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Building a website is fun and exciting! Unfortunately, the process doesn't stop there. After you have created a website, you need to make people and search engines know that your website exists on the Internet. This article will teach you how to get people to visit your website. Advanced topics like search engine optimization (SEO), microdata, rich snippets, schema, and other techniques that make your site receive a higher ranking in search engines will be excluded from this lesson.
There are two methods to get started with driving traffic to your website: offline and online.
Offline Website Promotion
While not necessary, offline promotion is a great starting venue to attract potential clients, current customers, and others to your website without having to spend a lot of money. It is very cost effective compared to some online methods and you are able to reach a local audience.
Putting your website on your business card is an excellent way for people to find you on the Internet. Even in this day and age, business cards are exchanged in person, at networking events, and when you meet someone whom you think would be interested in what your website has to offer. Avoid prefixing your website address with "http" or "https" as most modern web browsers will automatically add this when typed in the address bar.
A flyer is an excellent promotional tool to have in your arsenal. Your website address should ideally be placed in the footer in large font.
If it is in your budget, having your website announced over the airwaves is a great way to get the word out about your website. Ensure your advertisement repeats your website address multiple times throughout the ad instead of only at the beginning or end.
Be sure to make note of the dates and times your ad will be played in order to measure the results of your marketing campaign and compare it to dates, times, and traffic sources in your website logs or analytics platform.
If you are able to purchase airtime through your local televison station, you can have your website repeated verbally and shown on-screen to several viewers at once.
If you have permission to record the broadcast, you may also be able to upload it to YouTube for additional exposure. This is further covered below in the online website promotion section.
Just like with radio advertisements, be sure you compare the dates and times of the broadcast to your website statistics.
Word of Mouth
This is by far the best method of offline promotion. When your site lives up to expectations, people will naturally tell others about your website. You should also ask people to visit your website and tell their friends to visit as well.
Online Website Promotion
The best method to spread the word about your website is through online promotion, since most people will be more likely access your site when they are already browsing or actively searching for keywords related to your site.
Search Engine Submission
Search engine submission is mostly a manual process. While there are some websites that make claims they will submit your website to multiple search engines and directories, you will typically want to do this yourself so you'll have more control over the process and be able to update and make changes to the listings by logging in with your account.
Sharing interesting stories and photos on sites like Facebook and Twitter are excellent resources to drive traffic to your website.
Writing blogs and commenting on other blogs is a clever method of bringing more visitors to your website.
Search Engine Sponsored
Many popular search engines have their own advertisement programs that you can enroll in to have your website featured in the search results page.
Some websites will list a link to your website in exchange for you listing a link to theirs on your website.
Contacting a website owner directly and asking them to place a banner or link to your website is also another way to get traffic.
Classifieds / Directories
Large directories like Craigslist and Backpage have the potential to reach a huge market. If your website fits in any of the categories listed on the site, feel free to post a listing.
Yelp and YP (formerly known as Yellow Pages) are sites that target specific geographic locations. If your website is based on a business you have had for a while, you may just simply need to claim your listing.
Niche directories that cater specifically to your industries are great places to list your site.
Listing your website address will almost certainly drive traffic to your site from the people you email.
If you are a frequent poster in a forum or similar community, you should prominently display your website in your signature or make reference to it in closing out your post.
Now that you have launched your website and generated some traffic, the next step would be to optimize your site using SEO techniques to ensure continuing and organic traffic to your website.