If you are looking to publicise your business website, but don’t have a blue-chip budget to promote it online, there are a number of ways to let people know about your new venture with very little cash (if any).
Our web marketing section is full of tips on how to get your site noticed, and the underlying advice is to be persistent. Promoting your site is an ongoing and essential exercise.
The ultimate goal of any small business person is to appear in the Top 10 rankings in the major search engines. By far the most important search engine is Google. To gain good rankings, you’ll need to spend time keeping your site content fresh and exchanging links with other relevant sites. Try our guide: how to build links to your business website.
It can take many months before your website appears in a decent position in the major search engines (particularly Google), so in the meantime you can try “Pay-Per-Click” advertising. Using Google Adwords or Bing Search, you can bid for sponsored link positions on your chosen keywords – your campaign can be amended, started and stopped whenever your want. This can provide an instant flow of visitors to your new site.
Rather than trying to bid for the most competitive keywords, we’d recommend bidding on dozens (or hundreds) of more obscure keyword phrases – this should cost you far less in the long run.
There are thousands of discussion groups out there, dedicated to most business areas and interest groups. If you are an expert in your field, you should contribute to industry forums on a regular basis, ensuring that your new website appears in each post you make. Don’t overdo it, but a discreet link will not only attract direct website visitors, but each link will help towards your overall search engine rankings.
Led by Facebook, of course, social networking sites are now the most visited on earth, aside from search engines. Providing a new way to communicate with friends and colleagues, they also present an excellent marketing opportunity.
Sites such as linkedin allow you to upload details about your business venture as well as contact details. You can search for old and current colleagues online and spread the word about your new site.
And, you mustn’t forget Twitter as an interesting way to let customers know about promotions, if you can fit them in to 140 characters or less!
It may sound like a small thing to do, but ensure you place a link to your new website in your email “signature” – at Bytestart, we always do this when we launch a new venture or website, and all your current contacts will see the new link in a discreet location.
For more low-cost ideas to promote your website try our guide; 7 offline ways to publicise your website.