What are the most popular, yet inexpensive, methods for promoting a web site?
By Jim Sweeney
If by popular you mean “effective,” and if by effective you mean “drive traffic to your site,” there are many ways – online and offline – to achieve this goal.
Of course, there is a critical presumption here that your site is worthy of visiting, that it delivers what your target audiences are looking for – education, engagement, sales. There is also the equally critical presumption that you have done everything possible to optimize your web site for search; SEO and SEM are essential. But let’s just set those issues aside for now.
Here are some things you can and should do to promote your site. Some of them (especially the “no cost” items) are pretty elementary and others are a little more advanced, but all of them should be standard practice:
- Publicity: Every news release you distribute should incorporate your web address in the body of the release.
- Blogger Relations: Every blogger communication, whether to a single blog or a network/group of bloggers should incorporate your web address. Better still, your communication should require blog fans to go to your web site for exclusive information, discounts or samples.
- E-Mail: Incorporate your web address into your e-mail signature.
- E-Mail Marketing: E-newsletters or promotional mailings should all link directly or through a landing page to your web site.
- Stationery: If you haven’t done so yet, add your web address to your business cards and stationery.
- Advertising: Radio, print, billboard and TV advertising should all incorporate your web address. And all online advertising should link directly to your web site or to a specific landing page on your site.
- Literature: Same as stationery; add it now… and this especially includes newsletters and magazines (does anyone print newsletters and magazines anymore?)
- Merchandise: Got company shirts, jackets, pens, coffee mugs, signage, etc.? Incorporate your web address on all of them.
- Links: Wherever it makes sense and is possible, establish links from other web sites to yours.
- Direct Mail: From post cards to multi-part mailings, wherever there is space and it makes sense, incorporate your web address.
- Blogging: If you blog, make sure your blog is on your web site and incorporate links to various pages on your site whenever it is reasonable within a post.
- Twittering: Assuming you’ve got some valuable content on your web site (such as your blog), you can use your Twitter account – whether being proactive or responsive – to send followers to your site.
- Comments: If you comment on other blogs or online articles, be sure to include a link to your site whenever it makes sense.
- Message Boards: Same as comments; if you are sharing your thoughts or expertise on a message board and the opportunity presents itself to link back to your web site, do it.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, the virtual world really isn’t virtual; it’s real. And just like in the physical world, you have to be involved. You wouldn’t open up a storefront on Main Street and just wait to see if traffic showed up. Well, your web site is your storefront, and you want traffic, so make the investment of time and money, and you will likely see an equitable return.
Have questions about increasing quality traffic to your web site, contact me at 440.333.0001 ext. 101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.