If I Build It Will They Come?

I’ve been building websites for a long time. Over 12 years in fact. In the early days it was relatively easy to put up a site, let a few search engines know about it and voila – success! This was at a time when the web was new and the competition was lacking. It was a great time but not one I expected to last. And it didn’t.

These days having a website is no guarantee of success. It takes blood, sweat and… yep you guess it marketing to make your online venture a success. Unfortunately too many people still think if they put a site online the masses will flock to them. And then wonder why they don’t. It’s also a myth that people like to perpetuate. Put a site online and you’ll be making millions within days.

In reality your website needs to be carefully planned, built and marketed just like any other business venture. Start by defining your strategy and determining how you want to make money from your website. Make sure you choose a web designer who understands good design principles, usability, SEO and internet marketing. And last but not least develop your marketing strategy.

I’ll go over some of these strategies in future posts but for now at least consider:

  • Web Design – build a website that focuses on calls to action and conversions. Pretty ain’t enough.
  • SEO – make sure you build a search engine friendly website from the get go.
  • Pay Per Click Advertising – look at PPC advertising. It is a great way to drive traffic while you are waiting for your SEO results to kick in and long term can be a useful way to drive additional, targeted traffic to your website.
  • Online Newsletter – send out a regular newsletter.
  • Blog – start a blog.
  • Network.
  • Write articles for both online and offline publications.
  • Get links to your website.
  • Join online forums.
  • Write e-books.

This list is by no means exhaustive but it’s a good start. By creating a marketing strategy and working on it steadily you’ll achieve the online success you’ve been searching for. Good luck!

2 thoughts on “If I Build It Will They Come?”

  1. Howdy

    I don`t know what everyone else’s experience is but I’ve found people seem to avoid productive business building (driving traffic or SEO etc) work no matter how important you tell them it is or how you explain it as it’s not like a real business the intarweb uses magic and people will naturally gravitate to my site and throw money at me!
    The common sense all seems to be lost in the day to day hussle of owning a business and more and more seems to be implied that the web developer will just magically do it for no money (thats if you get a good web developer that doesn`t abandon you).
    Maybe they need some sort of business course run by business ‘experts’ that can say the same thing as the developers and make them pay attention.
    Or maybe I’m just frustrated *shrugs*

  2. An excellent topic, Sophie. I think Michael has found the same situation that we all do.

    Perhaps the topic might better have been “If I Build It, They Probably Won’t Come.” I think that’s the mental attitude we’ve got to spread. The website budget in terms of dollars should be 50/50 website creation/making it perform. The owner’s effort should probably split 10/90 in terms of website creation/making it perform.

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