Building a website is only the first step in running a successful business. The second step is to promote your website so visitors and customers can find it. There are plenty of ideas for free website promotion that work, and I have assembled a list of the 17 of the best methods.
Why Promote Your Website?
You could make the greatest website on the internet, but it is completely useless if no one finds it. For this reason, once you build a website, the majority of your time is spent adding new content and promoting.
After all, you can’t expect people to visit if they don’t know it exists. And Google search is only going to do so much.
And as the internet has aged, there are plenty of ways to promote your website. Many of them are dependent on the type of site you have created. Thus, it is important to realize that results may vary depending on the website.
17 Ideas for Free Website Promotion
The list I have assembled contains 17 ideas for free website promotion that will have results. However, it is important to understand that there are plenty of other ways to promote your website that cost money.
These methods are great if you can afford them, but are typically not something a new website developer will use.
1. Optimize SEO
When it comes to the internet, there is no better promotion than Google. In just 1 second, Google handles over 40,000 searches, which adds up to a whopping 3.5 billion searches every day.
Showing up in these rankings is crucial for any website, but if you have taken even a few minutes to look into optimizing SEO, you have probably heard of the mystery that is the Google algorithm.
Everything from the header you use to the speed of your website will affect your rankings. How much, you ask? No one knows exactly, but there are plenty of online guides that will help you optimize your website for SEO.
And when you consider that the top 5 results receive 70% of the clicks, it is very clear the higher you rank, the better the results.
2. Email Marketing
Email marketing is still an incredibly important aspect of promoting your website. To anyone new to the concept, it consists of collecting addresses and emailing them promotional material.
This can include a newsletter, discounts, and other types of content. The key is to make sure it is worth the reader’s time, which is why I always recommend including a new deal in them.
Luckily, there are plenty of free email marketing tools available to use, the hard part is collecting emails.
3. Google My Business
If you are a local business owner, there is no better way to promote your website than Google My Business. This is a free service by, you guessed it, Google that displays your business on google maps with the hours, reviews, phone number, and more on full display.
Due to the popularity of smartphones, this feature has become a huge part of finding local businesses. For example, when someone is looking for a restaurant, they typically search for restaurants “near me” on their phone.
Businesses that use this service see, on average, an extra 1,000 views a month, which is a huge deal for those in a local area.
Video content is becoming more important every year, and YouTube remains the king of it. Creating YouTube videos benefits your website in two ways.
The first is pretty straightforward, people love video content. Businesses understand this and as a result, 81% of them use video as a marketing tool. And considering mobile video consumption has been growing 100% each year, you can imagine video content is here to stay.
The second is the fact that YouTube is owned by Google (this name is going to come up a lot). As a result, YouTube videos often get displayed at the top of search results. Add a link to your website in the description and you are going to get better rankings.
5. Create A Facebook Page
Facebook is the king of social media and it offers businesses multiple ways to engage with a targeted audience in both free and paid ways.
Luckily, creating a Facebook page is completely free and every business should have one. 39% of Facebook users will follow a business page if it offers them special rewards like discounts. So make sure to do so!
On this page, you can include links to your website, contact information, store hours, and a steady stream of content to keep visitors coming back. And all of this is completely free to do!
6. Use Backlinks
Backlinks are links to your website found on another. The more popular or highly ranked that website is, the more impactful the backlink.
The simplest way to do this is to leave a comment on that website with a link to your own. While many websites are fine with you doing this, some are not.
The main reason some websites are not okay with this is if you are trying to steal visitors from them. This is typically why a developer will choose to delete your comment or just not allow links in general.
In some cases, you may just get stopped by the website’s anti-spam tool. Thus, you need to make sure your comment is not spam.
7. Use Quora or Yahoo Answers
If you write blog content, you can find a lot of success by creating a free account and answering questions, with a link back to your website. However, you need to be careful.
If you have too many links or your post is just a link, these platforms will typically flag you. Answer the questions naturally while also adding a link back to a page of your own that makes sense.
8. Instagram Stories
Instagram is a huge name in the social media ring and Instagram Stories, in particular, is a great way to interact with your audience. Over 500 million users use Instagram Stories every day.
This type of content generally appears at the top of user content, which makes it valuable for advertisement. All you will need is a phone, some pictures, and some creativity to see results.
However, it is important to note that the stories are only available for 24 hours after they are posted. This ensures that new ones are constantly being made, which means you will need to create a new one daily for the best results.
Yelp is a business directory that has really made a name for itself when it comes to restaurant recommendations. Although it can be useful for all business types, restaurants will find the most success.
Any business can build a Yelp page for free. On it, you can include important information like store hours, links to your website, menus, contact information and anything else relevant. Doing so allows users to leave reviews.
Having great reviews can help your business get a lot of attention and push it to the top of the results. However, having bad reviews can have the opposite effect. So make sure to please your customers.
10. Reciprocal Linking
Reciprocal linking is when two websites agree to link to each other’s pages. If both websites are of equal quality and scale, it can help you receive more traffic by boosting search rankings.
This is because search engines believe that the more website’s that link back to your pages, the better your website must be. And when done between two equally sized websites, it’s often free since sharing is a benefit for both sites and a win-win situation.
Of course, if you create quality content that is linked by others, you won’t even need to ask other sites for help.
11. Create Infographics
Infographics are informative images that can be easily shared on social media platforms. They typically contain statistics and other interesting facts on a specific topic.
Thus, they are often shared on social media or used as a source on other websites. Making high-quality ones can be a great source to promote your website.
Keep in mind that these should be as simple as possible. Making them overly complicated will only hurt you. A great rule of thumb to follow is that if the average reader can’t understand it, its too complicated.
12. Start A Hashtag Campaign on Twitter
Twitter is right up there with Facebook at the top of the social media world. Many businesses have dedicated Twitter accounts that are updated daily to attract customers and visitors.
A great way to get some free publicity is to start a hashtag campaign. If you are unfamiliar with the term, this is when an influencer or business askes their audience to use a specific hashtag.
A great one is to just use your actual business name. For example, if you used #GoGreenGeeks, every time someone clicked on it, they would be pointed to our Twitter account. It’s something that every business should try and throwing in a reward only helps.
13. Bing Places for Business
While you may only hear about Google or think about it when you see the term search engine, it really isn’t the only one out there. Bing has made a name for itself over the years, and Bing Places for Business is great.
You can create a business page that will make it appear on Bing maps. Users will see contact information, reviews, store hours, and more when they search for that business type.
This should sound very familiar because this is essentially Bing’s version of Google My Business. Remember, just because more people use Google, does not mean people do not use other search engines.
14. Yellow Pages
You may think that the Yellow Pages are done and that may be true for the physical phone book, but when it comes to the online Yellow Pages, you are wrong.
YellowPages.com allows you to list your business for free. And this can help you reach an older demographic. Let’s be honest, you are not going to see Millenials, Generation X, Y, or Z using the Yellow pages if they even know what they are.
However, for older generations, searching for Yellowpages in Google is pretty common. So take advantage of it since it is free.
Reddit is the 7th most popular website in the world and you should be taking advantage of it. It is a forum-based website that allows users to post questions stories, reviews, memes, and just about everything else.
By making an account and getting involved in the subreddits that apply to your business, you can build a reputation for your website. However, you need to really interact with the community, if you are hoping to create an account and leave a comment with just a link in it, don’t bother.
Apart from being flagged, you will be downvoted to oblivion.
16. Take Advantage of Your Webmaster Account
You could spend months not understanding why a search engine is not ranking your content highly. Luckily, most search engines have a webmaster account.
By using these webmaster tools, you can get a better idea of why you are not ranking higher. Almost all major search engines allow you to create a free account to do this. Just keep in mind you will need to set up a site map on your website to get the full image.
A good example of this is Google’s Search Console.
17. Use An Email Signature
Anytime you send out an email, you should include a signature that includes a link to your website. If you are not familiar with the term, a signature is a small message at the end of an email that typically includes a name, business, and a link.
The reason this is a good free website promotion idea is that every time that email is forwarded with your signature, a link for your website will be there. This can help your website reach new visitors and even open up unique business opportunities.
Don’t Write Off Paid Promotions
If you have a new website, you are probably looking for the cheapest route to promote it, and free website promotion ideas are perfect for you.
However, as your website grows, you will reach a point where buying ad space is an option.
This can greatly benefit your website, which is exactly why every major business does so. Learning how to market your website is not easy, and it gets more difficult as the internet ages.
But one thing is for sure; you will end up spending money on marketing your website if you are serious about it.