So, you’ve got a Website for your local business. Whether you’re selling antiques, software or massage services, or if your site is primarily content-based, the goal remains the same: make your Website profitable. It’s not difficult, either, and in many cases, people can start earning money immediately. But whether it’s a sleek, professionally designed Website or one that was quickly put together, there are dozens of relatively easy ways anyone can make their Website more profitable.
Here is a brief overview of strategies to make your website more profitable:
Clean, useful content: Research shows that people will navigate away from a Website if they can’t find what they’re looking for within the first 3 seconds. Content, therefore, remains a critical component. Things like short sentences and paragraphs, photos and art elements, and bold headlines will help draw in readers. Grammatically-clean copy and emphasizing the benefits of your company will keep readers coming back.
Local search, maps: The major search engines offer a variety of free online marketing tools, such as local search and maps. You can register your business to ensure your business appears anytime someone searches with geographic qualifiers, such as “pizza restaurant” and the name of your town.
Contextual advertising: Integrate contextual ads into the content of your Website through companies like Google or Yahoo! Google AdWords is the company’s pay-per-click advertising product, and AdSense is how they show those ads. Sign up for an AdSense account, then Google will decide which ads to display based on the type of content you have on your Website. Contextual advertising is considered the easiest, quickest way to start making money on your Website. You get paid when people click on the ads.
Affiliate advertising: There are thousands of companies that will pay for customer referral. You just have to know where to find them. Companies like Commission Junction, Affiliate Fuel, LinkShare.com and ClickBank, among others, can provide you with a list of advertisers that have affiliate programs. Advertising is going to come in the form of either banners or buttons on your Website (traditional advertising, which has low click-through rates and therefore generates money more slowly), or by including an article or some kind of content about another company’s products or services (integrated advertising, which generally has a higher click-through rate and therefore generates more revenue).
Online salesman: Advertising networks will sell ads on your Website for you. Companies such as AdBrite and Text-Link-Ads.com will help get you started, from helping you set the prices to which ads appear on your site. Some ad network companies also sell the spots for you in exchange for a small commission.
Site sponsors: Is your Website already drawing a decent amount of traffic? Sell advertising space in the form of banner ads, text link ads, etc. The more traffic you receive, the easier it will be to find companies that want to advertise on your Website.
Subscriptions: Does your Website generate a lot of traffic? Maybe it’s time to start charging people money to access some, or all, of the content on your page. Instead of offering free content, more newspapers are starting to turn to subscriptions to read all of their content. The way it works: customers can read some of the articles on a Website, but to read all of them, they have to pay a fee for the “premium content.”
Calls to Action: Enticing readers to take a closer look at your products or services through the use of Calls to Action should help drive traffic to both your business and Web site. Examples include “Call NOW for more information” and “Click HERE for printable discounts.”