Investing in a new website can be an incredible waste of money if nobody knows about it. The good news, however, is that promoting a website doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive and time-consuming. Here are a few simple ways that your organization can drive traffic to your site:
- Put your URL on everything. Every time you communicate with the public in some way, you have an opportunity to tell people about your website. Make sure to include your URL (web address) on every letter, email message, brochure, business card, and advertisement that leaves your office.
- Submit a sitemap to the major search engines. The three leading search engines—Google, Yahoo!, and Bing—offer a variety of tools for promoting websites and monitoring their performance. All three accept XML sitemaps that allow you to submit information about your website, to ensure that it gets included in search engine results. For more information, see sitemaps.org or consult a web professional.
- Build links. One of the most significant factors affecting a site’s placement on search engines is the number and quality of inbound links—links from other sites, especially those that are well positioned on search engines themselves. A good place to start a link building campaign would be to get listed on local directories and industry sites, including those of professional organizations you belong to.
- Tell people. If you’re speaking on the phone or in person with a potential customer, make sure to mention your site if the person is interested in learning more or if your site has features that would be of value to the customer.
- Participate in blogs and discussion boards. By being an active participant on popular blogs relating to your industry, you can meet potential customers and business partners, promote your company and website, and generate inbound links.
- Publish an email newsletter. An email newsletter is a great way to keep your company on the minds of current, former, and prospective customers. It’s a valuable resource for the recipient, and an inexpensive marketing tool for you. Be sure to include your complete contact information in all messages, and give people a way to unsubscribe to your emails. And whatever you do, avoid sending email to people you don’t know who haven’t subscribed to your list.
- Participate in social media. Every business—especially those who sell to consumers—should have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and should participate meaningfully and frequently on those sites. You cannot afford to ignore social networking sites like these, because in all likelihood, most of your customers are already there.
- Go local. Local searches on Google and other search engines are quickly replacing the yellow pages as the most trusted resource for finding businesses in a specific city or region. Make sure to submit your company’s information to Google My Business and Bing Places for Business.
- Advertise. Pay-per-click advertising can be a great way to reach customers, especially in conjunction with an organic SEO campaign. Google’s advertising platform allows you to place listings on the results pages of specific keyword searches, while Facebook lets you target a variety of demographics such as age, location, and interests.
- Provide value. A website that people want to use is a lot easier to promote than a dull, uninteresting website. The best way to provide value is to add interactive features and valuable information to your site on a regular basis.
Keep in mind that website promotion requires creativity and patience—and sometimes a lot of trial-and-error. If you make a consistent effort to serve and inform your customers, and avoid several common pitfalls, you’ll be on the right path.
Midwest New Media offers a variety of website promotion services, tailored to meet the needs of each client we work with. We can also assist you in creating and publishing an email newsletter. Call our office today at (513) 742-9150 to learn more, or tell us about your needs using our inquiry form.