3 Free Ways to Promote Your Business Online
Promoting your business and getting found in the search results can take time and patience. There is no single magic trick to get a lasting position on page 1.
People focus all of their efforts on getting that magic page 1 listing, but this takes time. There are many ways in which you can dramatically increase traffic to your site while still striving for that page 1 listing.
You don’t have to be a web design expert to promote your business online, just know your business and be willing to market it.
The 3 Free Ways to Promote Your Business Online
Here are three quick, free and easy ways to build traffic to your site today. Each of these has a knock on effect of increasing your search engine ranking also.
- Update site content regularly (blog)
- Be active and get found on social media sites
- Increase the number of links from other sites to your site
Using these 3 techniques alone, you can instantly double the traffic to a poorly performing website. If you are already using some of these techniques, the benefits will be less dramatic but still very beneficial.
Let’s look at each item in a little more detail.
Blogging is the single easiest way to keep your website current and interesting. Implementing a blogging system such as WordPress will allow you to write content any time without any knowledge of web design.
Before you start ranting and jotting down the first thing that comes to you, here are some tips for writing useful blogs.
- Write catchy titles. Attract readers with catchy titles.
- Write something relevant to your business. It may sound obvious, but write some useful content that your customers will be interested in.
- Determine the keywords before you start. Keywords are literally the most important words in your blog; the words that summarise what you are writing. When people search on Google they type in keywords such as “web designer ireland” or “tablet computer review”. Are you on the same wavelength as your customers? Are you writing about the topics that they are searching for? If yes, then you have a great chance of being found.
- Remember the keywords as you write. Be natural in your language but remember to include the keywords in the title and throughout the page.
- Link to other relevant blog posts. If you have written other blog posts that your readers might also be interested in, then link to those.
- Provide an opportunity for feedback. Allow your readers to comment on your posts and reply to their comments or questions in a timely manner.
- Provide links to enquiry forms. Make it easy for readers to become clients. Use large colourful “call to action” buttons to encourage your readers to make an enquiry or buy a product.
- Blog regularly. For some people this will be twice a month, for others it will be daily. Blog as often as you can, with well-written useful content.
Remember, your readers are people too. They are not looking for a novel, just some useful information that may solve a problem that they have.
One of the most common questions you will be asked by other adults is “What do you do?” or “What do you work at?”. This question often leads to business later when they need your services and remember talking to you. How would it change your business if everyone already knew what you do? Not just your friends, but their friends too. Imagine having this wide network of potential clients!
Social media makes this possible.
At a very minimum you should be on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. Here are some quick tips:
Create a business page for your business. This is different that a standard Facebook users page but you will use the same login to control both. Every time post the same content to Facebook and Twitter. There are ways of automating WordPress blog posts to Facebook and Twitter.
Treat your personal Facebook account differently from your business Facebook account. Interact socially with your friends using your personal Facebook account. Every now and then, like or share one of your Facebook business posts (or “status updates” to use the correct terminology).
Ask friends and family to like your business page. If they do this, then updates to your business page will appear on their timeline for all of their friends to see.
Share content regularly on Twitter. Follow everyone you know and it’s likely that they will follow you.
Retweet other peoples content and reply to tweets that interest you. Believe it or not, this type of activity is noticed on Twitter and you will become trusted by your followers, who will tweet, reply and mention your business also.
Post updates of business achievements, new contracts awarded or new industry events to show that you are at the cutting edge of your technology. Remember to include a link back to the related article on your website. Also include a hash-tag. For example, If I tweeted about web design I could include the has tag #webdesign. Then, whenever someone searches for #webdesign on twitter, my post would appear. These searches are date based so you wont last for long unless others retweet and favourite it, in which case it could become a “Top Tweet” and stay on top of the list for longer.
A picture speaks a thousand words. A video is even better.
For many people, You Tube IS their search engine. If you are not on You Tube, you don’t exist. If you own a smart-phone you can post a video to You Tube, as there are many useful apps that will help you to do this.
Post a funny, interesting or useful video and you will build a following who will visit your site (remember to add links back to your site).
Others of Note
Google +, Pintrest, Linked In and Flickr are other great places to share your content and build a following.
If you don’t promote your business on social media, you are missing out on the opportunity to let people know what you do.
When someone links from another website to your website, the search engines see that as a vote for your website.
Not all links are equal. Try to get links from reputable websites that are in the same general industry as you. If possible, request that they include keywords in the link back to your site, not just the words “click here”. If you know a little HTML you can even send them the code that they can use to link back to your site.
Here is an example of the html snippet I might use:
<a href="https://www.irishwebhq.com">Web Design Experts - Irish Web HQ</a>
You can edit as suits.
Getting a link from a trusted website in your industry serves two purposes:
- Visitors to that site might follow the link to yours
- It is one of the quickest ways to boost your search engine ranking
If you are just interested in getting to page 1 of Google then getting inbound links is the method for you
Here are some ways to build inbound links:
- Write good content, or provide a good service or remarkable deals and people will link to your website
- Contact others in your industry who are not direct competitors and offer to exchange links
- Get listed in the relevant category in local directories
- Write a featured article for the online version of a local newspaper (with links back to your site)
- Create something free that others can put on their website, with a link back to yours. For example, a training manual or useful spreadsheet.
- Always add your website address to the footer of your emails.
- Join an industry forum and include your website address in forum posts, where allowed.
- Work for a government agency or do some free work or sponsorship for a community or volunteer group, and get a link back to your site.
Finally, Track Progress
You don’t have to be a web design expert or social media guru to increase your customer base. Use these simple tips as a starting point and track the improvements in page ranking and visitors to your site. Google Analytics is great for this, and it’s free! See what keywords people are using to search for your site and what page they link or ignore. This will give you some key information that you can use to improve your website content, and write even better posts the next time around.