Give Your Web Site a Small Business Marketing Tune Up

Your web site is like your car. Both are significant investments that require the right features and regular and proper maintenance to ensure maximal satisfaction and performance.
Your car is a finely tuned machine. You bought it not only to get you from point A to point B but also perhaps to have some fun and look good as you go. If you purchased your car new its engine had no wear. To keep it running like the day you bought it you maintain it regularly: you change the oil every 3000 miles, you inspect its belts and hoses, you check its fluids and rotate its tires (or at least you should). Without such attention the money you spent on your car will eventually seem like a mistake as it sits idly in your garage because it won’t start.
Your investment in your web site deserves the same care you give your car. While the purpose of your car is to get you from place to place, the purpose of your web site is to help you develop new business and become more successful. It doesn’t matter if your business is retail sales or professional services, your web site is supposed to act as your store front on the Internet. While your web site doesn’t need its oil changed or tires rotated it does require maintenance to ensure it performs as the marketing tool you intended it to be when you paid to have it developed.
Here are five things you can do to tune up or add to the marketing function of your web site.
Fresh content
Fresh content will keep your visitors coming back to your site just like the oil and gas in your car help ensure it starts every time you put the key in the ignition. If you neglect to maintain fresh supplies of either, you’re asking for trouble. Your visitors seek fresh content. Once your visitors realize they’ve gotten all their going to get out of your site they will not return. Add new, relevant and helpful content to your site as often as you can and you will keep your visitors happy and returning.
Keywords
Your keywords are the words your visitors use when they think about the products or services you provide. They are like the make and model of your car – they are what get noticed. Your visitors use keywords and phrases to perform searches at sites like Google and Yahoo! to find what they need. They recognize and respond to these words when they see them featured in search listings, advertisements and other promotional materials. Make sure you know your keyword phrases and incorporate them into the Title, Meta Tags and copy of your web site.
Copy
The advertising copy of your web site can be likened to the amenities of your car. Your car has a stereo, cup holders and convenient storage space to address your wants and needs as you drive. The copy of your web site should do the same thing. To maximize the marketing function of your web site’s copy make sure it focuses on the problems, wants and concerns of your clients. Your visitors will be more likely to identify you as the solution to their problem if you demonstrate to them that you understand their needs.
Require Action
Just like your car requires you to step on the gas to make it go, your web site requires your visitors to take the action you want them to take in order to function as an effective marketing tool. No one has to tell you to step on the gas. Your visitors need to be told what to do. Tell them to “buy now” or “request our catalog”. If you don’t they might ever know that’s what they’re supposed to do.
Get Contact Info
Getting contact information from you visitors is like remembering the keys to your car. If you can’t get into you car and start it, you’re not going anywhere. Likewise, if you don’t learn who your prospects are you can’t continue marketing to them. Most people who visit your web site will not buy from you the first time they stop by. In most cases, it takes between six and eight marketing contacts with a prospect before they choose to purchase something. Your prospects are no different. If you acquire their contact information you will be able to repeatedly market to them.
Take the steps you need to maintain your web site and it will run smoothly and get you where you want to go.

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