“Running a website without marketing is like winking in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.”

Sound true? I get questions like this all the time – “how will people find my website?”

Of course there is internet search engine marketing, and I will address that particular venue in a future post, but first let’s concentrate on traditional advertising.

A new website is going to take quite a bit of time to be indexed by search engines. While you are waiting for that to happen, and truthfully throughout the life of your website, you will greatly enhance your visibility by using traditional advertising markets to push your site. By this I mean the obvious: make sure every single piece of collateral material that goes out of your office is branded with your web address– your URL. Your www.yourwebsite.com address. Slap that baby everywhere. In fact, if I could talk you into it, I would counsel you to tattoo that URL right to your forehead! Traditional advertising is really that important.

Take a look at what you might be overlooking. What does your “on hold” message say? Your after hours voice mail? Your email signature? Is it directing potential visitors to your site? That’s passive marketing. Passive meaning it doesn’t cost you anything and you don’t have to physically be there to make it happen. Use it to your advantage.

Fax cover sheets, vehicles, billboards, license plate frames, Yellow Page ads — you name it!

All marketing communication materials should emphasize your URL and entice readers to visit your site. Envelopes? Business cards? Invoices? Print that URL in BOLD TYPE where it is easily seen. Is your place of business located in a high traffic area? Invest in a banner. Voila! Instant billboard to direct traffic to your site.

Anything that can handle your URL should have your URL. It’s as simple as that.

Oh, and that tattoo comment I made earlier? I actually know someone who invested in temporary tattoos emblazoned with her website URL. She handed them out in goody bags at a marketing function. Pretty smart if you ask me. Her web traffic stats almost doubled. Imagine that.

Questions? Comments? Feel free to leave them below. I look forward to hearing your feedback.