Getting Traffic to Your Website

By Tracey Allen

If you run an Internet business, your marketing plan should be developed in conjunction with the development of your website, or prior to developing your site. Although site development and a marketing plan may seem like two separate functions, and typically require two separate consultants, they should ideally be done simultaneously.

Why? Simply put, your website developer needs to know how to design your website and you need to decide how you want to use your website. Some web developers may or may not know search engine strategies that need to be implemented when developing your website, or traffic building strategies such as, viral marketing to assist in the online marketing of your business. Whether you will target the world or the local market is just one of many questions you need to ask yourself.

For those who have a website, should you just sit and wait for the traffic to come to your site? I like to explain online marketing this way: compare it to what you know - offline marketing. If you set up a store in the physical world, will you do any marketing? Of course you will. Your marketing strategies may include announcing the grand opening of your store, sponsoring events, contests, advertising, or word of mouth. Similarly, you must let people know about your website.

Targeted Website Traffic
Let's talk about traffic and what it means to you as a business owner. We hear lots of talk about the amount of traffic you get to your website. More is better. Or is it? Overall traffic isn't as important as targeted traffic. There is no point in having millions flock to your website if your site and your products or services are not what they are looking for. They will merely clog your server (read crowd your store) and don't buy anything. Keep this in mind when you are designing your online marketing and your website.

Traffic Analysis Tools
To evaluate anything you must first establish a method of measurement. And if you want value for your money then a system to evaluate what promotions work is a must. Dry but true! A traffic counter is an ideal tool to use to see who is visiting your website. Not perfect - but an inexpensive start.

Traffic analysis tools - http://webdesign.about.com/cs/traffictools/

Geographically, whom are you targeting? Canada, the United States, or the world? The traffic analyser I use is the counter www.thecounter.com and costs only $15 per year. I'm a budget minded marketer! A very small sample of the types of websites that visit my website are listed in the graphic below:

Referral links are especially important, as are search engine listings. They will tell you who and how people found your website.

Like anything else, if you won't use it, don't buy it. However, keep in mind that the statistics can tell you more than just who and how many are visiting your website but also what type of browser, computer, and screen size they are using. This information will tell you how to design your website in future, especially if you are going to implement some newer technology, webcasting, or streaming video etc. for maybe e-learning for your customers.

Another way to evaluate your marketing is to implement tracking within your website and as a part of any promotional campaign. Ask your web developer for more information on how to do this. Just remember to plan, implement, and evaluate and your money wouldn't be wasted.

 

Resources:
To learn more about the basics of online marketing, take this FREE short online marketing course at http://www.tallenassociates.com/MDC/index.htm

Tracey Allen is a marketing/technology consultant with her firm
T. Allen & Associates, Inc. based in Charlottetown, PE and can be reached at 902-628-1140 or tracey@tallenassociates.com Website: www.tallenassociates.com and www.biznetreview.com

 


 
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