Now that you’ve got your business up and running — and a website to match — you’ve got a new challenge: attracting the eyes of customers.
Building awareness about your site is at the heart of marketing, and each business has a different approach. But where to begin?
We’ve compiled a list of the different types of marketing: what they are, why you should consider them, and how to implement them. Ready to promote your website? Let’s get started.
4 Ways to Promote Your Website
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing involves using — you guessed it — the content you produce as leverage for engaging consumers. By providing valuable content, you build credibility and trust with potential customers. You establish yourself as an authoritative source by offering content that meets a particular need.
There are a multitude of different content types that your business can offer, including blog posts, social media, podcasts, infographics, videos, guides, reviews, lists, ebooks, illustrations, newsletters, and more.
How to Begin Content Marketing
To determine which kind of content would be most valuable for your site, consider the content you’ve willingly consumed recently. What has engaged, inspired, educated, and motivated you? What formats were most accessible and useful?
Also consider your audience; take time to understand who your desired customers are, what their needs are, and how your content can help them. Reach out to existing customers for insight and then plan accordingly.
While there many ways to distribute your content, social media has proven to be the most popular, overtaking traditional advertisements. Social media also allows you to capitalize on timeliness, purchase advertising, encourage user-generated content, and access useful analytics.
The Power of Video
Videos are another way to share quality, engaging content that drives traffic. Need convincing? According to Cisco, video traffic will be 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2020. That’s a lot of virtual real estate up for grabs!
While videos typically are more cost- and labor-intensive to produce, they improve SEO and are 10 times more likely to engage your audience than text-only content. If you haven’t already accepted the challenge of utilizing video to market to your customers, then you’re missing out.
Remember, content marketing requires consistency and organization. It requires a plan, and you’ve got to focus on churning out quality work, while still keeping your content fresh and timely. Consider your audience, set goals, and choose the right content formats. As you produce and share your content, you’ll be able to see your business grow.
2. Search Engine Optimization
SEO: one of those acronyms that you’ve heard of but might not know how to define — or how to implement.
Search Engine Optimization is a host of practices and techniques designed to optimize your website for search engines, so that your pages show up higher in the results list. As nearly two-thirds of all internet traffic is generated by organic search, it’s important to educate yourself on SEO.
If you don’t, it’s likely you won’t be found by the 94 percent of people who only view the first page of Google search results. And remember: 93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine, so getting SEO smart will help you find more potential visitors.
How to Start Optimizing Your Site
Consider it a type of virtual science: the right keywords result in better SEO, which moves you up the list on Google’s search engine results pages, getting you more eyes, more customers, and a faster-growing business. In essence, you’re looking to not only appeal to online consumers with attractive graphics and useful content on your website, but you also must meet the requirements of search engines, like:
- Relevancy of your content: How pertinent is it to a searcher’s query?
- User experience: Is your site navigable, filled with quality content, and fast?
- Linking: Do your internal links provide your site authority and increased traffic?
- Descriptions and tags: Are they accurate and relevant?
- Responsiveness: Does your site adapt on multiple devices?
Sound like a challenge? It is. But SEO is especially useful to small businesses because it allows you to tailor content for your most relevant audience.
More Ways to Improve SEO
If you’ve already taken the above steps but still need to improve your site’s ranking, consider these suggestions.
- Do your own search tests to learn which niche-specific keywords you should be using.
- Keep an eye on Google Trends for keywords that you can spin into timely content. You can also use Google’s Keyword Planner or other online tools.
- Install an SEO plugin.
- Have a security certificate.
- Make sure Google can find your photos by naming your images “brown-teddy-bear” rather than the standard file names like “IMG0002759.”
- Have other sites link to yours.
3. Pay-Per-Click Advertising
More pageviews: going once, going twice, sold to the highest bidder!
Another element of online marketing is PPC, a paid advertising search model that allows you to bid on keywords on top search engines. When you are the highest bidder, your advertisement appears at the top of search engine results pages.
In essence, you’re buying visits to your site rather than attracting them organically.
Marketers often choose this strategy because it’s extremely targeted. You get to choose specifically who to show your ads to based on location, keywords, interests, age, gender, language, and even the type of device used. This means you can advertise your website directly to the people who will be most interested.
On top of that, PPC is fast (you don’t have to wait for organic search growth), and it;s trackable. You can monitor the performance of your ads and adjust as necessary.
How to Create a PPC Campaign
To start utilizing PPC, you need a Google AdWords account. Research keywords related to your site, select them, and choose your bidding amount. From there, you build a search campaign that involves more details — including writing your copy and choosing where your ad will run.
PPC advertising isn’t free, but it usually leads to a healthy ROI.
4. Email Marketing
If you’re looking for a cost-efficient and time-effective way to market your website, consider email marketing. It’s proven to increase awareness of your business, generate repeat sales, and boost revenue.
Email marketing is a promotion strategy that involves sending one email message to many people and is permission-based, so customers have to opt-in. Instead of trying to reach them on social media or through organic searches, you are given access directly to their inboxes — a tactic that has helped many small businesses.
How to Start Email Marketing
First, sign up for an email marketing account. We recommend Constant Contact, which offers email marketing tools perfect for small businesses. There you can choose from easy-to-use templates, list building tools, email tracking, and contact management. Then build an email subscriber list through a signup form on your website.
Email marketing is especially useful for its real-time qualities. Email reports show who opened your campaigns, what links they clicked, and how engaged they are, which allows you to measure the success of your campaigns and adjust strategies accordingly.
Just keep these email marketing best practices in mind:
- Make sure you get permission before adding new contacts to your email list.
- Proofread all copy for mistakes and errors.
- Verify the accuracy and functionality of included links.
- Preview the format by sending yourself a copy.
- Follow guidelines for subject line length (5-8 words, 40 characters including spaces).
- Avoid spam filter triggers: excessive punctuation (“free!!!!”), hiding your identity, or sending irrelevant content.
There are obviously many ways to promote your website. To figure out what marketing strategies are best for you, analyze your options based on the goals, capabilities, and resources of your business. Then get to work and watch your pageviews grow!
Want more tips? Call our experts at 855-676-2129 to learn how you can create a marketing strategy to jumpstart your online business.
Kasee Bailey is a freelance writer who draws on her experience working at one of the nation’s top b-schools to report on education, savvy startups, and the latest business trends.