What Is Website Promotion?
Definition & Examples of Website Promotion
Website promotion refers to marketing strategies that help increase the visibility of a site.
Learn how website promotion works through an example, different types of web promotion, and best practices for creating a promotional plan to increase the reach of your home-based business.
What Is Website Promotion?
Website promotion describes a collection of online and offline marketing tactics and techniques that can be used to increase the visibility of a website so that people can find it. Such strategies are designed to bring targeted traffic (visitors who fit your target market) to your website, which is essential for a business because it helps generate more leads (prospective buyers) and more sales of a product or service.
How Website Promotion Works
Whether you run a home-based business in the form of a blog, e-commerce website, or a service business like a catering company, you cannot simply create a website, add content, and hope that customers will find it. You must promote it if your aim is to generate sales. After all, Google usually only lists 10 results on each page of search results, and most people stop browsing after the first few pages. Without a promotional strategy, your potential customers may find your competitors' websites before they find yours, if they find yours at all among the innumerable sites on the web, causing you to lose out on business.
The strategies you undertake in that effort are collectively referred to as website promotion, and there are many ways to go about it. For example, let's say that Maria and Jose run Blissful Bites, a home-based catering company in Los Angeles that specializes in catering for wedding receptions. They create a website, BlissfulBites.com, complete with pricing, menus, and possible venues, and they undertake a multi-prong promotional strategy. Maria not only tells her social circle about her business website but also takes out Google ads to promote the website to other Los Angeles locals. J
ohn starts a business YouTube channel and social media profiles with major platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. He starts posting behind-the-scenes videos from the kitchen on YouTube, and in the process, amasses a wide following on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. As neither has experience in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), they hire a search engine firm to carry out an SEO campaign that includes posting relevant, keyword-optimized articles on the website blog and acquiring inbound links from other high-ranking websites to BlissBites.com. All these strategies together help BlissfulBites.com get ranked on the first page of Google search engine results for keywords related to their catering firm, which helps drive more traffic to the website and results in more revenue for the business.
Types of Website Promotion
Websites can be promoted both online and offline. But between these two approaches, there are endless techniques for promoting your website, and new methods keep emerging.
Online Website Promotion
Promotional techniques carried out over the internet include:
- Search engine optimization: SEO involves getting your website listed by search engines and ranked highly in search engine results. SEO strategies include developing content, improving site structure through code changes, incorporating regularly searched keywords in the content and metadata used by search engines to catalog your site, and building inbound links (for example, by asking reputable websites to list your URL on their site).
- Email marketing: Email marketing requires getting permission from people interested in your business and sending them regular emails on timely topics (a product sale, for example), usually via an email list, to generate enthusiasm, customers, and sales.
- Content marketing: Content marketing involves creating blog posts on your blog or another firm's blog (known as "guest blogging"), white papers posted online or available for download from your site, or other web-based materials to generate leads and sales.
- Social media marketing: This involves creating profiles on major social media platforms and maintaining an active, useful presence by posting relevant, enticing text (a promotional contest conducted over Twitter, for example) or visual content (like Instagram photos or YouTube videos).
- Digital marketing: Digital marketing typically refers to taking out paid or unpaid ads promoting your business website. Ads can take a number of forms, including ads on social media sites, banner ads for your website that appear at the top or sides of other websites, or paid search ads that allow your website to appear in search engine results when users search for terms related to your business.
- Podcasting: Podcasts are audio files available for streaming or downloads. You can host your own podcast or serve as a guest on another host's show and point listeners to your website.
Offline Web Promotion
Promotional techniques that don't require the internet include:
- Direct mail: These are physical advertising materials sent by mail (product catalogs or postcards, for example) to targeted recipients with a call-to-action (for example, to visit the website or buy a seasonal product online).
- Print advertising: Run ads in newspapers or magazines. Ads in local newspapers are typically cheaper than those placed in national papers.
- Television and radio advertising: If you have the budget, pay to have an ad air on television or over the radio waves. Keep in mind that a television spot is generally more expensive than a radio spot, and an ad on network television costs more than one on cable.
- Press releases: A press release is a document that highlights a business and its products and services. After you create one, submit it to newspapers or radio stations for publication.
- Networking: Share the URL of your business widely among your business and personal networks, either verbally or via a business card.
- Article writing: Write for magazines or other print publications, and you may be able to include a link to your website.
- Trade shows: These events are attended by industry professionals so present a great opportunity to talk about your business and distribute business cards containing your site URL.
Word-of-mouth website promotion is an easy and effective but often underused marketing tactic. Before you invest in other forms of website promotion, share the URL of your business with your friends, family, and business contacts. Choose a short, pithy business URL for easy word-of-mouth website promotion.
How to Conduct Website Promotion
Follow these tips as you set out to market your website:
- Identify your target market: A million visitors mean nothing if none of them are interested in what you offer; your goal should be to increase visitors from your target market, which is people from a specific demographic and location with certain interests and budget who are more likely to buy. Knowing and understanding your target market, including who they are, where they can be found, and what they want, will allow you to entice your most likely visitor to stop by your website.
- Take an integrated approach: Diversify the promotional strategies you use and the outlets where you promote without overwhelming yourself. For example, you don't need to be on every social media platform; in fact, maintaining a helpful presence on just one can be more effective than posting irrelevant content on several every so often.
- Promote where your market hangs out: If your market isn't on Twitter, you don't need to tweet. When considering how and where to promote, think about where your market goes to get similar information and resources related to what you offer, not just other websites or social networks, but also offline sources, such as groups and print media. For example, if you have a fitness blog for moms with young children, you'll have more success running promotional campaigns on other mom blogs or in mom-focused magazines and online groups. You'd have even more success if those options specifically target moms who want to get fit.
- Hook your market with a message that speaks to them: Develop a website and copy that entices and intrigues your market. It should be benefits-oriented in that it promises to solve a problem, improve life, or entertain. The better your promotional copy, the better the results will be for your website promotional campaign.
- Track your efforts: You'll save time and money if you know what promotions are delivering results and which aren't. For example, check your website stats regularly using tools like Google Analytics to understand how people are using search engines to find your site, and then tweak your SEO tactics as necessary to boost traffic.
- Website promotion is how you get the word out about your business to boost the visibility of your site.
- Promotion is an important strategy that helps you drive traffic to your site and generate sales.
- You can use online promotional techniques such as SEO, email marketing, and digital marketing, and offline efforts such as word-of-mouth marketing and print, radio, and television.
- For best results, identify your target market, use diverse promotional strategies that target that market where it spends time with a strong message, and track your efforts.
Southern Rural Development Center's National e-Commerce Extension Initiative. "Bringing People to Your Website." Accessed Sept. 30, 2020.
Access Annapolis. "Marketing Toolkit Action Plan," Page 9. Accessed Sept. 30, 2020.
FDIC. "Advertising for Small Businesses," Pages 13–15, 26. Accessed Sept. 30, 2020.
FDIC. "Advertising for Small Businesses," Page 30. Accessed Sept. 30, 2020.