How to Drive Federal Buyers to Your Web Site (950 words)
Setting up an opt-in e-mail program at your site with industry news, as well as news or specials from your company, should become an ongoing part of your marketing effort. An e-mail newsletter with real news about your niche, even if it simply links to other news sources, can become an important resource for buyers and influencers. Encourage your subscribers to pass along your newsletter to friends and colleagues with similar interests.
The goal is to become the preferred site for a specific product or service. To do so you need to do several things, including encouraging people to bookmark your site. Provide new information to encourage users to visit regularly. This means not simply having good product information, but also content on (or links to) information pertinent to your niche.
For instance, if you sell furniture, offer information on the ergonomic benefits of using an appropriate chair, especially if you sell both ergonomic seating (more expensive, better margins) and economical seating options (cheaper, less margin). Give site visitors the choice, then give them information to drive their decisions.
Search engines, though important, may become less so, unless you're a pure Web play like Amazon or Insight.com. The more people use the Web, the less likely they are to require search engines. Being creatures of habit, most people will have their favorite sites to visit. But in the long run, being linked in search engines can help.Web diva Amy Africa of Creative Results notes: "Search engines may decline somewhat in importance and then come back again full-force. The new models will be page popularity and consideration. Those are long-term models that will work."
However, she adds, "Search engines will continue to be important to all companies, because they help people get new customers, and they help old customers find you. If you're not linked, you're not going to be found.