Websites without a marketing plan are lost in space
Ok- so you spent a lot of money and time developing the PERFECT website that visually epitomizes everything you and your business is about. You had some help with the messaging and implemented search engine optimized techniques. You were trained how to use your WordPress or Joomla site, you added one blog post and ta-da: now the site is done. So now what? This is where many people get lazy and just stop. They think that because the SEO I implemented on their site got them on page one of Google rankings that they no longer have to worry about doing anything to their site, or marketing it, for that matter: "It will just bring new clients to me on its own, right?" MAYBE, BUT NOT GUARANTEED.
One of my favorite quotes I saw from a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) company rings so true:
Launching a website without an ongoing marketing plan is like spending the money and time on a tv commercial and never buying air time to show it.
So what can you do? The beauty of content management sites (CMS) like WordPress and Joomla are not only are they easy to navigate and update (once trained) but there are thousands of tips on how to make changes and how to get a better client base by installing pre-programmed widgets (like newsletter sign up forms) all over the internet. I personally give my clients techniques on how to write search engine optimized posts and content, as well as how to drive content back to your site through the use of eNewsletters and social media. But despite how easy and how CHEAP it is to do your own marketing, the excuses still take hold: "I don't have time."
My retort: "So you have time to complain about the economy, have time to worry about money, but don't have time to put 1/2 an hour a week into free marketing ideas?" Crazy. I am all about taking the bulls by the horns and that is what it takes. Now it doesn't mean you have to dedicate your life to marketing all the time, but 1/2 an hour to 2 hours a week can really do wonders.
If you don't know where to start, just start with some goals. Make a list of how many new clients you want per month and how much time and money you have to spend to acquire those clients. The work backwards. If you want 5 new clients a month, then you need to get about 20 hot leads, which means you need to get the word out to about 75+ people (these are totally rough numbers just to give you an idea). Anyways, if you get lost or confused, you can always hire a marketing consultant. But if not, you can start with that and then make a plan of action.
If you are worried about money but have time on your hands, the first thing you can do is start researching eNewsletter options, such as Constant Contact, MailChimp, Vertical Response, as well as thousands of others. It is a great way to get people who are already interested in you to take action.
The next thing you can do is start setting up your social networks as well as your free business listings in Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Relevant links back to you always help the validity of your site as well as help people who are interested be able to connect with you.