5 Free Ways to Market Your Website
Extra, Extra! Market your website with no extra cost, in a way that makes an actual impact on your traffic.
And no, we not talking about eliciting the help of a 20th century peasant boy who’ll run around and toss newspapers at unsuspecting passers-by. We mean free, impactful marketing strategies that’ll help build your brand and trustworthiness in the long run.
Unlike the 20th century peasant boy strategy, this kind of marketing won’t get you cited to the Labour department for breaking at least a dozen labour laws. You also won’t fall under public scrutiny for the conditions your staff are working in.
In fact, the court of public opinion might even hold you in high regard if you offer real value. They’ll do so especially if what you’re marketing aligns with the value your product or service says it does.
So, if you market your baked bread as the best in town, you can be sure people will be flocking to your store (online or otherwise). If, however, you market it as the best and use low quality ingredients, you’ll lose all respect and trust from your customers.
Marketing and the services you offer go together. If you say each chocolate chip cookie will have at least eight chocolate chips, you better be counting them because trust is everything in today’s marketing climate. You wouldn’t want to be burnt at the stake because your last batch of cookies only had 6 and a half chocolate chips…
Fortunately, you can implement these marketing strategies to build your reputation. The best thing about them: they don’t cost a cent.
1. Social media
You may have guessed it. Social media is one of the best ways to plug your website. In the age of the internet and digital connection, being present online through various communicative platforms is a key method of connecting with your visitors or prospects.
It’s no surprise then that over 3,5 billion people use social media worldwide. That’s almost half the world talking, sharing, posting, and connecting via the digital. The same can’t be said for newspapers, so you can imagine how ineffective a paperboy might be.
If you don’t have any social media accounts, you’re not too late. Create business accounts on the relevant platforms so you can connect with your website visitors, share your content or deals, and drive traffic back to your website. Some good social media platforms to start would be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Depending on what your website is about you can also look into forums like Reddit, Quora, MyBroadband, or other inquiry-based social media.
One of the more popular social media outlets, many people you know might even be residents of the platform. You may have heard the modern classic: “It’s not Facebook official.” This, referring to status of one’s relationship. While “Facebook official” is no memorandum of marriage, the platform does carry a level of authority in everyday society as it is a public announcement of intention or commitment.
While your website won’t be proclaiming its love to each visitor, that authority can be leveraged to inform, engage, and connect with people who visit your website or other prospects. If the updates and statuses you post are relevant to the content you create on your website, and your niche in general, people will be happy to consume more of it from the source.
Think of Instagram as a photo album of your website. If you were to create the top moments of your website, bloopers, successes, grinding, adventures, the lot of it, how would you display all of that?
People enjoy stories, and Instagram allows for each person to tell theirs through a visual representation. Conveying the story of your website in a respectful, helpful way is, in a sense, the equivalent of having our paperboy on the corner.
Picture your hypothetical bakery posting daily pictures of baking, kneading dough, opening the store, serving your first coffee of the day, completing the first cupcake, and the list goes on.
The story you’re telling is that you’re hard at work offering something special for others to enjoy. Who, after seeing such delightful activities, would not want a red velvet cupcake filled with love? They may even pop in at 11:53am for your prized cupcakes if you agree that it counts as lunch because it’s almost 12:00pm.
This is the community and trust you want to create, and Instagram allows for that.
Reddit is a forum where people generally inquire about certain problems or issues they’re encountering within a specific niche. These are grouped by Communities. Forums are designed for online public discussions, not marketing. You don’t need to be connected or friends with other users to share posts or take part of discussions.
However, people tend to express themselves honestly on forums, meaning you can learn a lot from what people think, what they’re interested in, what they pain points are, the questions they have and issues they’d like resolved. You can maximize your trust factor by actively seeking out people with problems on these websites and helping them out at no cost to them.
Not every venture has to cost something. Your goal is the long game. Helping someone learn how to knead their dough or bake the perfect cheesecake will have an immediate and lasting impact on that person.
Offering your expertise without advertising your website is the key to success here, because people on Reddit tend to steer away from direct marketing. Instead, your goal should be to assimilate into the community and offer help wherever you can. The only advertising you’ll be doing outright should be your website’s name or something related as your username. A whiff that you’re trying to sell something, and they’ll shun you without second thought.
2. Search engine optimization (SEO)
One of the best (if not the best) ways to market your website, and it’s free. SEO is a set of practices that you implement on your website to increase its ranking in search engines like Google and thus create more organic traffic.
Ranking on top of the search results is, quite frankly, the best long-term marketing outcome. It allows you to have a steady flow of traffic to your website and creates the authority in your niche that you hope to assume.
The primary hurdle you’ll face with SEO is that it’s a monumental task. It’s not something that you change overnight and requires a good understanding of the proper SEO practices to make it work properly. There are some minor changes you can start implementing on your website to get the ball rolling.
If you’re not set on learning enough about the basics of SEO you may be better off bringing on a marketer to help you.
Some key things you can do to improve your ranking are:
- Using the appropriate keywords
- Building backlinks
- Create useful, unique, and fresh content
- Answer user queries in plain words
- Adding alt text to your images
3. Guest blogging
Guest blogging is exactly what the name infers. You write a blog post on someone else’s website. This can be a useful way to create awareness about your brand and authority on a website that might have a bigger audience than you do at present.
It’s all about finding the right places to write and doing so for the right people. Writing a post on the intricacies of different kinds of flour on an authoritative vehicle website won’t do much for your traffic.
Writing on a website that focuses on meal prep and general cooking, however, can be a huge traffic payday. It’s relatable to the viewers of that site and you can create enough backlinks in the post that direct them to your website for more baking goodness.
Don’t just link to your own website though. Use the post to deliver a unique perspective or content that those readers will not have seen on that website. Be sure to also link to the host website’s content. You want to build a good relationship and help everyone win.
4. Leverage your email signature
Sometimes the good old “Kind regards” just doesn’t cut it. Create a unique business signature that shows what you are about and looks professional. Think of your email signature as an online business card. Before you close off a conversation you hand it to them, so they know you are reachable and mean business.
Include all the relevant contact details, social media accounts, your website or brand stamp, and perhaps a lighted-hearted joke or slogan to make it extra memorable.
5. Create free resources
This one can take a shape you are most comfortable creating, but a free resource provides viewers or readers with value in an accessible way that is sure to paint you in a good light.
Think about when you’re walking around in a food market and one of the farm stalls offer some of their garden-grown strawberries. You can practically taste the GMO-free soil as the fruit plays Ring Around the Rosy on your tongue.
Next time you crave strawberries that stall is the one you’ll be thinking about. When someone asks about home grown fruit, that is the stall you’ll reference. They don’t pay you, and you get nothing in return for your marketing, except of course, that free strawberry.
Essentially, you’re marketing for that farm stall and all they had to pay you was one strawberry. That is the power of a free resource.
You don’t have to create a new resource all too often, but it must be unique and add real value. Rolling with our baking website, a PDF guide showing how to create pizza dough from start to finish, or a YouTube series showing how to bake with coconut flour would be useful to viewers.
After the resource is set, bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes and let rest. Basically, leave it be. Your job was creating the resource and you’ve done so. People will visit and leave over time, essentially doing your marketing for you.
Marketing is a key part of driving traffic to your website. These free methods make it even more accessible, now you’ve got no excuses for not getting yourself and your website out there.
Extra! Extra! Read all about it: Website came out of nowhere to take the world by storm!