— September 3, 2019
Website promotion is not a task that you should take lightly. It takes hard work to win the attention of online users. Everything you do, from the content you produce to selecting the correct marketing channels, takes serious deliberation.
If you’re a small business who has finished your business website for the first time, you’ve completed the first step to becoming successful. Congratulations! The bad news is no one knows your website exists. The good news, we’ll teach you some surefire ways to promote your website.
1. Create Magnets for Backlinks
In order to secure traffic from sources outside of paid and direct search, you’ll need to be found organically. And to be found organically, you’ll want to get inbound links from other websites.
This means you want to secure a link on another site’s web page to direct traffic to one of your articles. You can then use an internal linking strategy to further direct visitors to important pages for your business.
The terminology for a piece of content that makes other websites in your industry or niche want to share it is called a ‘magnet’. It attracts backlinks because it provides inherent value wherein other websites are willing to share your resource to better serve their audiences’ content needs.
When it comes to off-page search engine optimization (SEO), different types of content are not all equal. Some content will outperform others based solely upon their format. Some will excel in creating backlinks for you, while others will excel in other areas.
We’re focused solely on creating backlinks. For that reason, formats such as new research, guides, and tools will work best to attract backlinks.
Gear these resources towards company websites, publications, and blogs that will benefit from these most. These sites will become the audiences you target, as they’re the ones who have the power to share your content. By virtue of their decision to share you content, you’ll naturally begin to attract their internal audiences.
Your aim will to be to create optimized content for your industry niche where it can be reprinted by several other publications. In order to make your content re-printable, focus on creating evergreen content and allow the publications to give themselves the by line (author line). In allowing them the by line, stipulate they need to give credit to the original article by linking to it near the end of the article or in the footer. Acquiring backlinks in this way will make it a win-win for everyone involved and give you a better shot at getting your content seen.
2. Create Share-able Content
Studies show, at any given time, there are billions of people who are active on social media. With so many users already posting daily content, wouldn’t it help to have them share some of your content for you?
As any publisher’s goal is to encourage as much engagement as possible, creating content that goes viral is your best chance to get the most engagement.
According to a BuzzSumo study, where they analyzed 777 million social media articles and posts, there is a commonality between the best performing types of posts on Facebook to attract engagement.
These posts fall under two main categories:
- practical tips
- inspirational posts
Posts that give you tips in a listicle format seem to do very well. This is because the content is easily ‘snack-able’. People can digest the information one piece at a time and don’t have to spend most of it actually reading through the piece of content.
Since the list is separated into sections, denoted by their number, people can self-select the tips that work for them. They can choose which tip they want to exercise and don’t have to worry if the tip they select is dependent on another in the list, as each one is self-contained.
This self-selection process helps turn people into customers because they’re exercising their own autonomy and bringing themselves closer to a point where they can make an informed decision.
Instead of passively reading articles, which isn’t a popular trend on social media sites, try to create bite sized pieces of information people can take away and use. Even if the article you create is a long-form piece, create headings, sub-headings, and divisions to make the content more readable, and you’ll have a better chance at creating a piece of content that will be more likely shared.
Listicle formats include:
- best of lists (tips)
- top 10 lists (tips)
- how to
As some of you might know, Facebook’s algorithm has notoriously been excoriated as one that shows content related to those that inspire negative sentiment override. It has been touted this is the case because negative emotions are the driving force behind what creates the most engagement on its platform. Facebook’s algorithm uses things like fear to drive engagement. This is because fear brings our attention to something. If you fear something, you’re directly focusing on it; this makes fear a powerful tool for advertisers.
However, inspirational posts that show positive emotions are just as powerful. Inspirational, heartwarming, and entertaining posts are just as prominent among top trending viral posts.
If you’re looking to create inspirational posts for shares, you can make them inspirational by using emotionally charged customer stories, speaking to social responsibility (and relating it to your business), showing acts of charity, creating or joining a movement, and using moving quotes.
3. Facebook Ads API Hack
If you’ve never used Facebook Ads, it’s a great tool you can use to reach new audiences. As Facebook continues to be the most used social media platform in the world, you can reliably find audiences to engage with your business.
Targeting these audiences en mass is easy and can be effective; however, you’ll fare better if you can do more granular targeting.
Facebook is unique in that it lets you target users based on their interests.
With interest targeting, you can specify which people see your ads based on which pages they like. Using Facebook’s Audience Insights, you can find pages related to your industry to target. Audience Insights shows you demographics and statistics related to each page’s audience. By researching relevant pages, you can find a base of potential customers for your business.
When writing your ad in Facebook’s Ads Manager, you’ll be able to target based on interests; however, Facebook limits its interests to a predetermined list of 25. It doesn’t show you all of the actual pages related to your interest. Those pages are where the real meat of your successful targeting is. You can see related pages to your interest in Audience Insights, as shown below.
We’re going to show you another work around we’ve found to access those pages directly. Instead of typing in the interest you want to target in Facebook Ad Manager’s audience targeting field, use this string in Google search instead:
In the string above, you’ll see a field that looks like this “[your+keyword].”
This is where you’ll input the keyword for your interest. If your keyword is one word, enter it without the plus sign. If your keyword is more than one word, enter it with the plus sign in between each word.
This string will enable you to access Facebook’s API (or back-end) and search for pages that resonate with your interest keyword. This will allow you to target smaller groups, where your ads can be more effective. The result will look something like this.
The first red arrow points to the name of the page, while the second red arrow points to the size of the audience who likes the page. Target the keywords surrounding your niche and you’ll be presented with targeted groups Facebook’s API relates to it.
If your keyword search doesn’t bring up a result, it means there’s nothing in Facebook’s API that corresponds to it. Try another search with a similar keyword.
By building a large audience out of smaller groups, your ads will surely fare better than targeting with Facebook’s original blanket approach.
4. Create Awards for Backlinks
If you don’t know who NerdWallet is, it’s one of the largest online personal financing companies around. Essentially, it works as a referral business and compares and reviews credit cards. In a matter of 10 years, they’ve transformed from a two-person company into one whose annual revenue is projected at $ 100 million a year.
How did they do it? They did it all through content marketing and SEO. That’s a herculean achievement. They now surpass all of their competitors in personal finance Google searches.
One strategy the founder conceived in the early days of the company was to create awards in return for backlinks to build up its SEO profile. This worked phenomenally.
What he did was he created a badge that reflected the importance of a conceived award he would give out to credit card companies NerdWallet would review. He would create a list of the top 10 companies who deserved the award and create individual award pages for each company with a detailed write-up. This meant companies could link their award page to their website and use it as social proof, giving NerdWallet a backlink.
The awards would be given to companies based, specifically, on their organization, product, or service. Those three categories, alone, comprise a large pool of possible company websites to get backlinks from.
NerdWallet didn’t stop there. It created individual and geographical based awards (by state), so it could expand its potential reach even further.
This strategy worked because it played on the principle of social proof. Since those companies he would give awards to would accept and link back to NerdWallet, the company massively grew its backlink profile for organic search.
You can use the same type of strategy to grow your backlink profile with businesses in your industry niche.
5. Create a Free Resource
If you’re looking to attract more eyes to your website, give them a reason to come to it in the first place. Offer a free resource to your target audience in exchange for an email. These downloadable documents are also referred to as lead magnets. Popular resources such as guides, checklists, case studies, and original research are great ways to induce people to become a customer, as they drive lead engagement in exchange for giving value.
The process is simple: create a dedicated landing page where you can offer your resource for download and promote it intermittently on your social media channels.
6. Interview Industry Leaders
The last tip on the list is one that is not used often enough. This is most likely the case because it’s a journalistic oriented approach. However, this tactic is just as effective for a company as it is for a media organization.
If you’re having trouble gaining traction growing your following, interview an industry leader in your niche. Most will be available for an interview over the phone or through a call conferencing software.
There’s no harm in asking. More often than not, you’ll be surprised with how many accept. Profiling a thought leader works both to increase your company’s brand perception, by associating it with a big player, and theirs, by further cementing them as an authority figure in their industry.
Just make sure to agree for both parties to promote the content on their feeds, so you both can reap the rewards of each other’s audiences.