Marketing you web site – Part 4 – Using newsletters, search engines and the yellow pages
Using Newsletters to market your web site
As I stated before, it can take several times for a potential client to begin to trust you. You also want to keep the clients that you have. Part of your marketing plan will be to stay in touch with your clients. Letting them know what is happening, any sales that you may be holding, or new products/services that you may have. A great way of keeping in touch is with a newsletter.
What is a newsletter? Simply put it is a communication between you and your subscribers. By offering information that the client may find helpful, you are offering a service to them that is of value. Immense value in fact. Your information may save them time and money. Building a trust between you and the client. This trust will turn to sales over time.
So what does it take to get a newsletter off the ground so to speak? Two things: First is to have the clients/customer sign up for the newsletter. This can be a simple email or mailing program. RD Web hosting has a mailing list package that is part of the hosting plan. It is simple yet effective. Click here to see it in action. The second thing is a newsletter. This can be written in any word processing program or in your email software. It doesn't have to be long and complicated.
Let's say for example you have found a new recipe. Something that you think your subscribers would be interested in. You type up the recipe along with an introduction and paste it into your email program or mailing list software. From there you send it to each of your subscribers. Cost? A few minutes of time. No printing or mailing charges required. Oh, by the way, in that little letter you sent to each subscriber, you place a little advertising for your web site or store. Or maybe you have ‘sold' some space to a friend or business associate who may have something of interest to your subscribers as well.
Newsletters are a great and inexpensive advertising medium. Just remember to place articles of interest in the newsletter and not all advertising. There is nothing worse than getting mail that is all ads. Over time people will stop reading it if they don't find the information useful.
Using Search engines and marketing your web site
Search Engines (SE) are the mystery of the Internet. So many different types even from the users standpoint. There are over 225,000 search engines and directories on the Internet. How do they work and why should you care?
Basically, a search engine is a database of web pages that contains information about that page such as: where it can be found (URL); what is on it (Keywords); when it was last indexed; and a description (Title) of the web page. When you go to a search engine and type in your request (query) the database engine pulls up the data that matches your request. So a search engine is only as good as the data in it. How do we get that data? Most search engines are copies of the major databases. There are only a few real databases out there. So lets talk general terms. Data can be entered by the owner of the website. This information is then indexed and your site is listed. In the past that is how things worked. But we soon found out that people will do anything to get their website listed at the top of the page where they will be more likely to have the searcher click on their site. The owner of the database needed a better way. So programs where written called spiders to go out on the web and find websites. Then catalog each page of the website and enter that information into the database. Today that process is still going on. However, again the owners of the database have tried to make sure that the website information is correct and have been constantly changing the formula used to determine how a website should be listed based on it keywords, headers, titles, content, alt tags, etc. Some database owners even have people visit the website and make a judgment call. All of this is to insure that when you enter a search phrase into the search engine you receive the type of information you want. If you are happy with the search engine you will continue to use it and the advertisements placed on the search engine will help pay for the site.
Search engine technology is changing daily. To try and cover it here would be a waste of your time as it will be out of date tomorrow. So I have listed a site that does nothing more than follow and report on this technology. It is:
Search Engine Watch
What is important for us as website owners is know how to make sure we are properly listed and learn how to get the best listing on the search engines. So lets see… there are 1440 minutes per day and 225,000 search engines. That means if we spend just 10 minutes per search engine entering in our website information it will only take us1562 days to enter the information. But you should submit your website at least every other month, so you can see that is not going to work. There are all kinds of software and website services that will do this for you. But remember there are really only about 4 major databases that feed all those search engines. Even when your website is listed you may not have a very good placement due to other factors. As I said the database owners are constantly changing the rules. So what can you do?
Start with proper design of your website. Good content that is kept up to date. The spiders will find you over time and your ranking will improve as your use of keywords and content are evaluated. Other things that will help is the linking to your site from others. If you have good information, others will point their website to yours which will help your ranking in the search engines. All in all, this will take months to accomplish. But you want to start making money today!
Another way to get listed on search engines faster and at the top of the rankings is with PPC or Pay Per Click. PPC Search Engines charge you each time a user clicks your listing and goes to your website. In addition, many PPC have made arrangements with other search engines to place the paying website URL at the top of the listing (these are called sponsor sites). What does that mean for you as a website owner? Well, it means lots of traffic to your website that you can sell to over and over again. What will it cost? Hmmm how many secrets to give away in a free book :). Oh well, why not! The cost is dependent on how many other people want to be in the top listing. For example: Overture.com has agreements with Yahoo, MSN, AOL and others that the 3 top bidders for keywords will be listed in the top 3 spots for that keyword on each of these search engines. By the way, as of December 2002 those 3 search engines accounted for over 80 percent of all searches on the web. Think that might be a nice place to have your website listed? Ok, back to the example. Let’s say I sell training, I research the keywords and find out that the top 3 positions go for $1.50, $1.45, $1.00 per click to my website. I have a product that sells for $795 per course. I could bid $1.51 and take the top spot. But remember I will have to pay the PPC for each person that clicks on my link. It can quickly run into the hundreds of dollars. I could also pay $1.01 and take the 3rd position saving me $.50 per click. Not all keywords are that expensive…some are more :). Actually you may find your keywords very inexpensive around 10- 20 cents per click.
PPC also do not care about keywords, titles, headers, content etc. So I can write a more compelling description here that will call to action the searcher to click on my site. BUT, once there I want to do everything I can to get them to leave their email address in exchange for my free product or gift. I do not want them coming back though PPC again. It will cost me more money that way. If I have their email address I can send them my link in other correspondence. We will talk about that later in auto responders.
Here is a list of some of the PPC. Since they drive qualified traffic to your site I would recommend using all of them. You will find your keywords cheaper on the less used sites but that is still traffic that you can sell to.
This is a lot of work. I know I have spent hours on Overture alone trying to monitor the website, keywords, and ranking.
I have said before in this course that automation is the key. The more we can automate the more time we have to spend on other things… maybe the family?
Using Yellow pages to market your web site
If you have a local business then you probably already have a business phone number. Most business phone services come with a listing in the local yellow pages. Be sure to list you website address. This is much more powerful form of advertising then just placing your address and phone number. Remember your site can offer specials, gather email or contact information, give away items or gifts to your customers to get them to visit your store, tell the customer so much more than you could afford to do in the phone book itself. Plus many people will bookmark your site and return time and time again once they see all the great information that you have available on the site.
I hope you have found some useful information in this package. I have strived to put together information about most of the different methods you can use to market you business. For more information on any of these topics please visit our web site at rd-webhosting.com or rsl-webdesign.com