Attracting the Right Hits ConsistentlyJanette Toral
If you’re planning to put up a website online, you’re most likely doing it for you want to market your business or service. But if there’s one thing that one must remember, the build-it and they will come mindset will not always apply. The Internet provides a competitive marketspace that anyone who takes things for granted will find oneself soon forgotten amidst upcoming competing sites.
Here are some tips, our hard core lessons learned in keeping DigitalFilipino.com alive and kicking since September 1999.
Focus on a niche
Before putting up your website, you must think thoroughly on what will you be able to offer online that none of your direct or indirect competitors are doing to date. Why will site visitors go to you? What benefits will you give them?
When we started in September 1999, we decided right from the start that we would like to become the country’s premiere e-commerce research site. No one has such focus then. However, as more and more websites are beginning to have such a theme, we kept finetuning and expanding our niche to distinguish us from others. One has to be step ahead, all the time.
It is not enough for one to have a gorgeous website and expect business to just come naturally. Personal relationship and interaction is equally important as well. A website will have more value if there’s a face or personality that they can associate it too.
It is no different from your favorite fastfood, cosmetic, and other consumable items you buy. You often recall these items with a face or personality behind it. Depending on the theme of your website, you have to be seen in the right events and places associated with it. Make your presence felt.
Gain unfair advantage and maximize it
One must know its product or service offering unfair advantage over its competitors, if any. That key factor must be strengthened further and maximize its possible opportunities. One must strive to be at the level of an “authority” so that your brand will be seen differently.
We have two major advantages: content and community. The DigitalFilipino discussion group, according to peers, is the biggest Philippines ICT focused discussion community in the Internet today with 1800 members. We have to continuously seek for quality list members to beef up the community. We also have a forum dedicated to researchers, eFilipino. To date, close to 1000 postings have been made on various topics.
As a result of our community building efforts, we became prime targets for media sponsorship. In exchange for linking and promoting events, we get exhibit booth spaces in prime events. Such opportunity we got at the least possible cost.
Content is king, no doubt about that. When we were consistent in coming up with insightful articles, our hits were high and we receive numerous request for syndicating our content. Republishing content without getting substantial return should not be an option, else, the value is reduced greatly.
There were times when we didn’t care much about our site’s content being updated due to other work opportunities that have come our way. Such has greatly affected our syndication opportunities. To keep ourselves alert, challenged, and in control, we now monitor our site’s ranking through Alexa. From a quarterly rank in the 400,000 range last January, we are now in the 150,000 range. Whenever we see our rankings go down, we immediately come up with new content just to recover. As to whether this will work for us is a story that I will share 6 months from now.
One’s packaging of content and community is very important. At times when we did it right, opportunities did come our way that kept us alive and kicking all these years.
Recently, we decided to evolve further as a full fledged research publication and started expanding into international markets last year through speaking events and the like. To reach an authority status, one must trailblaze in areas where no one has done before. Quietly, efforts will be criticized along the way, however, one must produce substantial counterpart effort and information result to prove that one’s conclusion is wrong. For anything less than that, will not merit attention from regular readers.
Attracting the right hits consistently while delivering your desired business results does not happen overnight, especially so over and over again. It can only happen with consistent passion on your part to make a difference and be competitive from the rest. It is the survival of the fittest.