Website Ownership 101
If you are considering a website or already have one that is not doing so good in attracting new business as you expected, or the information that you're providing is not getting seen, theres a reason for that. When you have a site designed and placed on your domain that's not the end of the work. Even with your site *keyword optimized and submitted to the most popular and relevant search engines by your web designer; unless you're going to pay a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) service to get you better placement in the search engines, which can be pricey; you're going to have to do a bit of work yourself. Some of this work starts with the planning of your site and what you're going to be displaying on your site.
#1. Make sure you have a lot of text about your product or services, that each page is well defined with words about what is being presented, if information is provided in the form of photos or other graphic images, be sure to describe those images with text that describes your subject matter. If information regarding your product or services requires regular updating, make sure you have an arrangement with your web designer for periodic updates to your website, unless you are using a content management system so that you are able to update the information yourself.
#2. Utilize GOOGLE adword and adsense programs to provide visability for your site based on keyword and key phrase searches. You can easily afford a trial of the adword program where you place $25, $50, or $100 in your ad campaign account, then create your ad(s) and select the keywords you want to purchase. As your ads are shown, when they are clicked on, the cost of that click (anything from .05 cents to several dollars) will be withdrawn from your account. Just because they clicked doesn't mean they will buy.... that's why it's important to grab their attention on your home page, sell the product or service there, make them want to know more so that they will explore the rest of your site. Even if they don't buy this time around, they may return at a later date and make a purchase. Setting up a Google account is pretty easy, you may already have one, if you have a gmail account, you have a Google account, all you need to do is setup your adword and adsense account. That brings us to Adsense, this is a program by which you choose to place ads for like or complementary products and services on your website, the thought here is, if they come to your site and don't like what they find, they may click on an ad that they see and buy something there, you will get paid for that! It can add up, but you do need to be judicious in what you promote on your website and you do have the option of eliminating competitive websites from the ads that are shown.
#3. Whether you do business out of a storefront or from your home, make sure your name, address and phone number are listed in Google Places and Yahoo Local. Regardless of whether your clients have to visit your storefront or office, having your business listed in these places gives you credibility as a real entity. In cyberspace there is much suspicion and if a potential customer can't verify that your are "real", you're apt to lose them. These listings are FREE and POWERFUL. You could also pay for a listing in Yellowpages.com or other fee based directories.
#4. Never underestimate word of mouth! If your business is primarily local, be sure your website URL is on all of your promotional items, i.e. business cards, brochures, flyers, newspaper advertisements etc. Offer customer's a discount on their next purchase by referring family and friends.... make up some referral cards to give out. Go to functions that allow for networking, attend local events and if appropriate buy space in local flea markets, farmer markets or annual events.
To sum up, it's YOUR business, you need to be in charge, you need to be proactive in promoting yourself and it's up to you to utilize your web designer / webmaster and direct them with regards to new and fresh information for your site as is needed, some very small update shows that you are actively involved in your web presence.
One more thing, here at SKB Dezigns, we provide our clients with quarterly updates, which are included in their yearly hosting and maintenance fee. We optimize your site for keywords to the best of our ability based on the information that you provide for your site. We are more than happy to help you set-up and utilize Google services to promote your site more effectively. If you require high amounts of relevant traffic to your website, we will be more than happy to help you select a reputable search engine optimization service. Our goal is to assist you in building your web presence to best represent your business and attract new customers.
* Keyword Optimized means that you have lots of text on all pages of your site about your product or service and that text is very rich in the keywords that are most relevant to your the overall subject matter of your website.