Now that your business has a new and great website, the next step is to build awareness and drive traffic to it. There are many ways to do this, most of which are free (but it takes time). You also don’t have to limit yourself to just one option. Implementing these website marketing strategies now will help your business reap the rewards later.
If after reading your thoughts are about to explode, please feel free to contact us. We’ve done them all before and we know the best practices.
Here are 11 easy (and mostly free) website marketing strategies for driving traffic:
Best for: Any new website
When launching your site, go ahead and submit your URL to Google. This first step will allow Google to recognize your site online faster than if you waited for Google to find your site itself, which could take months. When you submit your site, Google indexes your website, allowing it to consider your site as a potential result in relevant searches. It’s also free and easy to do, so there’s no reason not to give your site the chance to be found faster in search results.
Best for: Businesses with a physical address
When a user searches for a local business on Google, be it a restaurant, salon, or paving company, Google displays local search results before all other search results. In order for your business to appear in these search results, you must create your own free Google My Business (GMB) account. There you can also provide details about your business such as location, hours of operation, photos and reviews, which serve as a free local marketing tool for your business.
Best for: Local businesses, with a physical address
Just as creating a Google My Business account helps you get found in Google, creating a Bing Places account helps local businesses get found on Bing. It has a slightly different demographic, which may be more in line with the target audiences for many companies. Again, like GMB, Bing Places is free, and it will help you get to the top of search results, making it a smart short-term investment.
Best for: Service-oriented businesses (eg, restaurants, construction, and tourism)
Think of online directories as new age directories. They are used to find local service providers and nowadays they are also generally used to illustrate a company’s service quality as most contain user reviews. Whatever service industry you are in, there is most likely a suitable directory to list your business in. When people use those directories, your business will show up in the search results and in return it can drive traffic to your website.
Here are some of the most popular online business directories:
Ideal for: companies using printed marketing materials (eg business cards or menus)
Marketing materials, whether it’s business cards, signage, postcards, or anything else you place your company name and logo on, should also include your web address. This will help build awareness and drive traffic to your site. There are also ways to get creative with this. For example, a bar could include its URL on coasters and invite customers to vote for the next brew of the month, then release that drink with a promotional discount.
Not sure where to start? Get all the information you need on how to use marketing materials to market your website and grow your business, or try Vistaprint for ideas.
Best for: brick-and-mortar businesses
If your business has a physical location or physical presence (for example, a home cleaning service), then you should take advantage of the many opportunities to market your website in person. This strategy can be as simple as handing out flyers or business cards to put your website URL on receipts or display next to your cash register. Going this route should give customers an incentive when they visit your site by advertising special discounts or notifications about sales.
Best for: Almost any business
No matter what industry you’re in, there’s probably a connection to it. While many assume that associations are intended for people in the fields of medicine, law, and education, there are all kinds of associations that you can join. By doing this, not only can you network and use it to increase your credibility, but many associations have membership lists so they will often link to your company website from their site. This process helps to increase visibility and also builds links.
A good place to start might be your local chamber of commerce.
Best for: National businesses (eg online retailers)
There are countless online forums and discussion forums on just about every topic imaginable. Whether you’re a dog food manufacturer or a company planning corporate events, there’s a relevant forum where people talk about topics you’re likely to be an expert in. By participating in these conversations, you contribute to increasing the brand awareness of your company. In addition, you can drive traffic to your site by including a link in your bio or in comments as appropriate.
Here are some of the most popular online forums:
Pro Tip: While forums like Quora and Reddit cover almost every topic you can think of, there are also forums built specifically for certain industries and niches. To find those, simply search the web for forums in your niche (for example, an organic supplement company might search for “holistic nutrition forums”).
Best for: Long-term search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to improve (and maintain) your site’s ability to rank
We all know the blogging success stories of the 21st century, from food bloggers to travel bloggers. How did this marketing strategy become a tool for 80% of companies ? Well, they started writing and publishing quality and authoritative blog content (in other words, articles) on a regular basis. Blogging is an SEO strategy: a long-term strategy to build a web presence by writing articles that users search for online. Blogging also fits completely into the inbound marketing principle.
For example, a company that sells travel essentials (eg, backpacks and luggage bags) might create a blog and write articles such as the best road trips in the US for couples, tips on traveling with babies, or a guide to baggage limits and weights . by the airline. After writing these articles, if people search for things like “what is Hawaiian Airlines baggage allowance,” the company’s blog entry may appear in search results. Users then click on it and go to the site, resulting in traffic.
Best for: Getting exposure to an existing audience
Do you like blogging, but do you want to be visible online faster? Try becoming a contributor on a Medium Post, a popular blogging platform with over 62 million monthly traffic. There you can apply to write for existing publications, which essentially act as their own blogs or media outlets. Because these publications have their own reader base, your blog posts automatically get views, giving your business a new source of online exposure.
Best for: All businesses
Keeping your website content up to date does two important things to keep your site marketable. First, it eliminates outdated information and keeps your site information accurate. Second, it is often assumed that sites that are updated regularly have better search results. Search engines assume that up-to-date sites are more relevant and accurate, which in turn helps your site rank in search results. Think of updating your web pages, but blog posts also have the same effect.
It doesn’t mean you have to update your site daily. What you need to do is make sure to refresh old blog content that is outdated. In addition, ensure that all web pages continue to contain accurate information, from your contact details and hours of operation to your services and prices.