Every month thousands of people are searching online to ask: How Can I Promote My Website For Free?
More often than not these people have an ecommerce type website, or a company replicated website they were given by an online business they signed up with.
Some are advised to buy expensive online advertising spots such as banner ads or pop-up ads, place free online classified ads, or pay big bucks to a search engine marketing company. None of these options are going to get you anywhere fast...
(That's actually very 90's advice!)
Earlier this week I received a similar question in my Inbox:
I just joined an online business and wanted your advice on what would be my best choices for advertising it. It is an online store that has all brand name groceries and products that saves us all money, time and gas, 30% to over 50% on all of these products over Wal-mart prices. The website is http://www.myharvestamerica.com/arizona
My response to Jim:
"The best thing to do is create a blog or website that appeals to your target market, and then use your store link as the call-to-action within the content. That will allow you to get search engine rankings and traffic free, instead of paying for ads."
When you have a company replicated website like this it is usually through a "business opportunity", or a network marketing (MLM) company. Each website is identical, and is actually very similar to an affiliate link.
These types of links do not get indexed in the major search engines.
How Can I Promote My Website For Free?
The absolute best way to promote your website for free online is to get good rankings in the major search engines. Since that is not possible with this type of website (or link), you'll need to consider other options.
As I mentioned in my reply to Jim, you can set up your own blog or website and bypass that issue. Your first objective is to consider your target market (your ideal visitor) and brainstorm what kind of content would appeal to that market.
On that blog or website you create, you'll write what is called SEO Content. This will make it easy for your buyers to find you online through the major search engines (like Google), and then you'll have the opportunity to tell them about your website and whatever deals you offer there.
Jim's website sells retail products at discounted prices, including brand name groceries, with free shipping directly to your front door. So Jim's first step would be keyword research, to determine how is target market is searching for this type of service online.
A quick search shows that nobody is really searching for individual products, like say - windex. The closest you can get is "windex coupons" which gets around 31 searches a day - but Jim doesn't offer product coupons.
Instead, he should start with the base keyword "shopping" and target keywords like: online shopping, walmart online shopping, online grocery shopping, online discount shopping, online outlet shopping, buy groceries online, etc.
The goal is to create an extensive keyword list of all the things people are searching for you in your market, and then write content that specifically appeals to them. Optimize your pages or blog posts to rank well in the major search engines, and end your piece by showing them your website as the solution.
This is the absolute best way to promote a website or link for free online. Some people think that "SEO" (search engine optimization or search engine marketing) is difficult - but it's not. It's a simple matter of researching keywords, writing content that is optimized for those keywords, and getting links to that content. That's it.
It's a lot more effective than any type of free online advertising, such as classified ads, or even expensive banner ads or other online advertising options. And it's free.
The short answer: Jim should create a blog all about online shopping. The benefits, the resources, reviews and comparisons, etc. This will allow him to reach his target market, engage in discussions with them through the comments, and become an authority in the niche.
The same would be true for a Tupperware or Avon rep, or any other merchant representative with a company website. The Avon rep might focus on anti-aging articles and solutions, the Tupperware rep on simple cooking tips or potluck parties.
The goal is to figure out what your target market is most interested in, and deliver exactly that - along with the solutions or resources they'll need.
p.s. If you're worried about the cost of creating your own blog or website, don't be! You can set one up for less than $10. You'll need a domain name and a hosting account. I use HostGator for web hosting, and if you use the coupon code "wordpress" you'll get the first month for only a penny.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below