Sunday, June 14, 2009

How to Promote Your Website. Let Me Count the Ways...

Or How to Promote your Website in 10,000 Easy Steps:

Someone in LinkedIn Recently asked a very good, simple question, "What is the best way to promote my website?". As often happens, a simple question can have a virtual torrent of good answers. There are a huge number of effective ways to promote your website, using a variety of tactics- some free, some pay, some creative, some very basic.

But first, consider the strategy of your website, its purpose in life, and the resources available for web promotion. Here is an 80,000 ft. view... with more to come. How, when and where to promote your website will greatly depend upon your goals and situation. Questions to ask include:

1. What markets and what clientle are your real target market?

2. How can you reach them? What are your options?

3. Do you have a budget to help reach them? How big is your budget?

4. How do you prioritize, given a limited budget?

Today I will focus on FREE PROMOTIONAL TACTICS. Here are just a few strategic areas to consider using for gratis website promotion tools:

Free is always a favorite option. But it demands constant work and requires time, creativity, inspiration, enthusiasm, dedication and solid work ethic.

1. Good Content and Product: Focus, be relevant to your target market. Give them value and update often so they want to come back. Without this basic feature you may take one step back for every step forward. Good website navigation and fast downloading are also very important. Be precise, concise and relevant. Don't forget your keywords and phrases, watch for typos, etc.

2. Search Engine Optimization: Needless to say, your website must be found and indexed by the Search Engines. Submitting your new website to the Search Engines is highly suggested. If you build a site that meets point one above, the indexing will come. This step is so important it cannot be over-emphasized.

3. Blogging: Want to get your site more exposure on the web? Create some focused and credible Blogs that all point to your Website. Each Blog should focus on a 'category-killer' topic. These are, need I remind you, free and easy to set up. Stay true to the topic. If your site is a B2B site, then don't stray off-topic. Add Blog comments to other people's blogs if relevant, and always include your website link.

4. Social Media and News Feeds: Web 2.0 tools are becoming more integrated into the business world mainstream. Set up Pages on Linked-In, FaceBook, etc. that all point back to your website... keep the content fresh and on topic. Set up a Twitter account and have a connection to your Twitter page on all your Blogs, Social Media Sites and your Website... get a following and send out Tweets as relevant. Set-up Newsfeeds.

5. Email Newsletters: We all despise spam, but if you send out a fairly regular newsletter that is short and links to your webpage, this is free promotion that is linked to relevant web content, always the best option. Set-up an email registration option on your site, include opt-out and cultivate a quality email contact list.

6. Get Your Website Cited, Linked and Quoted by Others: Encourage relevant Blogs, News Sites, Industry Sites, User Sites, and more to list your website address... and thank anyone out there who writes something in the web who positively mentions your business or site. Build your network and give that network content that motivates them to cite your website. This can include White Papers, real News, etc.

7. Press Releases and Free Media PR: Cultivate print media, trade journal and website contacts... you may benefit from an article written about your company, be sure to include your website address.There are a number of sites that now offer "Free" or very inexpensive opportunities for you to issue press releases. These press releases should always include your landing-page website link. These sites are not as effective as the big ones like BusinessWire, but they will help your cause. You'll know your PR is making a difference on the web when it generates a "Google News Alert". Sign up for Google's News Alert service and make sure you list the key terms you want to track... free service.

There are many Free tactics to promote your website, but since there really are 10,000 different ways to promote your site I cannot hope know or to list them all here! ; ) The next website promotion article will focus more on the for-pay tactics.... also very effective at promoting your site. There are great tactics to fit any budget.