There are three ways to promote your business website: via search engines like Google, locally through traditional marketing methods and online through social networking. We’ve already touched on search engines. Let’s discuss the other two methods.
Promoting your business website locally simply means that your web address should be displayed everywhere that your business is seen or heard in the public eye. This includes your radio and TV commercials, as well as your print materials – billboards, phone book, business cards, brochures, and so on. In other words, if your business name is spoken, written or displayed anywhere, your web address should be the next piece of information that is seen or heard.
The other vehicle for promoting your website is the world of social media and social networking, which offers plenty of online options for getting your business website address out to the public.
If you’re not someone who spends a lot of time on the Internet, don’t worry about the element of social media and networking right now. But, if you are a bit of an Internet junkie, then you should definitely get involved with some social networking sites. Depending on your type of business, I recommend Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube. Each can provide you ways to get noticed online, while providing opportunities to share links back to your website. Even though we don’t have the space in this guide to get into the different aspects of social media alternatives, let me touch on a super-simple overview of which may be good for your small business.
Twitter is a solid social media venue for most any business or business owner. If you’re more of a service professional, you should have a Twitter account with your name featured. If you’re business is more of a service-business/retailer, your Twitter account should feature your business name. For instance, an insurance agent or financial advisor may want to use themselves as their Twitter account persona. Whereas, if you’re a dry cleaner or tanning salon, it would be more beneficial to use your business name as your Twitter persona.
The benefit of using LinkedIn is more for you, the business person, than your business itself. LinkedIn is a place where business people connect and are seen by one another. Even though you’ll have opportunities to share information about your business website products or services, the site is more about you, the owner. Every business owner should have a LinkedIn account.
Although many of us have Facebook pages to connect personally with friends and family, your business may benefit from a Facebook business/fan page” as well. I think Facebook business/fan pages are most beneficial for businesses and organizations that have more of a community-based appeal; such as restaurants, bars, and charities.
Almost any business can benefit by having a YouTube page. Not only does YouTube offer a great way to add video to your website, your presence on YouTube can be beneficial as well. If you’re that dry cleaner, do a simple (but professional) video tour of your facility. If you’re that insurance agent, have a simple (but professional) greeting from you, telling potential customers about how you can assist them. You Tube is also great for adding any company videos or commercials you’ve had produced. They’ll not only be seen on YouTube, but you can add them to your website as well.
Another place to get found online is to participate in relevant forums or blogs in your area. Try to find business websites in your area that have blogs you can comment on. Perhaps your local Chamber has one. The primary reason why “commenting” on local blogs and forums can be important is that it allows you the opportunity to include a link to your website. Sure, lending your voice to an online conversation allows others in your community to become more familiar with you, but the ability to add that link to your website is free promotion…and that’s the name of the game.
Just remember that if you are going to comment on blogs, bring something to the conversation. Don’t just put a link to your website by itself; that’s bad form. It doesn’t take much to include a few sentences that add to the discussion.
Once you have a website you’re proud of, you’ll want to get the word out. Promoting your site locally and through social media are two cost-effective ways to do it.
Here are a few more great social and business networks
This is Part 6 of Creating a Business Website.
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