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How to create your web site marketing plan

By Herman Drost
Posted Saturday, October 16, 2004

Creating a web site without developing a web site marketing plan is the same as planning for failure. A web site marketing plan is essential not only just to survive but to continue to thrive and expand your business. You should spend 80% of your time marketing your web site. It's the life blood of your online business.

When to create your web site marketing plan. Most of us probably create a web site first before we plan to market it. However just like a business plan, you should prepare your marketing strategy ahead of time.

What's the benefit of doing this? The further you plan ahead the easier will all the pieces of your web site fall into place.

Give me an example please
Recently I was working on an ebook. Before creating it, I worked on creating the sales page for the web site. This meant I had to think first of all the benefits the ebook would be to my customers plus research appropriate keywords to weave into my web copy for my web page to rank well in the search engines.

If I had done this backwards and created the ebook first, I would have wasted hours of time redoing my web copy to fit my web site marketing plan.

Here are 7 steps to creating your web site marketing plan

1. Begin with the end in mind - create a vision what you want your web site to accomplish. Define a vision statement i.e. “I will develop a highly profitable web site within 6 months”.

2. Set doable goals - depending on your product or service, write down one or a set of goals you BELIEVE you can accomplish i.e. “I will turn a profit of $500/month at the end of 6 months”.

3. Choose a few marketing strategies - based on your research, pick a few strategies to begin with that you know you can accomplish. This could include optimizing your web site for the search engines, placing an ad in an ezine, or writing an article to submit to online publications.

4. Create a time line and set a deadline - create a horizontal line on paper or on a white board (where you can easily view it each day) and divide this line up into days, weeks or months (or whatever duration you decide) of your marketing campaign. Then mark the beginning and ending dates of your campaign, plus what type of marketing method you are using.

5. Track your results - if you are running an ad either on the Internet or offline, track its effectiveness. Use ad tracking software like, to track all the links you place online. To know how visitors arrived at your web site and what keywords they searched on to get there, analyze your web site statistics (read my article “how to analyze web traffic). With offline ads, use a different code for each ad. If one ad doesn't work well, rework your copy and try it again. Once you find one that works, expand your advertising to other publications.

6. Calculate your return on investment (ROI). Don't just blindly throw money into an ad and hope for the best. Keep track of how much money you initially invested in the ad and what profit you made in return. i.e. if you received $7 back in profit for every dollar you invested in your pay per click strategy, then you are running a very successful marketing campaign.

7. Constantly evaluate your results - after each marketing campaign, evaluate which strategies worked best and which ones did not. Repeat those marketing strategies that are profitable to get maximum results from them. Throw out or refine the ones that did not work well and try some different ones.

Write your vision, goals, strategies and time line on a piece of paper. Keep this next to your computer so you can refer to it from time to time so you don't lose your focus. It's easy to get distracted, particularly when it's no longer fun to act on your marketing plans and they just become a chore to do.

Be disciplined - stay focused on your vision, goals, strategies and dead lines. Staying on track with your time line and accomplishing your deadlines, will give you a great sense of accomplishment. You also can be assured you are making progress towards achieving a profitable web site.

Try a number of strategies at the same time - by utilizing a few different strategies together, you have a better chance of getting more visitors to your website. For instance each week you could place an ad (free or paid) in an ezine and write an article. Daily you could participate in the various popular forums, newsgroups and message boards on the Internet and include a link to your web site in your signature file.

Conclusion - creating, executing, tracking, testing and evaluating your concrete web site marketing plan will greatly enhance your chances of building a profitable online business.

Herman Drost is the author of the new ebook "101 Highly Effective Strategies to Promote Your Web Site" a powerful guide for attracting 1000s of visitors to your web site. (

Subscribe to his “Marketing Tips” newsletter for more original articles. You can read more of his in-depth articles at: (

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