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Design Blog

Art Attack Computer Designs

Tips for getting people to your website.

So your new or updated website is finally up and running. Yippee! It looks great and works really well for your customers, staff and suppliers thanks to all your planning, and to the Art Attack team. But just because you have a website doesn’t mean everyone in cyberspace will automatically find you!

Netcraft claims the total number of websites worldwide now exceeds 182 million (11/08). Of course depending upon what you do and don’t include, this number could be disputed, but of less dispute is that the figure has almost doubled in the past two years. Last year in the Asia-Pacific region alone, 258 million unique searchers conducted 20.3 billion searches monthly. So with all these websites and searches, how can you ensure some of that traffic is directed your way?

Well, it may sound basic, but all the marketing fundamentals still hold true. Here are some simple things you can do before you even start looking at Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) for your site:

  • Tell people about your new website – tell customers, staff, suppliers, potential customers, family, friends, networking groups, local businesses – tell everyone!
  • Make sure your web address is prominently displayed on all your marketing material, stationery and signage – on brochures, letterhead, business cards, newsletters, email tags, signage, cars, everywhere. Nobody will find you if they don’t know your address and you don’t remind them on everything. The launch of your website is a great time to update your marketing material to ensure everything is current and directing traffic to your site. Everything you hand out which doesn’t have your web address is a lost promotional or sales opportunity.
  • Get some publicity for your new website. Write an article for your newsletter, send an e-newsletter, contact the local paper about a story, make up a banner, hand out flyers or do some advertising giving people a reason to go to your website. Make sure there is information they will find really useful on the site and keep the content fresh and current so they keep coming back. Even better, give them a special offer only available online.
  • Send an email newsletter or email to your database of business contacts with a link introducing the new site. Include a special deal or offer here as well to encourage them to have a good look around your site.

…And Keep Them Coming Back

Here are some other ideas for generating repeat visitors to your website:

  • Use a ‘What’s New’ section or page to keep customers up to date with developments in your products or services, company or industry. Ask if they would like to be notified of updates which gives you permission to contact them.
  • Establish yourself as an expert with regular advice columns, information sheets, handy hints or information your customers will find really useful. It makes their visit to your site worthwhile and gives you credibility by showing you know your stuff.
  • Free stuff. Everyone loves something for nothing! Try to give away something only people interested in your field would be interested in so that it is relevant to your target market. Make sure your logo and web address are on whatever you give away, be it screensavers, shareware games, utilities or PDF downloads of information. Something downloadable saves on handling and postage costs. Change your freebie regularly and let visitors know how often you do this to keep them coming back to your site. ‘New free downloads every week’ or ‘Click here to receive email notification of new downloads’ work really well. A ‘Tell as friend’ option spreads the word even further.
  • Free samples may work for you if you have a product your customers won’t be able to resist after trying. A small sample in exchange for an email address allows you to follow up, test customer reactions and hopefully take an order.
  • Coupons or discount vouchers which ban be placed on your website and printed off can make your customers feel they are getting an extra special offer. Customers are beginning to expect free extras or a cheaper price if they are shopping online. ‘Coupon banner ads’ for your product or service on non-competing websites with the same target market also enhances your SEO through links. Have a reciprocal arrangement where you exchange linking banner ads to benefit both of you. Make sure you have a short expiry date on the coupon to encourage customers to act quickly, and think about a ‘Send this coupon to a friend’ option too.
  • Consider a special promotions section that you update regularly.
  • A calendar of events keeps visitors informed of what your company is up to, what’s happening in your industry and also reinforces that your content and company are ‘up to date’.
  • Regular contests and competitions build traffic to your website. Answering a few simple questions to enter a contest allows you to gather information from your target market for research or to add to your database (as long as you ask permission). You can use the ‘tell a friend’ method or encourage customers even further by giving them an extra entry for every so many friends that sign up.
  • A ‘Tip of the Day’ or ‘Site of the Day’ may help with repeat visits.
  • An employment opportunities page may also encourage job seekers who are interested in your company or industry.
  • Encourage visitors to bookmark your site or relevant pages which are regularly updated – ‘Bookmark me now!’
  • Useful links from your site adds to the usefulness of your site as well as your SEO. Make sure visitors must move through at least part of your site before clicking away from you though.
  • Online chat sessions are becoming increasingly important for getting your product or company name out there, so invest some time in relevant online forums.
  • Bulletin boards or Blogs encourage interaction form visitors all over the world and are also becoming more critical to a website’s success every day.
  • Short surveys allow visitors to provide feedback and interact with you. Make sure they are short, simple, don’t include sensitive material and gather some relevant facts for you. Be clear on what you will do with the information, give a deadline and make sure you post the results if they are of interest to your audience.
  • Add some fun to your site with a cartoon, joke or some trivia as long as it is still professional and in keeping with your image. Don’t use anything which could offend your customers, but not being too serious could set your website apart.
  • More websites are using fun activities or games to keep people interested.
  • An email reminder service for updates or special events makes sure customers keep you in mind more often and visit your website more regularly.

© Article by Fiona Morsink-Ryan, Communications Director, Art Attack Web & Graphic Design, Sydney, Australia (www.artattack.com.au). 

Further Reading – Internet Resources

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