Why do I need to Advertise my Website?

Most people assume that there is no need to advertise a website, that the website is the advertising and in some ways that is true. But a website is more of a location than an advertisement. A place to do business and not as visible as a billboard or a TV commercial.

Unfortunately, you have to advertise everything to make money.

Lets say you have a garage sale. Simple enough right?

If you put out all your items on he lawn, you still need a sign so people know it is a garage sale. That is advertising. Yes, signs are considered part of advertising because they show advertise to anyone passing by that you have stuff for sale.

But that really limits you to what you can sell to the people in your neighborhood that are passing your house on that day.

To take it one step further, you place a few more signs out on the main streets with an arrow all pointing to your garage sale. This gives you a little more exposure and generally generates more sales.

If you really want to sell, then you place ads on Craigslist, the local newspaper and a few more places online that promote local garage sales.

Now you have a complete campaign and will sell as much as possible and get as many people as possible.

When you realize you have too many people coming, then you ask your friends to bring in stuff and sell it and that is how small businesses are born.

But all of this happens as a result of advertising.

And I can't remember one person having a garage sale and not taking those basic step to advertise their sale.

Yet I see 90% of website owners doing even less to advertise their website.

It seems like they make more of an effort to run a garage sale than their own website.

And that is a sad statement, but one that is totally true.

Website Myths

  • If I build it they will come

  • SEO will make me rich

  • I just type in the keywords and people find me

  • I have to be careful when I launch my website I might have more business than I can handle

If I build it they will come

FALSE! You can build hundreds of websites and nobody will ever come to them. In fact, traffic will be so low you will wonder why you ever built it in the first place. Without some type of advertising or promotion you will get little value from a website.

Now if you have a existing business you will get value because you will advertise it to your customers. Add it to receipts, business cards and your store signs and window ads.

By promoting or advertising you will have people on your website and it will generate business for your store.

If you have nothing, do no advertising then traffic might trickle in over time from the search engines but you wont see black Friday style crowds ordering your products.

SEO will make me rich

FALSE! SEO is a process for making a website more search engine friendly, but it will never create enough traffic to make you money. You can pay all the experts and spend every last hour learning SEO and never see one visitor as a result.

For one, if SEO experts could make your website generate all this income, why would they not just do it for themselves? If they can get you to #1 for the word "Jewelry" for $100, what do you think companies like Walmart or Kay Jewelers would pay for the same service. If these "EXPERTS" could do all that, you would never be able to afford their services.

SEO is a necessary part of website design, not a trick to make more money, despite what anyone else tells you.

I just type in the keywords and people find me

FALSE! Websites do not work that way at all. You don't just get to decide what you want to be found for. Search engines don't let you choose how much traffic you want or how many visitors you need.

You can in fact advertise on the search engines, buy traffic and generate the visitors you need. But that means spending money and ADVERTISING.

I have to be careful when I launch my website I might have more business than I can handle

This is the biggest myth of all when it comes to websites. In fact when you open your website, you will have no traffic. NONE! It will take time, usually months for the search engines to find you and then more time before you are listed in the results. So even if someone searches for the name of your business, you wont even be listed.

When I tell people that they get angry and often hang up the phone but I try to explain it like this:

If you buy a new store, have the phone company come in and install a phone, how long is it before anyone can look in the phone book and find your number?

It will not be in the phone book until the next time the book is printed, maybe next year.

Search engines work the same way. It takes time to compile indexes, there are millions of website and billions of pages, so the process is slow and you have to be patient.

Of course, if you run ads, people could be on your website the day you open it. Again, that means you need to advertise it!

The truth is, without some type of advertising, your website will have no traffic.

That is not to say you need to pay for advertising, but you need to do something. Whether you place signs around your neighborhood, post an ad on Craigslist or hand out flyers to your friends, you still need something to generate business.

I have written countless other articles about what you can do, so you can read those when you have time. But the point of this article is to answer why you need to advertise your website and not necessarily how to advertise your website.

In The Old Days of the Internet

In the old days, it is true, you could put up a website and get customers. I built my first hosting business with over 100 customers and more than $5000 a month in steady income in a little under 2 months and only the cost was my main website.

But when we launched BumblebeeWorks in 2003 we spent nearly $100,000.00 and one year to get our first 100 customers grossing just $795.00 a month. That was a shock even for us, but the market had changed. We ran TV, Radio, Internet and Mail campaigns and spent money like it was water.

The difference was, one was in 1997 and the other was in 2004, a full 7 years later and the market had evolved. What worked in 1997 did not work in 2004.

Today, it is 10 years even later, now almost 17 years since my first website. That is a lifetime for many people and things are very different today than they were back then. And the opportunities that existed then don't exist now.

The competition was low and the traffic was high. People were all getting online, but nobody really knew how to make a website. So those of us that did were cleaning up.

Today, there are more websites than users. Everyone has a homepage, a blog or a business website, so getting customers is just not that easy.

But as a business, you already know, advertising is just part of the game. You need to advertise to make your website effective. You need to let people know it is there. Build a brand and grow your business using all the resources you have.

If you do that, websites can grow to the proportions of Ebay or Amazon, if you don't, then you may never see any traffic, any sales or any income resulting from your website.

Building a web based ecommerce business is the same as building any business, if you think it will happen overnight, save yourself the aggravation and don't even get started in the first place.

If you are ready to do the work and make the investment, then get started ASAP, every day that goes buy is another lost opportunity.

 

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