If nobody knows about your website it will never be successful. But how do you become known? The most effective way to market a website is simply to get people talking about it. Word of mouth on the world-wide web builds buzz like nothing else. Here’s how to capitalize on that and ensure you get people spreading the word for you.
The ideal is probably to be featured in one of those periodical “15 of the best new sites” articles that pop up on trusted websites. But if you want to get on that list, you have to offer something more unique than just another social networking platform (you have to offer some new twist on it) and more necessary than a mother-son magic show for children’s birthday parties (they could call their cousin for that).
Offer services that only you can come up with. Create a site with a unique product, service, or premise. People will spread the word because it’s new and exciting.
You can have the coolest idea in the world, but if it’s poorly executed it simply won’t work. Painful as it is to admit, humans can be slightly superficial; we like it clean, good-looking, and shiny. If your fantastic idea get buried in a site that belongs in the days of Windows 95—grainy graphics, neon colors, and Comic Sans—it will sit alone on that eyesore of a site forever.
Your website should look clean, pleasant, professional, and appropriate to its purpose; a luxury online shop will need different design elements and fonts than a construction blog will need. Load times, appearance, and the inner workings of the site in general should be manicured and maintained as regularly as you would your own personal hygiene and grooming regimens.
Sounds like an odd comparison, but think about it: how clean and well-groomed you are in your outward appearance is how people judge you at first, before they get to know your passion for political philosophy or that charming party trick you do with paper napkins. If they’re turned off by the initial impression, they likely won’t stay around to see all the amazing qualities beneath.
Similarly, if your site still looks like a relic from the 90’s without the nostalgia accorded the Space Jam movie’s website (still up, still running, still old school), it’s likely web users won’t stick around long enough to find out about your idea, much less tell everyone they know about it.
Haven’t a clue what a good website looks like as far as web users are concerned? No idea how to translate your gorgeous design into the necessary code to start the website going? Perhaps both? Not a problem—entrepreneurs like you are what keep computer science and graphic design students and graduates alive!
If we all knew how to design a logo or sort out CSS/HTML, these talented people would be out of careers. So look for a trusted website design firm full of bright designers and developers to help you get your site off the ground right if, like most, you could use help.
Have an Awesome Blog
No matter what type of site you are, you need to have a blog. Writing articles that are honestly informative and helpful will draw more traffic to your site than you can possibly imagine.
You’ve probably needed to know something and searched for it via Google or another search engine before—how to connect a smoke detector, how to remove a stripped screw, cheap family meals using chicken, or how to throw a Snow White birthday party for kids.
Chances are, a lot of the top stories you found were from someone’s blog. The web is home to many talented writers with expertise in a particular area, such as fashion, home & garden, gluten-free or paleo cooking, etc., and their blogs draw a lot of traffic from curious web searchers.
Get in on that curiosity traffic; hire the best bloggers and writers in fields relevant to your site to draw in the readers who need to know and keep them there with relevant, well-written content.
Invite Users to Share
It need not turn into the likes of the infamous #McDstories hashtag (in which McDonald’s asked for tweets of happy McDonald’s memories and got tales of poor service and food poisoning), but you should invite your customers to share what they like about your website and company.
Most people are smart enough to realize that it is loyal customers that keep businesses like yours in business. Your best customers certainly shouldn’t mind taking the time to “like” or “follow” you on their social media platforms, or even take the time to say some nice things about you.