As many small- and medium-sized business owners have realized, putting up a web site is not the end of the journey in creating a successful web-based business. It is only the beginning! In addition, a single point web marketing plan will not bring in enough paying customers in the long run. In the many years we have been growing our own successful business, I have honed our marketing strategy to the point where each tactic in the plan is repeatable. Our USE PLAN D™ web business strategy combines a number of important elements that together create a profitable long-term web-based business.
Why do we call our strategy, USE PLAN D™? I'm glad you asked. The name we give to our strategy illustrates well the path that many new web site owners take in developing and refining the way they attract visitors and gain converts. Here are the evolutionary steps these novice web site owners take on their way to profitability:
- Plan A
Put up a basic static web site
(Result: hardly anyone visits)
- Plan B
Perform some basic search engine optimization
(Result: visits increase marginally)
- Plan C
Swap links with a small number of web sites
(Result: visits increase moderately)
It is at the point of implementing Plan C that many web site owners give up. Giving in at that point is a big mistake. Not only is all the time and resources spent on designing, publishing and developing the web site wasted, with a little more consistent effort and expert assistance, their web site can become truly profitable.
It is at that point that smart web site owners realize they can be on the cusp of success if they use a more comprehensive and realistic web business strategy. They are at the point of guiding their actions with Plan D. Our USE PLAN D™ web business strategy involves these aspects:
Review how your web site looks to your potential customers. Does your web site convey professionalism? Make it easy is for visitors to navigate to the content they are looking for and to contact you and do business with you. Think about how you will entice people to visit your web site again.
- Search Engine Optimization
Examine closely how you can optimize your web site for the major search engines, such as Google, Bing and Ask. Look at web page factors, such keyword placement, metatags, titles, navigation and page structure. Look also at other key marketing activities, such as search directory and sitemap submissions.
- Ezine directories
Submitting articles to ezine directories is an effective and economical method for raising your credibility and visibility and disseminating those all-important one-way links back to your web site. Look at which ezine directories are relevant to your web-based business and how you can compile and submit articles that will draw in new visitors.
- Press releases
Submitting online press releases to press wire sites whenever you add a new product or service or have some other interesting news is an effective way to generate interest in your web site and add to your bank of one-way links. Find out how to frame and submit an effective press release and submit your releases to the major press wire web sites.
Exchanging links with other reputable web sites is a very effective method for raising your overall web presence and your ranking in the major search engines. There exists various methods for identifying potential link partners and protocols for exchanging links. Be mindful of the dos and don'ts in building an effective links directory.
- Add content
The major search engines favor web sites in which the content remains fresh and where it grows steadily in size. You can keep your content current without expending a lot of time. There are also ways to expand your web site with little effort.
Newsletters keep you in touch with potential customers and encourage repeat purchases from existing customers. Sending out regular mail outs need not be expensive. Consult the experts to find out how to write effective newsletters that will pack a punch.
- Discussion forums
Contributing to forums and newsgroups in your area of expertise is a very effective means for raising your profile and credibility. As well as drawing in potential customers from a world-wide audience, it further generates important one-way links back to your web site. Identify the online forums applicable to your industry and learn how to create effective links back to your site. In addition, engage with your potential customers by creating a Facebook business page and post on Twitter. Add social media buttons to your key content pages so that people can share your content.
Creating a profitable web site involves much more than simply putting up a site and waiting for the stampede of visitors wanting to buy your product or service. Having and acting upon a comprehensive web business strategy is the key to success. Our USE PLAN D™ is such a strategy. Make the most of it and I wish you well on your journey.
Leslie Allan is Managing Director of Business Performance Pty Ltd; a management consulting firm specializing in people and process capability. He has been assisting organizations for over 20 years, contributing in various roles as project manager, consultant and trainer for organizations large and small. For help with applying the USE PLAN D™ web business strategy to your business, contact Leslie at firstname.lastname@example.org
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