Prepare Your Web Site To Get
Most Out Of Online Marketing
by Biana Babinsky
Plenty of excellent advice about promoting your online
business to prospective customers is widely available: get
your web site listed in search engines, exchange links with
other web sites, send e-mail to prospects, etc. However, a
crucial step is usually omitted from articles about online
marketing: what should you do before you start promoting your
business online? Here are the top three items you should
consider before you begin an online marketing campaign to
promote your web site:
Is your web site user-friendly?
Proofread your web site and ask at least
one other person to do the same. It is very easy to miss a
minor error after you have been staring at your content for a
long time, so the importance of having an external reviewer
cannot be overemphasized. Glaring grammatical and spelling
mistakes on a web site look unprofessional; you should find
and remove them before the site is deployed.
Make sure that your contact information is
present. It is not necessary to put contact information on
every page; a single contact page (with links pointing at it
from other pages) will suffice. Your customers should be able
to contact you easily.
Be consistent. Use the same navigation
system on each page. This helps your customers navigate your
site, and makes it easy for them to find a product or service
that interests them the most. Avoid complex custom graphical
navigation systems; your customers will not waste their time
trying to figure out how to use your site — they will simply
Is your web site Search Engine Friendly?
Most people find web sites that interest
them by using Search Engines. Your site should be Search
Engine-friendly in addition to being user-friendly. It will
take much longer for your site to become listed in search
engines (if it gets listed at all) if it cannot be effectively
spidered by a search engine. This will dramatically reduce
To make your web site Search
Engine-friendly, make effective use of the Title tag, as well
as the Description and Keywords meta tags. The Title tag
should have information that describes the page; your company
name is (usually) not a descriptive title. Most search engines
use the Title tag as the first line of your listing; strive to
make your Title tag say "click me" to a prospective customer.
The Description meta tag should have an accurate description
of your page, and the Keywords meta tag should contain a set
of keywords that list key concepts mentioned on the page.
Does your web site have a Newsletter?
Get your customers to come back even before
your web site goes live. Set up a newsletter for your site,
and ask your visitors to subscribe to it. Use the Newsletter
to send messages about new products (or services) or special
offers provided on your site. This will remind your
subscribers about your business and help build your brand
Do not send messages to the Newsletter too often, as this will
overwhelm your subscribers and your newsletter may end up in
their "Trash" mailbox along with the other two hundred spam
messages they receive daily. On the other hand, an annual
newsletter is not sufficient to reinforce your brand image.
The ideal frequency is once or twice per month.
Spam (unsolicited commercial e-mail) is a growing problem.
Your customers will be reluctant to subscribe to your
Newsletter unless they have assurance that their e-mail
address will not be shared with third parties. Do not sell,
share, or otherwise distribute your subscriber list; post a
subscribers know that their e-mail address will be protected.