The thing to remember about free website promotion is that nothing is ever truly free. If you don’t spend money promoting your website, you’re going to have to spend time. So why waste time trying to market your website using methods that will only bring you minuscule returns, if any? If you're prepared to work on them, these five free website promotion techniques will deliver, rewarding you with increased site traffic.
1. Work on website SEO.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it's the best thing since sliced bread for promoting your website because it's easy to learn and apply the basics to your own website(s).
Through working on website SEO, you can improve the page rankings of your web pages and drive more traffic to your site. And isn't that the ultimate goal? Get started with my 5 Basic Rules of Search Engine Optimization.
2. Reciprocal linking.
Having other people put a link to your site on their site is a great way to get free website promotion. Besides the obvious advantage of whoever visits that website seeing a mention to your site, you also get a shot at a better search engine ranking for your page as search engines such as Google use inbound links as an important part of the formula that determines a page's rank.
Be aware though that getting inbound links to your website is not a numbers game; it's the quality of the links that really matters. So you want to focus your reciprocal linking efforts on relevant quality links. The standard procedure is to search for and identify relevant sites that you would like to have link to yours and then send each webmaster an email requesting a link on their site, offering a link on your site in return.
Tip: You can check a website or Web page's ranking before you try to reciprocally link with it by using SEO tools such as Page Rank Lookup and the Link Popularity Tool. Google’s Toolbar also has a Page Rank Display feature. These tools are also handy for checking the status and progress of your own website and/or pages.
3. Write articles.
The basic theory of article marketing is that you write an article and then offer it for free to various websites, blogs, magazines etc. Your article, of course, ends with a resource box or 'blurb' that promotes you and your website.
The beauty of this website promotion strategy is that if you get your articles published on popular, long-lived websites or in well-known magazines, they can be sitting there promoting your website for a long, long time with no further effort on your part.
However, there are catches. First, you have to be able to write well on a topic or topics that other people will want to read and/or publish. Second, you have to find the quality places for your articles to be published and persuade the people making the decisions to publish them.
Tip: Find the websites or magazines you want to be published on first, and then spend some time reading the content to see what type of material they might want and if there are any obvious holes in their content that you could cover. Then tailor your material to that particular site or magazine's needs.
4. Use social media.
Social media isn't just a great place to connect with friends and family; it's also a great place to promote your website and/or business as so many people are using it. For instance, a Nielsen study found that Internet users spend 21.3% of their time on social networking sites while PQ Media found the average U.S. Internet user spends around 33 hours per month on the Internet and about 8 of those hours on social media (5 Social Media Tips for Finding and Engaging Your Target Audience: New Research, Social Media Examiner).
Participating in social media can be a great way to get free website promotion as it can give you high visibility at low cost. To successfully market your website using social media, though, you’ll need a plan. Learn How to Create a Social Media Plan for your small business.
Tip: Different social media attracts different types of people. Before investing time in using a particular social media and building up a group of followers, make sure you've chosen the right social media for your marketing purposes. See how to pick the social media that's the best fit with your business.
5. Create/present quality content.
This is the catch – none of the techniques above are going to work very well for you if you don’t have quality content on your site – the kind of content that other people want to read and promote on their own blogs/websites and on social media.
So somewhere on your website, you need to have a blog and/or articles presenting content that is relevant to your target market.
Where will you get such content? Basically, you are either going to write it yourself or get someone else to write it. The "someone else" might be staff, hired writers or guest bloggers. Which approach you choose depends on your budget as well as your time and talents.
Writing your own blog can be a very effective way to market a website because by blogging about your subject, you'll get the chance to become an active member of the blogging community, building a web of relationships and links. And of course, your blog will be keyword rich, increasing your Search Engine Optimization.
Tip: Most blogs include the facility to make comments on posts. When you're reading another blog that's relevant to your topic, take the time to comment on a post (making sure that your comment says something that's equally relevant). It's another opportunity to promote yourself and your website for free – while getting known in the blogging community.
Consistency is Key
These are not the only ways to get free website promotion of course. But these are the best, and if you select several of these and concentrate on doing them consistently over a period of time, they'll yield the return in increased site traffic that you're looking for.