on Increasing your Web Hosting Sales.
Quit surviving and start escalating your web hosting sales now.
By Terence Lau
In the early days of the web, getting your hosting services noticed
was relatively easy, but now, as the number of websites on the Web
has grown astronomically, the chances of your hosting services appearing
on the first few pages of site directories and search engines are
In fact, many hosting companies are still under the impression that
by building a sign-up site and submitting URL to search engines alone
will improve business and rack up sales. Sadly, that is clearly impossible
Quit surviving and start escalating your web hosting sales. Here are
Marketing outside the U.S.
Are your advertising efforts focused mainly on the U.S? IDC said that
by 2003, Internet spending would reach $1.64 trillion. Two-thirds
of this projected amount will come from outside the US, with Japan
and Western Europe expected to make up 47% of this on-line spending,
while in China, there are already approximately 22 million Internet
users, and market penetration is expected to grow to more than 60
million by 2005, an increase of almost 300%. In fact, the interactive
medium is expected to grow so fast in China that some observers predict
Chinese will be the most used language on the Internet by the year
Concentrating your marketing efforts on the U.S or publishing in local
magazines will eventually leave one-half of the potential revenue
on the table. Chinese users searching for "" will never
find you. Turkish users searching for web hosting services in "web
barindirma" will never click your site or French users searching
for "Web Hébergement" and "hébergement de serveurs
web" will click to your competitor’s site.
Since 97% of the world speaks just 24 languages, you can quickly take
advantage of this foreign market by building relevant foreign keywords
in your doorway pages and submit these web pages to top 10 search
engines to improve site visibility. (Doorway pages are duplicated
web pages or gateway pages with specific title keywords optimized
for a particular search engine) You can translate specific keywords
like "Web hosting" or "Virtual hosting" to other
foreign words quickly at http://www.altavista.com/sites/babelfish.
You can also engage in small marketing campaigns on targeted websites
in European or Asian countries. Because online advertisement space
outside U.K., Canada and the U.S, is generally inexpensive, purchasing
advertising space on targeted websites from other countries can produce
Boost your web hosting sales with user reviews
One of the ways to boost your business in the right direction is to
tell your users to review your hosting services at several hosting
directory sites. Reviews "speak" to potential customers
in a straightforward and convincing way. The words of a satisfied
customer are commanding tools for endorsing trust, building your credibility,
and improving sales and profitability. The best thing about this,
is it’s absolutely free and well worth the effort as most user reviews
are permanent on hosting directory sites, and hence, giving your website
a lasting free URL link back to your web site. To do this, you can
either insert small buttons of hosting directories on your site to
allow your users to review your services quickly or email your users
monthly and notify them about reviewing your services.
Make full use of free publicity.
Another thing I have discovered is that hosting companies do not utilize
press releases. Every hosting company can benefit from writing news
releases, but very few actually utilize them. Below are some ideas
you can use for a press release:
Launch of new hosting features.
Launch of new control panel, new support system, instant setup system,
and wireless ready plans.
New network infrastructure installation.
New data centers, enhanced network system and new backbone connection
Hosting an event.
Hosting a live web cast, hosting celebrity chats, sponsoring a sports
show and radio show
Forming a new partnership.
Alliance with merchant providers, and partnership webmaster sites
Affiliation, endorsement and contest.
Endorsement from associations, awards from hosting directories, ratings
from other sites and announcement of contests winners
Announcement of strong growth despite economy, venture funds received
Solid press coverage could increase awareness of your hosting services,
help build credibility, and create a competitive edge. Harnessing
its power can easily get you and your business in front of thousands
of potential customers and can create an avalanche of traffic for
As with everything in the world of marketing, distribute your press
releases only to targeted audience sites, market and media outlets.
To increase the chances of your news being selected, mail and fax
your press release to the relevant person or department in that organization.
You can also submit to sites that accept news. A press release that
is published on a targeted audience site gives unbiased endorsement
for your company that could lead to great returns. Some of the links
below allow you to submit your press release in the area of your receptive
audience. Remember to book mark these sites.
Describe your hosting plans, network infrastructure and reseller options
Motivational speaker Anthony Robbins once said, “If you want to be
successful, find someone who achieved the results you want and copy
what they do, and you’ll achieve the same results.”
Before you spend a lot of time overhauling your website and adding
in new features to your hosting plans, examine successful hosting
companies or competitors sites. Take a closer look. The stories of
successful hosting companies share at least one common element. Other
than providing fanatical support and building an excellent relationship
with their customers, these hosting companies describe their hosting
plans and options available in complete detail. For instance, instead
of saying "FrontPage Extension", you can write "Support
FrontPage Extension and the latest FrontPage 2002"
Here are some examples.
Avoid: 30 Pop Email Accounts
Use: 30 Pop Email Accounts with Web based access
Avoid: Web Statistics
Use: IISA 5.0 Web Statistics with real time Who’s On
Avoid: 99.5% Uptime Guarantee
Use: 99.954% Uptime Guarantee
Avoid: Perl Support
Use: Support the latest Perl 5.61 version
Avoid: IIS web server
Use: IIS5.0 web server
Use: Monthly Traffic Allowance
Avoid: Reseller Option
Use: Ability to reseller your web space
Avoid: Server Monitoring
Use: 24 Hour server monitoring
Avoid: Connected with UUNET and Cable & Wireless
Use: AT&T, UUNet, Level3, and Global Crossing Backbones. SONET
Ring technology with dual OC-12 and multiple DS-3 fiber optic lines
for backbone fail over. Bandwidth capacity kept at twice the peak
usage rate. BGP-4 routing protocol provides stable, efficient and
Avoid: Free Shopping Cart
Use: Free Miva Shopping Cart (Value $495)
Avoid: FTP Access
Use: Full FTP Web Root Access
Avoid: Sub Domains
Use: 5 sub domains. e.g. Okey.companyname.com
Avoid describing your hosting services with general words like "world
leader in web hosting", "best value anywhere", "the
fastest setup service in Mexico" or "fastest connection
with Dual OC-12". Help your Internet users to understand what
you actually offer and describe it in detail.
Target, pay much less and advertise.
Why advertise when your competitors do not? Increase advertising as
many of your competitors are thoughtlessly slowing down and you can
grab a share of the web hosting pie. Many Webmaster sites and search
engine sites have reduced their web advertising cost to alleviate
empty advertising space. Negotiate and find out some of the best offers
before committing with the usual publishers. It is of utmost importance
to find sites that are receptive to your hosting services. To battle
the slow economy, many publishers are compelled to offer discounts,
and if you are still paying more than US$20 CPM or more for a top-of-page
banner on a targeted site, most likely you have missed out many advertising
offers out there. With or with no click-through, banners help you
to build your positive brand association with your hosting services,
heighten company visibility internationally. So the next time when
users want or have to sign-up for a hosting service, they can quickly
recall your site name.
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