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Q: contd/… I’d like to create a web site from existing material and market it to the general public – health orientated e book selling worldwide

Training company

A: Medium Term

Once your site is launched you need to market it to win visitors, ie, potential buyers for your book.

The fastest way to market is Google Adwords, buying pay-per-click visitors. All the detail on what this entails and how to do it is found here

Google also include a good tutorial section, showing how to get the best value from adwords. My advice is to read it and learn, otherwise you risk spending money on advertising that is wasted.

For many people the best way to get started with pay-per-click is to experiment with a risk-budget, maybe a few hundred pounds that you can afford to lose so long as you learn something valuable.

You’ll need to devote a few days to researching the keywords in your marketplace, followed by developing your own adwords to test your assumptions. The key to success here is split testing. Split testing is running ads side by side and finding out which ones work the best, and which ones don’t. Constant split testing every day for a few weeks will soon unearth your best keywords and ads.

Aim for a 4% click-through-rate. This means that for every 100 people who see your ad, 4 of them actually click through to your site to look more closely at your offer. Great ads can achieve 25% click-through rates. But 1%-2% ads aren’t really going anywhere. 4% is your first target to aim at.

Once you’ve got some success at winning traffic from Google adwords, develop further with MSN and Yahoo’s online advertising. This could increase your volume of visitors by an extra 50% or so.

All this advertising means spending money, but consider that you only pay for the visitors who actually visit your site. So you need to know that a reasonable percentage of these visitors are actually buying your product.

To make sure visitors don’t simply arrive, and then immediately leave (called “bouncing”) you’ll also need to develop new web pages for your adword visitors to arrive at. These are called Landing Pages.

Landing Pages special pages you’ve written up to match the exact need of your adword visitor. For example, one visitor may be interested in only Health Benefit A, while another visitor is wants Health Benefit B. So you need to develop one Landing Page for the Benefit A visitors, and likewise a different Landing Page for the Benefit B visitors.

In this way your ads and landing pages are providing continuity for the visitor. After all, if someone responded to an ad aimed at young people, you wouldn’t want to send them to a senior citizen page. And vice versa. So tailor your different landing pages to your different ads.

You can also buy email lists to promote your site. Some of these work. Do your research and see if there’s a list in your marketplace. Expect to pay £100-£300 per 1,000 names, and maybe £500 to mail out 10,000 names.

Long Term

Long term marketing brings our attention to SEO (search engine optimisation), where pages are optimised so Google will give them high search rankings. There is a lot of smoke and mirrors – and untruths – told about this.

What Google wants is for your site to be useful to potential visitors. And broadly it recognises your site’s usefulness by the number of information pages you provide. So if you develop a routine to continually add information pages to your site, then broadly Google will improve your search engine rankings.

Higher rankings will means greater exposure to people who search on your keywords. If you make your site very useful and you achieve high rankings and lots of traffic, then you might be able to cut your adword advertising spend. But many web business owners with high ranking pages keep both – the free SEO and the Adwords. The more you market, the more visitors and sales you get.

You can support this with an in-house newsletter. People who will read your newsletter are existing customers, potential customers who subscribe at your site. Every newsletter starts small but over a year, if you work at it, you’ll see a reward. It’s a long term marketing idea, but a good one if you stick at it.

You can buy in all the above services, but for a small startup company this marketing cost is probably too high. You have to learn it yourself, which means allocating time, and some money, and learning how to market your website.
© Studio Rossiter

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