How to Succeed in web site promotion for Small Business
Web site promotion for small business can be divided into 6 main categories:
1. Preparing to succeed
2. Search Engines
4. Joint Ventures
5. Affiliate Programs
Let's start by taking a look at these categories of 'web site promotion for small business' in some detail...
1. Preparing to succeed
What do I mean by this and what's it got to do with your web site promotion for small business? Quite a lot actually...
You clearly don't want to embark on any time and money-consuming 'web site promotion for small business' activity before your web site is ready to maximise the potential that your newly acquired visitors could deliver.
"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail" - Benjamin Franklin.
So, let's get started...
1. Review previous sections
To begin with, you may want to skim through our web design section (click here) and web site development section (click here) first for some useful information and tips. Come back here when you're happy you're all set up for your 'web site promotion for small business' activities.
2. What are the 'metrics' of your web site?
You need to have some method of analysing all the statistics to do with your web site before, during and after your 'web site promotion for small business' campaign. You probably already have access to the daily 'log' of your web site activity as this is almost always provided by your web host. If you haven't seen the kind of thing I'm talking about, here's an example from a log from our first web site.
188.8.131.52 - - [26/Feb/2003:03:37:07 +0000] "GET /filmanfineart/famous-paintings/monet_paintings.html HTTP/1.1" 200 19708 "FROM http://www.google.ca/search?
q=claude+monet+gallery&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&start=50&sa=N" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.5; Windows 98; Win 9x 4.90)"
184.108.40.206 - - [26/Feb/2003:03:37:08 +0000] "GET /filmanfineart/famous-paintings/images/thumbs/ua-om353-t.jpg HTTP/1.1" 200 1532 "FROM http://www.filmanfineart.co.uk/famous-paintings/monet_paintings.html" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.5; Windows 98; Win 9x 4.90)"
You may or may not be able to figure out what all this means in readiness for your web site promotion for small business activities, but it doesn't matter whether you can or not.
Either way, it's not in a user-friendly format, so you need to invest in a service or software that shows you, both graphically and in numbers, exactly what is happening on your web site. All of these details are collectively used to determine the 'metrics' of your web site before, during and after your web site promotion for small business.
They're essential for understanding what your visitors are doing on a day-to-day basis and absolutely vital to quantify your 'web site promotion for small business' activities.
There are some free web site statistics providers around, but the ones I've seen require you to put a small graphic promoting their service on your web pages. In much the same way as you don't want your web site hosted by a free service because of what it says about your business, this isn't the sign of a serious, creditable business to me - you may feel differently.
After doing a lot of my own research, and following a personal recommendation from a trusted colleague, the web site statistics service we use is provided by 'HitsLink'.
I highly recommend it. We've been using them since September 2001 and, in that time, their web site has gone from being ranked at about #35,000 on the internet (by the number of visitors they receive) to their current position of #
1,661 1079 [update...author].
Competition for this kind of service on the internet is pretty fierce, so their rise in popularity can be taken as a good indication of the quality of both the information they provide and their service. They provide an amazing amount of real-time statistics about your web site in a clear, easy-to-understand way.
Remember this is vital for quantifying the impact of your 'web site promotion for small business' activity. I won't list them all here as there are just too many, but a few examples of the ones I find most useful and use most often are:
Click here to check them out for yourself. You can even take their 30-day free trial to make sure it's for you.
Traffic - Summary, By Page, Weekly History
- Visitors - Latest Page Views, Latest Visitors, Repeat Visitors, Languages, Countries
- Navigation - Navigation Paths, Entry Pages, Exit Pages, Reloads
- Referrers - Referring Sites, Referring Sites Detail, Search Engines, Search Keywords, Keywords by Engine, Weekly Search Engine History
- Clients - Browsers, Operating Systems, Screen Resolutions, Java Support, Cookie Support
- Summaries - Hour of Day, Day of Week, Day of Month
OK...so which figures provide the most relevant measures of the performance of your web site prior to starting your 'web site promotion for small business' campaign? The most important is the conversion rate, which I'll abbreviate to 'CR'. The CR is the number of visitors per sale generated (or lead or enquiry if more relevant to your product).
The next point will amaze you...
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