You’ve finished building your business website. So, it’s time to sit back, relax and watch the visitors roll in, right? If only it worked that way. If you build it, they will most assuredly not come, unless you take the time to promote your website through multiple channels.
Eight out of ten people make buying decisions on a business website; so driving visitors to yours is essential in gaining new customers and building your brand.
Here are eight easy steps you can take to promote your website and increase your visitors. Some of them may take very little time to accomplish, but they will make a world of difference to your bottom line.
Boost Your Visibility on Search Engines
Nothing is more important to the success of a website than search engines. Optimizing your website for search is a critical step. Although there are many search engine optimization (SEO) tools you can use to get people to your page, the following methods will help you promote your site quickly so that you are immediately visible to customers.
1. Submit Your Site to Search Engines
Submitting your website is free and helps notify the search engine that it should consider adding you to its index. To do so, follow these links:
2. Submit Your Site to Local Search Listings
On top of submitting your site to the three main search engines, you can also submit it to the search engines’ local listings. Local listings show up in the results for people who are close to your business. Even if you’re targeting a broader market, you should go ahead and take advantage of local listings since they’re free. Follow the links below to submit:
For detailed information about optimizing your website for local search, see How to Use ‘Local SEO’ to Attract More Customers in Your Area.
3. Pay for Search Engine Advertising (“Paid Search”)
If you want to get traffic to your site immediately, you can pay Google, Yahoo, and Bing to display your ad when people search for specific keywords. For example, if you wanted your site to show up when a person types in “tapas Austin” in Google, you could bid on Google for the keyword “tapas Austin”. If your bid was high enough, your site would show up on the right side of the Google search results and you would only pay Google if someone clicked on your ad.
Below are the paid search interfaces for the top three search engines: Google, Yahoo and Bing.
You can find keywords to bid on for your website by using:
Promote on Blogs, Forums, and Social Media
After letting the search engines know you exist, it’s time to make actual people aware of you. Referrals to your website from authoritative and trustworthy sources can give you a boost in traffic and help you establish a credible online presence.
4. Comment on Blogs, Forums, and Social Media Posts
Comment on other people’s blogs or forum posts (that are of course related to your business) and post a link back to your website. (Where possible, return the favor on your site if asked.) Also, use social media to respond to people who are talking about issues related to your business and link them to your website.
5. Reach Out and Spread the Word
Ask anyone you personally know who runs a website—friends, family, colleagues and business contacts—to post a link to your website. Also, reach out to bloggers or journalists who could write about your business and link back to your website. Make sure you’re reaching out to blogs or publications that are “influencers” (i.e. have a lot of social followers or industry clout) in your target market. Also, work on your pitch and make sure you’re offering something their respective audiences want to read about.
6. Utilize Social Media
Create Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ pages and link to your website on those pages. If you’ve got a blog on your website, remember to link to your blog posts regularly on social media. For a detailed guide on how to effectively market your business with social media, see How To: Promote with Social Media.
Offline Marketing / Branding
In addition to promoting your website online, you can also use the following traditional marketing tools to increase traffic to your site.
7. List Your Website on Your Business Cards
Promoting your website on your business cards is a great way to drive more traffic to your site. You can also add a QR code that will take people directly to you website when they scan the code with their smartphones. For help with creating and ordering your business cards, see How To: Order Business Cards.
8. Create and Distribute Basic Marketing Materials
Other printed marketing materials are great for branding and advertising your business. List your website as well as your social media pages on everything from flyers and menus to magnets and key chains you can distribute for free. For more information on creating marketing materials for your business, see How To: Create Basic Marketing Materials.