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Designing a professional web-site is at best a job half-done – unless it is able to attract customers and bring business. Web-sites are not merely for image enhancement – but also a marketing tool that attract customers and bring business. The least a web-site can do is to return the money invested in its creation.

To make a web-site work for your business – you must promote it among target audience so that potential customers can locate it conveniently and find it useful as well as easy to navigate. Many exporters make the mistake of investing total budget in web-design and leave nothing for promotion.

Your web-site, however good-looking and useful it may be, is not going to attract customers unless you work for it consciously. You must have a plan for promotion – and budget as well ! If necessary, cut down on some fancy Flash gimmicks and invest that money in web-site promotion.

Developing Plan for Web-Site Promotion

To develop promotion plan for a web-site – one first needs to identify all possible sources from where visitors may come. The core of the promotion plan is to prioritize and maximize traffic from each of these sources.

There are essentially 6 sources of traffic to a web-site

  1. Direct Visitors : Those who type in your domain name and go directly to your site. Off-line advertising, word of mouth, viral marketing etc. are main drivers for this kind of web-site traffic.
  2. Search Engine : Those who search for your name, product or service in a popular search engine and land-up at your web-site. This is going to be the most popular and major route, web-site visitors are likely to take.
  3. Directories/Yellowpages : Those who find your company and consequently web-site from Web-based Yellowpages such as alibaba.com, vanik.com, infobanc.com, infospace.com etc. Vertical, subject oriented yellowpages (such as vanik.com, infobanc.com) are becoming increasingly popular than generalized ones like infospace.com.

    This channel usually sends high quality, serious visitors who has the potential to become customers in near future. Seriousness of the visitor is visible from the effort he/she has demonstrated in reaching your web-site by first identifying a suitable subject oriented directory/yellowpage and then locating your company from it.

  4. Banner/Advertisements : Those who reach your web-site by clicking paid banner or classified advertisement in another web-site or search engine. This is an easy but costly way of attracting visitors. However, it could be very effective if proper care is taken to place banner/classifieds in strategically important places.
  5. Link Exchange: Those visitors who find your web-site while surfing through another web-site of similar content. This is an inexpensive way of bringing visitors that has the added advantage of increasing Google Pagerank.
  6. Target e-Mail Visitors : Those who click through to your site from an e-mail. Success of this source depends a great deal on quality of your e-mail distribution list. If your mailing list has people who are truly interested in your product and service or in the information you are sharing – it may bring high quality visitors.

    However, if you play on quantity and resort to spamming in the belief that even if a small section of the millions or thousands from your mailing list respond, it will bring windfall – you are surely heading for disaster. E-mails collected from dubious means such as purchase, harvesting etc. do not help in bringing customers – if anything it invites wrath of anti-spam groups and authorities.

  7. Conclusion

    If you have a web-site – you should also have a plan to promote it. Web-site promotion plan should consider all sources of traffic, prioritize them as per available resources and present a step by step action plan. A good plan should set targets and deadlines as well as monitoring process.

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