You’ve spent a lot of time getting your website perfect, and you love the results. Now what? Now you have to promote it. The reality is, with billions of websites in existence, visitors are not going to come automatically, no matter how great your site looks. You are going to have to let them know it’s there, and entice them to visit.
Fortunately, that isn’t as daunting a task as it sounds. There are 10 easy ways to market your website. While there is may be some cost involved, it is well worth the investment.
1. SEO Marketing (Search Engine Optimisation)
People look for new website via search engines, which means you have to let the search engines (like Google) know your site exists. SEO is the way to do that. While Google and other search engines keep the specifics of what they base their results on private, some well-known best practices to optimise pages include:
- Creating content based on keyword research
- Naturally using relevant keywords throughout the text
- Using images and videos, and using the keywords in their titles and alt tags
- Linking to relevant websites
- Using proper text formatting (including H1, H2 and other title tags)
These best practices, along with continually testing what is working and implementing any changes, will help you optimise your site to rank highly in search engine results. You can also fine tune your keywords to reach additional audiences or more targeted niches as your business and market evolves. This comprehensive guide on SEO strategy will give you more great information on this topic.
2. PPC (Pay Per Click)
With PPC Advertising, you use Google AdWords to position your ads near the top of the search results for your chosen key terms. This differs from SEO because that is organic, and with PPC you are paying for page position. The amount you pay Google is based on the number of times people click your ads and how popular the ‘bid’ is for that specific keyword. You can cap your budget so that your bill does not get too expensive if more people click on your ad than you expected.
The key is to make sure the page people click on clearly demonstrates that you offer what they were looking for. A best practice is to develop a specific landing page for each ad—never send people to your generic home page. Make sure your landing page is all about the ad, and that you have a clear offer on the page. If you do that, PPC is a highly effective method of obtaining traffic with a higher conversion rate.
3. Social Media
Don’t think social media is relevant? Consider this: 62% of the entire adult population uses Facebook, 31% use Pinterest, 28% use Instagram and 23% use Twitter—and those numbers continue to grow. Creating a social media presence for your business on the most popular platforms where you can direct your new found followers to your website is important.
Content on your social media profile should be conversational and engaging. They need to reflect your business’ branding, include content your customers would be interested in and share relevant industry information. Instead of direct selling, businesses need to be non-intrusive and consistently helpful. Your posts should always direct readers back to your website for more information.
4. Paid Ads
Most of the social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In, also offer a PPC-type opportunity to implement paid ads to make your content visible to a wider audience. Remember to keep these ads audience-specific and targeted for a better conversion rate. Send the audience to specific landing pages focused on their needs.
5. Email Marketing
Despite what you may have heard about email marketing being dead, the opposite is true. Yes, you need to be careful not to create spam. But if you do it right, email marketing still holds the title for achieving the highest ROI (return on investment) compared to other inbound marketing methods.
To get started, you need to create a mailing list (perhaps on your social media sites) and give people a good reason to opt in. This is usually done with some form of free giveaway, which requires the visitor’s email address submission to receive the incentive. You then use subsequent email campaigns to direct people to your website for different reasons. Email marketing provides excellent conversion rate and it’s relatively cost effective and easy to set up.
6. Public Relations
Press releases are a great opportunity to market your business every time you have an announcement about a promotion, new product, new service, etc. Although press releases themselves can be expensive, they are a great way for industry bloggers to learn about what you are doing (which increases the chances they’ll cover you) and increase your SEO backlink profile. PR doesn’t have to rely just on press releases—you can create a Google My Business profile and ensure all online channels are consistent with your PPC and SEO strategies.
If you’re really strapped for cash, consider posting press releases on your website and using more cost effective promoted posts on social media to drive traffic to both your website and the post.
7. Referrals and Online Reputation Management
If you have a lot of happy customers online, they’re likely to advance your business with recommendations and positive comments. Encourage this on social media. Send links to your Yelp or TripAdvisor sites and encourage them to review you. Be visible in the places your target customers are likely to be or leave reviews for you.
When dealing with review sites, be cautious of how you address negative reviews. Always stay positive, always acknoweldge what the reviewer has said—do not be defensive. That will go much further toward helping your image than totally ignoring the review or, worse, getting into an online fight with them.
8. YouTube – Video Marketing
Video is an important force for marketing — YouTube is the largest video hosting service in the world and the most popular social media channel for younger generations. Video increases user engagement and visitor conversion. While some videos do go viral, they don’t have to in order to be effective. Also contrary to popular perception, they don’t need to cost a fortune to produce. Businesses should be using videos to help explain their business, show products, provide tutorials etc. The use of video will help engage your customers, increase conversions and will give visitors a real life introduction to who your business is.
9. Website Copy and Content
Driving new traffic is only half the battle. You also have to convert that traffic once they reach your website. Keep your copy up-to-date, especially the pages people will most frequently visit. You want copy to be catchy, clear, informative and personable. It should communicate your business’ value and function like a ‘pitch’.
10. Offline Marketing
Along with all of these online marketing tactics, you also need to reach your offline audience. Do this by updating your business cards, branded collateral and even your vehicle signage to include your website’s URL. By referring offline marketing and collateral to your website, you’ll be able to boost your traffic and re-engage your existing customers.
These ten steps will help get people to your website. What you do with them once they are there is up to you!