Mobile radio dealers: Don’t get stuck on the Web
Follow the steps used by Web promoters to boost traffic to the Internet site you use to bring in new customers.
Although ” Web fever” has two-way radio manufacturers, dealers and organizations examining their commitment to cyberspace, Internet marketing consultants warn that without proper marketing and promotion, Web sites can quickly become “cyber-elephants.”
“The now cliche Web maxim `If you build it they will come’ has lulled many online marketers into a false sense of opportunity,” said Charles Sayers, an Internet marketing consultant in Acworth, GA.
“The truth is that Web site traffic-building has its own set of PR needs and requires its own system of aggressive, attention-getting tactics,” Sayers said.
Should you decide to make the plunge, Internet consultants advise you to take advantage of as many of the following World Wide Web site marketing and promotion strategies as possible:
[C] Rent or buy a consumer email list – This is probably one of the easiest – although maybe one of the most expensive ways to promote a Web site and company services on the Web. Firms using this technique rent exposure in an email customer distribution list of a firm that is already established on the Web. Often, the firm owning the list recommends via email that its customers visit the site of the list renter, and sometimes it includes a discount coupon for goods or services at the list renter’s site.
[C] Consider a professional search engine listing firm – Seasoned Web users use search engines such as Yahoo! (www.yahoo.com) and Excite! (www.excite.com) to help them find specific information on the Net quickly. They type in a subject area, and the search engine brings back links to further information.
Given the great power these search engines have to steer thousands of Net cruisers to specific sites, it should come as no surprise that Web-savvy firms have cropped up to help dealers and manufacturers to be among the first links that the search engines return to information seekers.
A Wireless (www.awireless.com), based in Sherman Oaks, CA, is apparently no stranger to this listing strategy. When the keywords “mobile radio dealers Los Angeles” are entered into Yahoo!, its site was the first link to be listed. That kind of visibility does not happen accidentally. Another winner in the listing wars was 900 Plus Paging (www.900plus.net) based in New York. Its site was first up when the keywords “mobile radio dealers New York” were entered.
Site registration Other options include software programs such as Web Site Traffic Builder, by Draper, UT-based Intelliquis (www.intelliquis.com). Traffic Builder automatically registers your site with more than 900 Internet search engines, and it will automatically put your business in the appropriate category for each search engine. You can also use the software to check your site’s position on the Net’s eight most popular search engines.
A similar program, WebPosition Gold, by FirstPlace Software (www.firstplace.com), focuses on getting your site placed prominantly on the Web’s top search engines.
[C] Create hook pages – Many a site has drawn in Net cruisers by creating informational pages that in turn offer links to a commercial site, according to Craig Settles, a senior strategist for Berkeley, CA-based Successful Marketing Strategists, and author of Cybermarketing: Essentials for Success, published by Ziff-Davis.
Type in the phrase “How to Choose a Two-way Radio” at All The Web (www.alltheweb.com), a popular search engine, and you’ll be directed to R W Brown Electronics (www.rwbrown.com), based in Sycamore, IL. Brown’s page describes two-way radios, repair services, pagers, licensing services and site management. Links take you to a list of Brown’s repeater sites and to a form for sending an email inquiry.
[C] Enter as many Web site competitions as possible – Web sites that have the mettle should attempt to get their new site judged by the many “cool site of the day or week” judging services. Sites that are judged worthy of an award are given the equivalent of a graphic blue ribbon for post-ins on their site.
The awarding service also provides a free link to the winning page from its own home page – a perk that can literally generate thousands of visits to a new Web site, according to Sayers.
[C] Start your own contest – A contest is a tried-and-true traffic generator in the bricks-and-mortar world that can work for Web sites. Contests also can glean valuable demographic data about site visitors.
Www.Cellnetonline.com, Madison Heights, MI, sports an online contest for a free cellphone or pager. Air Comm Wireless (www.aircommwireless.com), Wickliffe, OH, runs a “win-a-pager contest.”
[C] Establish a virtual press center – Probably one of the most overlooked opportunities on the Web is the opportunity to establish a virtual press center on a site.
Journalists are increasingly turning to the Internet to search for stories and develop new ideas, and there is no reason why companies with Web sites should pass up an opportunity for free media exposure by creating a Web-based press release archive, Settles said.
The American Mobile Telecommunications Association offers press releases online at its site, www.amtausa.com, as does Globe Wireless (www.kfs.com), Foster City, CA.
[C] Get posted in Web directories – In an effort to make Web surfing a little easier, a number of businesses have packaged themselves in easy-to-use directories that help Net users get to their sites more quickly.
Wireless businesses of all sorts, for example, can generate additional Web exposure by getting listed in industry specific directories, like the Commall.Net Communication Marketplace for the World (www.commall.net) and the Wireless Developer Network (www.wirelessdevnet.com).
[C] Start a newsletter – Newsletters are a time-honored and personal way to establish an ongoing relationship with current and prospective customers. Organizations or companies interested in developing a newsletter can find examples at www.thewirelessoutlet.com and www.lalawireless.com, where visitors can sign-up online for email-delivered newsletters.
[C] Offer coupons – This is another old-economy, bricks-and-mortar solution that works just as well – if not better – on the Web. Coupons can easily be offered online for easy printout, or periodically delivered directly to the visitors’ email boxes.
The advantage of email delivery is that the business can more easily build a relationship with customers over time, because they do not have to make any effort to search for the coupons.
[C] Add a “recommend this site to a friend” button – Nothing is more valuable than “word-of-mouth” promotion, even in cyberspace. Get your Web designer to add a “recommend this site” button to enable a visitor to send an email “heads-up” about the site to a friend.
Putting it all together The landscape of the Internet is changing daily, and adjusting to the changes is a full-time job, but using these methods for generating traffic is a good start.
“Combining these tactics with a relentless persistence to build your site’s traffic will virtually guarantee that within a few short weeks, your access counters (a software tool used to measure visits to a Web site) will start spinning like the gallon indicator on a 1950s gas pump,” said Sayers.