With the World Wide Web bursting at the seams effectively promoting your business website is absolutely key to its success. Many businesses spend a fortune on promotion, but this isn’t possible for every business or indeed necessary. In this brief article we’ll highlight a number of ways you can effectively promote your website for free.
Social media marketing
Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, etc.) is an essential part of marketing and promoting your business website. It’s important to establish your brand and reach out to your users and keep them engaged.
You should use social media to promote your website, blog posts and other relevant content to your users so they are constantly fed regular engaging content to keep them interested in your services.
It is of course important to keep it targeted and relevant so as not to alienate your customers.
Start a blog
Setting up a blog is a quick and easy way to reach out to customers and keep them engage with the produces and services that you offer. It is possible that your existing website service may already have a blog feature which you can use, but if not don’t worry as there are many free plugins and websites to quickly and easily get up and running such as Google’s Blogger service.
The key to a successful blog is keep it updated with regular relevant posts for your target market. This will engage your customers and keep search engines fed with fresh content.
You should use your social media accounts to regularly promote your blog posts.
Make the most of YouTube, etc.
Your customers will engage more with richer content that is easier to consume such as videos, podcasts, interactivity, etc. They can be a great way to help explain your business and the services it provides. They can be particular useful for getting across complex information.
Again it is important to keep the information regularly and relevant. It can be product and service information, testimonials and useful tips and advice for your customers.
Again don’t forget to use social media to promote your content.
Search Engine optimization (SEO)
Making sure your content ranks in all the major search engines is absolutely essential to success unless you are relaying on traditional marketing and word of mouth.
SEO can be something of a dark art and is a huge topic in its own right with lots of ways you can improve the way your site gets listed.
Building links is on key component so regularly blogging and in particular guest blogging can be helpful and of course don’t forget to create a buzz on social media to get people linking to your products and services.
It’ important that your website itself is well constructed making good use of your key words and ensuring these are utilised in your page content appropriately. It is important to make good use of HTML tags including page title, header tags (H1, H2, etc.) and image alt tags and ensure your key words are used within link anchor text. This goes for internal links and inbound links from other websites.
Local directories and listings
As well as getting your pages listed in Search Engines part of the SEO process should include updating local directory information to provide search engines with even more information about your website or service.
These days search engines are very good at targeting local content at local users, so it is important they know as much about your business and its locality as possible. You can register for Google Local, Yahoo Directories, Bing, etc. and add key meta data about your business to help search engines target your content to the right users. This will only take 10 to 15 minutes per service and is well worth the effort.
RSS feeds and XML Sitemaps
RSS feeds and XML Sitemaps are structured computer readable files about the content of your website that enable other websites and services to consume your content. This includes search engines.
XML sitemaps are specifically targeted at search engines and indeed were invented by Google. If you are new to XML sitemaps you can create one quickly and easily using a simple online Online XML Sitemap generator.
You can submit your sitemap to Google webmaster tools to get your website listed more quickly as well as gain insights and statistics about your website performance.
RSS feeds / sitemaps are useful as a wide range of directories consumes these feeds and they can be used to widely publish your content across the internet. Tools such as Pingler make this a very easy task once you have your RSS feed.
The key is that every time you update your website that you update your sitemap and make sure that google is aware of your latest XML sitemap.
You can also get tools and plugins for many common content management systems to automate the process of creating your sitemap and updating search engines. For example you could try a WordPress Sitemap Plugin if you are using WordPress for your blog / website.
Forums and online communities
It probably comes as no surprise that there is an online forum/community for most things online so it is important to find those that are related to your business and get engaged.
You should not see this as a vehicle for shamelessly plugging your products and services as this will be fairly obvious and may even contravene forum rules. Your role should be one of providing helpful and authoritative advice and when appropriate relating things back to your products and services.
Press releases remain as relevant today as they ever have. You can publish them via your news pages blog and then market them to your contacts and on social media.
A good press release will be newsworthy and people will go on to highlight and promote it via social media and related news channels so it is important you think carefully about your press releases to ensure they are going to gain sufficient traction.
It’s important to establish a credible profile with links and references to your business website. You may also be able to put links in your footer and in posts responses themselves, but tread carefully, this is about being relevant and meaningful.
There are lots of ways you can freely promote your business online, the key is having a rich and engaging experience for your customers to keep them coming back for more.
Always cross link your content between your various platforms and services and make sure all roads lead back to your websites products and services to get that all important sale or engagement that you require.