Marketing Your Website, Part 1: Cover the Basics

There’s tons of different ways to promote the small business website you have created with the IconoSites website builder.  We’re going to focus on a few of the basic tactics that you can and should do right now, and we’ll explain why and how they should be done.   Our explanations are thorough and they are worth reading.

1.  Add Web Analytics

While not mandatory, it’s a good idea to install Google Analytics to your website before or shortly after you start promoting it (especially before you plan to spend money to promote it).

Google Analytics will track the source, behavior, and so much more about every single visitor to your website and every promotion activity you do.  It’s free, its extremely easy to use, and its astonishingly powerful.  You’ll know which marketing tactics are working, and which aren’t.  Isn’t that amazing?  You’ll have all this data and more at your fingertips.  It will empower you to make much better business decisions.

Once you’ve dabbled with Google Analytics, here’s some incredible resources that will help you get the most out of it:

  • 50 Google Analytics Resources – The 2011 Edition
  • The Only Metrics You Need to Optimize Website Performance

2.  Make An Announcement

Here, we’re recommending that you send out an email announcing your new business website.  Making this announcement actually serves two purposes.  First, it will get you an initial influx of traffic and hopefully interest in your products and services.  Second, it will allow you to test your website content on a group of people you have a closer relationship with.

First, you’ll need to gather a list of all your email contacts.  This should include friends, family, and any other contacts you have.  Once you have this, create your email.

Your email can be basic text, or something more professional like our example above.  Include text that clearly and concisely states what your business does, and try to include your Unique Value Proposition.  A Unique Value Proposition (“UVP”) is a clear statement that defines the unique value of your products or services. If applicable, maybe even include a promotional discount coupon of some sort (i.e. 15% off for new customers).  Lastly, always encourage the recipients to forward the email on to a friend who might be interested in your products and services.

You should be able to send the email out with a normal email client such as Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, or Mozilla Thunderbird.  If you plan on sending your announcement to a large list of emails (500 or more), or if you’d like to use a nicely designed email template, we recommend using MailChimp.

A few days after the announcement, we highly recommend that you follow up with some friends and family members to see if they have visited your website and see if they have any comments or suggestions.  A lot of the time, they can help you correct small mistakes such as spelling errors or point out aspects of your website that may be confusing.  All of this advice is very valuable because it allows you to fine tune your site before you actually start spending hard marketing dollars to promote it.

3.  Submit Your Website to the Search Engines

Submitting your website is a direct way to let Google, Yahoo!, and Bing know that you have a new website, so that they can include it in their search results.  Once you do this, the search engines will send a spider to “crawl” your website and analyze all the content you have published to it.  From that information, the search engine determines how and where to index your website.  For best results, you should wait until your website is completed before you do this.

When you’re ready to proceed, read our tutorial on How to Add your Website to the Search Engines.  Keep in mind, it can take 4-6 weeks, and sometimes longer, before your free website starts to appear “organically” (see the area highlighted green in the below image) in the search results.

Continue Reading…

The next post in this series is Marketing Your Website, Part 2: All About the Search Engines where we cover SEO (or, “Search Engine Optimization”) and PPC Advertising (or, “Pay-Per-Click”) on Google Adwords.

  • Anonymous

    this was a little bit hard tutorial, I couldnt understand it very good, maybe someone could tell me a short version of this post? :D

  • Tammy Sanders

    I like the email announcement idea, I will try it for my website! :)

  • Jayne Cashmore

    I didnt know you had to actually submit your site to Google, I thought that just happened!! Watch me go!!! :O)

  • Reagan

    The googly analytics sounds great, especially if your going to be making a free website so you know where to focus your efforts. I also didn’t realize your page didn’t just show up on google. I figured by word of mouth and people looking at your page the rankings would just increase.

  • candace

    This is some great information for those starting their own page. It’s exciting to see your hard work paying off. What other great tools can you show me to help me become a great website maker?

  • kelly

    Is there a group that could submit your free website to google for you? I’m all new to this website stuff and I want to get my page out there in the best light possible. Do you have to submit it to Bing and Yahoo individually as well?

  • Karly

    Would using a template announce free web site to Google be advised over making your own? Just wondering if it would help make your site be taken more seriously or if that even matters Just want to make my site the best I can.

  • tommi

    A spider sounds like spyware or something. Just a random side note. Seriously though is there a way your website builder can make the 4-6 weeks that it takes Google to add your site to their index go a little faster?

  • timothy

    I love the idea that the analytic tool can help you take charge of your site. It practically shows you how to create a website that will get the attention you need to promote what you have to offer.

  • Isaac

    How to create a website? Get some templates and stuff. How to know if what you have is worth having? Read this blog post and then get to work. This shows you step by step what you need to get done to get your page out there.

  • Mickey

    You mention that it can take up to 6 weeks for google to get your page up and running on its search site. My question then would be how can you use google analytics then? If people cannot see your free web site then how can there be statistics determined?

  • bethanny

    This is one of the best website builders I have seen! Props to you for making a tutorial that is simple and easy to follow along with. This isn’t the case with others I’ve tried to learn from. Another benefit is I don’t feel like your talking down to people who have no background in html or css etc. Your relatable and it is so beneficial.

  • janet

    A great lead up post to this is how to use a website maker to make a free website. That way a newbie can geat a great tutorial from the beginning to the end. Well written, thanks

  • Kyan

    I just had to post that I had read your article a while back and did everything you had said and the results were phenomenal! My contacts said my work was better then they expected and they are so excited for my free web site to hit the ranks. Thanks so much for your easy to follow web site builder.

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