How to Drive Federal Buyers to Your Web Site (950 words)
"Remember," she continues, "Amazon is among the top 100 most popular searches in the top 10 search engines. That means people are going to Yahoo! to find Amazon, one of the top brands online, and some people still don't know how to find them."
This being the case, get your URL listed in the major search engines. You can do this yourself or use a service like webgarage.com or Top-10.com.
Make It Easy to Find You
Meta-tags also will be important. Embedding key words and phrases on each page throughout your Web site will allow those using search engines, especially engines like google.com, to find you.
If you're using the "Federal Procurement Jumpstation" (http://nais.nasa.gov/fedproc/home.html), look for government sites where you can link. Many federal sites have links to companies that provide specific products and services, regardless of whether the company has a government contract.
You also can go to the General Services Administration Web site (www.fss.gsa.gov/) to determine your competitors. In my experience, there usually are several companies in each niche that sell only to government—competitors you won't find outside of the government market and are probably unaware of because of that. Visit their Web sites, and don't be hesitant about borrowing ideas from them. Many of these competitors are small, regional firms targeting geographic areas. But with adequate knowledge of the market nuances, they can be significant players.
Your site must be ready for traffic. It must have the basics as outlined above. And it must offer both product information and an easy method for buying. If your site isn't ready, no one, not even hard-working federal employees, will return.
Mark Amtower is a partner at Amtower & Co. Federal Direct Marketing. He can be reached at email@example.com, or through www.federaldirect.net.