In the first part of this article we decided that it was pointless having a website if you've no intention of marketing it. In the second part we take at look at the online marketing options that are open to you.
Excluding PPC (Pay-Per-Click), which is another article entirely, there are two main types of online marketing. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SMO (Social Media Optimization). SEO is perhaps the better known of the two.
Search engine optimization deals with increasing a website's visibility and traffic through search engine rankings.
Take a look at Google, the world's largest search engine, for instance. For a great many people, Google is the internet. There is no other alternative, and so the only way they'll ever reach your website is through Google's Search Engine Rankings Pages (SERPs). Therefore the higher your site is in these rankings, the more traffic it will get.
Now, as mentioned in the first part of this article, having a successful website is not simply a case of getting it built then sitting back and waiting for the visitors to come flooding in. The same can be said for search engine optimization.
SEO is an ongoing process. It is not a case of making simple adjustments then letting the beast fly. There are on-site and off-site factors to be addressed and once rankings have been realized that they need to be maintained and built upon, or else they'll quickly slip away.
Search engines work on the promise that a user types some keywords relevant to what it is they're searching for into a search box, and the search engine then returns a list of web pages ranked against the elements that make up their internal algorithm. It is knowing which keywords the user (and potential customer) is likely to be inputting that is of importance here.
Therefore keyword research is necessary to determine which keyword phrases to place on your web pages. They must be relevant to your website and enjoy a healthy search volume if you're going to be successful.
Once the keyword research is completed then comes the task of placing your chosen keyword phrases into your copy, and into the title tags and headline tags. It is knowing how to use these phrases in a natural, non-intrusive way and where to place them through your website that is the work of the SEO.
There is also the creation of linkable content, the updating of content, and an internal linking structure that need to be deal with.
Nowadays websites have to be just as accessible to the user at home as the search engines, so it's no use stuffing your pages with keywords in the hope they rank higher for it. Search engines are pretty smart, and have developed ways of detecting when somebody is trying to cheat them or manipulate their ranking.
Off-site SEO is seriously concerned with link building; This is attaining links that point to your website, marking you out as a site of some importance in the eyes of the search engines.
This brings us neatly to SMO, or Social Media Optimization.
Social media optimization is a lot closer to traditional marketing practices than you may think. It carries the same principals you might use in networking, but transfers them to the internet. There are social media websites and social networking websites where you can promote your content; these can be a great source of traffic to your website, although it is largely unqualified. The real beauty of social media optimization is that it's an excellent way of branding your company online.
A lot of businesses will implement a blog, and then leave it to fall stagnant because of time constraints or other reasons.
They're missing a wonderful opportunity to not only keep a constant stream of fresh content moving through their website, which will have an effect on their search engine rankings, but to also provide useful information specific to their market.
Couple this with a successful social media campaign and you could see yourself becoming an authority website in your particular niche. Authority websites attract those all important links with ease.
Using both SEO and SMO together can be a potent force, and lay the path for future success.
Remember, a website can do wonders for your business; there is no mistake in that. But you have to market it, and you have to be prepared to do the continual – often hard, often unrewarding – follow-up work if you want this success. Either that or pay somebody else to do it.