The topic of marketing your website is, in and of itself, a broad topic.
I almost hesitate to talk about marketing your website, except that I get asked about it so often. Usually the topic comes up around the time I give someone the bad news that a website isn’t marketing, but rather a website needs marketing. Therefore, I decided to write a very general overview for beginners.
Many of you who are more seasoned website owners might find this a bit too generic, however I hope this will help those of you who aren’t quite sure where to start.
8 Tips to Get You Started Marketing a Website
1. Keywords and Content are key
Most website marketing, in terms of Search Engine Optimization, boils down to the topics of improving your Keywords, and Creating Useful, Relevant Content. You may want to read my other articles on Keywords and on 12 Tips to Improve your website. You’ll find more information there.
2. Create content that begs to be shared on social media
You won’t hit it every time, however, you should aim for it. This means, attractive images that someone might share on Pinterest or Facebook. Incorporate the “tweet this” option in your content (I use this plug in through WordPress to do so).
Don’t make your content sound like an infomercial. Would you share an infomercial?
Using plug-ins and scripts in your website design, which is easy to do with WordPress, make it easy for people to share your content.
3. Share your content
Sharing your own content is a great idea, first in your website’s profile on social media, and then go in and share it to your personal profile.
Make sure your settings on what you are sharing are “public” so that it gets shared.
4. Make Your Site Easy to Navigate
Take some time to plan out your “information architecture”. That is, make sure your content all connects with itself through interlinking, so that you direct your visitors deeper into your site.
Decide where you need your visitors to go on your website, and then gently direct them to that location.
5. Business Cards
Now I know some people think this is lame, especially in this electronic age. However, I’ve gotten a load of visitors to my site, especially to my Healthy on the Cheap website, by striking up conversations with total strangers, then sharing my business card them for that site.
I find that it works better if you actually share the business card with them directly, instead of just leaving business cards on bulletin boards. In fact, recently, I went to the dentist for the first time in years (I know, I know), and I was horrified to find my ancient resume design business cards still on the community bulletin board. NOT A ONE of them were taken.
6. Word of Mouth
Like business cards, and perhaps an off shoot of the business card, is word of mouth. Tell people.
If you are passionate about what you’re doing, talk about it, without sounding like an infomercial. For example, most of these articles on starting a website originated with people asking me questions on the topic. Now, when someone asks me a question about this topic, I can direct them to the website.
In fact, I leave the back of my business card blank, so I can write a direct link to the content for them. I created pages in WordPress so that the content link for different topics is easy to find, and I have a list of them written down in case I forget. Sure, most CMS’s including WordPress automatically create archive pages based on categories and tags, however I find to works better to create something a little more personalized and customized, in which I direct the visitor through all of the steps of a topic in a logical order.
If I know what content someone I just met is looking for, they will be better helped if I direct them to the exact content they need, instead of just to my home page.
7. Relevant Link Sharing
When it comes to fellow website owners, if their website is related to mine in some way or if they have a related post, sometimes we will work together by linking to each other’s post. This is only helpful if it is related and relevant to your visitors and theirs.
8. Be Patient
It might take a while for people to start to notice you. Just be consistent, don’t give up, and be patient while the search engines index your site.