Websites, Big Traffic!
Internet Magazine, November, 2001
BUILDING A WEBSITE IS JUST THE BEGINNING OF A journey towards
successful e - Business. Once you have a site, it's just like
having an additional store in a mega mall called the Internet.
Without visitors to your online store, you will not even have
a chance to sell your products no matter how great they are!
Therefore, we need to allocate our resources for promotions and
marketing. There are various tools available, depending on your
budget, time and resources.
The first step towards driving more traffic to the website starts
with the domain name. You'd realize that some sites such as www.geocities.com/members/1234
(www.geocities.com/members/ 1234) do not have their own domain
name. The tip here is to register your domain name relevant to
the company's name, or industry for branding and image. If a thrifty
website owner refuses to invest US$70 (RM266) to get his own domain
name, it may appear he is not serious about his online venture
and this would have a negative effect on his image.
You can get an international domain name,com,.net, at just US$70
(RM266) for a two-year registration, or a local Malaysian domain
name, .com.my, . net.my, at RM 100 per year. This investment would
do wonders for the image of the website. For instance (www.MalaysianPsychology.com),
are some great domain names.
Every client, in addition to having his / her own personal computer
to work on, also has a tutor sitting right beside him or her.
Lessons are conducted based on the assumption that clients have
zero knowledge of computers, even to the point of turning on a
Next, make sure that your site is registered in one of the major
international search engines (e.g.
Google), directories (e.g.
Yahoo!) and even the local ones. It is without doubt that
much of the traffic to sites are still driven by these search
engines and directories. You do not need to register your site
with all the search engines on the Internet. There are probably
more than 7,000 so-claimed search engines! Just focus on the top
15 search engines and get your site listed there. You can either
do the submission yourself, or hire a consultant to do it. Before
proceeding, you need to read more about the search engine submission
process, and their criteria.
It's not just-about meta tags (as some so-called consultants will
tell you), or domain names. Various search engines and directories
have different sets of criteria on what sites they would add on
to their database and how they rank a site. It makes a huge difference
whether you're No. 1 00 1 or No. 1 in the search results. If you're
listed at the very end of the search results, you should focus
on optimising your website ranking, to push it to a better position.
A good example is www.Suweit.com
(www.Suweit.com), the beauty portal of Miss Malaysia / World 2000
Tan Su Wei. Suweit.com is ranked No. 1 in Yahoo! for the keywords
'beauty Malaysia" and gets hits from all over the world daily.
Your site should do everything possible to entice surfers to leave
their email addresses, join your membership or sign up for your
newsletter. your tool for email marketing. If your list is small,
say 300 emails, you can even use your Outlook Express to send
them newsletters. However, when your membership grows, it might
be easier to use a professional service or email softwares.
Email marketing is not just about sending members an email about
your latest product, it's about reaching out and giving them value-
added information with irresistible offers! The successful formula
of a newsletter is time-sensitive materials, reference information,
special offers and fun. Email marketing's effectiveness increases
if the message is personalized to the reader, eg. 'Dear Fione'
in the content and subject rather than just general 'Dear valued
Another important marketing tool on the Internet is participating
in group discussions or forums. Just go to a search engine, and
look for these sites, (e.g. Yahoo!)
groups. You should choose the groups/forums carefully and evaluate
whether these could be prospects who may be interested in your
products and services. When you join a group, you must be very
tactful in your promotions. Posting commercial messages without
value to the other members is a total No-No!
You have to get into the group, build the relationship through
helping the other members figure out answers to their problems.
Once that relationship has been established, these users would
rather deal with your products and services because they trust
you. This is an ongoing process, and you can only see the results
in the long run, so you'd need to be patient.
One misconception about increasing site traffic is over reliance
on online marketing, and not doing offline marketing. It's amazing
that people would actually spend money on their website, but not
list their domain name on the name card, nor the company's documents,
eg. Letterheads, invoices, or storefront. Sometimes, even the
employees are not aware of the website! You must focus on where
your prospects are. If they are offline now, offer them incentives
to go online to your website as well. For instance, if you run
a restaurant, your website should have discount vouchers for the
members to print out, and redeem it at your outlet.
I often hear comments from small business owners that their websites
don't work. The truth is they don't make their websites work.
A website owner needs to take responsibility to promote his website
just as much as promoting his physical business. Don't just blame
others. Increasing traffic to your website requires commitment
"Small Websites, Big Traffic - Internet Magazine"