So, you just got your first website built. Now, you’re wondering how to promote your website. For those of you who have never launched a website before, here are a few basic things you can do to get the ball rolling without spending a lot of money.
First and foremost, I would recommend that you get an SEO expert to perform an overall analysis of your site to make sure that it is ready and optimized for the search engines. A site analysis is important because some web designers do not have SEO in mind when building a new website, and may leave out certain elements. Not applying fundamental SEO best practices to your site can be the difference between a site ranking #1 for a keyword vs. one that isn’t indexed at all. Can’t afford to hire an SEO expert? There are some free tools out there that will do basic SEO scans of your site. For example: www.seositecheckup.com or www.quicksprout.com
Once you’ve got your website squared away and ready for prime time, you need to start promoting it somehow. When it comes to website promotions, there are many ways to do it, but the bottom line remains the same – sales and conversions. SEO, PPC, affiliate marketing, display advertising, traffic buy, etc.. There is no magic bullet that will get your site to the top overnight. Promoting your website is a “learn as you go” process. Some campaigns will work and some won’t. You stick with what works and try to find new ways to grow. Keep an open mind and don’t be easily discouraged. You will eventually find something that works for you.
Here are some of the first few steps you can take to start promoting your website.
1. Social Media
You should create a business page on all the major social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and Pinterest. You can think of the social media sites as your secondary sites. They all work to promote your main site. I’m not a big social media fan, but there’s no denying the influence that it has on our Internet ecosystem. Social media is not only a big part of SEO, but it can also be a significant source of traffic if managed properly. Also, make sure you have all your social media logos added to your site, so people can easily engage with you.
2. Press Releases
Press release distributions are a good way to get exposure for your company. There are several reasons why a press release is good. One, your PR may get read by publishers who may be interested in your niche. In turn, these publishers may then choose to write about your company on their blog or publication. Two, press releases enable you to build links to your site, which can benefit you from an SEO standpoint.
3. Directory Submissions
Web directories have gotten a bad rep over the past 8 years old due to the widespread practice of people using directory links to manipulate search rankings. As a result, Google has cracked down on poor quality directories. Due to fear of getting penalized, some SEO providers have gone to the extremes of avoiding directory submissions altogether. While I don’t belong to any pro or anti-directory camps, my belief is that any type of website on the Internet can be useful / valuable to a user. So, whether it is a directory, a forum, a blog, or a regular website – it doesn’t matter. Quality is quality, and, spam is spam. Blanket statements that say “all directories are bad” is inaccurate and should be ignored in my opinion.
Directory links are just as effective for SEO as the next link. The key is quality and relevancy. It’s not a bad idea to get a link from one or two good directories. These links will help your site get indexed quicker if it hasn’t been indexed yet, and also provide some link juice.
4. Guest Blog Posts
Content is king and most blog owners know that by now. So, why not write a compelling blog post and see if any 3rd party blog owners would be willing to post it on their site in return for a link? This is one of the most popular ways to build links nowadays. Most blog owners actually care about what they publish, so be sure you are submitting blog posts that are relevant to the topic of the 3rd party blog, a bit lengthy and useful to the readers. Re-spun or half-assed articles won’t get much love. To find a blog that is related to your site’s topic, simply do a search on Google or find publishers through a guest posting network like PostJoint.
These are just a few of the first steps you can take to start promoting your website with little to no investment. There are other things you can do to increase traffic to your site over time, but this is a good starting point.