Forethought and careful planning is key to creating a website that will attract traffic. If you have been following this series, you know your website audiences (Part I) and you know how you will interact with them (Part II). Now think about how will you promote your website. No matter how good, attractive, engaging, and well thought out your website is, it will not attract traffic on its own. You will need to:
- Develop a promotion plan for your website that includes offline and online announcements and activities.
- Identify the person(s) responsible for promoting the website.
Frequently Used Website Promotion Strategies
- All staff members should include the URL of the organization’s website in their email signatures. (This assumes that they have an “organizational” email address which is very important.)
- Place the website address on every official publication, including business cards.
- When announcing public events or other happenings, always say—“For further details visit our website.” and give the url. (This assumes that the information is put on the website in advance.)
- Be sure that your website is listed in any website directory that is appropriate. For example, If you are a sister, priest or brother who blogs, submit your information to the Blog Index on the Vision website. The more links you have, the higher your rating on search engines.
- Use social media to link back to your website. Blogs, Facebook pages, YouTube videos and Twitter are all tools to engage people where they frequently are present and to refer them to your website. Use social media to offer special promotions throughout the year.
After you have given thought to your audiences, your interactions and how you will promote your website, then talk to your web designer. Tell the designer how you want to communicate, serve, interact with your audiences over the web and the resources you will provide to support the website. You want your website to be attractive, readable and easy to navigate. A good designer will ask questions to help you define the look, feel and functionality you want for your site.
With this kind of forethought you will have a much better chance of attracting new and returning visitors to your website and supporting social media sites.
Your comments and ideas are welcome!