How Do You Market Your Website?
There is one thing that I have seen over the years while building websites for people that, to be completely honest, drives me nuts. I’m sure many of you have seen this, or are maybe even guilty of it yourself. It’s a simple misconception and it needs to be corrected, or you will never see the results you expected when you spent the time and money to build a new site.
“If you build it, they will come.”
So you hire someone or take on the task yourself and end up with an amazing site. Awesome. Now what? Everyone will just start showing up to your site and your business will skyrocket into the history books as the next big thing, right? Unfortunately, this simply isn’t the case. So many people think that just building a site is the only thing that needs to be done. They don’t consider the work involved in simply getting the word out about your site even existing.
Luckily, there are several things that you can do to market your website that are relatively inexpensive or even free. Here are a few ideas for ways to market your website (in no particular order):
1. Social Networks
Think about it: When you go out and see a new movie, what do you do? You tell people about it. Whether you liked it or not, you will inevitably tell someone about what you thought about it. Even if you don’t bring it up in conversation, eventually someone will ask about it. You still end up sharing your thoughts on the movie, product, company, etc.
The idea here is that your friends will tend to trust your opinion and their friends will trust their opinion. The point of all this is that the most powerful advertising tool you have is your network. Once you have your website built and ready for the public, you need to start talking about it. Tweet it, share it on Facebook, post it on LinkedIn. Use whatever network you have access to and start telling people about your site and how it will benefit them to visit.
2. Always Use Your URL
People can’t visit a site they don’t know about, right? It’s important to include your website URL in all communications. Add it to your email signature. Put it in your profile and forum signature. Stick it on your business cards. Basically, ensure your domain is on everything you do.
Obviously, with a website you want to be found on search engines. Unfortunately, this is a very complicated aspect of having a site. There are so many rules and practices that you need to know in order to get your site ranked up in the search results. This is one of the most complex parts of marketing your website. The good thing is that there are plenty of people and companies out there who are “experts” in the industry and can help you.
Don Smith Designs
is not one of these companies that specializes in SEO, but we can help get things set up for it. We do know enough to get your site cleaned up, but we aren’t going to claim that we can get you to the number one spot in Google. Honestly, we believe that anyone who makes this promise is scamming you. No matter how good a company is, they can’t guarantee a number one spot. There are simply too many factors at play here.
UPDATE: DON SMITH DESIGNS DOES now offer SEO services!
4. Become a Subject Matter Expert
Yes, this one takes some more work on your part, but it’s well worth it. As you research your competition or others in your industry, you’ve probably read through some forums or blogs with comments. Maybe you had some opinion about something someone said. Sign up and post!
A great way to get your name out there is to start taking part in these forums and blogs. The more you post and the more informative your posts are, the more you’ll start to be recognized and trusted for your input. If you’ve followed #2 above, you’ve got your link in your signature and profile. People will start checking out your site as they look into who you are. You can even throw your link in your post every once in a while, but don’t overdo it, or you’ll have the opposite effect than intended.
You can even start your own blog if you are good at – and enjoy – writing. The challenge here is having something to write about. You can do some research and find subjects that you would like to read about. Better yet, look for what’s trending in your industry. Find something that your customers are reading about and start there.
5. Join a Business Networking Group
These do have some costs associated with membership, but they can be well worth the investment. If you’ve never heard of a business networking group, they’re basically groups of local business owners that meet on a regular basis and share the concept of their business and what a good referral for them would be. Depending on your business, you can even sign some of these business owners up as clients. Otherwise, they work as great referral sources and they give you a great way to build trust with your current clients because you will always, “know a guy.”
I’ve only named a few ways to market yourself for little to no cost, but there are so many more. I’ll cover more in a later post. In the meantime, what are your thoughts? Have you found some creative new way of marketing your website on the cheap? Share your input below!