How to promote your website if you do not have neither enough money nor marketing knowledge? I think the title is quite clear, right? Perfect, I think the same. First of all I would like to make clear one point: currently I am studying Business Administration and thanks to the Spanish education system my studies are quite useless; especially in Marketing. In my whole bachelor (four years with a media of 10 courses per year) I had two marketing courses and what they taught me is quite… common sense. You have some technical words but the good thing about marketing, and especially online marketing, is you can learn it by yourself.
Let’s start from the very beginning. Some months ago, some friends and I started a website called The Survival Bible. We were more excited about it than a group of kids eating raw sugar. We posted stuff, we create a Facebook page, we created a Twitter and even a Youtube account, we shared them with our friends but nothing really happened. I mean, we have like 100 likes but no traffic to the website and that’s what we really wanted so we had the first Survival Bible’s crew meeting. Well, it was a meeting in a bar with some beers between us but I really think alcohol helps in this situation. A moderate amount of alcohol.
What I am going to tell you below is the summary of the meeting that day and what it worked and what it didn’t so far.
Define Your Audience
This is basic. I would write down which type of users would be interested in your website and then try to subdivide them into small groups with their own characteristics. Deeper you go, easier will be to write something that your users will find interesting.
Identify Your Competitors
It is quite certain that you are going to have competition. Maybe not exactly the same but I am sure you can find a website like yours. It is normal. We are too many people in the world and two different persons can have the same idea. You have to identify them, see what they are doing, how they are doing and think about a way to do it better or think about what they don’t have but you could have.
Having A Facebook Page Is Essential
I am sure you know it but being in all the social networks is quite important. It’s mostly free and you reach worldwide audiences. What we thought is “we need people on our Facebook page, we need readers, or likes, in Facebook because then they would go to the website to read the articles”. Our page view was growing slowly so we thought we could “exchange” some likes (you can find thousands of website to do it). We did it and this happened:
As you can see it worked very well for 7 hours. From 169 likes on 9th November, to 277 likes on 10th November and to 177 likes on 11th. You can imagine our face… Facebook is not retarded, don’t play with him as you can see in the graphic. Don’t buy likes and don’t exchange likes because it is a waste of time and if you buy them it’s a waste of money.
Find Your Audience On Social Networks
I will explain it with the example of our site. Our “perfect” user would be: students abroad or students that used to be study or work abroad and they would like to share their experiences. Where and how I can find them? Obviously not on LinkedIn. Facebook is great to reach a specific group of people. There are Facebook groups of EVERYTHING. This is what we did. We found Erasmus groups, exchange students groups, etc. In one day we could reach a potential audience of tens of thousands of people completely free. Of course, this is not perfect. If you post in a lot of groups you are going to be consider as spam so… I would be careful with it and I would create some profiles for do it.
Be Careful About Paying Ads
In my opinion, if you start a website, you are not interested in Google ads. Of course, it depends of the sector of your website but it could be quite expensive and not very effective. I would start with Facebook ads but be careful because it could be also a waste of money. For example:
We thought “let’s try Facebook ads and see what happen”. As you can see above, it was a disaster. Why? The biggest mistake we made was to choose a REALLY BIG target. I think we target the whole Europe and, of course, with 9€ budget it is not enough. Therefore, 0,6€ per like it’s insanely expensive… If you want to create a Facebook ad, think the same like in the first point of this list. The second mistake was to advertise the page too soon. If you see an ad from a page with 120 likes or an ad from a page with 600 likes… In which one would you click “like”?
Content Is The King
Let’s talk clear in this point: if your content is shit, sorry but it is possible that your website is not going anywhere. Do you want shares in social networks? Write something viral like a list of things with pictures, gifs, etc. Do you want to be taken seriously? Write good content with good sources. All depends on what type of audience you are targeting.
If you care about SEO, if you don’t know what SEO is read this, you should know that currently Google’s algorithm cares A LOT about content when it ranks you in Google searches. Adding pictures, social buttons, clear titles and prioritize keywords, you can find more information here and get some inspiration about improving your ranking.
Link Your Own Articles
What do you like? People in your website. What don’t you like? People are leaving your website. To keep people on your site, it is quite useful if you link your own posts. Why is it important people stay on your website? Because if they stay longer more probability you have they will share something from your site, they will click in your ads, they will subscribe to your newsletter or they will buy something. Also Google’s algorithm for ranking doesn’t like a high bounce rate (if you don’t know what a bounce rate is don’t worry, I already search for you in Wikipedia about it) because it means the users didn’t it interesting/useful enough to check other post/page.
This is what I would say to someone that asks me about how to start promoting his website. It can be possible a lot of people would think “I would do it in a different way, this guy doesn’t know anything”. Well, all what I know is based on my past experience and my learning process was: do it, realized it was wrong, fix it, again, and again, and again… If you have a different point of view or you would like to share your experience please comment it below. If you want to insult me, give me a present or something awesome please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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