How can I market and sell my local community website to businesses as well as attract local internet traffic?

Question by kfineyouw1n: How can I market and sell my local community website to businesses as well as attract local internet traffic?
A friend of mine has started up a website which caters to the locals in the area looking and searching for business in the area and providing info on local events.

It just launched recently however she is having trouble finding clients to advertise their businesses on the website. The website also provides local listings such as events that are occuring in the city etc.

Its a really good idea, however I dont want to see the site flop. How can we market or what strategies can we use to improve it, and make it a high traffic and popular website to the locals and its businesses? How can we be able to utilize search engine optimization?

Take a look at the site, and please give your info. Much appreciated thank you!

http://www.viva505.com

Best answer:

Answer by Jessica L
You’re competing head on against well-established classified websites, such as craigslist.com and myspace.com.

To sell a company, you first of all need to be a legal entity. Try legalzoom.com to file as a real business.

Next off, do you really want to concentrate your efforts on this idea? There are plenty other ideas that can be capitalized on with much better return. http://merchantcircle.com is trying to do something similar, but with a much better website and with customer service…

If you shutdown now, it wont be considered a flop. It’ll just be considered smart use of strategic business decisions. If you continue on the road with this idea, I can’t see you selling for more than a few hundred.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!


6 Responses to “How can I market and sell my local community website to businesses as well as attract local internet traffic?”

  1. mary says:

    Have you started any web marketing efforts yet? I suggest you start doing little marketing efforts yourself such as submitting your url to search engines and directories. This step will somehow get you into SEs page rank. So whenever people will do searches related to your site, your site will be readily available. Tip: do not expect quick rankings/traffic. Web marketing is a slow, continuous process that needs patience and hard work.

    I also suggest you start learning SEO. Do not rely your web marketing tactics to professionals. You should also do some SEO work so you will be able to understand clearly what your site really needs.

    I saw your website and the idea is clearly great. To tell you exactly, there are a lot of great sites out there that are in the same situation as yours. What they lack in general is strategy.

    You should be able to combine your marketing efforts with creativity in order to place your site strategically with other high-traffic ones. For example, you should also extend your marketing efforts to offline promotions. Start getting your site listed on newspapers and print directories. Make people be familiar with your site by distributing leaflets, posters or making freebies to local businesses who are listed on your directory. Like, for example, t-shirts/pins with your logo and info with a slogan “This business is featured at http://www.viva505.com. Get yours listed too!” (Something like this, or better than this).

    Good luck!

    Mary
    http://gbwatch.com

  2. Claire says:

    I recently managed to increase my website traffic at the push of a button. Fact is, the ONLY way to make your website more successful and increase your profits is to get more daily, TARGETED traffic.

    The program I used and still use can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/yjhuv2

    I’d tried loads of other methods, programs, exchanges etc…nothing worked like this did.

  3. Alex A says:

    Andy Technologies runs all of my search marketing for me. The have local targets or something. Talk to them. http://www.andytechnologies.com

  4. Network Marketing Coach says:

    I can’t get that page to load from Malaysia right now, so I’ll answer in a general way.

    First, some marketing questions. Who is the target audience? Is it a city? A neighborhood? Surfers? Home-schooling parents? 50-somethings? Food lovers? You can go wide, or you can go narrow. If you go narrow and do it right, you’ll have a cult following. Go wide and it is possible that nobody will find a reason to return.

    Do you have blogs, commentary, free ads or other things on the site? There are tons of sources of free content, news, etc. Find some things that the (highly targeted perfect customer from above) would love to get. Gather their email address, give them a membership, build a list. (Key idea – a list.)

    Want some idea what effective SEO might be? You could write to Theresa and Jeff at clients@market-for-me.com to get an idea. If you did take them on, I believe they would be really good, though I have not had them do work for me yet. When they did send me a proposal, it was detailed and had the bases covered (in my humble opinion). You might get some ideas of what to stumble through yourselves for 1-2 months before you actually decide you need professional help. They also said that they were willing to explain to me what they were doing so I could try to follow their thought processes. They are willing to virtually train me not to need their service in the future. I like that type of service.

    Another good thing to do is to find sites that would complement yours. Is there a good restaurant in the area with a website? Why not link the two sites together? If the restaurant agrees to link to you, give them a discounted rate for advertising – or better (doesn’t reduce the cash you receive) – give them 25% more ad displays than what you charge for.

    One more idea – do you want to learn to do SEO yourself? Let me give you an idea. The first answer above says that you’ve chosen your market poorly. I have a tool in mind – it is called SBI or Site Build It. Looking quickly, this topic seems appropriate: How to Design a Site that SELECTS Your Customers…
    *AND* Weed Out the Folks You Do NOT Want at this URL: http://www.sitesell.com/edge/backissues-052.html.

    Personally, I believe in a concept I heard as part of a marketing course. If we act like a lighthouse – plant our roots, transmit clearly to everyone around what we are at our core, in terms that don’t change – we are SOLID – then with time we will find that people that like our message move closer to us, and those that don’t particularly care for our message will move away or fade away. The analogy is that some boats come “running” towards the lighthouse (to find a sheltered port) when a storm is brewing, and big ocean-liners try to stay far away to avoid getting busted open on the rocks around the lighthouse.

    Now, let me tie this together. I know that inside SBI! is a tool that helps you take an idea, look on the Internet at *real* counts of traffic and search engine queries, and the tool helps you to choose a set of terms that have both high demand and potential for profit, and low supply. The important thing here is that when google and yahoo see that you have become an authority on “Topeka, Kansas” and “what’s happening”, for example, you’ll have no trouble selling advertising. Some of making that happen is targeting your audience, and putting the effort into pointing as much “Topeka, Kansas” “what’s happening” queries as possible to yourself. Then you get 10 seconds to keep that person on your site.

    Good luck! Have FUN!!!!!

    Oops – glad I read again. One more thing to tie in here. Remember that list of customers you have been building? Well, you do know that your list is worth it’s weight in gold, right? Once you have a good list, there are reliable figures for the percentage of people that will respond when you then send them an offer. You have to treat these people right; you have to present the offer in the right way; you can’t expect a large response. But this is what advertising is about. And if you are a trusted party to your list, you have just become someone that companies with advertising dollars want to have as their friend (or paid companion).

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Submitted at 4am January 1, 2007 from Kuala Lumpur

  5. mktgurl says:

    Your best sources of localized traffic is to advertise in the business directory of your local Chamber of Commerce, pay for ad space in the local newspaper (print or online), word-of-mouth, or by sponsoring a public school event that has advertising opportunities.

  6. BlogDawg says:

    Mary makes some good points, but becareful of some of the others who just want you to buy something.

    It might seem old fashioned, but some good old “get out and meet the local businesses face to face” might be your best bet.

    Trying giving the first month or two for free.

    Get some charities involved and donate some proceeds to them.

    Lastly, I think your site is done with frames. Becareful with that, often the search engines basically ignore those sites because that cannot see all the “pages”.