THE 4-STEP PROCESS
Creating an effective Internet marketing program is really a four-step process. The first step after registering your domain name is site development. Once a website is designed and constructed, the job is not yet finished. Before launching, it is tested to make sure the links are working properly. If you operate or manage a number of facilities or FBOs, make sure the site is user-friendly, allowing visitors to switch easily between the main pages and the specific sub-pages or externally linked sites of other locations.
External links provide an interesting dilemma. Usually, when a visitor to your site clicks on an outside link, they are taken directly to that site. When they leave the linked site, they are not returned to your site. So, make sure visitors can view a linked site without leaving your site.
Once satisfied that the site works properly, the next step is search engine registration. The site should be posted and registered not only with all the major search engines, but try to have the site listed in industry directory websites and indices as well. When registering a site with the various search engines, understand how they work so that the company/airport is listed properly.
Researching and evaluating the best strategies for placement is critical. This consists of assessing your website, industry, competition, trends, and related products and services on the Web. Trends on the Internet change, so research may be necessary for periodic updating of keywords and placement procedures throughout the life of the site. (Maximize traffic to the website by displaying the URL on all printed material — letterhead, business cards, etc.).
Step three is the administration of the site. There is nothing worse than to visit a site and find information that is obsolete.
The final step is site review-assessment. One way, a counter, can certainly determine how many people are visiting your site. But, there are other ways to monitor your Internet presence. For example, your Internet service provider (ISP) can provide quarterly reports on who is visiting the site. Note that because the nature of the Internet is predominantly anonymous, these statistics are used as a roadmap for improving marketing efforts instead of a mathematically accurate rendering of fact.
About the Authors
Robert Hager heads-up aviation marketing services, Michael Schiefer is president and creative director, and Larry Weiner is in charge of media relations. Creative Force, based at Teterboro Airport in Teterboro, NJ, provides a full-range of marketing, communications, design and public relations services to the aviation industry. Find them at www.creative-force.com.
CAPS Your Web site diagram should blueprint content according to main topic pages, sub-pages and major links. Good organization makes it easy for visitors to move efficiently through the site, obtaining the information they are looking for.
A well-planned home page affords visitors a comprehensive picture of site content and ease of navigation.
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