1. Design a Web site that is clear, concise and complete. Focus on solid, in-depth content and create a site that’s easy to navigate.
  2. Use headlines on your Web pages that promise benefits. Don’t just put “Services” on your services page, but “Strategies to Increase Profits.” Make the content on your site easy to read. Use standard size font, and use bold text at the beginning of paragraphs. Sub-heads in an alternate color also draw the eye and make your pages easier to read than solid black text. At the bottom of each page, lead your readers to the next logical page on the site. Don’t just leave them hanging, wondering where to go next.
  3. Design your site to lead the visitor to your “most wanted response.” Make it very clear that you have services to offer and make it very easy for visitors to take the next step to learn about those services. Know what action you want people to take and design your site so that action happens more often.
  4. Promote your site through as many offline mediums as you can afford. For professional service businesses, this starts with your Web address on all printed materials, in a yellow page ad, on handouts for talks and at the bottom of articles you write. Send people to your site for reports and articles. Talk about your site when you give a presentation. After a networking event, send people you met an e-mail pointing to a valuable article on your site. Tell your clients to send those they refer to your site first. Put almost 100 percent of your marketing effort on getting people to your site. People who know more about you are much more likely to contact you and do business with you.
  5. Make sure you are listed in the top search engines. Even though your main business will come from you directing people to your site, in time, people will start to find you on the Web if you list your Web site on popular search engines. Re-list yourself at least once a quarter. Also look around for industry specific directories. They may be free or cost very little, but will send the right type of prospects to your site.
  6. Put keywords on your site so you’re easier to find. The most important place to put keywords is in your “title tag;” next is in your “meta tags” and also in the body of your page. Put in words and groups of words that people are likely to use to find you.
  7. Put your Web address in your e-mail signature. Make sure to hyperlink your URL so that by clicking, readers will go right to your site. Include a reason for visiting your site: “Visit our Web site for cutting edge management ideas.”
  8. Establish an e-mail newsletter. This will become the No. 1 way of promoting your site and your services. First sign up everyone you know and launch your “E-zine” with as many people as possible. Grow your e-mail list by having a simple sign-up form on your Web site. Automate your sign-up and list maintenance by using a list server. Make it a priority to work at increasing the size of your mailing list.
  9. Use the E-zine to establish value and credibility and generate new business. Your E-zine should contain interesting, informative articles that prove you know your stuff. Don’t overcrowd it with a lot of superfluous fluff and dozens of links. At the end of the E-zine, simply point people to your site to learn about various services.
  10. Use your E-zine list to promote specific services. If you give people good solid content once a month, your subscribers usually won’t mind if you tell them about a service once in a while. One way to do this is to send an e-mail pointing to a new article on your site. Then that article points to a service that addresses the issues raised in the article. Think soft-sell and multi-step for marketing your services, using your Web site as a “one-stop marketing hub.”

Source: Robert Middleton, Action Plan Marketing