Building a new website is one of the most exciting parts of launching a business or side hustle. You get to let your creative juices flow and create something new for internet users to see.
But, with over 400 million active websites on the internet, how do you ensure your target audience can find your website, engage with your brand, and enjoy your content?
The answer lies in engaging in strategic website building and marketing activities that will help you build a strong website and promote it to the right people. This article will cover seven things you can do to promote your website, so you can watch your traffic spike.
1. Build your website on a credible platform
Excellent website marketing starts long before you target a list of SEO keywords or pay for your first Instagram ad.
The primary step in ensuring you get credible traffic is to build your site on a platform that provides features and tools that make it easy to build a website, even if you don’t know how to code.
You may be wondering how you know you’re making a good choice when it comes to a website builder or CMS. You can recognize that a website builder or content management system is a go-ahead by the features it offers. Look for a platform that provides the following:
- A custom domain name
- High-quality website themes (free and premium)
- Responsive website design
- Pre-formatted web page layouts
- Mobile website design
- eCommerce functionality
- Product catalog settings
- An intuitive interface
- Customization options
- Blogging tools
- Form builders
- An image gallery
- Social sharing functionality
- Analytics and reporting
When it comes to choosing a platform to host and build your website, remember that not all platforms are created equally. Even if you have to invest more on the front-end with a hosting company or website builder, the added convenience and functionality will make it well worth it in the long run.
2. Add an SEO-optimized blog to your website
Adding a blog to your website is easy and one of the best things you can do to build your credibility, find new followers, boost brand awareness, and get ranked in Google’s search results.
Don’t believe it? Here’s the most speedy search engine marketing lesson you’ll ever get.
When consumers want to find new businesses or resources, they turn to popular search engines like Google for information. In fact, Google gets over 2 trillion searches a year.
The next thing to know is Google works hard to return the most relevant content to those searchers. But, where does Google find relevant information? That’s right! Google’s algorithms scan through the millions of pages of website and blog content looking for various relevancy triggers.
Once Google locates the blog or web pages that match up with search terms, Google returns a list of clickable options, ranking from most relevant (top of the SERP) to least relevant (results that lie deep in the Mariana Trench of the internet).
One of the best ways to get Google to return your website is to continually add relevant, targeted, SEO-optimized blog content to your website.
Key Takeaway? A website with robust blog content provides additional pages for Google to index and rank, making it easier for internet searchers to find your site when they type in keywords that are relevant to what your site is all about. Do yourself a favor and start blogging.
3. Invest in paid search ads
While it’s ideal to add a blog, write quality content, and adjust every blog post for optimal search engine visibility, there is one caveat to this method. It takes time. A lot of time.
It can take six months to a year of continually posting high-quality content before you even start to see rankings. The reason it takes so long is that there are 400 million websites and you need time to show Google that you’re better than your competitors.
The amount of competition out there doesn’t mean you should give up on blogging. It just means you need to be patient and do the work because it truly pays off in the end. However, if you want immediate results, you need to look into alternative marketing options, including paid search ads.
Paid search ads are a way to get your content to the top of Google’s search engine result page without having to wait for content to rank organically.
In other words, all you have to do to get your content to appear at the top of the search results is to create a Google Ads account, write an ad, bid on a keyword, and pay for placement.
Let’s say you sell quilts on your website and want to attract new consumers to your website. You can bid on the keyword “buy a quilt.” Google will list your website on the top of the search engine results page, placing the highest bidder on the top.
The best part is as soon as you pay, Google will list your ad. Additionally, 46% of all SERP clicks go to the first three listings in the paid ads.
If you need website traffic overnight, Google Ads is your friend.
Read our expert guide to setting up your first Google Ads campaign.
4. Social media marketing
Another surefire way to promote your website is via social media marketing. In case you need convincing of the power of social media marketing, here are some telling stats:
- 3.5 billion people, or 45% of the population, use social media
- Facebook is the most widely used social media platform, with two-thirds of U.S. adults using the platform
- 73% of marketers believe social media marketing has been “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for their organization
- 54% of social browsers use social media to research products
If you want your website to thrive, especially if you are selling products, then you also have to grow your social media following.
The first thing to remember is to add social media buttons to your website, and social share buttons to your blog content. This way, users can find your social media accounts and can share your content.
The next priority is to build your own social platforms and invest in advertising on social media.
While Facebook is the most popular social media platform, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Facebook is the best place for your brand to advertise. The reason? Different social platforms attract various audiences.
For example, the majority of Facebook users are older than the typical social media user. If you are targeting Gen Z buyers, then you may want to opt for a platform like Instagram or Snapchat, where younger consumers spend their time. If, on the other hand, you sell products to middle-aged women on your website, then you may want to first look into Pinterest.
Where you end up advertising will depend on what you sell, who your ideal customer profile (ICP) is, and where your users are most active.
Regardless of who your audience is, social media marketing is an excellent way to promote your website.
Our social media pros break down how to build a successful community on Facebook. Read it now.
5. Social media engagement
I know I just mentioned social media marketing, but marketing on social media and engaging on social media are two wildly different beasts.
Social media marketing is where you pay for ads, and is a great way to push traffic to your website and boost sales.
Social media engagement is where you converse with other brands and followers to build relationships.
Building authentic relationships via social media may even be more beneficial for increasing your website traffic in the long run. When you create an emotional bond with people, followers may look forward to hearing from you and are probably more likely to check out your content.
Here are some ideas for promoting your website via social media engagement:
- Reddit. Join the conversations on Reddit and post links to your website when relevant.
- Quora. Quora questions and answers provide a way for new website owners to strike up meaningful conversations.
- Twitter. Twitter can be a relationship goldmine. Take the time to build your Twitter account, engage in Twitter conversations, and always post links to your new content.
- Video. Sharing videos is one of the most powerful ways to increase brand awareness. You can share videos on social media, and even live-stream to capture the attention of your followers.
- Share. Social media isn’t just about you. Take the time to answer your followers’ questions and share content from other brands.
The more you can do to contribute to the online conversation, the higher your chances will be of driving new followers back to your website.
6. Connect with micro-influencers
Everyone would love to have Kim Kardashian or Selena Gomez send out a Tweet about their new website. But, spoiler alert! That’s probably not going to happen.
Your website might not be big enough to capture a celebrity endorsement from Ryan Reynolds, but that doesn’t mean you can’t connect with other influencers.
The advent of Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok has created circles of micro-influencers in different niches. There are chefs, artists, and beauty influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers. There are athletes, fitness gurus, and gaming micro-celebrities. Even contestants on reality shows like “The Bachelor” end up with hundreds of thousands of followers after the season airs. And, if you follow these influencers, you can count on paid shoutouts to brands.
I mean, I don’t want to admit that I joined Drop and bought Blenders sunglasses because the super hot Bachelor contestant, Jason Tartick, told me to, but I did.
The moral of the story isn’t that I’m lame. It’s that getting a micro-influencer in your court is an excellent way to drive traffic back to your website.
Again, it doesn’t have to be someone like Zendaya or Justin Bieber. You can connect with micro-influencers in your industry that have a small, but loyal following. Hook them up with an incentive to share your website (e.g., free product) and let them run with it.
7. Get backlinks
We talked a little bit about search engine marketing at the beginning of the post. There are several factors Google’s algorithms evaluate to determine how awesome your website is, and whether or not your site deserves to be ranked high in the search engines.
Continually writing awesome blog content and sharing it with the world is one excellent way to show Google that your website is credible, but it’s not the only way.
Another critical ranking factor for Google is how many links you have pointing back to your website. In other words, the more popular and authoritative websites that place links to your website in their content, the higher your chances are of Google ranking your website in the search engine results pages.
There are several ways to get backlinks to your website. Here are some places you can start to grow your web of links:
- Offer to guest post on someone else’s website in return for links to your blog
- Write an “ultimate guide” post that other websites in your industry will find helpful and want to link to
- Reach out to industry influencers after you’ve written a post and ask them to link to it (but be cool about it)
- Identify blog posts that reference your website, but haven’t added a link, and ask them to link to your site
- Become a source for bloggers and reporters by offering quotes in exchange for a link
- Look for pages that mention competitors and reach out to them
- Get links in forums
Just like blogging takes time, it also takes time to increase the number of links you have. Be patient with yourself and continue to do outreach. Eventually, your efforts will pay off for you.
It’s also important to remember that internal links play a role in search engine marketing as well. Internal links are links that you put in your content to another page of your website.
For example, let’s say you are writing about how to put make-up on in one blog post, and have another blog post about how to put foundation on. You could link to your previous post about applying foundation in your post about make-up. That counts as a relevant internal link, and search engines like Google love it.
Get Ready to Promote Your New Website!
Launching a new website is an integral part of starting a new business. The fun part, however, is when you start seeing website traffic roll in.
As you work to promote your new website, follow the strategies listed above. Also, remember to be patient. Marketing is just like exercise. It’s a long game and it’s all about consistency. As you put in the effort, you’ll start to see results over time.
To get started with your new website, check out the excellent web hosting from HostGator.
Ashley R. Cummings is a professional freelance writer specializing in SaaS, tech, and advertising/marketing. In a previous life, she was a Russian teacher at Brigham Young University, a corporate trainer, and a grad student—all at the same time. When she’s not writing, you can find her traveling the world with her 2 kids and husband, reading poetry or taking a deep dive into the fabulous world of comedy. Connect with her on Twitter at @ashleyrcummings.