While getting traffic to your website certainly takes plenty of time and effort, there are tons of opportunities to promote and market yourself, many of which are extremely cost-effective. Social media allows for you to connect with people who’ll be interested in what you’re offering, while search engine marketing targets people who are actively looking for your type of business. Let’s take a look at some of the different ways you can promote your own website and gain traffic.
- Email – Email marketing is similar to old-school direct mailing in that it involves sending promotional messages directly to your prospects’ inboxes. It’s cheap and can be highly effective when done right. Growing an email list of subscribers is the first step in starting a successful email marketing campaign. You can collect email addresses on your website and from customers. A popular strategy is to offer a free download or discount code to those who sign up for your email list.
- Facebook and Twitter – These social media venues are indispensable in today’s internet marketing. It seems like everyone online is on one or both of these websites. While there are some differences in how to approach each site, successful social media marketing is all about genuinely connecting with people by offering value and being friendly.
- Guest Posting – Writing guest posts for other blogs is an incredibly effective way to grow your audience, because by doing so you are able to tap into an audience that someone else has already built. The key to guest posting effectively is to write for your customers and clients, not for your peers. Write guest posts that are going to be useful to those who might actually hire you, not your competitors! This applies to both what you’re writing about as well as where you’re going to want to guest post.
- Networking – Building relationships with other professionals is still a great practice. Engaging with your colleagues can help you exchange valuable insight and opportunities. In some cases, you can help each other out and promote each other.
- Message Boards – Message boards related to your niche are a place where you can both offer value to potential customers and visitors and also network with colleagues. Place a link to your website in your message board signature and focus on posting high-quality, insightful comments. People who like what you have to say will click through to your website to see more.
- Banner Advertising – Banner advertising can be effective, especially for product-based businesses. The key is to find well trafficked websites that your target market is already visiting (but that you’re not directly in competition with!) to advertise on.
- Search Engine Marketing – Search engine marketing involves both paying for advertising within search engine results as well as optimizing your website to show up in the top results when people search for the types of things that appear on your website. Search engine marketing drives visitors who are actively seeking out what you have to offer straight to your website.
- Offline Advertising – Advertising offline can be effective for certain types of businesses. Placing your web URL on all of your letterhead, business cards, etc. is one aspect, but some even go so far as to put up flyers and even purchase radio and television advertising. Again, the key is to focus on where your target market already is.
- Social Bookmarking – Websites like StumbleUpon and Digg are awesome tools for promoting your website. Highly useful, unique content is what does well in social bookmarking websites.
- Article Marketing – Posting keyword-rich articles on article submission websites can bring a lot of click-throughs to your website and also help you rank higher in search engines.
As you can see, there are several options for promoting your website. It might take a little tinkering to find the methods that work best for your type of audience, but they all have benefits and are definitely worth experimenting with. Give each option some time to grow and see what kind of benefits they bring you.