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.
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.