It’s live – Now What!
The website design process is complete. You worked hard on your content, images and website’s look and feel and finally uploaded your complete website. Your website is live, anyone, anywhere on the Internet can find you. The website SEO has been done so that even Google will be looking for your website. So now what do you do? Sit back and wait to see what happens or actively work the magic of the world wide web? Here are 4 simple ways to promote your website.
Understanding the purpose of your website is the first step in deciding what your online strategy should or will be. Will you choose the Short or Long Term Solution for your marketing activities?
Short Term Solutions
The short term solution is quite simple. Once your website is up and running this approach is just to sit back and wait.
With only on page SEO in place, your site will be found by Google and some customers. To put this in real life terms, it is the same as someone walking down the street and picking up a printed old school pamphlet lying on the pavement, and getting in touch with you. Let’s call this luck. So instead of calling it a short term solution let’s call it “the lucky approach.”
The Long Term Solution to promote your website
The most successful websites in the world use this approach for their online presence. But what is the long term solution or approach. It is the understanding that growing your digital persona or brand does not happen over night, but follows a slow path where constant attention and work is required. You will experience highs and lows with each action you take, some will work and some won’t. The trick is to learn from each success but also from each failure.
Here are some steps to take in your long term approach.
Steps to take to promote your website
The best way to promote your website is to look for every potential opportunity to do so, whether it is in front of customers, friends and family at a braai or at social and business events. Always be prepared to punt not only you, your business but also your website.
Here are some common and well know activities that can add to your online brand.
1 – Social Media
The best way to interact and inform your current and potential customers as well as give them a voice, is to use social media platforms.
There are well over 100 different social media websites and platforms available world wide.
Each platform has a specific target market and purpose. Choosing which social media to use will depend on your customers, your products and services.
the question to ask is where will my target audience best see my message.
The most popular social media platforms have become part of our everyday lives. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest allow us to keep in touch with friends, family, colleagues and companies in a way that has never been before. Marketing your business on these platforms is a MUST for any business.
- Social Media is a social platform so make your posts, tweets and articles informative, entertaining and shareable.
- Do Not use social media to make the hard sell. You will lose followers if all you do is sell, sell, sell.
- Use your social media pages to link to your website, to strengthen your brand and drive traffic to your website.
- Use social media to engage with your audience, ask questions and get feedback.
For more on social media read this article.
2 – Promote, Promote, Promote
This is often the easiest and also the most neglected long term approach. Promote your website at any and every opportunity you get. The more times you can get your brand in someone’s face, the better the chance that they will remember it when they need it.
The goal of any branding exercise is to get people to remember you.
- Place your website address on your company stationery, ie; business cards, letterheads and complimentary slips etc.
- Place a link to your website onto your email signature. You can also add your social media links here as well.
- If you still use old school (but effective) print advertising, ensure that your social media and website links are included.
- Using a QR Code will make your website accessible with a smart phone from your printed material.
- If you place relevant comments onto blogs or are into social media commenting and sharing, and it is relevant to your website, place a link back to your website in your comments.
3 – Blogging
This is one of the BEST methods of attracting and retaining readers. Apart from the wealth of information that you can pass onto others, Google will reward your website with SEO points, especially if the blog is informative and well visited.
A blog is not a sales pitch about products and features or the services you offer. It should be about giving information to educate and entertain the reader. Putting a plug into the blog about what your services or products is acceptable, but should not be the sole purpose of the blog.
Blog topics can vary in your blog section of the website and don’t have to be focused on a single topic, but should follow a theme of ideas.
A blog should become a reference point for information. The goal of a blog should be read, enjoyed and shared with others.
Getting Blog Ideas!
- What are pain points for your customers.
- Frequently Asked Questions.
- Explanations of processes and systems.
- How to’s.
- Comments from social media pages.
- New trends in the industry.
Blogging is a great way to keep adding fresh content to your website!
4 – Free Services
There are many free and low cost advertising opportunities available to the small business. It is just a matter of finding them and using them to promote your website. Many of these websites have large audiences which you can take advantage of. These companies setup these websites and offer you free advertising space. You might wonder how they make money. It is quite simple, they earn advertising revenue from the ads on their site as well as commissions or transaction fees from sales made off their sites.
Google My Business
Google local business is a great way to gain customers in your area. The process is simple: log into the Google Local Business web page using your Gmail account user-name and password, and complete the pages that follow. Once you are listed in the local business pages, when someone searches for your company name, a new website listing will be displayed on the Google SERP or Search Engine Results Page.
This listing gives valuable information and images on your company, once again strengthening your brand image and online presence.
Social Media Groups
As mentioned earlier in this article, social media is a valuable tool in the marketing arsenal. Other ways to use social media apart from posting status updates and commenting on others’ posts, is to join groups. Groups are like online clubs, where members join when they have a shared area of interest.
Searching in your chosen social media platform for groups that you can join that are in your field of expertise, are a great way to reach not only customers but peers.
In every newspaper and most magazines available on the shelves, classifieds are a main component. The digital age is no different. Classified websites for almost every product or service are available online, – Gumtree and Bizcommunity are two popular online classified websites. Using these websites give you a cost effective if not free access, to a large database of existing and new visitors.
Ensuring that you promote your website at any and all opportunities is a crucial role in any business. It can be time consuming, but taking the initiative will reap great rewards in the long term. Slow and steady wins the race. Outsourcing some of these activities can help to take the burden off your shoulders, but always remember that it is YOUR business to look after and make a success of.
There are activities you can outsource, but only you have the knowledge and full understanding of what you do day in and day out. Don’t rely on others to have the same vision and goal for your business as you do.
Small things to do daily such as making sure that your website is up and running, checking your chosen social media platforms regularly, responding to comments, posts, questions and queries all present a professional image as well as strengthen your brand offline and online.
As George Berkeley said “If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound?”
If your website is on the Internet, but nobody sees it, is it really there?
Don’t upload and forget. Keep it fresh, creative and relevant.