Your website as a marketing tool – some hints and tips

For many business website owners, creating and launching a website site is only the beginning. New and returning visitors are not guaranteed, especially if there is intense competition in your line of business. Effective marketing is essential. Indeed, there will be plenty of internet marketing specialists queuing up for a contract to assist you in this. They will come armed with numerous sophisticated marketing techniques to promote your site. It is, however, only too easy to forget, amidst all the hype, that you already have your own powerful marketing weapon: The website itself.

If marketing is treated as integral to the web development process, then you will soon find your site acting as a steady, reliable, core component in any promotional campaign. Here, then, are some hints and tips to get you started.

Select strong keywords and distribute them wisely

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is at the heart of any marketing initiative. It is the process of developing and fine-tuning a website so that it gains high rankings in search engine result pages. Keywords are central to search engine optimisation. A keyword is a word or phrase that chimes with the words being entered in to search engines by users. There need to be consistent matches between the vocabulary on your website and current popular keywords related to the main subject of your website.

A website selling chess and checkers sets, should, for instance, be populated with words such as ‘chess’, ‘checkers’, ‘chess sets’, ‘draught sets’, ‘checker boards’ and ‘chess boards’. The chosen keywords should be integrated in to the web design through inclusion in page titles, headings and body content. Your web development team should also ensure that keywords can be easily added, removed and edited by non-technical editors. This kind of integration work is much better done during the web design stages rather than tacked on at the end.

Concise, clear, user-friendly navigation

A clear, straightforward, self-explanatory navigation will also assist with marketing in the long term, for two main reasons. First, strong navigation gives a professional impression; that your website has a distinctive purpose and really means business. A clear, no-nonsense visual layout is more likely to entice users to visit again, as well as to recommend the site to their friends, family and colleagues. Moreover, a distinctive navigation, which neatly encompasses all content on the site, ensures that search engines, when crawling the site, don’t miss out any content.

Keep that content coming

A business website with regularly updated content – content which is true to the tone of the web design – is one of the keys to marketing success. The catch is that such content must be genuinely worth adding. Ideally it will be packed with news bites, information on new product lines, and authoritative, though engaging, industry information. First and foremost this will ensure search engines regularly revisit your website to index the new material, further enhancing search result page rankings. Finally, regularly refreshed content will help your website generate a following, further benefiting on-going promotional activity.

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