Setting up shop online: Five ways to market your website on a budget

Setting up an E-Commerce website is like installing a new telephone line for your business. However, just sitting by the phone won't make it ring - your prospects need your number first. So promoting your site is crucial; if nobody visits, you won't sell a thing.

The good news is that attracting visitors is not just about how much money you throw at marketing; a targeted approach with a little creative thinking can take you a long way. This article covers five online marketing tools that will help generate visitors to your site.

1. Get seen in search engines

Search engines are the number one source of new visitors to websites and Google is by far the most popular. When people search, they type a ‘key word’ or ‘key phrase’ into the search box and the search engine presents the results based on the sites it considers are optimal for the words or phrases entered. Use tools such as the Google Keyword Tool or Word Tracker (www.wordtracker.com ) to help decide which keywords or phrases are best for your business. Many E-Commerce software suppliers provide tools to assist in optimising your site around the chosen keywords.

2. Experiment with pay-per-click advertising.

A popular and quick way of promoting your site is to use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising services such as Google Adwords and Facebook with its demographic targetting. Costs will depend on the keywords relating to your site and products, but you should be able to test a campaign for a low outlay. It goes without saying that you should advertise on the key phrases that you have identified.

3. Use social networks.

Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter now provide a low/no cost way to promote your site. Facebook in particular has tools to help businesses to promote themselves. But firstly research which social sites your customers frequent and get familiar with how they work.

4. Don’t forget email marketing.

Once your database grows, use email marketing to communicate with your customers. Better still, if you have an existing customer database, use that. Email is best used for promoting special offers which can be triggered simply by clicking a link in the email. Services like Mailchimp are free for low volumes.

5. Check how you’re doing.

However smart you are with your marketing, you can always improve and it’s amazing what you can learn from web analytics tools such as Google Analytics. And it’s free to use. It can tell you where visitors come from, what device they were using, what keywords they used, and much, much more

Written byNick Kington. Originally published at Enterprise Nation.

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