is there a com­mu­ni­ty of users around your site?

Making sites search engine friendly

Google. We all want Google to vis­it our sites. One of the biggest
scams out there are the com­pa­nies that will reg­is­ter your site for only
$300 or $500 or $700. The search engi­nes get their
com­pet­i­tive advan­tage by includ­ing the whole web and there’s no rea­son
you need to pay any­one to get the atten­tion of the big search engi­nes.

The most impor­tant way to bring Google to your site is to build it
with your audi­ence in mind. What are the key­words you want peo­ple to
find you with? Your town name? Your busi­ness? Some speci­fic qual­i­ty of
your work? I can build the site from the ground up to high­light those
phras­es. Here too, being a niche play­er is an advan­tage.

I know lots of Google tricks. One site of mine start­ed attract­ing four times the vis­its after its pro­gram­mer and I redesigned it for Google. My sites are so well indexed that if I often get vis­i­tors search­ing for
the odd­est things. We can actu­al­ly tell when vis­i­tors come from search
engi­nes and we can even tell what they’re search­ing for! Google
appar­ent­ly thinks I know “how to flat­ten used sod” and am the guy to
ask if you won­der “do amish wom­en wear bras.” I can make sure your impor­tant search terms also get noticed by Google and the rest!

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