Around the year 2000 the great internet land rush was in full effect. It seemed as though every small business owner was being told they needed a website. So, a lot of them got one… What next?
The good news was that there were many fewer web sites out there, and it was much easier to get found. Just like the traditional yellow pages, the goal was to have the "door swing" and the "phone ring". Website revenue was going to be the life saver for small businesses who found they were spending too much time working in their business than building their business.
My favorite story from this time was an auto body shop who signed up with one of our former companies to have an e-commerce site developed. No, I'll admit, we had some relatively aggressive sales people, and the truth is they didn't know the first thing about the realities of website revenue generation.
So, the auto body guy who was also a distributor for a line of wheels and accessories got so excited by the prospects of his new revenue generating web site that he actually hired a new receptionist to man the phones. This was of course 3 months before delivery, so one has to question his whole decision making process.
What this story illustrates is the "build it and they will come" mentality that was pervasive in the early days of the small business internet.
Guess what. They didn't come.
But, back then a few simple techniques would have made a lot of difference. Back before the search engines got smart all it took was having a little text on your pages and good "keywords" — to this day I hear people suggest all you have to do is make sure you have the right keywords in your meta tags, but that's another story.
Really though, keyword stuffing worked… for a while.
These days though, if you really want to have your web site generate revenue it takes much more work.
Any good internet marketing company will tell you that what are referred to as "on page factors" only account for 20-30% of your ranking. As the search engines got smarter (thanks in part to a lot of Stanford PHDs), the need for good off-site promotion of your revenue generating web site became critical.
Examples of great ways to build off-page factors are:
- Link baiting – the practice of creating interesting content just so people will link to it
- Blog and News group posting – ONLY do this if you have something real to say!
- Article creation and submission – again, make it worth reading
- Finally, News Releases – and again, keep it real
So in summary, if you want to generate web site revenue, it's critical to be realistic and recognize that the same things that worked 6 years ago don't work today.
Good content, both onsite and off are critical to a revenue generating web site. Some of the revenue generating tools are discussed above, but a full discussion of how to generate web site revenue should include affiliate marketing, pay per click advertising and even off-line marketing.
You can build it, but if you don't tell them about it they will NEVER come.
Will Scott has been helping small businesses succeed online since 1994 – Will is passionate about the impact of the Internet on business.
Search Influence is a New Orleans Internet Marketing company focused on the needs of small business.
Will and Search Influence work directly with clients to show them how to increase their web site revenue.
Search Influence helps resource strapped small businesses find ways to increase sales online.