The old adage, “If you build it, they will come,” may apply to stadiums, but it certainly doesn’t apply to websites. Building a great website, having a great product or offering a great service is simply not enough to compete in today’s global marketplace. Promoting your website is vital to driving the most traffic to your site and enjoying high profits. There are cheap and free ways that you can promote your small business website online and enjoy increased traffic.

10. Offer Useful Content

If you do not follow any other rule, follow this one. In order to get the most traffic to your site and exposure for your small business, you must offer content that your target customer is searching for. People most often turn to the Web to search for information and then making purchase decisions from there. If you provide useful content that will help them to solve a problem, you will be more likely to capture their business. By offering the best content possible, you will position yourself as an expert and be more likely to gain their trust.

Write articles that are relevant to your product or service. If you sell vacations, create a blog posting about the best places to see fall colors or the most scenic locations in the world. Then, include information about how your readers can book their voyages with your firm. If your company sells pet supplies, write an article on how to care for a cat with a hairball, or foods that are dangerous to pet rabbits. Remember, that providing information is the gateway into grabbing the customer, so make sure you provide information they can use.

9. Promote Your Business Offline

While most small businesses want to know how to promote their companies online, offline promotion is important as well. Submit a press release to your local newspaper and let them spread the word about you. Attend local events, host events at your location and attend trade shows. The key is to get people talking about your business and getting to know you. Tie in your advertising strategy to your offline marketing efforts. Car magnets with ads about your company, small giveaways and direct mail pieces are all free and low cost ways that are helpful in promoting your company.

8. Use Video to Your Advantage

Video is a useful tool in promoting your small business online. There are several ways that you can use video to your advantage. Set up a channel on YouTube and post videos about your product or service. Include links back to your site that will allow potential customers to contact you easily. You can share these videos on popular social media websites like Facebook, and encourage people to talk about your content. You can also post your videos on your website, providing your visitors with more interactive content that they can share with friends.

7. Write an e-Book

No longer do you have to spend thousands of dollars or go through a major publishing company in order to release a book. You can now write your very own e-books and post them for sale on sites like Amazon.com. These books, usually priced at less than $5, are great lead generation tools that will help to promote your company online. In your book you can provide information about your products and services with links back to your website. This is yet another way to position yourself as an expert and give yourself instant credibility. Not a writer? No problem. There are many content writing sites on the Web that will allow you to order exactly what you need from qualified writers.

6. Get Published on High Ranking Blogs

If you are a small business, you may find it difficult to get to the top of search engine results pages. This is because your business is likely competing with larger businesses for the same customers. Submitting guest posts to high ranking blogs is one of the best ways to drive more traffic to your site, even if your business is brand new. The way to do this is simple. High traffic blogs are often run by only a few people who may find it hard to add in fresh content every day. By offering to write a guest post, you are creating a reciprocal relationship that will help you to grow your business and help them to grow theirs. You provide them with fresh content, and in turn, they provide you with access to their audience of potential customers for your company. There are even a bunch of blogs that will pay for your post.

5. Get Reviews

Reviews are like customer testimonials that will put the “rubber stamp” of approval on your business. When a customer gives your company a positive review, it can boost your credibility and lead to more sales for your company. There are many sites that offer online reviews, and getting your customers to leave a positive write-up about you on these sites is like gold. Most customers, however, will not often take the initiative to leave positive reviews. Whenever your customers make a purchase from your site, ask them to leave a review. Avoid buying fake reviews to boost your rankings online. Customers can often see through these reviews and will no longer trust your company.

4. Share Photos

People love photos. There are social media sites that are devoted strictly to sharing photos, and these sites allow members to share their photos with their friends. This will increase your business exposure through social channels. Some sites, like Pinterest, allow companies to buy “pins” and be featured more prominently on the site. Almost any business can benefit from social photo sharing, so find the right one to showcase your company’s offerings and market your website online for free.

3. Develop Strategic Business Alliances

One of the best ways to get your website and company’s name out there is to develop alliances with similar businesses. If you run an online antique store, ask a local vintage clothing shop to feature a link to your website on their site. Host local events with complementary businesses. Travel agents often invite photographers, cake decorators and florists for special events in order to take advantage of overlapping clientele. Use these connections to your advantage and watch your website traffic grow along with your company’s profits.

2. List Your Site in Directories

There are many directories that allow companies to list their sites for free. When you list your company with one of these sites, they are easily found by search engines and customers alike. Sites like Dexknows are highly trafficked and will bring in loads of customers to visit your page. Set up profiles on these directories with your company’s contact information. When visitors reach these sites, they will be able to find your company easily.

1. Learn Search Engine Optimization

The most valuable way to promote your company online is to use search engine optimization techniques to your benefit. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the art and science of creating content that both the search engines and your customers will love. This means crafting your website so that you are using keywords that your customers are also looking for. If your target customer is searching for “bakeries in Des Moines,” create an article titled, “Best Bakeries in Des Moines.”

There are several areas of your website that can be optimized to attract more traffic. Your image captions, page headers and meta tags should all feature key words that will attract the search engine’s unique algorithms and bring more customers to your website. Or you can just use awesome inexpensive SEO software like ours to help you promote your website. 🙂

When it comes to promoting your website online, there are many simple and free ways to get your company’s name out into the marketplace. From listing your website in directories to guest blogging and conducting offline marketing, promoting your business has never been easier.