Ten Free Ways to Market Your Website - dummies

Ten Free Ways to Market Your Website

By Jan Zimmerman

Free. There’s nothing like it. Free works when you market to others, and free can work for your marketing. Use these ten free techniques to bootstrap your web marketing effort. As you make money from your web investment, you’ll have the funds for paid advertising.

Put your domain name on all stationery and packaging

There’s no added cost to include YourDomain.com (substitute your own domain name) on every public piece of paper that leaves your office: business cards, letterhead, invoices, packing slips, presentation folders, marketing collateral, spec sheets, and press releases.

Include your URL in your e-mail signature block

E-mail programs allow you to create a signature block that appears on every e-mail you send. In addition to your name, title, company name, address, phone number, and fax number, include your five- to seven-word marketing tag, a link to your website or primary blog, and Follow Us On links to all your social media pages.

If you use the format http://www.YourDomain.com, the text automatically becomes a link in outgoing mail.

Use calls to action in your text

Calls to action are imperative verbs (such as buy now, save, register to win) that encourage your site visitors to take a specific action on your website. Use links and calls to action to help visitors navigate your site and to let them know what you’d like them to do.

Collect customer testimonials

Recommendations from customers are golden! Whenever customers spontaneously offer praise, ask for permission to include their recommendations on your site. You don’t have to identify the individuals in detail, but you need something more than “anonymous” as a source.

Submit to three main search engines

Submit your website to the three main search engines. It doesn’t cost you a penny, and not even much time. Submit to

Conduct a link campaign

Inbound links from other websites not only bring you targeted traffic from other sites but also can improve your ranking in Google’s search results. This time-consuming but free method brings high-quality visitors to your site.

Use social sharing and follow us buttons

The simplest of all viral marketing techniques is word-of-mouth. A social media sharing button on your website or blog encourages web visitors to e-mail their friends a link to your site or share the link on their own social media pages, such as their Facebook walls. Your developer can quickly install free code from AddThis or ShareThis or another social sharing service.

Exploit Google Places and Yahoo! local

Both Google and Yahoo! offer free local listings tied to their map sites, allowing users to search for businesses within a specific geographical area. Although hospitality, tourism, and entertainment sites are obvious beneficiaries of local search, local listings are valuable for every company.

Many consumers like to buy locally so that they can easily obtain post-purchase service or support local businesses. Local search is also critical when people seek a nearby vendor using smartphones or tablets.

Submit your shopping site to Google product search

Most shopping sites are either pay per click or pay per listing specialty search engines. The Google shopping search engine is free to merchants. You can upload your inventory monthly (which is the minimum required frequency) or establish an RSS feed to update your online feed whenever your inventory changes.

List your site on social bookmarking services

You may already be familiar with how to bookmark favorite sites in your own browser. Social bookmarking services perform the same function online, but settings allow your recommendations to be publicly available. Simply create an account, insert your favorite URLs, and add a brief description.