Once you have your website up and running you need to make sure it easy for people to find and attract visitors.
There are a number of relatively inexpensive ways to do this, which I will briefly summarise as there are experts blogging on these topics individually as they have become specialist fields.
When you develop your website you nead to carefully consider how the content is written and how the website is developed to ensure that your content contains the relative keywords related to your website. For example, with the hairdressers website, someone searching may type in “hairdressers in Farnham”, so you need to ensure that these keywords are associated with your site, while hairdressers on its own would yield many pages of results by associating the word with a geographic location you can increase your chances of appearing on the front pages. This is a very simple example and there are far more complexities involved in optimizing your website for search engines, but hopefully you get the idea.
Social media has boomed in recent years and is a powerful tool for attracting users to your website. To illustrate just how powerful Facebook is for instance, the BBC news channel now advertise their Facebook page on television, rather than the address of the website they have spent millions developing. If you have a facebook account it is very easy to setup a business page for you company. You can then notify your friends and ask them to “like” the page, once you have over 25 “likes” you can set up your own facebook address i.e facebook/hairdressers for free. The advantage of social media pages is that if you make an announcement of for instance a special offer – all your followers or fans are instantly notified. This principle applies for Twitter, Linkedin and Google+ among others, all of which are free.
All the major search engines such as Google allow you to pay to advertise, which can allow you to appear in the first few pages of search results under the sponsored links section, although this can be expensive as you pay per click. Another route is to advertise in on-line directories such as Yell.com (the on-line version of the Yellow Pages) this has the advantage of listing you again in search results.