What are some good ways of advertising a discussion forum to increase membership?
Since you have a forum, you’ve no doubt have in mind who should be part of the forum.
The next step is for you to figure out why people would want to be part of the forum. Are there already forums for these groups? If so, what makes your forum better? Forum membership takes time on the part of participants, so people won’t switch memberships unless you’ve given them something much better.
Let’s say you’ve compared your forum to all the competition, and realized that indeed you’re targeting an under-served group that would truly benefit from membership.
Now, you need to find where the under served group goes online. Blogs? Websites? Reads newsletters? You need to get your advertisement in front of your target.
Simply posting your forum to a list of forums won’t attract the people you’re looking for.
A few months ago I published a new on-line boutique website offering designer laptop bags. I have a small budget and would like to know if there really is any GOOD FREE PR websites; or any PR firms that you could steer me too. I have no experience in this area at all. I have written my own press release but don’t know where OR what to do next.
Press releases are great for disseminating something new (that may be of interest to the media). However, they’re not a substitute for marketing / advertising.
What I think you want is targeted traffic for your website that converts into customers.
Before you get more traffic, I would encourage you to enhance your website. To actually see a good picture of one of your bags for sale (ignoring the 2 that are on the home page), it took me 3 clicks to get to the page. My suggestion is since you have an ecommerce site, make the site easier to navigate, and quicker to see the merchandise to entice me. For example, when I want to buy bags, I don’t want to read about your bags (which is basically text that you’ve artificially created for the search engines) – I want to see them. Once the site is enhanced, then increase your traffic.
If you don’t have a big budget, then start by doing a keyword investigation to see what people are searching on and what’s (and who’s) ranking well. Given your price point, a PPC campaign may make sense as well.
You also want to get mentioned in the various fashion magazines, blogs, and websites if you have something special/unusual. For the magazines, a targeted press release to the proper editor would be better than an press release “blast”. On blogs, feel free to post something of value and get a backlink. On fashion websites, contact the owner and see if they’d be willing to give you a mention.
I am looking for an online service/website that will generate quality traffic to my site so my sales will increase.
You actually have 2 questions: “How to increase traffic” and “How to increase sales”. The second question is actually more important. Just because you get more visitors doesn’t mean you’ll get more sales. You need to be selling the right thing to the right people at the right time. That means your site should clearly identify who your audience is, what problem you solve of theirs, and how you solve it.
Once you’ve crafted this compelling benefit statement, only then it makes sense to find sites that drive traffic to you. And what type of traffic? You only want to attract that matches your audience. If you’re selling a product for men, and you only get women visiting your site, while it’s possible some women will buy the product for a man in her life, you would get many more conversions if you started by getting men to visit your site.
See also: Marketing 101
What the first thing I should do on the Internet? I want to have a PR rank website 4 at least, should I have a blog, forum, if yes, where, and where is should I tell about my posting, site, etc..?
Site optimization is a long-term process. First, you need to identify what keywords you want top position for, and determine what page rank (a number from 0 to 10) the top sites have. You’re looking for keywords that have traffic (there are people interested in the topic) as well as relatively low page ranks for the top sites.
Once you identify your keywords, you need to populate at least your home page with the words “naturally”. Don’t forget to include the keywords in the title of the page itself and in the keywords tag (which isn’t as important as it once was).
Next, you need backlinks, links from other sites to your site. The better the site that gives you backlinks, the better your pagerank.
It takes time for your site to go up in rank. Newer sites naturally get a lower ranking than newer sites.
I have tried just about anything and nothing seems be be working. Calling to ask for an appointment to show them the product line, trade shows, sending in samples. Buyers never return phone calls. At the trade shows the buyers only see their existing clients they have an appointment with and totally ignore the new companies with new products. My website doesn’t get any traffic either. Someone at the show suggested hiring a celebrity but as we found out they are extremely expensive and hard to get. I am thinking of joining a networking association in hopes to find some leads.
The buyers you’ve been meeting simply aren’t interested in what you’re selling. This could because: 1) they don’t like your product, or 2) they don’t see a demand, or 3) they don’t like your presentation.
You have a number of approaches:
– Create a demand. Skip the buyers, sell direct to sk8ters and the rest of your target demographic. If you start getting sales, then buyers may follow.
– Improve your presentation. Your website seems to appeal to teens. Why not brand special caps for different college campuses? High Schools? Beach communities? Bars? Adult Sports Teams?
– Improve your product. Ask the buyers what they think about your product and listen. Do they like the price? Style? Uniqueness? Message?
I don’t think a networking assn will help – you haven’t yet identified what you need (other than sales). As for your website, if you’re not getting traffic, then you haven’t figured out what people are searching for and wading into those waters. MySpace would be a natural community to hype your hats and build traffic.
I have been in the insurance business for a while. I have a handful of associates that are in the same situation that I am. We are looking for a more effective presence on the Internet regarding mortgage protection insurance. We have tried all the “free” posting ideas (i.e. Craigslist, etc.) but we’re looking more toward directed interest in this particular product.
Last month Overture listed the relatively low number of 2764 searches for “mortgage protection insurance” (contrast this with 1.7 million searches for “mortgage”) Not surprisingly, if people aren’t searching for it, they won’t find you.
The key is to determine who is your target audience (people with mortgage) and what problem you solve (avoiding foreclosure of your home when you die).
People don’t look for insurance regularly – they think about it when they have a big lifestyle change: a marriage, a divorce, a birth, a death, a new home, an inheritance, and at tax time (when meeting with financial advisers). Therefore, it would make sense to create a series of marketing pieces that help people at these times:
“How To Ensure Your Marriage Is Financially Strong”
“10 Financial Tips for New Parents”
“Keep Your New Home In the Family”
These educational articles would be published on your website, in article banks, local magazines, etc. The purpose is to provide genuine information, with a link back to your site for more information.
Most of the traffic (over 70%) of my clients’ web site lands on the home page. For example, the traffic comes from directly-typed-in URLs or natural search results. Home pages are mostly “generic”. How can we target the traffic better so these un-targeted traffic gets to the right page and so it increases conversion rate?
- If someone is coming on an inbound link (which you mentioned is organic) and the home page isn’t relevant, either the home page is stuffed with keywords or the inbound link isn’t targeted well (if you can influence the inbound link to point to a better page, do so).
- If you’re targeted with PPC (etc.), then these paid links should be better targeted.
- If your home page is generic, then spend time fixing the problem. Who is your target audience? Identify the key problems you solve for your audience, and clearly guide them to that area of your site.
- You can improve your website itself, creating better content/internal linking. This will help longer-term with the organic search. Once again, you’ll need to understand what search terms people used to find you, and then build your site to better serve them.