Whether your website is designed to sell products or simply to promote a brand, you’ve still got to take steps to get traffic. It’s a common misconception that if you build it, people will come. But the reality is that many websites never enjoy success because their creators didn’t implement any marketing strategies to promote their site.
One method is to pay for online ads, which is usually the fastest way to gain visitors. But if your budget is tight and you would rather avoid spending money on marketing, here are ways to attract new followers without spending a cent.
1. Focus on SEO
SEO is the most basic foundation of free online marketing. Search engines want to list the best sites on the internet and ignore the worst. So be one of the best, since most sites fall into the other category. It all begins with crafting unique content for a niche that people want to learn more about.
Avoid duplicating sites that are already popular. If you exhibit expertise that can’t be found elsewhere, based on unique keyword phrases, you have an excellent chance to gain search engine visibility.
It’s important to build quality backlinks to your site as well, as these are a strong indicator to search engines that your site is of value. While you may need to enlist some professional (paid) help along the way, there is a lot that you can do yourself for free.
2. Start a Blog
Google loves fresh, informative content and rewards sites that produce quality blog articles. You need to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry and share perspectives that keep followers coming back. Allowing for reader feedback is important for collecting leads, building relationships and letting search bots know people care about your content. The blog should be updated regularly, mixing facts with personality-driven commentary.
3. Repurpose content
The beauty of the internet is that it allows you to express yourself in many different ways. You can take the same content and create various versions of it. You could use an ebook or whitepaper to create a series of blog articles or email newsletters. The same content could be turned into video and shared on Youtube, expanding your reach across multiple platforms.
4. Share your content on social media
One of the best ways to get people interested in your web content is to share it on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram. You don’t need to have too many profiles, but it helps to have more than one to reach a wider target audience.
Colourful pictures are the most eye-catching content on social media and the most likely to draw instant response.
5. Guest blogging
Your online popularity often increases when you develop alliances with like-minded thought leaders. By inviting other experts to do guest blogs on your site, it opens the door for them allowing you to do the same on their sites. Cross-promotion is especially powerful when you are a guest on a blog that already has a huge following. Blogs run by mainstream media pros are excellent for this strategy.
6. Submit information to online directories
Google My Business is one of several search directories in which you can submit your business information and get indexed in local listings for your city. You can include photos, reviews and more. Yelp is another popular local directory, and a quick Google search will find many more. Not all of them are worth submitting to, so just choose the ones that look most relevant to you. Encourage your followers and customers to write reviews of your brand whenever possible.
7. Send out press releases
You can get the word out about your site by submitting press releases to news agencies that distribute them for free. Additionally, consider sending your press release to popular publications in your region and to national publications that focus on your industry. Try to build relationships with media professionals.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Use your imagination to go beyond what your competitors are doing. Remember that the more channels you use to get attention, the more success you will enjoy.
By Aaron Enright