There is a lot of information on how to promote a website on the Internet. And it’s often confusing. Solution? This article right here.
Have you ever caught yourself thinking one of the following thoughts?
- Who are these stupid people that click on contextual ads in Google?
- Oh God, not another “sign up for my mailing list pop-up”
- Alright, another guy who considers himself guru of whatever
- Man, I hate these stupid banners
- Yeah, right, this article on my favorite blog looks nothing like an infomercial
If the answer is “yes,” congratulations! You are a natural-born online marketer.
For most people, though, the answer is “no,” which means they’re OK with folding under the pressure of advertising once in a while. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, believe me.
We are all receptive to advertising to a certain degree. No one is immune to its overbearing presence. However, there is smart advertising and there’s bulls*it advertising. Everyone knows how to do the latter, while we would definitely want to concentrate on the former.
Every time you see someone mention advertising in the context of a website, you might as well call it website promotion. So this is what we’re going to talk about today. You will learn a ways for promoting a website and many interesting things along the way.
Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing
When people talk about promoting a website, they usually mean one of the techniques, which belong either to inbound marketing or to outbound marketing.
Let’s see what they are and how they stack against each other in terms of approach.
Inbound Marketing: Promoting a website through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, newsletters, whitepapers, SEO, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to attract customers through the different stages of the sales funnel (via Wikipedia).
Outbound Marketing: Promoting a website through continued advertising, promotions, public relations, and sales.
Inbound Marketing: Earn customer’s trust via quality content that brings real value. Permission-based.
Outbound Marketing: Reach out to the widest audience possible with a certain targeted sales message. Interruption-based.
Inbound Marketing: Subscription-based opt-in email marketing, blogging, SEO, landing page strategy.
Outbound Marketing: Radio, TV, print advertising, billboards, emails.
Inbound Marketing: Holistic: employing many tactics at once to eventually turn visitors into followers and then into customers.
Outbound Marketing: Linear: using different mediums to approach different audiences.
Inbound Marketing: Quantifiable: everything you do can be measured to see how well it works and how your actions influence the final result (conversion rate, ROI, A/B testing etc).
Outbound Marketing: Mostly immeasurable: you only know the size of the audience. It’s very hard to measure the effect of outbound marketing precisely.
Inbound Marketing: Owning: once you’ve built up a group of followers/subscribers, they’re at your disposal. Even if you stop acquiring new visitors, they’ll stay.
Outbound Marketing: Renting: every time you need more people to reach out to, you will have to pay for another campaign round.
As you can see, these two approaches are quite different and I personally would favor inbound marketing.
But that doesn’t mean outbound marketing is bad – hey, all major successful companies use it and have absolutely no problem with it. Take Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon – all these guys use outbound marketing extensively, although, they do use inbound marketing too.
It just happens that outbound marketing requires a lot of investment and is mostly unacceptable for small online businesses and start-ups.
So, ideally, it’s the combination of two – get the best of both worlds.
How to Promote a Website Using Inbound Marketing Strategies
Enough of this theory – let’s get down to the practical stuff. I won’t state the obvious things like “earn trust” and “build confidence” among your visitors – you know that better than me.
I will go into specifics and give you tried-and-true strategies that are working. Just don’t forget to give me some credit when you become a millionaire – “thanks” should suffice 🙂 .
1. Give Your Visitors Something for FREE
I mean it. Give them something for free. Life is all about sharing.
Turn your inner capitalist off and offer your website visitors something that they can take away for free. They will highly regard this act of generosity, trust me.
For example, you run a website, which sells hand-made children toys. Why not create an extensive guide for parents explaining which toys are better for kids at which age and post it for free download on the most relevant page?
This will have nothing to do with you wanting to sell more toys. Just do a good deed – even if none of the people that download the guide buy a toy from you, they will help spread the good word, and, who knows, maybe their friends will be your customers next time.
Just don’t forget to brand your takeaways with your logo, name, address, and/or contact details in case these people want to get in touch with you later.
2. Concentrate on One or Two Keywords and Optimize Them to Perfection
There’s no chance you can compete on keywords like “buy product X online” – Amazon or another major e-shop will always be ahead of you.
And even if it’s not them, it’s some other industry leader who is able to throw thousands of dollars monthly on the fire called SEO.
What’s good in being ranked 178th on the 18rd page of Google search results? This won’t get you any visitors at all but will surely suck the money and life out of you.
Here’s a suggestion: take a long-tail keyword like “buy eco-friendly hand-made toys for kids” and create a web page specifically for that keyword. Then, optimize your page for the chosen keyword until you climb to the top position in organic search results.
Trust me – you will get less traffic than if you used a more common keyword but the quality of that traffic will be tremendously higher.
3. Establish Your Personality as a Brand
These days, business is getting more personal. No one wants to deal with a huge company, no matter how big it is. People are looking for a human connection.
Whatever you present on your website, try to do it from a first person perspective – no one cares about your company. Personalize your business by adding pictures and videos of yourself, articles, announcements etc.
This is a natural way of earning your customers’ trust and affection – by showing your human side.
Just don’t take these motivational speakers and business coaches as an example – their image is way too phony and fake.
Instead, get inspired by popular YouTube bloggers – they have worked hard to earn their stripes (and thousands of subscribers) and there’s a lot to learn from them. Take note of how they present themselves and how they interact with their audience, and then try to implement the same approach for your business.
“Bobby Smith’s Hand-Made Toys” – sounds cool enough, doesn’t it?
4. Keep an Active Profile on Social Media
Having an account on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram and posting some content there isn’t enough. Social networks are the place where you need to be especially social.
Make a habit of replying to every single message you get from your subscribers/friends/followers. Got a new sub or like? Thank the one who did it!
See a discussion going on in the comments under your post? Join it!
If there’s no one messaging you or commenting/liking, reach out to people yourself and engage in a friendly conversation – just don’t be nosey, alright?
More tips in this article here “How to Use Social Media for Lead Generation and Leave Rivals Behind.”
5. DON’T CREATE EMAIL POP-UPS!
You hear me? Excuse me for writing that in CAPS – I just wanted to make sure I was heard.
This technique is so widespread and predictable that people don’t even get mad at it anymore – they close it automatically without reading a single letter. Is this what you really want to achieve?
Of course, you would like you visitors to become you email subscribers – how to do it, then? By creating an incentive.
For example, when people click on your free “Toys for Kids” guide download button, ask them to sign up for your email to get it. Treat your visitors like you would want to be treated.
If you’re interested in creating a successful email marketing campaign, this article might help “How to Set Up and Launch a Successful Email Marketing Campaign.”
6. Do Guest Blogging (Once in a While)
Guest blogging is great for many reasons. Firstly, it gets your name out there, helping to build that brand we talked about in paragraph 3.
Secondly, it’s a great way of generating powerful backlinks, which is certainly good for your SEO.
Finally, it’s a way to reach out to a bigger audience – something that you might not be able to achieve via regular SEO channels.
Inbound and outbound marketing are the good and the bad of the Internet marketing. There’s also the ugly, which is affiliate marketing but that deserves another huge article.
If you want to know more on promotions for a website, check out this article “7 Online Marketing Strategies Guaranteed to Increase Your Sales,” it has some truly amazing tips. Good luck!
The right thing to do would be share this article with your friends on the social networks – just click on one of the icons of social media, it’s that easy.
If you have further questions on the subject, please write them in comments – I’ll be glad to answer.