The following is an article I wrote that was originally published on www.sitepronews.com in July of 2012
Getting an online presence by publishing a website is the first step in opening your business to a larger market. It takes you from a local market to a potentially global one. But, therein lies the problem. While your website may be accessible to people worldwide, it only has the “potential” to be visited by a global audience. The trick is getting people to know your website exists. This is where the real work begins. Publishing a website and putting no work into marketing it is basically the equivalent of opening a brick and mortar business on a desert island, which is isolated from the outside world and expecting to actually generate new business.
If your website sits there day after day, looking pretty, but not getting any results, and you don’t know why, here is your answer: right now your website is on such a desert island. Currently no roads or bridges lead to your site and no one in the outside world even knows your business exists. Your job is to build those roads and bridges and put up signs that not only direct people to your site, but that will also tell them why they should want to get there.
Building “Roads” to Your Business Online
Don’t worry, no concrete or asphalt is involved in building virtual roads and bridges. What you need to build are links and luckily it’s extremely easy to post links to your website and there are thousands of places to do it. If you don’t have links to your website published in various places online, the only people who are ever going to find it will be people that you give your URL to directly. Your business’ URL is the way that your customers will find you on the World Wide Web and it’s also the only way Search Engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo will be able to find your site and list it. Like with any brick and mortar store, the more people that visit your store, the more likely you are to convert your visitors to buyers, so the more bridges and roads (a.k.a. links) that lead to your store, the more visitors you’ll have and the more sales you are likely to generate.
Post links in as many places as you can think of. Your social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and any others should have links to your website. If you are not involved in social media, get involved. Do some online research to learn how to best go about this and you’ll be glad you did. Other ways to get links to your website include article marketing, publishing press releases, guest blogging and joining clubs, forums or other membership sites where your target market will likely visit. You can also respond to forum and blog posts using a signature that includes your URL and post your link in numerous online business directories.
All of these methods have two further bonuses in addition to creating better access to your website. The first is that all of these methods optimize your website for search engines. The better optimized your site, the better you’ll rank when someone searches for keywords related to your business. The second bonus is all these options will allow you to demonstrate your expertise in your field. In other words, article marketing, social networking, guest blogging, commenting on blogs and forums and press releases are all great ways to position yourself as an expert in your field and to demonstrate to your potential audience why they should want to visit your website. So put down your shovel and pick up your mouse. It’s time to get building!