Advertising your website is a necessity if you wish to remain in business for long. Thankfully there are tonnes of ways to promote your website that won’t cost you a cent – apart from your time. Whether you’re on a tight budget or just wanting to check you’re across all the right channels – the following list should come in handy!
#1. Q&A forums
Obscure or esoteric questions meet general knowledge on popular Q&A forums like Quora and Yahoo! Answers. These high ranking sites feature thousands of questions and answers each day from users around the globe. Although these sites are not promotional platforms they are an opportunity to share your knowledge and expertise which can establish you as a thought leader. Include links back to your website or informative blog posts you have written under your answer or in the signature. However – be warned – these sites can be addictive!
#2. Social bookmarking sites
These are sites that allow like-minded people to pin, post and share favourite articles, videos, gifs, blog posts and much more- kind of like a giant bulletin board that you can share with the whole world. Bookmarking sites can earn you backlinks (which is great for SEO) and a whole lot of traffic if used correctly. The most popular ones like Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Pinterest and Newsvine receive millions of views a day.
#3. Online industry directories
Online directories are the internet’s version of Yellow Pages. They can help improve your SEO by linking back to your website. Potential customers often browse these looking for phone numbers and reviews so don’t forget to include these important details. Some of Australia’s most popular online directories are: AussieWeb, TrueLocal, and HotFrog. As well as listing in these more general directories you should also do a quick Google search to find directories for your niche. Simply type in “health and wellness retreats directories” or “cattery directories” or whatever your industry or service is and you will come up with directories specific to these topics.
#4. Email signature
Your email signature has to be by far the easiest and most cost effective form of advertising there is. Every email you send should feature a footer that mentions your name, your company name, your qualifications (if relevant), website and phone number. For a more sophisticated email footer include a photo, a quote, and icons that connect to your social media accounts. Then use your email signature automatically on every email you send. You never know when a personal email you send might lead to a new customer visiting your website.
#5. Press release submission services
Another tip for whenever you have a special occasion to share or new product or service is to use complimentary PR sites that distribute press releases for free. Although these free sites won’t get you the attention of the huge media outlets you can access middle-tier media markets with these cost-free options which will hopefully result in new publicity and website traffic. Places like PRLog or Medianet are reliable services.
#6. Local listing services
Registering your business with three big local listing services is another way to promote your business online that won’t cost a cent. Registering with Google My Business has several benefits: it allows your business to show up on Google Maps and Google+ plus provides more readily available information in Google searches including hours, contact information and directions. Yahoo! also has a great local listings database called Yahoo! Local as does Bing.
Blogging is an good way to get more traffic to your website. Consider setting up a blog as a page on your website and writing content for it frequently. It is a great way to get recognised as a thought leader or industry expert. Best of all blog posts are easily shareable across social media and can help direct people to your website. Word to the wise: Don’t start this strategy unless you are prepared to commit to it. Nothing is more off-putting than a blog that hasn’t been updated in months.
To get the most value out of blogging, consider including long-tail keywords in your blog to help boost your SEO and reach out to other blogs and see if you can guest blog on their sites to gain some street cred and drive referral traffic.
#8. Photo sharing sites
Of course, visual content is becoming increasingly important today. Photo sharing sites are a great way to display visual content related to your business that can refer and link back to your website. You don’t have to be a photography business to get value of this – businesses can share photos of events, staff, products or anything else that’s newsworthy or interesting. Try photo-based social networks like Pinterest or Instagram or use Picasa, Flickr or Photobucket.
As you can now see there are many free and inexpensive tools that make marketing your website much easier – you just need to know where to look. Take the initiative and make the most of these opportunities.