15 Ways to Promote Your Website on a Tight Budget

It has reached a point where a business without a website lacks a certain legitimacy. Like a business card, it has become an essential part of sharing your information with potential customers. But many small businesses have a tight budget for web development, with little or no extra funds to do an official marketing campaign.

The following resources will help you promote your website without having to spend a dime of your money. It will cost you time though. There really are no short cuts for effective web marketing. The truth is, you need to put in some time and effort to get results. But if you DO put in that time, I PROMISE you will get results.

Most of these suggestions are easy to implement, and I would strongly suggest recruiting individuals within the company who can spend 20-30 minutes per day helping in the online marketing effort. Heck, even your teenager or neighborhood kid could help you in these tasks. If the person can surf the web, they can help you implement most of these free ideas.

Before you start, get something to track traffic

Install a metrics package to monitor the traffic on your site. Google Analytics is a free one that is great at helping you see how many visitors come, where they are coming from and what keywords they use to find you in the search engines. You don’t have to use Google, but use something. You want to measure the changes as you implement your plan.

15 Ways to Promote your Site for Free:

1.Make sure you’re listed in the search engines: Most people don’t realize that not all the search engines are going to pick you up automatically. While Google is the biggest, there are many other smaller search engines that can have an impact on your traffic. Use an SEO tool like Web SEO Analysis to analyze your website, and see which search engines have indexed you.

2. Online Business Directories: This is a biggie for gaining SEO points and putting yourself out on the Internet. Set a weekly goal of inputting your company into online business directories, and be sure to include a link back to your website. You can use GetListed.org to find out if you are already in some of the major directories, and find out how complete your listings are. Some of the most popular free business directories include:

3. Ask clients to give you online recommendations: Once you get listed in business directories, then do some legwork to get your offline clients to share how much they love your services. Research has shown that users are more compelled by testimonials than your sales pitch, so this is an excellent way to bring yourself to the top of the heap in a business directory. An effective strategy is to focus on one directory at a time, gain 10-15 recommendations, then move onto another directory. In this way you will build a solid reputation for each listing.

4. Commenting on other blogs: Most blogs allow you to put a link back to your website or blog. If you comment intelligently, people might just click on that link and visit your site. Even if your comments don’t intrigue anybody, those link backs help your search engine ranking. 15-20 comments per day would be ideal, but most people don’t have time for that. Set a goal of making at least 3 comments per day on blogs, but please follow my cardinal rule: do not spam the blogs! Only offer comments that are legitimate, don’t do it just to gain a link back.

5. Submitting articles to article directories: This is a very effective way to draw traffic to your site and build link backs for SEO. Andrew Rondeau recently wrote an excellent post about how to increase traffic by submitting to article directories. Here are some of the most popular article submission sites:

6. Write press releases and distribute online: This is an often forgotten, very effective online marketing tool. It is not challenging to write a press release. There are many how to write a press release tutorials online. There are also many press release sites that will allow you to submit and distribute your release for free. Here are some of the more popular free press release sites:

7. Submit informational pages to bookmarking sites: People often think of bookmarking sites as only applying to blogs or news. But the truth is, if you have pages on your site that contain quality content that is informational, you should submit those pages to bookmarking sites. People peruse these sites to find out about popular content on the web, and they are an excellent way to draw in quality traffic. Some of the most popular bookmarking sites include:

8. Offer to guest post on other blogs: This is a very effective strategy for bringing in traffic, especially if you don’t have your own blog to share your knowledge. Get to know colleagues of complimentary businesses, and ask them if they ever accept guest posts. Track blogs within your industry, and watch for invitations for guest blogs, or offer to guest blog if it seems appropriate. Many of the bigger blogs these days request guest bloggers because it’s an effective way to keep quality content coming in at a fast pace.

9. Add social bookmarking links on your pages: This is a simple and quick way to get your visitors to help you promote your site. By adding these links, you’re encouraging them to share your information if they find it helpful. You’d be amazed how many people take the 15 seconds required to click on these links. We recently wrote a post about how to add share icons to your website or blog.

10. Create an RSS feed for your content: If your site is built with a content management system such as Joomla or WordPress, you can activate an RSS feed for your content. This allows other websites to pull your content into theirs. Why would you want to share your content? Because it creates a link back to your site, and it spreads the words. In Joomla you can create feeds for specific categories, so you can limit what content is pulled versus which appears only on your website.

11. Use a monthly newsletter to announce changes to your site: There are many services that make a monthly newsletter an easy task. Mailchimp is our favorite, but Constant Contact is one of the most popular. These sites allow you to manage your mailing lists and create newsletters with pre-built templates. Get a format you like, and be consistent about creating and distributing your newsletter. If you are tracking your website visits, you should see a surge in traffic on the days you send out your newsletter.

12. Create a HubSpot or Squidoo page. These websites all you to create a page with information on a specific topic. They generally only allow one page per topic, so the opportunity is fabulous for link backs to your site. Updating your pages with new content helps in keeping it in front of the users of the site, in addition to creating link backs to your website. As with other social media suggestions, be sure you choose a topic that you are genuinely interested in, so your content adds value to the community.

13. Put your URL in the signature of your email: This one seems obvious, but not many people do it. Every time you send an email it’s an opportunity to share your website. If you have a blog, include that too.

14. Create videos and share them through social media video sites: This is a growing trend in publicizing websites. What do you do that you can share via video? Is there anybody in your company that would make a great spokesperson? Or perhaps you can create some how-to videos. Once created, you can share your videos via online video sites. The most popular include:

15. Get involved in an online community: Generating a presence in an online community can be an effective way to share your expertise and create link backs to your website. Choose a community you are genuinely interested in so you will enjoy reading and replying to posts. Choosing a forum within your industry is usually the best choice. Be certain to create a signature that includes a link to your website.

Got any more ideas?

Our clients are always asking, so if you have any other free ways to promote a website, we’d love to hear about it! Please share them to the comments section. Thanks!

One Response to “15 Ways to Promote Your Website on a Tight Budget”

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