Advertise! Advertise! Advertise!

In the last post we looked at differentiation–developing products and services that are different from what everyone else has. Today, we’re going to look at advertising.

Very few people will stumble upon your website. There are hundreds of billions of web pages out there. A new website is like a restaurant in the desert with no roads to it. You need to build roads to your website.

People come to a website in two ways: 1) type in or 2) link/referral.

Business owners often overlook type-in traffic. Every email, business card, print ad, and marketing collateral should have your website’s address. If you are selling your services or a product, you want potential customers to know where they can get more information or make a purchase—your website.

Other crucial ways to increase your type-in traffic include offline advertising: signage, newspaper ads, magazine ads, flyers, postcards, and any other marketing material. Don’t overlook offline advertising; it is a key way to grow your online business.

Link/referral traffic comes from online advertising, a link from another website, or a link in an email. Many very good online advertising platforms exist, including Google AdWords, Facebook ad and many affiliate programs. Plan on investing some of your resources in these. Sometimes, they have a considerable return on investment; they should not be overlooked.

The point of this blog post is to emphasize that a website without an advertising plan is likely to be underutilized and ineffective. Allocate resources to advertising and carefully monitor results. Reduce or eliminate what is working and refine and expand what is working. Over time, you will have a very focused set of tools to help grow your business.