Web Presence Promotion

Web Presence Promotion

Stephen Burgess (Victoria University, Australia), Carmine Carmine Sellitto (Victoria University, Australia) and Stan Karanasios (Leeds University Business School and AIMTech Research Group, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-224-4.ch008
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Abstract

There are literally millions of businesses with a Web presence on the Web and more and more being added every day, all competing to attract customers. Building a Website without any promotion is likely to result in little traffic. Therefore a Webpresence must be well positioned to maximize its potential. The most sophisticated and captivating Website is ineffective if it cannot be found by customers. A Web presence that is effectively promoted can also provide competitive advantage. From this perspective the promotion of a Web presence is one of the most critical steps involved in its development. Despite this, this step is often one of the most neglected tasks by small businesses. The Web itself provides a number of different promotional channels for small businesses. Outside of the Web the use of traditional media can also play a vital role in promotion of a Web presence. In this chapter we suggest that online and offline methods should complement one another and by using both approaches a business is better placed to reap the maximum benefits from an investment into a Web presence. Although the purpose of this chapter is to discuss the promotion of the Web presence, the overarching objective of any Web presence and marketing plan of course is successful promotion of the business. In other words, by promoting the Web presence the business is also being promoted at the same time. Figure 1 illustrates the independencies between the offline and online promotion methods of marketing the Web presence and the business.
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Introduction

There are literally millions of businesses with a Web presence on the Web and more and more being added every day, all competing to attract customers. Building a Website without any promotion is likely to result in little traffic. Therefore a Web presence must be well positioned to maximize its potential. The most sophisticated and captivating Website is ineffective if it cannot be found by customers. A Web presence that is effectively promoted can also provide competitive advantage. From this perspective the promotion of a Web presence is one of the most critical steps involved in its development. Despite this, this step is often one of the most neglected tasks by small businesses.

The Web itself provides a number of different promotional channels for small businesses. Outside of the Web the use of traditional media can also play a vital role in promotion of a Web presence. In this chapter we suggest that online and offline methods should complement one another and by using both approaches a business is better placed to reap the maximum benefits from an investment into a Web presence.

Although the purpose of this chapter is to discuss the promotion of the Web presence, the overarching objective of any Web presence and marketing plan of course is successful promotion of the business. In other words, by promoting the Web presence the business is also being promoted at the same time. Figure 2 illustrates the independencies between the offline and online promotion methods of marketing the Web presence and the business.

Figure 2.

Promoting the web presence and the business (adapted from Karanasios, 2008)

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Approaches To Web Presence Promotion

The Web presents a number of useful channels to promote a Web presence. As a first step, a business should update existing forms of Web promotion to include the business e-mail and URL. This means updating online directories such as the Yellow Pages® and any other reference to the business.

One phenomenon that most businesses are probably aware of is the popularity amongst Internet users to search for information, business details and products using search engines. Search engines are a popular way to find a Website, with other popular means being links from other (third party) Websites and promotion of the Website through traditional media (such as television, radio, newspapers and billboards).

This means that being listed in search engines should generally be a priority for small business. However, it also emphasizes that a business should not ‘place all their eggs in one basket’ as a mixture of online and offline approaches are typically ideal. Understanding this, this chapter will discuss a range of Web presence promotional techniques.

Before choosing any medium for promotion, whether it is a search engine, portal, a directory or small advertisements, as a basic precedent the following points must be considered. When considering these points it is useful to reflect upon the original goals of the Web presence, which will aid a business to measure the advantages and drawbacks of each approach.

  • The initial and ongoing cost of the promotion

  • The reputation of the promotion provider

  • The effect the medium may have on the image of the business

  • The potential to engage new and existing markets

  • The presence of competitors.

This section begins by describing the most imperative task of promotion through search engines. It will describe and discuss various other levels of Web promotion. The final section of this chapter is devoted to e-mail newsletters as a Web means of promoting the Web presence and marketing the business to existing and potential customers.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Foreword
M. Gordon Hunter
Preface
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
Chapter 1
Introduction  (pages 1-26)
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
Over the last decade there has been a great deal of research into the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in small businesses.... Sample PDF
Introduction
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Chapter 2
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
Whilst writing this book it has become apparent to us that small businesses face numerous challenges and issues when they are considering their Web... Sample PDF
Web Presence Lessons for Small Businesses
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Chapter 3
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
The new global economy has resulted in the availability of unprecedented opportunities for small business. ICTs in particular have contributed to... Sample PDF
Readiness for a Web Presence
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Chapter 4
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
In the previous chapter we highlighted the importance of planning for an effective Web presence. In fact, the existence of a disciplined planning... Sample PDF
Business Strategy and Planning
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Chapter 5
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
The purpose of this chapter is to discuss how a small business decides upon its Web presence strategy and then determines what features will make up... Sample PDF
Web Presence Strategy and Content
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Chapter 6
Web Presence Hosting  (pages 141-167)
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
In earlier chapters we discussed the need to link Web presence strategy with anticipated small business direction and motivations - where this... Sample PDF
Web Presence Hosting
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Chapter 7
Website Design  (pages 168-196)
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
This is the most technical of the chapters in this book. It is centred on Website design and is the only chapter in the book where we exclusively... Sample PDF
Website Design
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Chapter 8
Web Presence Promotion  (pages 197-222)
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
There are literally millions of businesses with a Web presence on the Web and more and more being added every day, all competing to attract... Sample PDF
Web Presence Promotion
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Chapter 9
Web Presence Governance  (pages 223-252)
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
The initial idea behind this chapter was to expand on the issue of security, predominantly in relation to ensuring that a small business operator... Sample PDF
Web Presence Governance
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Chapter 10
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
This chapter examines the notion of how the success of a small business Web presence can be assessed. In doing so, there is initially a discussion... Sample PDF
Evaluating Web Presence Success
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Chapter 11
A Look at the Future  (pages 275-301)
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
This chapter serves to raise an awareness of some of the more cutting edge Internet innovations and applications that may become viable and useful... Sample PDF
A Look at the Future
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Chapter 12
What Led Us Here?  (pages 302-321)
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
This Appendix provides a brief overview of our PhDs - all of which involved research into small business adoption and use of ICT and Internet... Sample PDF
What Led Us Here?
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About the Authors