Elbel Consulting Services, LLC
"Your one-stop shop for website consulting"

How can I promote my website?

A website should be considered an integral part of your overall marketing plan. Once you have created a website, the next the step is to promote the website, both on the internet and within more traditional channels.

The need for website promotion

It is no longer sufficient to create a great website and hope that people will find it. There are millions of websites and billions of website pages (nobody knows the exact count). An August, 2008 Netcraft survey found 176,748,506 websites, and there are many sites world-wide that were not found in the survey. Interestingly, the vast majority of websites were hosted on Unix/Apache servers. See the following chart, courtesy Netcraft.

Total Sites Across All Domains August 1995 - August 2008

The rapidly-growing plethora of websites means that there is stiff competition for search engine visibility across a common set of keywords and keyword phrases. For example, a recent Google search for "wedding dance bands" returned approximately 710,000 results, and a search for "Dallas plumber" returned approximately 810,000 results.

Thus, unless you have a very unique business/organization, keyword phrases that people will search for will likely return a large number of results and your website pages likely will not be listed near the top of the results. There are indeed techniques to get high search engine rankings - and they should be applied - but that alone will not be sufficient.

How to promote your website

Here are a number of ways that you can attract people to your website:

  1. Put your website URL (for example, www.ElbelConsultingServices.com) on your business cards, letterhead, envelopes and invoices. Leave off the "http://" part. It's ok to capitalize letters.
  2. Place your website on all marketing and advertising material.
  3. Email an announcement to customers, supporters, and friends (but avoid sending bulk spam). ECS offers quality email campaign management.
  4. Send out a press release, possibly using a service like PR WebDirect. For search engine visibility of your site, avoid using many keywords related to your site in order to keep the archived press release from competing with your site. (ECS is experienced at writing newsworthy and relevant press releases).
  5. Announce your website on your voice mail.
  6. Place it in your email signature.
  7. Include it on your checks.
  8. List it in trade association and organization directories.
  9. Add your site to your Yellow Pages listing to increase credibility and direct people to your website.
  10. List with your local Chamber of Commerce.
  11. List with the Better Business Bureau.
  12. Fax your clients about your new site.
  13. Tell friends, family, and others at work about your website.
  14. Distribute flyers and business cards.
  15. Take out bus stop advertising.
  16. Send out a postal mailing to customers and supporters telling them about your website.
  17. Promote your website in trade journals and newsletters.
  18. Wear a T-shirt or jacket with your website on it.
  19. Go to conferences, trade associations and conventions with your website on your name tag.
  20. Wear a scrolling LED name tag badge. Two sources are Hand Held Items and Think Geek.
  21. Take out an ad in the local paper to promote your company or organization and your website.
  22. Get an inexpensive DIY Neon Sign Kit.
  23. Take out a CraigsList ad.
  24. Take out an eBay classifieds ad.
  25. Conduct an advertising campaign.
  26. Encourage others to link to your website. This can include customers, suppliers, advertisers, supporters, friends, etc.
  27. Mutually exchange links with organizations and similar businesses who do not compete with you.
  28. Make sure your webmaster makes your website search engine friendly. See How do I get high search engine visibility.
  29. Make sure your webmaster submits your website to the main search engines and directories (but don't fall for services that claim to submit your site to thousands of search engines).
  30. Add a "tell a friend" form to your website.
  31. Consider paid placement with website directories, such as DMOZ and Yahoo.
  32. Consider pay per click (PPC) search engine advertising, such as with Google AdWords.
  33. Write product reviews at Amazon and on shopping sites. Be sure to include a link to your website.
  34. Write articles and make eZine posts with useful content that links to your website. Include keywords related to your website. This will help generate interested and qualified traffic to your website. eZines include: GoArticles, eZineArticles, iSnare and others - see the eZine directory and the Web-source eZine directory.
  35. Write forum and blog posts with useful content that links back to your website. See the article: Back To Basics: The Right and Wrong Reasons for Blogging.
  36. Create a blog, keep it current with quality content, and promote it on blog directories.
  37. Write a subject matter expert page at squidoo.
  38. Promote your site on various social media such as twitter - see this overview.
  39. Engage in "social marketing". Here is a collection of social marketing examples. Also see Back to Basics: The Right and Wrong Reasons for Using Social Media for Business.
  40. Evaluate list builders such as GetSubscribers or ListJoe (but don't send spam email).
  41. Place your website on your license plate frame. Place your website on your car with magnetic stickers.
  42. Place it on your company-owned cars and trucks.
  43. Tag similar sites on social sites such as digg, del.icio.us and others.
  44. Put a relevant poll on your website to increase interest and traffic.
  45. Place a contest on your website to generate interest and links.
  46. Update your site frequently in order to attract return visits.

In summary, there are lots of ways that you can promote your website. Use common sense and keep an eye out for everyday marketing opportunities. For more suggestions, see this comprehensive list at SEOBook and another at Kearney & Associates. Also, see How do I get high search engine visibility?

ECS will create exactly the website you want and will work with you to market and promote your website. Contact Elbel Consulting Services for more information on how to market your website.

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