Whatever niche you work in and whatever you do, you should understand how important online promotion is for modern business. Even if you don’t get customers directly from online, it can be used to build brand awareness, build a reputation, and many other important things.
I think everyone understands the importance of SEO. A logical question arises: why, then, is every third entrepreneur engaged in website promotion? Does one in ten achieve success?
The answer is simple: no money.
SEO is a long-term investment that does not provide instant payoffs. It is necessary to invest in the promotion of the project for many months in order to start receiving stable results for the business. This is what stops many.
Nevertheless, there are ways how to promote a site on your own, which are available to almost everyone, since they do not require special knowledge and skills.
Free website promotion, of course, will not provide you with the same return as the work of experienced specialists for money. But by doing this kind of work, you can still get traffic and increase your site’s visibility in the SERPs, thus laying the foundation for future growth.
I, of course, will not feed you with advice from CEP, collected from posts in other people’s blogs. And there will be no collections in the style of “100,500 stupid and non-working proven ways to promote your site for free in a week.”
There are only 14 items in my collection. But these methods really work, and with their help you can promote your website or online store for free. The only resource you have to invest # 8211; own time. So let’s get started.
1. Sign up with Google My Business.
Interestingly, many still do not even know about the existence of this service. If you are one of them too, you can register in it on this page. Google My Business was originally created to help local entrepreneurs better communicate their information to potential clients in their hometown. In terms of local SEO, this is a must-have tool, the usefulness of which is difficult to overestimate.
And here are the opportunities it offers companies:
you can specify the time and hours of work, contact phone number for communication; mark the location of the office on Google maps; add photos of, for example, employees, premises, production or finished products; create a page on Google+ and add posts to it; for brand queries, an additional information block is displayed in the search, which improves visibility and CTR; track various useful statistics: how many people made the route to your office, called, went to your website or page on Google+
Provided that the company card in Google My Business is filled out correctly, this can allow you to quickly get to the Top in your city, with zero financial investments.
A very important point – your customers will be able to add reviews to the card of your company, therefore, it is worth keeping an eye on this and reacting in a timely manner. Well, do not be too lazy to add more information, as this is a good way to stand out against the background of competitors who do not bother with such things.
2. Add your site to directories.
Usually, directories are associated with something not very good and are ignored by many. But, first of all, adding a site to most of them will be completely free. And secondly, it will give additional links, which is useful for promotion, and transitions from them can also be obtained.
You can search for them by queries like “niche name + site catalog / catalog”, for example, “online store catalog, dropshipping catalog, etc.”. In the issue of such goodness is often enough:
But, not always. It is very difficult to find directories for adding a site in some topics, therefore, I recommend paying attention to city portals, on the basis of which there is often a section with enterprises. Example:
Some of them are free to register, some require a paid plan. Although, the amounts are usually small. Worth a try anyway.
3. Chat on forums.
Despite the massive exodus of users to social networks, some forums are not only not losing popularity, but are developing quite well for themselves. It’s all about the convenience of finding information, a certain anonymity (nicknames, not real names) and a higher level of expertise of such communities.
If on the same construction forum you can easily find the desired thread and even a separate message even after a year, then on social networks this is almost impossible.
In topic threads, answering questions from other users and helping them in solving their problems, you can also share links to the pages of your site. The main thing is that the recommendation is appropriate, really useful and does not resemble spam or banal advertising.
Also, be sure to pay attention to such a useful option as the ability to place a link in the signature. It usually opens after a certain number of posts that you have added to the forum.
This is how it looks:
Such links can generate not only conversions, but also conversions / sales.
4. Develop pages on social networks.
This seems like a simple and straightforward piece of advice, but it’s surprising how many business owners neglect it. For example, for an online clothing store, you can create official pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google+
This is neither more nor less – four additional points of presence in the SERP! It’s just important not only to create such pages, but also to develop them. Even if you publish one post a week, it’s already good.
Not sure where to start? Just add a photo of your office, production, interesting selection of products, share your thoughts, etc. You can see how niche leaders conduct their social accounts and learn from them. And as the first participants, just ask friends and acquaintances to add.
Each social network makes it possible to indicate a link to the company’s website on their official pages, which should be considered as an additional promotion channel in order to attract traffic.
5. Start the email campaign.
It’s much easier than you think. It is not necessary to typeset a newsletter template from scratch, look for a designer, and do other things, the time for which has clearly not come at the start. And don’t be intimidated by the English language in Mailchimp, there are multilingual alternatives like Mailerlite.com. I switched to this service over a year ago and am very happy with my choice.
There are three main advantages of Mailerlite:
price; there is Ukrainian and Russian; user-friendliness of the interface and ease of learning.
Up to 1000 subscribers using the service is completely free, and this is more than enough to get started. And it’s okay if there is no one to read the first letters – wait until there are at least a hundred recipients in the database and start working. If the newsletter is really interesting, the number of subscribers will grow rapidly.
6. Add your website address everywhere.
The first clients can be successfully found among their friends and acquaintances. Just for a start, it would be nice to tell them what you are actually doing. Usually, we just don’t think about it, but there are more than enough ways to tell about the existence of our site:
specify the URL in your personal profile on the social network; print the address on the business card; add to free catalogs; repost articles from the blog on your pages; recommend when communicating on forums, in comments, etc.
Even if you just throw a link in the messenger to a friend or mention it during a conversation # 8211; it will already be beneficial. And, yes, all of this is completely free for you.
7. Advertise on OLX.
In this service, there is no way to indicate an active link, but even the option in text form is useful to us. Having become interested in the offer, the user will simply copy it and paste it into the address bar – the whole process will take up to two seconds.
The advantages of using platforms like OLX are their high level of trust and huge number of users. Thus, you will not only get views from the existing audience of the service, but you will also be able to get referrals from organic search to the same page.
The main thing is to write an attractive description and add good quality photos. That is, work with the ad page in the same way as with an article on the site or a product card.
Free ways to work with OLX are limited only by the strategy of creating multiple ads – for product groups or individual products. Therefore, when you feel the return, I recommend taking advantage of the paid opportunities, they can give a really good effect.
8. Create interesting content.
Have you ever seen people massively refer to the news about how much the number of goats in the farm of Petrovich has increased over the past year? Or so that the video of the speech of the deputy of the City Council gains millions of views? Well, here I am about the same.
People are not interested in boring things. In our country, there is enough boredom in everyday life. But the main thing is that even really interesting information will not be popular if the presentation format itself is not interesting.
Therefore, strive to create content that would be interesting to you yourself. Which would evoke the desire to share and bring real benefit, or at least the pleasure of reading. In fact, even in seemingly boring niches, it is possible. Just always put yourself in the shoes of the target audience you are doing this for.
Think for yourself, what is more interesting for a person who wants to build a house – available projects and ready-made objects that you have built, or what are you “# 1” and how long have you been on the market? A rhetorical question.
9. Ask clients for recommendations.
It is difficult to think of a better confirmation of expertise, good quality of work and product than the reviews of satisfied customers. Or you can go further and ask your customers to share their recommendations in the form of, for example, posting on social networks or recording videos.
Considering that each user has dozens or even hundreds of friends, this can provide a good effect on conversions and even conversions. It’s hard to say for which niche it works better, but the payoff should be both for online stores and for businesses in the service sector.
Not the fact that many will agree to do it for free, but still some will agree. Well, instead of money, you can offer a discount or other bonuses in return for the next purchase.
10. Write an article for another site.
Any person has some unique experience and knowledge that others do not have. Especially when it comes to entrepreneurs and professionals who have been working in a certain niche for a long time. And you can rest assured that your experience and expert opinion will be of interest to many. Primarily target audience of potential customers.
On the English-speaking Internet, a method of free promotion known as “guest blogging” is popular. Its essence boils down to the fact that you are preparing material for another site, which mentions a link to your project.
You, as a business owner, get free posting of a publication with a link, and the site owner gets high-quality and unique content. Also free. As a result, both sides win.
Nothing prevents you from trying to use this technique in Uanet. The main thing is to come up with good themes and select sites that are similar in theme to your site.
11. Use blogging platforms.
The most famous of them are Livejournal.com and Liveinternet.ru, but there are also many others, for example, I.UA Blogs. They can be effectively used for free promotion of your site by publishing articles with a link to your resource. And even if the “weight” that such links transmit is relatively small, you can use the platforms for free.
Besides being free to use, blogging platforms have another important advantage. This is the presence of a huge number of users who are members of the community. And among them there is probably your target audience.
12. Make an e-book.
You’ve probably seen an offer to get an e-book in exchange for your email address on a variety of sites. This is especially popular in the English-speaking segment of the Internet, but in Uanet it is becoming more common. An example of how it might look:
Making an e-book is actually much easier than you might think. If we talk about the simplest and fastest option, then you just need to compile interesting material in a Word or PowerPoint document, insert a high-quality picture as a cover and use the “Save As” menu option, and then select “PDF or XPS” as the final format … Also, don’t forget to add your website address to your cover page or headers and footers.
The main thing is that the topic of the book is really in demand, sufficiently voluminous and does not lose its relevance over time. You can find one in almost any topic, here are a couple of examples for different niches:
“How to choose an engine for an online store”; “How to deal with garden pests – proven methods”; “What is the right way to buy an apartment? Professional advice “; etc.
13. Join Facebook communities.
These are interest groups created by users of this social network, which can sometimes have tens of thousands of members. To find a community on your topic, just enter a keyword in the Facebook search and click the “More search results” button:
Depending on the popularity of the niche, the list can be quite impressive. Then just click the “Join” button. In open groups, you can immediately get the status of a participant, and in closed groups it will take some time for the moderator to confirm the application.
Then, you can repost links to articles from your site in the community, which consistently ensures the transitions of an interested audience. The main thing is to do this not too often and not to add advertising materials, otherwise your activity may be regarded as spam, with the corresponding consequences.
14. Create a YouTube channel.
Working with video content may seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually easier than you think. It is not necessary to rent a studio, buy professional equipment, or hire an operator and editor. To begin with, you can shoot on a regular smartphone, and instead of coming up with a complex plot, you simply:
remove video from production; take a tour of the office; share your thoughts on a particular topic; show the product at work; take customer reviews on video, etc.
You can create a YouTube channel for free using the official instructions. And for more details about the benefits of video marketing and the features of working with this area, you can read the article on how to use a YouTube video channel for business on our blog.
As you can see, there are more than enough ways to promote your site for free. Although their effectiveness is lower than in the case of investments with a sufficient budget, using these methods in practice allows you to get a return on the efforts made and lay a good foundation for future advancement.
The article lists the methods that really work and do not require too much investment of time. And nothing prevents you from using them all together, which in the end will give a great cumulative effect.