How to Market Your Website for Free

KristinaW

Member
Back in the day, say, around 2005, all someone had to do was pop up a website and it would pretty much market itself. The search engines were extremely forgiving back then and there wasn't a lot of competition. These days though, a site has got to show it's actually worth something to show up in the search results. The days of doing almost no work and making lots of money are long gone.

Through the years, I've owned and operated quite a few websites. Some of them have taken off while others were bad ideas from the beginning. Today, I work primarily on my blog, so that's what I'll be referring to in this post. Well, that's what I'll be thinking about as I write, anyway. What I share below applies to any type of website though, so don't think these techniques don't apply to your situation if I don't expressly communicate that.

There are two primary goals when it comes to marketing a website. One goal is to acquire visitors today and the other goal is to acquire visitors tomorrow. The whole thing is sort of like the financial world. You can work a job to make a paycheck. That's money today. It's simple cash flow. Then, you can invest that money so it grows on its own and pays you tomorrow. That's long and enduring income. Website growth and marketing should be treated primarily as an investment. You want traffic over the long haul so you shouldn't only focus on getting the one time visitors that stop by your site because something exciting happened. While that's nice, you really want to build a network of links and alliances so your traffic is growing steadily through the years.

What I'll do below is list a few techniques that I know work. I won't go into very detailed specifics because each of these topics is much deeper than I'm prepared to write today. Perhaps I'll delve into them in future posts.

1. Okay, let's start at the beginning. You set up your website. If I had to guess, you found a nice CMS (content management system) and are either using it as a pre-installed service on a server or you set up your own install on your own server or shared hosting solution. Examples of a few CMS options can be Wordpress, Joomla, Xenforo, vBulletin, etc... While it feels good to finally have a site up and running, what's of critical importance is that you configure it so it's friendly SEO-wise. Websites out of the box are notorious for creating issues for search engines, so you'll need to fix all of those. I advise that you really study and get to know how each and every page on the site works and then to block duplicate pages and 301 redirects liberally in the robots.txt file. To learn more about this, you can study up on SEO, duplicate content, crawl budget, and ranking factors in general. The reason I mentioned this first is because without properly configuring a website, you won't get very far with the remaining suggestions I have for you below. Also, I do recognize that this is a huge topic, so if you have any questions about it, please feel free to ask down below. It's very important, so please ask away.

2. Next, you'll need to add content to your site. Again, without this, you'll get nowhere with your advertising. If your site is lousy, you'll be hunting and pecking for those one time visitors I mentioned above. You don't want them. You want visitors to keep coming back, time and time again, to read your wonderful writing or to buy your wonderful products. When adding content, be sure it's not taken from someplace else. While it's easy to duplicate things on the internet, it's no good for attracting visitors. To learn more about this, research how to create compelling and high quality content as well as how to avoid duplicate content.

3. At this point, you've got your site set up and it's got some nice high quality content on it. I'd say it's time to ask a couple of other website owners to link their sites to yours. I'll warn you upfront, this isn't an easy thing to do (get them to link to you, that is). Entire companies are set up and are filled with employees who try to attract links to their clients' websites. It's a tremendously difficult task. To make you feel better, I'll let you know that if your content is good enough and valuable to those who read it, folks will link their websites to yours without you asking. But until they find you, that's not likely to happen. In the beginning, you'll need to ask. I suggest that you hit up friends and family first. If you know someone who has a website, ask them for a link. They're much more likely to comply. Then, go out on the web and find other sites that are similar to yours. Send these site owners an email with a compelling reason why they might want to link to you. Some may comply, but most won't. It's all in the numbers with this task. The more people you ask for links, the more links you'll get. To learn more about this, research how to attract or gain links to your website. There's plenty of literature on this out there.

4. You're going to need to have a social media presence sooner or later, so you should probably get this out of the way early as well. After your site is set up and you've got some content on it, go ahead and set up a Facebook and Twitter page. Then, post a few of your pages on these properties so they're not empty. Ask a few friends to like and follow these pages and then begin building a community based on your website. Look up how to grow a Facebook page. It'll take a while, but it'll get larger through the years if you stick to it.

5. A great way to attract visitors to your website through the years is to create content on the web that hangs around long after you're gone (from the website, not the earth). An example of this might be a Youtube video. If you make one (or more) of these and it's of high quality and answers someone's need, it'll endure through the years and you'll not have to do anything to maintain it. Just make sure the video contains a link to your site in it or you include one in the video's description. Beyond that, you can write guest posts on people's blogs that contain links back to your site in them. Also, a really great way to market your site is to join a few forums and to become active contributors in them. Be sure to add a link to your site in your forum signature. The more people read your great posts, they more likely they'll be to visit your site to check you out. Again, these posts live long after you stop visiting the forum, so they endure, which is what you want. Also, don't forget to add a signature link in your email account too. That way, every single email you send out will be telling someone about your site.

6. If you have big news about your site or if you're writing about something of great importance, try sending out a press release that contains a link to your site. There are tons of services that can handle this and there are many industry specific press releases that get sent out every day. Research this topic because it's a great idea.

7. When writing or adding content to your website, make sure you're using valuable keywords to promote yourself. Adding a title like, "Come and Get It" isn't going to attract anything. Something along the lines of, "1982 Honda Civic for Sale in Cincinnati" is much more like it. Also, if you're writing forum or blog posts, be sure to use a catchy title and study up on the keywords that should be contained in the text.

8. Don't ever forget how important content is to the search engines. Don't think you'll get away with writing a few blog posts and then walking away. Search engines, as well as people, like new fresh ideas on a regular basis. When launching a website, be prepared for it to become a lifestyle. The more you put into your website, the more traffic you'll get. Spend a few hours per day on the site. If you've got some sort of an ecommerce site that's stagnant, then set up a blog as well and write on that. Whatever you do, you don't want the site to get stale and boring. Feed it well.

9. If you think you'll get a return on your investment, you can try placing Google ads as well as Facebook ads. These are sure-fire methods for attracting visitors. Just make sure you're not throwing your money away. You'll need a reason for people to come to your site. Don't waste your money for a quick high after looking at your traffic stats. The goal here is sustained growth. Also, don't forget about paying for email marketing. Lots of emails get send out to people every day for all sorts of reasons. There are services who can place a sponsored link to your site in these messages. Find them and use them.

10. Finally, get out there and become active. Use Facebook and Instagram to your benefit. Write profusely on forums to raise awareness about yourself and your site. You need to turn into one of the "cool kids" and chat yourself up wherever you go. This is no time to be shy and modest. Modesty never got anyone anywhere on the internet. Bombastic personalities are much more beneficial at times like these.

Do you have any more idea for marketing a website? If so, please let me know down below. Thanks!
 
How to Market Your Website for Free was posted on 08-18-2020 by KristinaW in the Tech Forum.
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