A common question especially from new website owners is how can how can I promote my website, or how an I promote my website for free? You’ve probably have spent weeks, possibly even months, preparing your website content and working with a developer to make sure everything’s perfect, and now that it’s live you want everyone to see it! The best way to do that is by promoting the heck out of it. Here we’ll look at some website promotion ideas and how to promote a new website across different streams.
HOW TO GET YOUR WEBSITE NOTICED
BY SEARCH ENGINES
Search engines are a valuable way to get your website noticed. The higher the rank you have, the better chance of being found by users.
When it comes to figuring out how to promote a new website, one of the very first thing you’ll want to do is to make sure that it’s easy for search engines to find it. So how can you get your website noticed by search engines?
SEO (search engine optimization) is the name given to the process of making your website attractive to search engines so that they rank it higher faster in search results.
There are reportedly some 200+ Google ranking factors, the exact details of which are kept secret, but they broadly fall into 3 main categories.
This includes things like how your site is built, what type of website hosting you have, how fast pages load, whether it’s mobile friendly, and so on.
Mostly your web developer will look after all this for you. One thing you can do is check that all your web pages are indexing properly on Google – in the Google search box type in site:yourdomain.com and the result of the number of pages being indexed will come up just underneath.
This is the process of optimizing the content on web pages. This includes certain elements that your web developer should have ensured, such as correct tagging of headings, adding alternative text for images so those who are partially sighted or have disabled images on their browsers will get a brief description of the image instead, and so on.
One of the most important aspects of onpage SEO is using keywords. These are words or phrases which are used by people searching for information on a particular topic. Using the appropriate keywords in your content helps search engines identify what the subject matter of your page or post is about, and determine when it’s appropriate to show it in search results.
Ideally you want to find keywords which have a high search volume (that’s the number of times the term is searched monthly), and low competition (that’s the number of other web pages also trying to rank for that keyword).
Be sure to include appropriate keywords in headings, page content and meta data.
These are when other websites link your web pages on their website. Backlinks are like personal recommendation and they help to grow a website’s authority, which will help give it priority in rankings. As a new website you won’t have any backlinks, but here are some suggestions on getting them;
- Create high quality content that others will want to link to organically
- Guest blog on other sites and link your site in the article if appropriate or in the author’s bio
- Offer your product or service to influencers and hope they will review or promote it
- Answer questions and leave comments on platforms like Quora and Reddit with a link to your website if appropriate
Some websites choose to buy backlinks to speed up the process – this is technically frowned upon by Google who say they may suspend such website, although there doesn’t seem to be much evidence of this actually happening, and it is a popular option. If you do decide to go down this route, make sure you qualify the backlinks to be of high quality and not come form spam backlink farms.
Yes, this is a fourth category of SEO being included, when it clearly stated above that we’d look at three main categories of SEO. Local SEO is a slight aside in that it doesn’t apply for all websites.
Local SEO is for businesses which serve a local area, as opposed to nationally or internationally. Examples include restaurants, vets, hairdressers, generally with physical locations, and would show up in search results if someone were to do a search such as ‘barbers near me’ or ‘barbers in London’.
To benefit form local SEO listings on Google, you need a Google My Business account. This is a free tool which Google offers so that it knows you want to be included for local searches. You will need to set up a profile and be verified at you physical address (or registered office address if you don’t have a physical operating location).
You add a bio and images to your profile, post content such as events or offers, opening times, use it to get reviews for clients and so forth.
HOW TO PROMOTE A NEW WEBSITE
WITH CONTENT MARKETING
The saying goes that ‘content is king’. Producing high quality content which is properly targeted for SEO is still one of the most effective ways to drive more traffic to your site for free.
Blogging is one of the best ways to get your pages up in search results. It allows you to target keywords easily and if you provide useful content for your visitors they may convert to customers, as you build authority and trust with them.
Write the kind of content that other people want to read and promote on their own blogs and websites. The most commonly shared content tends to be Iconographics, How to articles, Lists
Write blogs on topics that people are discussing about your product or industry. If you need inspiration, search forums like Quora and Reddit to see what’s being discussed, or look on Google Trends to get insights into what’s currently popular.
Look at what your competitors are doing and create better content than they are on the same topics.
If you can, bulk create content and schedule it to be posted at different times. Often it is much easier to keep on the same flow than to chop and change between tasks.
Re-purpose content for different platforms, for example turn your Youtube transcript into a blog post or an email.
Update your website content regularly to keep it fresh and relevant.
Whenever you post a new blog on your website, set up a system to automatically create a social media post at the same time, and send out an email with a link to it to your mailing list.
HOW TO PROMOTE A NEW WEBSITE
THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
Unless you have a dedicated team, don’t try to create content for all the different social media platforms at once from the start. It will get overwhelming and you probably won’t do a good job on any of them if you stretch yourself too much. Instead, choose 1 or 2 platforms to focus on to start with, and expand from there.
The social media platform(s) you choose will depend on a number of things, such as suitability, prior knowledge and cost.
If for example your product is very visual, then probably a platform like Twitter might not be the best first choice to start promoting on, and it would be best to consider one that is more visual, so always think about how well your product or service will be served by a particular platform.
If you already have a lot of followers on a particular platform then it will probably make sense to start there, if it’s a suitable format for your product or service.
Make sure you have the tools and talent immediately available for the platform(s) you want to start focusing on. If setting up a Youtube channel is going to take a lot of time to learn the technicalities and will possibly need a lot of money spent on equipment, it might not be the best option to start with, as it may slow up the pace at which you start promoting your new website.
Whichever social media platform you decide to use, here are some general guidelines.
Branding should have the same feel across all your platforms to begin to build a consistent brand image and message.
Make sure your social media accounts you are promoting in emails or other promotional materials are well maintained and in keeping with your brand image and message. If someone is about to buy something on your website and decide to just quickly check out your facebook page first, landing on one that looks messy, neglected or out of synch with your other messaging may lose you a client. Better not to link than to link to rubbish.
PERFECT YOUR PROFILE
Give thought to your account’s name and description – it should be clear what you are promoting and what you’re promising.
Include things like your values, interests, mission.
Set up business accounts because usually they offer more features
Post regularly. Post as often as you can but whether that’s once per week or five times per day, try to keep it consistent.
Use analytics tools to work out when your content is seen the most by your target audience and has the most user engagement. Schedule post at these times so you are more likely to reach a higher number of people.
Don’t just upload content but also interact with other content on the platform by liking, sharing and commenting on other people’s posts
If someone leaves a comment on one of your posts, be sure to reply even if it’s just a like. The platforms like interaction and we all like to be noticed too so it’s a free feel good for potential followers or customers.
Join groups on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn and post or share content as appropriate for the group.
Use the platform’s systems which allows further distribution, for example on Instagram use hashtags, which allows people interested in what your topic is to find you more easily. Use branded hashtags as well as trending hashtags.
ENCOURAGE SOCIAL SHARES
Have social share links on your website and blogs so people can easily share your content.
Promote your social accounts in emails, newsletters, on other social media accounts, on business cards, in business listings and any other digital or non-digital marketing materials
Use services like Medium and Digg to publish your content so others may see it.
Provide a link in each social media post to your website, and link to a relevant page rather than always to the homepage – Google can get suspicious that you are buying backlinks if all your links go to the homepage
HOW TO PROMOTE A NEW WEBSITE
THROUGH EMAIL MARKETING
Email marketing is still a powerful way to promote your new website. It’s easy and inexpensive, but still has the potential to be highly effective with the right strategy in place.
Make sure you have a sign up form on your website so people who want to receive news from you can be kept up to date. Offer a free item such as a pdf with useful information, or a discount, to encourage people to sign up.
Until you have a mailing list, promote your website through friends, family and past customers. Send them an email and include a link, and ask them to help you promote the new website by sharing it with their networks.
It has been found that people need to engage with you at least 6 times before they will make a purchase. Email funnels are a popular way to do this. When someone signs up to a mailing list, have a sequence of emails that they are taken through automatically. Provide useful information rather than spamming with sales blurb to build trust and promote yourself as an authority in your field which they can trust.
Use an engaging and intriguing subject line for your emails to encourage people to open them.
Rather than sending bland black and white emails containing only text, there are many email editors that allow you to create interesting, fun looking or professional looking emails.
Send an email with a link whenever you post a new blog, to let your fans and followers know about it.
Send emails regularly, but don’t be a spammer. For some industries, subscribers may expect emails several times per day, for example in news or financial markets services, but for most businesses this would be overkill and you’d quickly get a lot of unsubscribes. Whether you decide it’s best to send out an email per day, week or month, try to keep a regular schedule so people know when to expect them.
HOW TO PROMOTE A NEW WEBSITE
WITH PAID ADVERTISING
To get quick results, paid advertising is the perfect solution to promote your new website. You can place ads on Google, Facebook or other social media platforms, depending which is most suitable for your product and budget, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
When writing ad copy, be sure to focus on benefits, not just features. Include emotion words too. These have both been found to help increase conversions. Video too has been found to convert more successfully, so if possible use that in your ads.
Use Google Adwords to find out the cost per click (CPC) price of ads – that is the price you will pay every time someone clicks on one of your ads and is sent to your website. You can set a maximum daily budget and can target higher or lower cost keywords, or a mix, but make sure the keywords have buyer intent if you are hoping to convert visitors to paying customers rather than just website traffic.
On Facebook you can set your target audience quite forensically, so for example you can choose to have your ads shown only to women between the ages of 30 and 40 years in a certain postcode. To get the best out of Facebook you need Facebook Pixel on your website – it’s a piece of code your web developer will be able to help you with. Facebook Pixel is an analytics tracking tool which records how users interact with your website and the effectiveness of ad campaigns.
OTHER WAYS TO PROMOTE A NEW WEBSITE
Business listing sites are a great way to have your details out and about. The most popular are Yell, Scoot, Infobel, Thompson Local, Central Index. You’ll find many more on Whitespark. Most offer some form of free advertising and then extra features for paid listings.
Website forums are a great source of information such as concerns of potential clients. You can post answers to questions on forums like Quora and Reddit and include a link to your website.
Consider getting together with an influencer. This can be paid or not depending on what you want them to do and how big their audience is. Choose an influencer that has the right reach for your product such as age, demographics, interests etc. and make sure you have a very specific contract about what you require them to do and how often if you will be paying them.
Join groups on LinkedIn and Facebook that are relevant to your website and business. It’s a great way to share content with useful information on your website, and to network in general.
Have a launch party. Whether it can be an in-person party or a virtual one in these crazy times, it’s still something worth considering, depending on type of product or service you offer.
Sponsor an event or organise a competition to get greater visibility, with your new website address on marketing material and share on social media and through your local area.
Go the traditional route and have leaflets and poster printed and spread around, especially if your business supplies a local area.
COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID
Don’t procrastinate and do nothing. You need to take action if you want to see results. Doing even a little bit each day is better than doing nothing.
Don’t get over ambitious, which can easily lead to overwhelm. Set realistic targets. Have a weekly schedule that you know you can definitely do, for example 1 email and 1 post on two social media platforms per week should be sustainable long-term.
Don’t be disheartened and give up if you don’t see results straight away. This is a long game, not something that will happen overnight. Very few people go viral. Just keep on taking the necessary steps.
So what are you waiting for?
Go start telling everyone about your new site!
How To Promote A New Website July 2021