35+ Easy, Free (or Cheap) Ways to Promote Your Site

Why Work Hard to Get the Word Out?

No matter how wonderful your products, prices or Web site may be, the very first step in getting your online program to work is to get people to actually visit your site. Many people fail to realize that running a productive Web site is like running an additional storefront location — it isn’t just a case of “if you build it, they will come.” You cannot rely solely on “walk-in” traffic to make your site viable. People need to know about your site and your domain name, remember it and use it again and again.

So how do you do it without going broke? Happily, there are many simple, inexpensive and even free ways to promote your Web site, regardless of your business or budget.

If you haven’t explored all of the following avenues yet, why not give some new concepts a try? It might be just what you need.

24/7 Promotion Without Saying a Word

Typically, there is no additional cost to have your domain name added when you order:

  • business cards and brochures;
  • invoices, envelopes and letterhead;
  • storefront door/window lettering;
  • commercial vehicle graphics;
  • all forms of exterior and interior signs and promotional displays;
  • traditional newspaper, TV or radio advertising;
  • any type of flyers, coupons or gift certificates;
  • product stamps or decals, packaging or inserts;
  • telephone greetings, hold message or music;
  • branded desktop wallpapers; and
  • presentations or video displays in your boardroom or showroom.

Of course, you can have your domain name inserted into any of these after production, but companies will charge a fee to do so.

Additionally, for a fee, you can literally have just your domain name added to:

  • corporate gifts;
  • telephone directory listings or ads, both online and offline;
  • commercial vehicle bumpers or doors; and
  • T-shirts or other uniformed clothing.

Totally Free Online Methods

Use the Internet to promote your business name and Web site by adding a company profile or presence at no cost utilizing:

  • external industry-related directories;
  • updating your company’s profile in Google Maps’ business directory;
  • adding your company’s profile to AboutUs.org;
  • applying for a listing on DMOZ.org; and
  • your local city Web site; for us, it’s the City of Kitchener.

Also try directing people to your site by:

  • commenting or offering advice on related subject-specific Web sites, such as topical forums or customer support sites;
  • adding your domain name to all E-mail correspondence by creating a message signature; and
  • always being careful to use your proper domain-based E-mail address (such as name@yourdomain.com) rather than the generic one provided by your ISP (for example, name@rogers.com) for business E-mail.

Totally Free Verbal Techniques

Verbally refer to your domain name and emphasize the relevant value of your company Web site when:

  • meeting with potential customers;
  • completing a sale;
  • following up with previous/repeat customers;
  • when answering or conversing on the telephone; and
  • in your voicemail message.

Remember, the key piece of information is your domain name. So choose a brief and memorable domain name and take every opportunity to repetitively impress it on the public. Then they’ll be able to recall it (or at least think to look for you) when needed.

In an upcoming post, we’ll also address how to actually get the public to care about your site.

Do you have any ideas to add to our list of promotional techniques? How effective have you found any one of these to be in your case?

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