“I have this cool new website, now everybody on the planet will know about my business!”

Or will they? As someone that spent over a decade in the advertising and marketing field, I have heard every excuse under the sun for why a business owner doesn’t need to advertise - “I can’t afford it.” “Everybody already knows about me, I’ve been here 20 years.” “I get all my business by word-of-mouth.” and so on…. Believe it or not, there are still a lot of business owners that say they don’t need a website! GASP (I will expand on this in another post) But hopefully you are a savvy business owner and already know that in this day and age, you HAVE to have a website. And since you’ve got this incredible website, I’m sure you also know that it’s just as important to market and drive traffic to it. Right?

Not marketing your website is like throwing a huge party for 250 people, with all the bells and whistles, and not sending out any invitations. Sure, maybe your spouse might invite a couple of people, and maybe you’ll remember to mention it next time you are involved in small talk in line at the grocery store, but how do you get people that would love your famous spinach dip to show up? Invitations, right? And what if you could send invitations to everyone in your neighborhood that loves spinach dip? You’d have one successful party. The same rules apply to your website. If you build it, they won’t always necessarily come.

You have to let everyone know that your website exists, and you have to let them know online. Sure, it’s advisable to have your web address everywhere possible (print ads, flyers, brochures, products, billboards, on tv, on the radio, etc.) out in the world, but people being able to find your site when they are actually searching for your product or service online is even more important! You probably aren’t the only candlestick maker around, but you ARE the best, and everyone searching for candles online need to be directed to your website!

There are many options for marketing your business online; search engine optimization, pay per click, email blasts, video marketing, banner ads, and social media marketing. And let me tell you, utilizing these platforms is mandatory if you want to drive traffic to your site. Each has different benefits, and choosing where to begin can be a daunting task. So now that you know WHY you need to advertise online, you will need to find out HOW. And before we get into the HOW, you will need to understand the basics of each marketing platform and how it will benefit you. When you are trying to decide if putting any money into online ads is a good idea or not, remember this - If you don’t send out any invitations to the party, nobody will know it’s happening.