11 Sep How Do You Promote Your Website?
As we’ve written before in our humble blog, building a website for your business is not the same as the baseball field in Field of Dreams. If you build it, they won’t necessarily come. It may be the best, most user-friendly website in your industry, but if you don’t promote it properly, few potential customers will find it – making your site more akin to the lost city of Atlantis.
This is even more important when you consider that your website is pretty much synonymous with your business. Even if your enterprise is strictly brick-and-mortar and doesn’t engage at all in e-commerce, your website is often the first contact that potential customers have with it. In effect, promoting your website is the same as promoting your business. Therefore, allocating your time and resources wisely is essential.
If you’re thinking in terms of traditional advertising and marketing tactics, few of them apply here. Most of the heavy lifting is done behind the scenes, positioning your website so it has high visibility when people search Google (or other search engines, which do exist) for what you’re selling. In order to be most effective, the following solutions should be implemented together, on a consistent, ongoing basis.
Start with Google
In order to be found by members of your target audience, your website must first be found by Google. Our regular readers know where this is going – the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). Outbrain provides this following succinct summary of SEO for beginners:
“Before you begin working on your website content, you need to know the SEO tools that will go into it. Use the Google keyword tool planner to help you find the best keywords for your niche market. Remember to focus on long-tailed keywords versus short keywords as you can struggle to rank for a broad keyword. Focus on the keywords that have low competition and high search frequency to help you create blog posts that are compelling, and will get noticed.
“Using the right SEO strategy will help you as you focus on promoting your site. The keywords you select must be added to the title, headings, content, and Meta description. If you add images, remember to include the keyword in the picture title tag and the alt tag. Promoting your website by using traditional SEO is one of the best ways to gain natural traffic and a higher ranking.”
Get the most out of Google
Have you claimed your Google My Business listing – and if so, keep it updated? If not, you’re missing a ginormous – and free – opportunity to promote your website! Your Business Profile lets you easily connect with customers across Google Search and Maps. Your listing gives searchers pertinent at-a-glance information about your business, and provides an opportunity for customer reviews and ratings, so the world can see your good reputation. And if there’s some work to be done in that department, read our blog post – “The Bottom Line About Online Reputation Management.”
Start a blog
Speaking of Google, the omnipresent search engine loves fresh website content and rewards it! As content marketer Corey Wainwright writes in her article for HubSpot, “Every time you write a blog post, it’s one more indexed page on your website, which means it’s one more opportunity for you to show up in search engines and drive traffic to your website in organic search … it’s also one more cue to Google and other search engines that your website is active and they should be checking in frequently to see what new content to surface.”
Blogging solves the dilemma that most business websites face. Google wants signals that your website is actively adding content, but as Wainwright asks, “How often can you really update your About Us page, you know?” Blog content gets crawled and indexed more quickly than static pages, giving your website – and your business – vital signs of life that will help drive traffic.
The key is to blog on a consistent basis. Blogging once a month is the minimum, with many businesses posting twice monthly or weekly. Depending upon the nature of your business, publishing one high-quality, informative blog post per month would be better than weekly posts of lower quality.
Also be sure to monitor your blog by using Google Analytics. This can help you improve its performance by seeing clear data about what seems to be working and what you might need to change in your blogging strategy.
Here’s even more incentive to blog: In today’s especially competitive environment, a blog is integral to your company’s inbound marketing efforts. Companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than companies that don’t.
Start social media marketing
Now that you have a blog and regularly produce high-quality posts, promote them via your social media platforms. Promoting your blog posts on your Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc. accounts will increase awareness of this content, and drive traffic to your website to read your great insights! The best part is that you can cycle through and promote older posts (as long as they remain relevant and accurate), giving them fresh exposure.
In addition, visitors can engage with the blog posts you promote on social media by sharing them on their own social media accounts, thereby further expanding your reach and growing your audience.
Of course, social media posts on other topics are also very helpful in driving traffic to your website. Our blog post – “Why Does Your Small Business Need Social Media?” provides in-depth information about the many ways in which it can meet your marketing goals.
Yes, pay for ads – Google AdWords and Facebook Ads can quickly boost your traffic
Marketing expert Jeremy Durant of Bop Design offers guidance to business-to-business (B2B) companies, but his following advice applies to business-to-consumer (B2C) enterprises as well.
“Even the most well-optimized web design will take some time to get indexed and start ranking in search engines like Google and Bing. While organic SEO is a long-term, consistent strategy, we always recommend that B2B firms launch their website along with a pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaign. Regardless of whether you have a monthly PPC budget of $500 or $5,000, it’s essential to run an AdWords or Bing PPC campaign to drive relevant traffic to your website.”
Facebook Ads may also be beneficial to your business. As WordStream explains:
“Although advertising on Facebook can be thought of as similar to AdWords, in that advertisers using both platforms are essentially promoting their business via the Internet, this is where the similarities end. Unlike paid search, which helps businesses find new customers via keywords, paid social helps users find businesses based on the things they’re interested in and the ways in which they behave online.
“When it comes to the primary difference between Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, you can think of it this way: AdWords helps you find new customers, while Facebook helps new customers find you.”
Start retargeting ads
DreamHost identifies retargeting ads as a great way to keep getting a good ROI on online ads while staying top-of-mind with potential customers. That’s right – those ads that have a seemingly uncanny ability to follow you around everywhere you go after you visit the company’s website.
Start tapping into the power of email
A well-targeted email campaign can continually drive traffic to your website and generate leads. The major email platforms allow businesses of every size to quickly create an attractive mailing that elevates your branding. However, be aware of best practices and legalities. Those on your list must first agree to receive your mailings – otherwise known as “opting in.” You also need to abide by the CAN-SPAM Act – a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations. Our blog post – “How to Avoid Email Marketing Mistakes” – covers additional national and international regulations, as well as common pitfalls.
The benefits of email done correctly are numerous, however. As DreamHost notes: “It essentially involves collecting the email addresses of any and every potential customer and then sharing content — newsletters, promotions, discounts, and information — as a way of building relationships. Email marketing can draw past visitors back to your website by sharing new content or promotions.”
The take-home message and our blatant self-promotion
While using email to promote your website (and business) can result in a good ROI, it’s demanding and time consuming to do well – and legally. The same can be said for all of the methods we’ve just covered. If your business has a dedicated marketing department or staff members with the expertise and company time to devote to the effort, take our recommendations and run with them!
If not, that’s what we’re here for! Our Virtual Stacks Systems digital marketing team can provide #SEOmarketing, #PPC and #GoogleAds services, #emailMarketing, #SocialMediaMarketing, #WebsiteDesign and #WebsiteRedesign. Contact us today to help your website get discovered!