How to Attract More Visitors and Buyers to Your Website - Site Promotion and Link Building Tips and Tricks for Beginners
Setting up an own website and creating a web presence is only the first step in maximizing the benefits of the internet for your business. A more crucial step is to attract prospects to your existing website. After all, you will need web visitors, buyers and clients to earn money online.
There are several ways to get web traffic. Some of them are free, others require a bit of investment. We have created a list that shows various methods for promoting your business (and website) both online and offline. Experiment with these methods and see which ones work best for your business.
1. Free site promotion strategies
For marketers and webmasters who have a tight budget there are many ways to promote their website for free. Here are a couple of the most common ways used today:
Search engine optimization (SEO) helps marketers in getting better search engine rankings. You can read more about it in our tutorial called SEO guide: how to get better rankings in search engines, here. In a nutshell, SEO is about optimizing your web pages for so called keywords. Keywords are the words and phrases that people enter into the search box of a seach engine, such as Google, when they look for information online about something. The search engine gives them a long list of related web pages that contain the information searched for. As a webmaster, your goal is to get your web pages the highest rankings possible in those search engine results for your chose keywords. SEO is a collection of methods that helps you achieve that.
As the name implies, viral marketing aims to make some online content go viral. It could be a Youtube video (embedded into external websites), a free PDF report, an infographic, a podcast, images, free apps, scripts, articles or other multimedia files. Usually, these viral files link back to your website or direct users to your site in another way. This is an effective way of attracting prospects to your website.
Using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Youtube, Reddit and other popular social media sites can help marketers draw attention to their websites. These platforms are also a great place for reaching out to potential visitors and buyers, and at the same time interacting with other players in your niche. Before you immerse yourself into the messy world of social media, find out which platform fits the best your needs. Where do your prospects hang out? Knowing this will save you a lot of wasted time and effort, and will help you to focus on the right media channels.
About 10 years ago, sending content to free article directories was a simple way to reach out to new audiences. Why? Because publishers were hungry for new content that they could put on their website. If a well-written article caught the eye of the webmaster of an established blog or website, and uploaded it to their site, it meant free exposure and a backlink for the author of the article. These articles usually had a bio section, where they inserted a link to their own website. So, once a syndicated piece of writing went viral, it directed new visitors to the author's own website. Free promotion! Content syndication has changed a bit since then, but it's still a relatively painless option for tapping into new niche audiences. Today the most frequently used form of online content syndication is probably guest blogging, or being a guest contributor on an internet portal. Try to approach high-traffic blogs in your niche and offer your guest posts for publication.
This is a classic way of reaching your target market online. Most niches, hobbies, interests have their very own internet forums. Seek out the leading ones in your niche and become a contributor to these online communities. Offering useful tips and advice for niche related problems will help you draw attention to your own website (by using auto-signatures on forums, or linking directly to content on your website). It will also enable you to get in contact with other players in your field that could lead to new business opportunities in the future.
Free classifieds sites:
Posting ads on free classifieds sites is a promotional technique that may work for some niches quite well, but not so much for others. You need to experiment with this tactic and see how much you can benefit from this way of advertising.
2. The hidden power of email marketing
Email marketing is a highly effective way of turning prospects into customers. Check out our article about how to warm cold traffic into rabid and loyal repeat buyers, here. To apply this technique, you will need an autoresponder service such as Getresponse.
Ezine solo ads / email newsletter ads:
Many websites with an active newsletter offer advertising space in their newsletter. It could be a sponsored link, a sponsored section, a proper advertisement or a solo ad where the whole newsletter is dedicated to an advertiser. You could use this promotional technique to direct traffic to a sign-up page where you can capture the contact information of prospects. Once the prospect has signed up to your own email list, it's up to you how you turn them into a buyer.
3. Low cost online and offline advertising methods
There are many forms of paid advertising both online and offline, starting at a cheap price and ranging to price levels where you have to dig much deeper into your pocket.
Ad banners are a classic form of online advertising. Check out blogs and online magazines in your niche that offer advertising space. Use them to experiment with banner ads.
Sponsored reviews (on blogs):
Many blogs offer sponsored reviews or sponsored blog posts. If it's something that you think may help your business, try it.
PPC and CPM ads:
PPC (pay-per-click) and CPM (ads based on 1000 impressions) are a quick and efficient way to attract highly targeted web traffic. Google Adwords is the leading player in that industry, but trying Bing, Facebook, Twitter and other media outlets that offer this form of paid advertising are also worth a try.
If you are a marketer selling you own products, then setting up an affiliate program may be a highly lucrative way of tapping into other marketers traffic. Basically, what you do is to offer a commission after the sales that other marketers bring to you. For digital products, Clickbank, E-junkie and JVZOO are popular choices for establishing an own affiliate program. For physical products, you might want to try the more established affiliate networks.
Paid listings in business directories:
Before the age of the internet businesses would have themselves included in Yellow Pages and other business directories. These are still useful places for promoting your business, and many of them come in an online version, as well. Seek out online business directories that are relevant to your industry and get a paid listing in them.
Classifieds, both online and offline, are still a significant source for finding service providers, products and all sorts of stuff. Getting an ad in the classifieds section of a newspaper or magazine is still a relatively cheap way of advertising a business.
Publishing an ad in a magazine is not necessary a cheap lark. But if you advertise in a industry or interest specific magazine, it's an easy way to reach your target audience directly.
The power of personal contacts in your industry is worth much more than many ads. Join trade associations or business clubs and attend business events in your niche. They are the perfect playground for building professional relationship with other figures in your industry. The online equivalent of this may be LinkedIn, but to create truly valuable relationships in your field, it's important to mix with people in person.
Try to get yourself on the air in a radio program or a podcast. Get interviewed on a TV program or on the Youtube channel of an authority figure in your field. Get an interview in the print media. That is a free way of getting exposure to your target audience. If that's not an option, look for paid opportunities, such as radio commercial on your local station, TV ad spots on a local or cable channel or a sponsored article in a magazine.
Which promotional tactics to choose?
In the above list we have gathered quite a few possible ways for getting the word out about your business. But before you start applying any of them, the most important thing is to do a thorough market research about your target audience. Who are they? Where do they hang out? Do they consume online media, or are they more likely to buy offline media? Are they tech savvy or more old-school? Once you know the answer to these questions you can start selecting the kind of promotional methods that are most likely to reach your prospects.
Feedback and tracking:
Analyzing the results of your marketing activities is crucial for future success. Track your campaigns (there are many scripts for tracking online campaigns) and don't neglect to ask for feedback. Use polls and surveys. This way you can determine which advertising methods worked best for you and you can focus on the best performing ones while ditching the less successful ones. Following this strategy will help you to increase your ROI. After all, your advertising budget is limited, and you should aim for using your resources as effectively as possible.-----------------------------------------
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