You have a beautiful website that showcases your brand and is filled with powerful calls to action. There’s just one problem: no one is visiting it.
This is an issue many entrepreneurs run into. With the rise of drag-and-drop website builders, creating an attractive and functional site is easier than ever. But simply clicking “publish” isn’t enough to drive traffic to your site. You need to perform proper website marketing.
So, what’s the best way to promote your site?
In this article, we’ll cover all the best ways to get your website in front of the right people. We’ll also show you how to monitor your marketing efforts so you can see what’s working and what isn’t.
What is website marketing?
Website marketing is the act of promoting your site through one or more channels with the goal of driving more traffic to it.
Currently, there are over one billion websites published on the internet. That’s a lot of competition, so if you want to convince people to visit your site over all the others you need to put some work in.
Luckily, there are plenty of different strategies you can use to grow your traffic. The ones you choose will depend on your audience, industry, and skill set.
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It all starts with quality content
You might be a website marketing genius, but if there’s nothing of value on your site you’ll always have a tough time growing your traffic.
That’s why the best thing you can do for your marketing efforts is ensure you have website content that’s worth marketing. Before you start working on your SEO or paying for ads, create blogs, articles, and videos that provide value.
The best part about quality content is that it markets itself. If your audience loves your website they’re more likely to share it, which is essentially “word of mouth” marketing in the digital age.
Of course, the question then becomes, how do you create truly great content? Here are a few tips:
- Look at your competitors: What type of content are they creating? What content pieces are most successful for them? Use these findings to create your own content plan.
- Listen to your audience: What are the most common questions and problems your audience comes to you with? Create content that addresses these issues.
- Look for the gaps: What topics aren’t being covered in your industry? Is there any information you feel is currently missing? Use your content to fill in any gaps.
Basically, if you want your audience to find your content, create something they’re already looking for.
Make friends with search engines
There are plenty of ways for users to find your website, but search engines are still the most popular. 68% of all online experiences start with a search, which means search engine optimization (SEO) is an important part of an effective website marketing plan.
To start, do keyword research to discover what terms your audience is searching for, then create content around those terms. There are a number of tools that will allow you to do this. If you’re on a budget, Google Keyword Planner is a free tool that will let you see how many searches a keyword receives every month.
If you want a little more info, try a paid tool like Ahrefs. The best part about using a paid tool is they’ll often tell you how competitive a keyword is, allowing you to target terms that will be easier to rank for.
Some other SEO best practices are:
- Ensuring your website is mobile-friendly.
- Reducing your page load times.
- Optimizing your meta titles and descriptions with the right keywords.
- Building backlinks from other high-authority websites.
Leadpages makes it easy to edit the meta title and description of any page.
It’s important to note that SEO takes time. It might be six months to a year before you start to see traffic as a result of your efforts. However, SEO is arguably the most reliable long-term strategy for generating traffic, so stick with it and don’t get discouraged.
Supplement organic traffic with paid search ads
Don’t want to wait to rank for your most important keywords? Well, if you’re willing to pay a little money you can appear in searches for pretty much any keyword you want.
How it works is you choose the search terms you want to rank for and set your budget with Google. Whenever someone searches for one of your keywords, a bidding war happens between advertisers. Depending on your budget you should be able to win a spot at the top of the page for a good number of searches, which will help you drive traffic to your website.
Paid search ads are great for new websites that don’t have the history or content catalog to generate organic search traffic. They’re also ideal for promoting landing pages, sales, special offers, and other content that isn’t always SEO-friendly.
Get on social media
If you’ve been in business for any amount of time you’ve probably had someone tell you “you need to be on social media.” And for good reason.
58.4% of the world’s population is now on social media, with the average user spending over two hours on their favorite platforms every day. That’s a big potential audience for your website.
That being said, not all social channels are created equal. One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is thinking they need to be on every platform. Instead, the best strategy is to find out which channels your audience uses and focus on those ones. That way you’re not wasting energy creating content for the wrong people.
Here are a few tips for establishing a strong social media presence:
- Be consistent: Try to post multiple times a week (or every day if possible).
- Provide value: Focus on informative engaging content, rather than sales-heavy posts. As a general rule, only 20% of your posts should actively promote your products and services.
- Engage with your audience: Don’t just post your content and forget about it. Reply to comments and start conversations with your audience to show them that you’re listening to what they have to say.
Like SEO, building your social media community is a big commitment. But once you establish a strong following you’ll be rewarded with consistent high-value traffic.
Expand your reach with paid social ads
Unfortunately, social media is turning into a “pay-to-play” space. Platforms are limiting the number of people you can reach organically and paid content is taking a more prominent place in users’ feeds.
As a result, if you want to grow your presence on social media you’ll likely have to include social media ads in your website marketing strategy. However, this isn’t all bad.
These platforms have a lot of data on their users, allowing you to create extremely targeted campaigns. For example, with Facebook Ads, you can create audiences based on age, gender, location, occupation, interests, and more.
So, if you know who your ideal audience it’s relatively easy to deliver your content to them.
Find influencers to market your website for you
Even if you don’t have a large social media following you can still use these platforms to generate traffic. One of the ways to do this is through influencer marketing.
Influencers are people who have built up a large and loyal following on social media. A positive word from them about your brand, products, or services could drive a large amount of traffic to your site, so it’s an avenue worth exploring.
The first step is to find an influencer with an audience that’s similar to yours. For example, a positive recommendation from a beauty blogger isn’t really going to help your accounting website.
Identify a few influencers you think would be a good fit and approach them to see if you can strike a deal. In some cases, they’ll want monetary compensation while in other cases simply offering them a free product in exchange for a review will be enough.
Promote new content to your email list
Email might seem like a dying channel that’s only used by older generations—but the fact is it’s still one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website.
In fact, 77% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last year, proving that email marketing is alive and well. Of course, before you start emailing people about your website you’ll need to collect some email addresses.
There are a number of ways to grow your email list, but the best way is with lead magnets. With this strategy, you create a piece of gated content (a checklist, ebook, video course, etc.) and then require users to submit their email addresses to receive it. If you create something useful and valuable people will be more than happy to submit their email to gain access to it.
Once you build a list of emails you can send out regular messages to promote your products, services, and new content.
While email marketing isn’t a great way to attract new visitors to your site it’s an excellent way to keep previous visitors engaged and returning to your site.
Get people talking about your website
If someone was looking for suggestions for products and services 20 or 30 years ago, they asked their friends. Nowadays, we just go online and read reviews.
You might think people would be less trusting of strangers, but that’s not the case. 91% of consumers say they trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations, so it’s definitely worth investing in them.
The fact is, if you’re using your website to sell products and services, building up a good amount of positive reviews is necessary to grow your traffic.
The best way to get more reviews is to simply ask for them. After you sell a product or service to someone ask them to submit an honest review on sites like Google My Business, Yelp, and Trustpilot.
If you’ve provided excellent customer service and your product solves their problem they’ll likely be happy to recommend you to others.
Bring visitors back with retargeting ads
When most people think about website marketing they think about promoting their website to new visitors. But former visitors are just as important.
Just because someone left your website doesn’t mean they’re not interested in what you have to offer. Maybe they just ran out of time, or they got distracted, or they want to think about it before taking the next step.
Plus, in many cases, users will need to visit your site multiple times before they take your desired action. That’s why remarketing is so important.
Google, Facebook, and other online ad platforms allow you to serve ads to people who have previously viewed your website. This keeps your products and services top of mind with your audience and encourages them to come back and continue learning about your brand.
Create content for other people’s sites to bring visitors to your site
It seems like a weird idea, but guest posting is one of the oldest website marketing strategies.
Lots of site managers don’t have time to create all the content for their site. Or maybe they just want a different voice. So, they let other content creators submit guest posts on their website. In return for providing content, the writer is allowed to link back to their own site within the post.
There are several benefits to guest posting. First of all, it gives you backlink. Assuming the site you’re posting on has a good amount of authority this can be really beneficial for SEO. And secondly, it introduces your content to a new audience.
If you create a valuable post that solves a problem readers will be more inclined to check out your website to see what else you have to offer.
Create an affiliate marketing program
The only thing better than marketing your website is getting others to market your site for you. That’s what affiliate marketing is all about.
If you offer products and services through your website you can set up an affiliate program where if someone refers a customer to your site, and they buy something from you, the referrer gets a commission.
It’s a win-win. You get a new customer and the referrer makes some quick money.
Sound interesting? Here’s some advice to help you launch your program:
- Choose a high-cost item for your affiliate program. The higher the sales price the more commissions will be paid, which makes it more appealing to potential affiliates.
- Create a commission structure that’s both affordable for you and fair for your affiliates.
- Choose an affiliate management system to keep track of commissions and ensure your affiliates get paid.
- Promote your program through paid ads. You can also approach influencers and content creators who you feel would be a good fit.
Building a successful affiliate program isn’t easy. But if you’re able to pull it off you’ll essentially have your very own sales team promoting your website.
How do you know your website marketing is working?
If you decide to try any of the strategies listed above you’ll probably be wondering whether or not they’re actually working. Luckily, the great thing about digital marketing is everything can be tracked.
If you build your website with Leadpages then you’ll have access to some key data points right on your dashboard. You can also connect your site to Google Analytics for even more insights.
There’s plenty of data available to you, all of which tells you something about your marketing. That said, the three primary metrics you’ll want to look at are:
- Traffic: Is traffic going up? Then your website marketing efforts are working.
- Conversions: A good conversion rate means you’re targeting the right audience and your content is resonating with them.
- Traffic sources: Check to see where you’re traffic is coming from. This will show you which strategies are working the best and which ones you might want to adjust or abandon.
By monitoring your website marketing efforts you’ll be able to optimize your strategies moving forward. For example, if you notice most of your traffic is coming from organic search you can invest more time and money into that tactic. On the other hand, if you invest a lot of money in social ads but they don’t deliver many visits or conversions you might need to dial back your spend and revise your ads.
Remember, your work isn’t over once you launch a marketing initiative. Review, analyze, and make changes as needed to maximize your results.
Website marketing is easier when you have an exceptional website
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