Every successful website is the result of marketing.

A website does nothing on its own.

By a website marketing plan, I don’t mean a long document that would make any business school professor salivate. I  mean a real conscious step-by-step effort to market your website.

Your website relies on traffic and to attract traffic you must market it.

In the early days of the Internet, you didn’t need to do much website marketing. There wasn’t much competition online. Those days are long gone.

If you have competitors, you have to have a website marketing plan to stand out.

No matter how attractive or well designed your website is, it will get little or no traffic unless you market it. It is a mistake build your website and then sit back and wait for visitors. Sorry, but it is never going to happen.

You need a marketing plan to attract and keep customers. A good marketing plan is a strategy that will include facts, numbers, and objectives. It will help you to achieve what you want from your website, whether that be sales, leads or whatever.

Your website marketing plan doesn’t need to be complicated and can be achieved by following some relatively straightforward guidelines.

Developing Your Marketing Plan

When you set out to develop your website marketing plan it can seem a bit daunting at first. Once you have a clear idea in your mind of what to do, however, things become a lot clearer very quickly.

You should start by collecting all the information that you need. This includes information about your own business, your competitors, and the business environment you are operating in and market trends.

You must analyze your own company’s strengths and weaknesses and the external opportunities and threats. Look at how your products or services are superior to the competition and what gives you the competitive edge. For example, you could be offering something that no-one else is. This gives you a distinct competitive edge. A potential weakness could be that your product is one that everyone is supplying.

An external opportunity might be that your product or service has suddenly become very popular. A threat would be if a new company has just started selling the same as you.

You must understand your niche market and by doing so, you can identify what the competition are offering and then it is up to you to show that your products or services are better.

You need to plan to position your product. You do this by analyzing its particular features and then distinguish it from your competitors. Then you need to recognize who will be buying your product and what it is that they find attractive about it.

Once you have gathered and analyzed your information, then you need a plan outline.


This will include target markets, your potential client’s needs and requirements and current industry or social trends.

Also in the outline will be your marketing strategy which, in turn, will include your objectives and your mission statement.

What will be your strategy to attain these objectives and complete the mission?

Your products or services and pricing for them.

Content. Does it need a refresh or a complete re-write ? Your web content should be optimized for SEO and this will have a much more positive effect on lead and sales generation.

Make sure that your graphics are really top notch. Compelling graphics go a long way to attracting more visitors to your site. Avoid stock photos. Have your own photos and images. Something as simple as using your own photos can go a long way to differentiate your business.

Potential distribution channels such as:

  • Retail
  • Wholesale
  • Distributor
  • Direct
  • Catalog
  • Value Added Reseller (VAR)
  • Consultant
  • Dealer
  • Manufacturer’s Representative

How are you going to advertise your website?

Here are some potential website advertising options:

  • Mobile advertising – Advertising across mobile devices, mostly smartphones and tablet computers. Mobile advertising is one of the fastest growing channels.
  • Video advertising – Using video content to promote your business is an example of video advertising.
  • Search advertising – Search advertising is what we call search engine marketing (SEM) and pay-per-click (PPC). The largest search advertising platforms are Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
  • Cross-channel advertising – To advertising across multiple advertising channels, search, display, mobile, social, and video.
  • Display advertising – Advertising your website or product on websites. Related blogs and news sites are common display advertising options.
  • Social advertising – Facebook ads would be one example of social advertising.

Forecasts such as the potential growth of the target market and potential sales growth.

Here are some of the potential marketing challenges:

  • Allocating a marketing budget.
  • Proving marketing ROI. You have to show in a measurable way that there is a return on your marketing dollars.
  • Website management. Who is going to manage and update the website?
  • Selecting the right marketing channels.
  • Training and staffing challenges.

Once you have your website marketing plan outline you should write it up so that everything is clear for the process ahead.

The Write-Up

Keep your marketing plan short. You are not writing a marketing plan for a college course. Event the best website marketing plan could fit on a couple of pages.

You don’t need to write a summary. Your website marketing plan must include the objectives, strategies, challenges, budgets, and deadlines.
You then need to explain the reasoning behind the plan by stating why you have chosen each specific objective and strategy.

You then need to explain the reasoning behind the plan by stating why you have chosen each specific objective and strategy.
State who your target clients are. Use measurable objectives. If you can’t measure your goals, you won’t be able to make website improvements.

State who your target clients are. Use measurable objectives. If you can’t measure your goals, you won’t be able to make improvements.
State the features and benefits of your products and services. The features sell the benefits.

Include the budget and timeline for the plan.

Developing and Deploying The Tactics and Strategies of Your Plan

Now is the time to start putting everything into action.

A good online marketing plan will ensure that you are attracting potential clients at every stage of the sales process. You can still reach out to many potential clients with advertising, direct marketing and with public relations campaigns.

For current customers or people that you consider to be the target market that is sure to be interested in your product, you can try other tactics. Maybe an email campaign or some sort of loyalty program.

Social media is another outlet that you can make use of to reach out to potential clients. By interacting on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter you will connect your business to a wide audience. You should even consider making videos for YouTube.

Current customers who know your website well are definitely your hottest prospects. As long as they like what they see and buy from your website, they will keep coming back for more.

So you have your strategy for online marketing in place and you are now reaching out to both cold and warm prospective clients.

Blogging is an excellent online marketing tactic that should be included in your website marketing strategy. You have to make a real commitment to blogging to make it work. You have to publish quality content frequently. You also have to have a content marketing campaign in place, to make it work. Publishing content is not enough to make blogging work for your business.

Reach out to influencers and tell them about your blog posts. If your blog post is epic, they might share it with their own networks.

You could also become a guest blogger on relevant blogs. When you guest blog you get exposure to new audiences. You also get a link to your site. A great way to drive traffic to your own website.

Blogging is one of the most effective yet underutilized websites marketing tactic.

Online Marketing Budget

If you don’t have a website marketing budget, you are not serious about marketing.

There are two ways to market your business:

  1. You do the work yourself. There are still marketing expenses with this option.
  2. You hire marketing professionals to help you.

When you have a brand new business you might have to do all of the marketing. Even if you are doing it all you still need a marketing budget.

You are going to spend money on building a website, advertising, and content creation and content promotion.

You can do a lot of marketing with little money if you are willing to work like a dog. Whatever you are spending on make sure that you are measuring returns. Too many companies are keep spending money on marketing without measuring success.


The one important thing to remember is that you must never stop marketing. It is the lifeblood of your business and absolutely necessary for your continued growth and survival.



photo credit: Europeana Strategy meeting