There are over 1.88 billion websites on the internet, so it’s critical that you promote your own site at every opportunity. Learn how with these 13 simple tips.
Help people find your new website
Google indexes a bazillion new web pages every single day. Most will never receive a human visitor. Why? Because there’s just too much stuff out there already. Not even Google can afford the compute cycles required to find it, crawl it, index it, and rank it. Besides, 99% of it isn’t worth viewing anyway.
20 years ago if you built a website, chances are people would find it. In fact, they’d actively go “browsing” for anything fresh. New portals, search engines, and directories were popping up almost daily — And they were eager to list any and all new websites.
Today, not so much. Even with the best content and page optimization techniques, you need to do everything you can to promote your website yourself. You can’t sit around and wait for people to find it, because they won’t. You have to help it get found.
13 mostly free ways to advertise your website:
01. Google Business Profile
If you don’t yet have a free Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business), you need to get that set up as soon as possible.
Map and search profiles for your business are almost mandatory if you want to appear in your local search results. Having your correct website address, physical address, phone number, hours, and other business information in your profile is essential.
02. Local business directories
This will vary depending on where you live, but most towns have local directories where you can have your business and web address listed for little or no cost. These local listings are often referred to as “citations.” Examples include chambers of commerce and local service organizations, such as Rotary and Exchange Club.
Important: Be sure to pick reputable and authoritative directories only. Shady or “spammy” backlinks can lead to trouble (see backlink discussion below).
03. Social media profiles
As far as I know, all social media channel profiles have a dedicated spot for your website address. Some — like Instagram — are a bit limited, but most are easy to find and configure. Be aware that all social media platforms treat links a little differently, so be sure to always test them.
04. Social media posts
This is often overlooked, but most social media posts are crawled and indexed by Google. Some to a greater extent than others, but they can all contribute to a more robust backlink profile that helps Google better understand your business.
If possible, try to include relevant and helpful links to your website content in all of your social media posts. Just be sure to test things frequently — The insertion rules regarding links change frequently, especially with Facebook and LinkedIn.
05. Other websites
If you’re aware of other websites that have mentioned or promoted your business (customers, associates, vendors, partners, etc), ask if they wouldn’t mind including a link, with proper context, to your website.
Important: Tread easy on this process and don’t get too aggressive. If you wind up exchanging links or paying for them (worse), you’ve gone too far. Never jeopardize your long-term reputation for any short-term gain.
06. Email signatures
An email signature (or signature block) is a personalized block of text that is automatically appended to the bottom of an email message.
Your email signature should include a clickable link to your website in addition to your name and other contact information. For example, my email signature looks like this:
Build something that means something.
Depending on your operating system and application, adding active links to email messages can be tricky. Check your email application’s help files for guidance.
07. Marketing materials
Be sure to add a properly formatted website address (see section on syntax) to all of your marketing and business materials, including:
- Note cards
- Business cards
- Door hangers
Try to include your web address in any and all advertising you do, especially print. Many promotional opportunities and coupons are necessarily small, so this is the perfect place to include your web address so customers can get additional information.
If your address is short and easy to comprehend when heard, don’t hesitate to use it in radio spots, podcasts, and other audio media. This also helps build brand awareness for your business.
Also, if you’d like your potential customers to take a specific action, try to be more direct with your address. For example, when we’d like people to contact us, we usually use this web address:
This will lead directly to our contact page, without the customer needing to look for it.
Signs are a great place to highlight an easy-to-read web address. Opportunities might include:
- Location signs
- Lawn signs
- Front doors
Instead of trying to squeeze all of your products, services, and contact information onto your signs, just include your website address (and maybe your phone number).
10. Vehicle graphics
Vehicle wraps, decals, and magnetic signs are all very popular today — especially on service vans and trucks. If appropriate, always include your website address. Just make sure that it’s big enough to read from a distance. And again, it’s safe to use the short version.
11. Promotional stuff
If you distribute merchandise (pens, mugs, caps, shirts, etc) branded with your company name and logo, you might also include your web address (if it fits).
12. Staff apparel
If you or your staff wear company shirts, caps, or jackets, don’t forget to add your website address. Again, do this only if appropriate — and it fits.
13. Word of mouth
Finally, make sure that your staff, partners, vendors, customers — and anyone else involved in your business — are familiar with your website.
You should thoroughly review your entire site with everyone in your business so they have a clear understanding of what information is available online, and how it fits into your business goals and marketing strategy.