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Tips for Driving Traffic to Your Website
by Terri Firebaugh

 
   
 
   

Terri had it nailed more than a decade ago, wow! ed.

1. Consumers want information

Companies tend to want to put a virtual brochure on the web and call it a website. However, consumers want information. So, in the vein that the customer is always right, the more information a company puts on their site, the better.

For example: 
If you are a real estate agent and deal a lot with people who are re-locating, you can put a link to the local CVB on your site and provide people with information like the cost of living in that area, the demographics of different types of neighborhoods, and related life style information. 

2. Publicize your website

In order for people to come to your website, they have to know about it. Registering with the search engines is important, but just the tip of the iceberg. These companies need to have links from all related directories in their area. 

For example: 
Potential customers may go to the local newspaper's website to find out more information on homes for sale. Entrepreneurs should have links from there. (Ideally, they would have articles in these papers as well giving them an implied third party endorsement.)

Entrepreneurs should be posting on newsgroups related to their areas of expertise. For example, the misc.business.marketing newsgroup -- professionals can go there, respond to questions and use their signature line as a sales tool. (Signature lines are what you end every e-mail with and should be no more than 6 lines.)

3. A reason to keep coming back

Perhaps your company could have a monthly quiz question about a related topic and the first person who answers it right wins a promotional item. If they want to keep the netizens involved in their businesses, they could provide up-to-the-minute information about the city when it's released. 

Example: 
When a study comes out saying that 5 million new subscribers will be on the Internet by 2003, web development companies could list this on their site to interest potential e-commerce clients. 

4. Put your web address on everything that goes out the door

From business cards and address labels to proposals and promo items. Keep your URL in front of your current and potential clients at every opportunity.

5. Offer special services to clients who come in from the Internet

Perhaps a current client refers a potential client to your site. You want to reward them both for this behavior. It's a relatively cost-effective way of getting new business.

6. Maintain a mailing list

When people come to your site, gather their contact information and ask them if they'd like to be kept updated on the latest information about your product or service. Then, when you have special offers, a press release, or other news, you can send this out to your online mailing database to keep your name in front of them.

7. Online seminars

Hold an interactive seminar about how to select a qualified plastic surgeon that's right for you, for example. People will view you as the experts and a source of information. Of course, this seminar needs to be promoted heavily throughout the traditional and online media. 

8. Online newsletter

All types of businesses can benefit from this repeated exposure. Companies can create a monthly newsletter that goes out to their online database. This does take time, though, and a committment to do it every month. Another option is to hire a freelancer or PR agency to create one for them every month and tailor it to their specific audience.

9. Media Friendly

Your site needs to be media friendly and contain everything a reporter could need available at their fingertips. Perhaps they want to write a story and it's past your office hours and their deadline is right then. They can go to your website and download the following types of information:

Bios of the principals

Downloadable photos of the principals 

Background history on the company

Current press releases - and supporting materials

Past press releases (dated) with supporting material

Links to related sites (not of competitors) that will help them follow up on research

An e-mail link - and a phone number to your PR team

Copies of articles that have featured the principal or the company in the past (all the way back, if they're still relevant)

10. Provide helpful materials online

Make it easier on your customers to be able to do business with you. Long documents that must be filled out can be added to your website in a downloadable .pdf format. The potential client can click on it, download the form, fill it out and have it ready before they ever meet with you.


     
   
     
   

The Author

 

These tips are from Terri Firebaugh, CEO & Managing Partner of Firebaugh Creative PR and Communications. The agency recently promoted the Presidential Malcolm Baldrige 1998 winner with top tier nationwide coverage as well as strategizing and executing a simultaneous nationwide launch of a successful family-safe ISP.

Firebaugh Communications
Image depends on the company you keep.
D/FW Metro V 940-498-0477 F 940-498-0289

     
   
     
   
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