How to Increase your Web Site Traffic with Offline Promotion
by Randall P. Whatley
Offline promotionis marketing, advertising, or public relations exposure that does not occur on the Internet. This includes traditional advertising like TV, radio, newspaper, direct mail, and billboards, but it can also include non-traditional advertising methods and public relations.
As Internet household penetration continues to rise and the Internet becomes more integrated into daily work and home life, your Web site can provide information, reinforce traditional advertising messages, and increase your company's sales.
The following are 10 simple ways to inexpensively promote your Web site offline.
- Put your Web site address (URL) on all of your printed material. Your Web site address is now as important as your phone number or street address. Make sure to add your URL on all of the following: Business cards, letterhead, envelopes, mailing labels, signage, vehicles, product packaging, brochures, invoices, statements, advertising, press releases, shopping bags, t-shirts, caps, bumper stickers, and pens. If your company's name is printed on it, make sure the Web site address is also there.
- Drive traffic to your Web site by including your Web address prominently in every piece of broadcast advertising. Even a radio ad has room for a line that says, "Visit our Web site at www dot blah blah blah."
- Publicize the existence of your Web site and its content to the media. A well written "press announcement" could generate a mention of your company in the media, or mention your products and services.
- Submit articles for publication in newspapers, magazines, and newsletters. You are an expert in your field. Share your knowledge; just be sure to include your e-mail and Web site addresses in your bio. Consider starting a newsletter to publicize your products and services.
- Think of each e-mail sent from your company as an advertising postcard. It's one more reminder of your Web address. Create a "signature" line to include your name, title, company name, phone number and Web address in all e-mails that you or your staff send.
- Write letters to the editor of newspapers, magazines, and especially your trade publications. Comment on "news of the day" or suggest ideas for future articles. Include your Web address and e-mail address in every letter and in your bio.
- Write your own news/feature stories for the same industry/trade publications mentioned above. It's not as hard as it sounds. Contact editors individually and tell them your story idea. Highlight your e-mail and Web site in the author credits.
- Promote yourself or your company as a media resource. Start locally and contact the producers of every radio and TV talk/news show in the area. They will welcome you as a guest expert, when your expertise is the subject of the day's show. Make sure they know how to find you. As a talk show guest, you can mention your company's Web address clearly and prominently in the interview.
- Announce your new or updated Web site to every past and present customer or prospect. A Web site debut or revision is a perfect excuse to contact your customers and prospects.
- Don't forget to announce the debut of your Web site to family, friends, vendors, and suppliers. They know of your company already, but this is a perfect opportunity to ask them to forward your e-mail to their contacts so that they can learn more about your company.
All of these relatively inexpensive promotions will increase your Web site traffic, raise the awareness of your company, and most likely increase your sales. Don't wait. Implement these suggestions now!