Next time you go to a board meeting, why not suggest the following:
“ As the Internet doesn’t work for our company, what we should do is
design, produce and print 10 000 catalogues, put them in a store room and leave
I can hear your response- “Don’t be daft!”, “This guy is a complete
The reason I make this statement is EngNet communicates with thousands of
companies with regards Internet Marketing in the Engineering Industry. Many
companies keep telling us that the Internet doesn’t work, they say they have
tried it and they received absolutely no business from it. What do they mean
they tried it? It generally means that they had a website developed (we’ll not
discuss website design in this newsletter) and it was made available to the
world via the Internet, and it didn’t work.
My argument is, if you can print 10,000 catalogues and deliver or post them,
why can’t you develop a website and email, post or fax your customers to
inform them that you have a website that provides all your company's
information. Designing a wonderful website and failing to promote it
effectively, is like producing thousands of expensive glossy catalogues and
never delivering them to your clients. Makes no sense.
Over and above a website performing the function of a catalogue, there are
many other features and benefits that can be gained out of having a website.
In addition, there are many ways in which to promote your website. This
newsletter will focus on the promotion of websites, some free methods and some
that you pay for.
Methods for marketing a website:
Online Internet Search Engines
Ahhhh, search engines. Those wonderful tools where I'm sure every
single one of us, has at some stage, ended up far from where we were intially
aiming at. Whilst conducting a search, something will catch my eye being
advertised like 'View the latest list of the 100 richest people in the world'.
Out of interest, I will want to find out how rich this Bill Gates is now....
Oooopss getting a little side tracked once again.
Even though search engines can be frustrating, people use them a lot and if
someone is seriously looking for something they will persevere. So, if
your site matches a users criteria and you appear in the search engines list,
you could have a prospective customer.
I personally feel that being listed on search engines is a bit of a hit and
miss affair. EngNet has designed alot of websites for engineering companies and
have submitted them to search engines as part of the service. Sometimes a
website is accepted easily and sometimes we battle to get it listed. After some
experience we have come up with some key factors that must be in place to ensure
the best chances of being listed:
- Title Tag - Search Engines use the title to display the heading search
result and also it contributes to the searchability of the website.
- META-TAGS - Used by search engines to help categorize and search a
website. Description - Provide a short 25 word description of
your company. Use words in the description that users would use to search.
Keywords - Choose keywords that match how customers speak and search.
- Website Hosting - Use a good hosting provider. If your site is too slow or
not available when a search engine visits your website, your chances are
about nil of getting listed.
- Website Design - Your website should contain good content, looks
aesthetically pleasing and is structured well for easy navigation. Search
engines will only link to the most valuable websites.
- Frames - Try not to use frames in a website. Framed websites are more
difficult for search engines to handle and therefore generally don't feature
as well as non-framed websites. If you do have a framed website, utilize the
'No Frames' tags to insert text about your website.
- Categories - Pick the appropriate category.
- Geographic section of Yahoo! - Yahoo! has regional listings. Even if your
company operates in more than one geographical region, it is better to be
listed under a geographical area than not at all.
- Persistence & Patience - Don't submit once and then leave it,
retry every month or two.
Public Relations - Press Releases
When submitting press release articles to publications, make sure that you
also submit your website address. Often readers would like to know more
when reading a worthwhile press release, a website is the perfect place for
that reader to obtain that info. In addition, the Internet is filled
with online magazines and promotional websites. It is worthwhile to find
one that suites your industry and to send your press releases to them with a
direct link to your website. Another traffic generator.
If your company does not make use of press releases, we suggeset that you
start. A survey produced by Forresters Research indicates that public
relations is the most effective method of marketing.
- Email Newsletter Sponsorships:
As an example, the email you received from us would have had a sponsor at
the top below the first paragraph. We have found email newsletter sponsorhips
generate considerable targeted website traffic to the sponsor's website as
soon as the newsletter is sent.
High traffic websites offer sponsorship opportunities where a company can
sponsor a section that is relevant to their business. The companys'
banner would then be displayed every time a user accesses that section.
The effectiveness of the sponsorship will depend on the advert, the number of
users viewing the ad and the selection of the correct target market media.
Email Marketing via Newsletters
A brilliant way to keep your customers up-to-date and returning to your
website is to provide an email newsletter. To ensure that this method is
effective, you will need to ensure that the news you are sending is
appropriate and newsworthy. Send news about the latest developments within the
company, new products launched, new technologies, new features/information on
the website and possibly even the latest contracts received.
It is amazing how fast people forget. Even if the email just reminds
your customers that you have a website, it is worth the effort. Sometimes a
customer will only read the email after the third time he has received a
newsletter and only then decide to visit your website. Other instances when he
has seen your website address displayed he hasn't noticed it, but then he
receives a newsletter at a time when he needs what you're offering and you're
the first person he will contact.
Opt in Mail
Before you can start benefiting from sending your customers newsletters,
you need to have email addresses to send them to. There are various ways to
get people to give you their email address, but you need to give them a good
reason. As more and more services and newsletters are popping up, you really
have to add value in order to avoid having your customer ask to be removed
from your list. Your newsletter can keep customers satisfied if the content is
worthwhile the time reading. Offer tips & tools, offer recommendations in
your field of expertise.
I strongly recommend that you do not ask a user to provide their email
address or register before they are allowed to use your website (confidential
info you don't want competitors to see is another story). The reason I say
this is that there are so many websites that ask for email addresses or
registration that a lot of users will simply just not bother if they need to
sign up first. EngNet tried this method at one stage and found that our number
of users just about halved in the first month.
Online Internet Advertising Banner Adverts
Banner advertising is tricky, let us consider the 2 main factors that will
- Banner Placement: It is imperative that your banner be displayed
to the correct target market. Do not even consider utilising banner
advertising unless the site the banners are placed on reaches your exact
target market. For an engineering company who advertises to the layman it
would be a waste. Within the more advanced websites like Yahoo!, you can
buy a search term. This means that if your company is a Lightning
Protection specialist you can buy the search term 'Lightning Protection'
so when a user searches for Lighting protection your banner will be
displayed. The users needs search no further and click on your
banner because it is what they were looking for.
- Banner Design: To gain full advantage from you banner ads, the advert
must be eye catching and have a quick message that will grab the user
Affiliate Marketing Programmes
Affiliate marketing is an online referral program. You agree to pay another
company for each referral from their website to your website. Remuneration can
work in a number of ways, either the affiliates gets paid per
"click-through" or paid a percentage of the sales made from the
The effectiveness of an affiliate program will depend on your companies
structure and that of your website. If your website sells standard engineering
products product online (where a sale could be made on a first visit), you
could obtain suitable affiliates that link to your website and generate
Companies that design engineering products, I don't see an affiliate
Mail shots to Customers
If you don't have your customers' email addresses, send them an annoucement
via post informing your customers of your website. Detail how your
website can help them and what information they can find. Please make sure
that your website has something to offer or else you'll could end up annoying
Adverts in Engineering Newspapers and Magazines (Trade Publications)
When utilising your traditional advertising mediums, it is vital that your
website address appears in the ad. Your design of your magazines/newspaper
advert needs to grab peoples interest and direct them to your website for
further detailed information. Your print advert need not contain a lot
of detail but simply communicate a strong message that will motivate potential
customers to visit your website.
Ensure that your website address appears on all company stationary i.e.
business cards, faxes, emails sent, compliment slips, invoices etc.
Outdoor, Radio & TV Advertising
Always make your website address available so that users can gain more
information once you have reached them with this type of advert.
Remember, the best way to ensure a long lasting successful website is to
provide a useful website.