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May 17, 2021 (Updated: February 9, 2023)
Promoting your website is an important part of developing your online brand and presence. Simply making the website is not enough if you want to drastically increase traffic to your website. Luckily, there are many tactics you can take advantage of to promote your website. Even luckier, many of these website promotion techniques are free. Below, we’ll get into the finer details of what website promotion entails and how you can get started in making your website more visible to potential customers.
Figuring out how to promote your website is the next step after building your website.
Think about website promotion as a game of “show and tell.” You’ve brought your great website to the internet to show it off, but now you have to tell others about it. In a classroom game of show and tell, you can wait for your turn to tell your classmates about your item. But in the internet game of show and tell, thousands of other people are trying to tell others about their websites, all at the same time. So how do you make your website stand out? The answer lies in website promotion.
Website promotion is anything that draws visitors to your website, which you’ll often see called “increasing traffic.” That being said, some methods of website promotion are more effective than others. You’ll find plenty of free website promotion tools, as well as great paid services that can make your website stand out in the internet’s loud and busy game of show and tell.
Think about what you want to offer people who visit your website. Whether it’s information, your products, a resource, or entertainment, every website should have something to give to people who choose to visit it. Once you have the answer to that question, that will be the primary focus of your website promotion techniques.
You do! The more people see your name or brand, the more your services stand out in their minds. Learning how to market a website is worth the time if it ends up with you meeting your goals, whether it’s making sales, increasing ad revenue, or simply getting noticed.
Though you are likely the one who benefits the most from promoting your website, you should have a strong focus on making your visitors feel like they have also benefited from visiting your website. An excellent way of promoting your website is making it worth your visitors’ time. They may tell others about their experience, leave a review about your services, or come back themselves if they benefit from their experience on your website.
So, who benefits from website promotion? If you get visitors, you do. But the best-case scenario is that both you and the people who discover your website benefit from you promoting your website.
The best time to begin promoting your website is after you do two things. The first is making sure your website is as good as it can be so that anyone viewing it has the best experience you can give them. The second is learning how to promote websites, which we imagine is why you’re here. Jumping into website promotion before you complete these two tasks can create a less than ideal experience for potential customers and visitors, as well as wasting your time, effort, and sometimes your money.
At the very least, make sure your website is ready to be seen and to perform the functions it is meant to perform. There is rarely a point in promoting a website that, for example, can’t sell your products yet or doesn’t have the information a visitor needs to make the decisions you want them to make. Once you have your website polished and ready to roll, you can start diving into website promotion.
Think of it as a writer who spends more time researching how to publish a book than they do writing the book they want to publish. It’s good information to have, but it’s all for naught if you never finish your product.
Let’s get down to business. Learning how to market your website well means that more people will be able to discover it, which means more potential customers for your business or services.
You have many options when it comes to promoting your website. Take advantage of the free methods of spreading awareness of your website. Though it may take patience as you wait for traffic to your website to increase, if you can promote your website for free, you should. Once you’re well-versed in and taking advantage of the free website promotion techniques, you can move onto the paid services. Check out these five great places and techniques for finding places to promote your website:
You can promote your website for free on Google through the Google Local Business service. If you have a physical business presence, signing up for this service should be high on your to-do list. Google Local Business allows you to manage your posting on Google so that if and when someone searches for your business or services that you offer, they will find your information. You’ll list your address, hours of operation, reviews, phone numbers, and, of course, your website. Think of this as a helpful middle man between your website and the people who are searching for your services.
In addition to Google Local Business, you should also create listings for websites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, Zomato, Open Table, and Eater. Some or none of these may make sense for your website, but you should take advantage of them if they are applicable.
Social media outlets can be useful places to promote your website and brand. A bonus is that they are most often free methods for marketing your website. If you can develop a presence on social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn, and Instagram, you can significantly increase traffic to your website.
Since many social media are focused on visuals, it can often be more difficult for some businesses to create content than others. For example, a website promoting flowers or gardening may have an easier time posting engaging pictures than a website promoting a financial advisor’s services. But with clever solutions, any business can find a meaningful way to engage with potential website visitors on social media. For instance, instead of taking snapshots, that financial advisor’s website might choose to create sharable, interesting infographics to increase its social media presence.
Whatever you post on your social media pages under the guise of your website or business should have an easy avenue for people to find your website. It could be a link at the bottom of your post or a reference to a place where people can find out more about your website somewhere in your posts. Make it as easy as possible for people to find where you want them to go.
Creating a companion Facebook page or Instagram account for your website is a free resource that you should consider taking advantage of if it applies to your website. Once you’ve used up your free resources, you might then consider using a paid service to promote your website even more effectively.
If you’re ready to spend some money on virtual advertisements, you’ll have even more options to choose from. However, before you give your money away, you should familiarize yourself with how to advertise a website through these paid services.
Google Ads and Facebook ads are excellent examples of paid website advertisement services. Both services allow you to pay a certain amount to reach an advertising goal. This goal can be views, clicks, website visits, etc. — whatever you think will benefit your website or business the most.
Though Facebook ads are limited to their platforms (Facebook itself, Instagram, etc.), Google Ads can appear in a great many places. If someone performs a general search for services you offer, Google will generally be more likely to show them your ad because you’re a paying customer. Think of a Google ad as renting out a billboard along the highway. The difference, your billboard will be shown to people who might be specifically interested in what your website has to offer.
One of the benefits of these advertising options is that you can set your budget before you launch your marketing campaign. With both Google Ads and Facebook ads, you can set a dollar limit on how much you’re willing to spend.
How does one promote their website on their own website? The answer lies in SEO, or search engine optimization. The more add SEO-centric elements to your website, the more likely it will move up closer to and even land on the first page of results when people search for you. Optimizing your website and its content for search engines is an actionable step you can take to passively attract visitor traffic.
We’ll touch more on this later, but having your website mentioned on other websites, either directly or through external links, can be an effective method of increasing visitor traffic. Examples of promoting your website on other websites include the platforms above, but also include guest blogging and content syndication.
You might be noticing a pattern emerging at this point. Essentially, the idea is that the more places on the internet that you spread your name to, the better. Whether it’s done through advertisement, content marketing, audience building, or any of the other methods, you should be focusing on spreading your website’s virtual net over the internet to try to get noticed by potential visitors and improve your website’s credibility.
Odds are, you have competition. Whether you have a professional portfolio website, an online retail space, or a blog, you are probably one of many. Maybe you have an angle or a fresh new take that your competitors don’t have, which is fantastic. But if no one knows what you’re offering, you’re simply waiting for someone to walk through the door until you decide to turn off the virtual lights at the end of the workday.
Website promotion matters because it can be very difficult for visitors and potential customers to find you if you don’t do it. Unless you’re already a popular name, people will need a little extra help finding out about what you have to offer.
If other websites that are similar to yours are promoting themselves, visitors will likely see those websites before they see yours. Visitors don’t want to work to find what they’re looking for. In this age of convenience, most of us will likely click a link on the first or maybe the second page of search result items. If your website isn’t there, it probably won’t be picked. How do you get your website closer to the front page? The answer lies in search engine optimization.
One of the best ways to drive traffic to your website is through search engine optimization. You’ll often see SEO tips and tricks as you look for ways to promote your website. That’s because it’s effective.
Effective SEO brings your website closer to the top of the search page when people search for terms your website contains. Here’s an example of SEO at work:
Say you’ve built a website for your new deli in Columbus, Ohio. The website is beautiful, full of quality photos of meats and cheeses. You even have blog posts full of deep dives into the art of sandwich-making. Potential customers would love to discover your website and your services. The problem is that when those potential customers search for terms such as “best delis in Columbus” or “delis near me,” your website is three pages away from the top results. Effective SEO pushes your website closer to the front page of those search results.
Here are a few SEO techniques you should look into if you want to drive more traffic to your website:
These are not the only things that affect your SEO, but if you can get these down, you may find it easier to fine-tune your website’s content to attract more visitors. In fact, there are hundreds of factors that come into play with SEO, but these are some of the big ones. Let’s take a closer look at each of these four major SEO factors:
You should have covered at this point — it’s the part where you made sure your website was as good as it can be before you began trying to promote it. Search engines can tell when visitors are having a difficult time navigating your website. If people are immediately leaving your website after seeing it, your website is deemed as having a low retention rate and may slide further down the search results.
A few issues that can affect your website’s user-friendliness and hurt your SEO ratings include but are certainly not limited to:
Another factor that may be driving down your SEO is having too many or simply low-quality links in your content.
It may seem simple, but putting links into your content goes a long way in improving your content visibility. At the highest level, links provide a useful “read this next” for visitors who are interested in the information the content is relaying. But a lot is going on underneath the surface that can make a huge difference for your website traffic.
Internal links are links that go from one page of your website to another page on that same website. Internal links help both search engines and actual visitors know where to go next on your website. External links drive people and search engines from a page on one website to a page on a different website.
At the very least, you’ll want to link the pages of your website together. If you have a website about cooking and publish a recipe that calls for a certain type of potatoes, have a link that goes to another post on your website that talks about all the different types of potatoes, different ways to cut potatoes, etc. Try to present your website as a “one-stop shop” for your visitors’ needs and questions.
External links are also great to have. Of course, links to your website on other websites have the potential to draw in more customers. However, having external links that lead from your website to others are also great for adding credibility to your website. If you or your content creator are linking out to reputable sources, it makes your site seem — and be — more reputable. The search engines look for things like this and will be more likely to recommend your website as a leading source the searcher might be interested in.
Adding links to your content is a “quality over quantity” situation. Adding too many links to non-authority websites can cause search engines to pass over your content to avoid giving users “spammy” results. Instead, focus on giving your content just a few quality links, both good internal links and external links to authority websites.
A keyword is a word or phrase that you’re going to include in your content to let search engines know what your website or a specific page is about. Keywords in your title, meta description, and content body help identify your content so that search engines can decide if it’s relevant to the user.
Keywords should be used organically throughout the article — trying to stuff as many keywords into your content as you can in an attempt to make the search engines pick your website over others does not work anymore. Like links, keywords are a quality over quantity situation.
But how do you know which keywords are going to bring in visitors? There are tools you can take advantage of to research keyword use in search engines. You can find both free and paid services to see which keywords are trending. You should be looking for keywords that are relevant to the content you create or the services your website offers. Look for keywords that people are actually searching, ideally ones that other websites don’t seem to be addressing.
When you search for something on Google, you’ll generally be presented with results that have the website URL at the top, the title below that, and then the meta description. Below is an example of a search engine result with these three pieces of information.
That lowest part is the meta description. This helps users know what your page or website is about before they ever click it. The general rule of thumb is to keep these descriptions around 155-160 characters, which includes spaces and punctuation. Anything longer than that and Google might cut the length down with ellipsis before you finish what you have to say with your meta description.
You’ll find plenty of resources online that dive deeper into good SEO practices, such as the CopyPress Knowledge Base. Knowing the basics of how to optimize your website and content for SEO can go a long way in increasing traffic to your website. You don’t have to be an expert to use SEO, but learning a few tips and tricks to implement into your website is worth your time.
That being said, SEO isn’t the only way to promote your website. It’s simply one of the best ways to make yours stand out in a crowd of other similar services and websites. For example, if customer reviews play a role in your website, you can promote your website simply by responding to those reviews. Thank happy customers who choose to leave good reviews and try to help customers who leave bad reviews. By improving your relationship with your visitors and customers, you’re promoting your website as a byproduct.
Once you have started to get visitors to visit your website for the first time, you should think of ways to get them to come back. Websites with higher traffic are deemed more popular by search engine algorithms, which can make those websites appear higher on lists of search results when people search for applicable terms. Below are a few ways you can get people to keep coming back to visit your website:
How much of your own time do you want to dedicate to promoting your website? How much money do you want to spend on marketing your website? The answer to one of these questions often leads to an answer for the other.
If you want to promote your website for free, the great news is that you have plenty of options to do so. However, the downside of these free website promotion methods is that they can take quite a bit of your time and may not be as effective as using a professional content marketing service or purchasing ad space.
You’ll find no shortage of services that you can pay to promote your website. From digital advertising to content marketing services, you have plenty of tools at your disposal when it comes to pushing your website out in front of potential visitors. The more involved the service is in promoting your website, the higher the price tag for that service generally is.
On the other side of the coin, you can save quite a bit of money if you do it all yourself. But it will take up more of your time, especially if you’re trying to aggressively promote your website. Finding the balance between the time you want to spend maintaining your website promotion and how much money you want to spend letting someone else take care of it is key.
Choose the platforms that you want to focus your website promotion plan on. If you think that social media is a good avenue for spreading awareness for your website, choose the ones that make the most sense for your website.
If you think that inbound linking (more on that in the next section) is the way to go for your website, you can either do it all yourself or hire a content marking service to handle it. If you’re truly invested in doing your own content marketing, you can spend the time and effort it takes to learn the process, but it will likely take a lot of both.
The benefits of using a content marketing business to do this for you are myriad. If you’re busy with your own website and/or business, you can save quite a bit of time and resources leaving this part of the process to the professionals. A good professional content marketing company will know how to create engaging content that’s optimized to bring in more viewers, where to put that content, create graphics for the content, and so forth.
Content marketing is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. Content marketing is attaching your website’s name to content that is designed to engage and be of value to the viewer or reader. This can be anything from regular blog posts, shareable infographics, videos, eBooks, webinars — anything in which you and your website get to share valuable information or entertainment to potential website visitors.
If the content on your website is reliable, straightforward, and relevant, a visitor may be more likely to return later on to recreate that experience. An excellent example of providing regular engaging content is having a blog section on your website. You don’t have to become a wordsmith to provide meaningful content for your visitors — there are excellent content marketing services that can take on that job for you.
The primary purpose of blogs is to organically drive people who might be interested in your services to your website. For example, you might publish an article titled “The Most Underrated Comic Books Characters” on your comic book shop’s website. The visitor may come to your website because they are interested in comic books in general, and then further explore your website to see what else you have going on. You can also include calls to action and links in the article to drive people to specific pages on your website.
Before you take up the metaphorical pen to create your own content, be sure to become acquainted with SEO practices first. However, if you don’t have the know-how, skill, or time to learn SEO and create your own content, you are not out of luck. Content marketing companies, such as CopyPress, have a wealth of writers well-versed in SEO tactics who can create meaningful content for your website.
Having others write guest blogs on your website can give you the time you need to focus on everything else you’re trying to accomplish with your website and ensure that the content is SEO-focused to increase visitors to your website.
Guest blogging is similar to hosting your own blog space, but there is a key difference. Your blog drives people directly to your website, while guest blogs go on other websites and link back to yours. Guest blogging can be effective if done the right way.
When someone writes a guest blog post for you, it will generally not be about your website or services directly. Rather, a link to your website will be embedded somewhere in the guest blog. For example, if you provide home security services, you can sign up for a guest blogging service to have an article written about home security in general and posting somewhere besides your website. In this article, the writer should link back to your website, which is called is an inbound link and is an integral part of content syndication and link-building.
You’ll want to be selective when you choose a guest blogging service. This technique is often abused and sometimes penalized by Google if not done correctly. When done well, everyone should benefit: the publisher looking for more content, the reader who finds the article in their quest to learn more about a topic, and your website after those readers click through to your website.
The world of website promotion is a large one, and navigating your way through it can be time-consuming and downright confusing. But if you take away any points from this overview, it should be these:
If you can put checkmarks beside three of these points, you’re doing pretty well. If you can check off all four, you’re doing a great job in promoting your website, and it only gets better from here.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with new strategies if you find your current plan to be less than effective. If your plan is working, think about how you can double up on that success. What works for one website may not work for yours and vice versa.
How do you know if your website promotion techniques are working? Use an analytics tool. These tools can track visitors to your website to give you some valuable, actionable information. With this visitor information, you see data such as which pages of your website are the most popular, the locations of the people looking at your website, how long people stay on your website during a session, and more.
If you’re trying to promote your website, using a website traffic tracker is a must. Services such as Google Analytics will help you decide which of your website promotion methods are effective and which ones you should leave behind. They may also give you a better idea of where some of the faults with your website lie.
We touched on the idea of content syndication in the guest-blogging section. Content syndication occurs when content gets re-published somewhere besides your blog. This syndicated content contains backlinks to your website, which can increase your traffic. This tactic is also called “link building.”
You can benefit from content syndication in at least two ways. The more obvious first one is that a user who is reading the content on a third-party website may click the backlink to discover your website. The second benefit content syndication has is that it makes your website and the content in it seem more of an authority website.
Above, we talked about adding external links to authority websites in your content to make it seem more trustworthy to search engines. That same theory applies in the other direction — if other websites have external links to your website, your website seems more of an authority, and your SEO may improve as a result.
One of the dangers of content syndication is that if it’s done incorrectly, it can be marked as duplicate content by Google. One of the ways to let Google know that the post being repeated is syndicated content and not simply duplicated content is by letting readers know from the start what it is they’re reading. This is often accomplished with the line “This article was originally published on…”
Finding other websites to publish your syndicated content takes a little research, time, and communication. Consider employing the services of a good content marketing company that deals in content syndication if this is a tool you want to take advantage of.
Think about the kind of content you want to see when you visit a website and think about what you believe your visitors want to see when they visit your website. If you have something that’s bringing people to certain pages of your website, take a look at what about those pages is bringing them there.
Once you find out what type of content on your website is drawing people in, try to recreate the experience with a similar piece of content. Is a blog post titled “10 Best Dogs to Have Around Children” doing exceptionally well on your animal care product website? Try to provide more content like that. If you have enlisted the help of a content marketing service, they may be able to either recognize which posts are doing well and push for similar, but unique content.
When you have well-written content with a focus on SEO and that content proves popular with visitors to your website, you may find that page and your website as a whole moving higher up the search results. If people spend time on your website and seem to be having a good experience, search engine algorithms may favor your content to give that experience to even more people. That’s a win-win situation for everyone.
If you want to learn more about content marking and website promotion in general, visit the CopyPress Knowledge Base. We hope this high-level overview of the world of website promotion helps you find the information you need to continue working toward your goals. Wherever you are in the process of developing a great website and making it a go-to destination for your visitors, CopyPress is with you at every step.
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