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15 Ways to Promote Your Website

Once you have a website online and Google has successfully found and indexed it then it’s time to start promoting your site. Promoting your website could be considered a branch within SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), hence there are many other important factors that should be considered in addition to the ideas described in this article.

Some of the benefits of promoting your website include:

o Finding potential new business
o Ensuring existing customers can find your online information
o Maintaining a professional appearance
o Ensuring your competition doesn’t have an advantage over you

Here’s a list of things you can do to help promote your website.

1. Take advantage of existing paperwork and other items that you distribute anyway. That means if you regularly distribute any of the following: invoices, business cards, packing slips, compliment slips, brochures, fliers, calendars, promotional clothing, packaging, emails (in the signature), or business letters, then you should include your web address in all these places. If you are going to send it or give it away anyway, you may as well give yourself some free advertising. Who knows who’ll see it. A good rule of thumb is “more means more” – the more places you advertise your website, the more people will visit.

2. Take advantage of existing advertising. If you already have any newspaper ads, or Golden Pages / Yellow Pages ads, then make sure they include your web address. (Note: make sure the link to your website is functional – misspellings can easily occur so the only sure way to be sure it works is to test it!)

3. Are you a member of a professional association? Many professional associations advertise their members, and if yours does make sure your website is listed. The great thing about professional associations is that they often have some valuable PR (Page Rank – a Google ranking factor which relates to the number and quality of links pointing to a website). Your website may be able to inherit some valuable PR by getting a link from such sites.

4. Online Directories. There are virtually endless amounts of online directories that allow you to advertise for free. Google uses the Open Directory (DMOZ) for generating the information contained in some search results, so if you can get your website listed here it’s potentially beneficial. (Note: DMOZ is notoriously difficult to be listed in because all submitted sites are viewed by editors prior to being listed to ensure they meet certain criteria. This criteria is liberal at best in describing what is being looked for, so it’s difficult know exactly what constitutes a worthy site. It’s free to submit however, so there’s nothing to lose by submitting your site, even if it’s not included). If you do a search for “Free Online Directory” you’ll find there are plenty more directories to list your website.

5. Classified ads. Classified ads are often free and heavily viewed. Again just search for “online classified ads” and you should get loads of places to list your site.

6. Local business listings. Many towns keep lists of local businesses, and your business may already be listed. Make sure there is a link to your website within the listing.

7. Do you have a social networking account (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc)? Make sure it contains a link to your website. Did you know you can create a company account on many of these sites? These sites will soon be (and may already be) crawlable by search engines and information you post there could be included in search results. These sites can also be helpful to keep a friendly dialogue open between you and your customers by giving them an informal means to communicate with you and your business. If your target audience is younger than 30 you should definitely embrace the social media website.

8. Start a blog. If you know something that you think would interest people then write about it in a blog (making sure to include a link to your website if the blog is not on your website). There are numerous free blogging platforms such as Blogger.

9. Upload a video to YouTube. Google now includes videos, images, maps and news in search results along with regular website results, and studies have shown that viewers are drawn to visual results (videos and images) before standard search results. If you can video some aspect of your business that may be interesting to people (how-to videos are great, and humorous videos are popular), then upload it to YouTube and include some relevant keywords in the video description, and of course a link to your website!

10. Are you active in any online forums or groups? If you create a profile for yourself you can often add a link to your website so that the link shows any time you post a comment. Comment spam is generally frowned upon so make sure you have some intelligent input before leaving loads of spammy comments on forums.

11. Add a Google Maps listing. Quite often the top search result in Google will be a map showing local business listings, so this is a great way to get your business right at the top of page 1 in Google. While there are no clear instructions for how Google determines which businesses to list in the map that it shows in the search results, including relevant keywords in the business description and category seems to help.

12. Pay Google to advertise. AdWords allows you to specify a daily budget for advertising, and this may work really well if you are selling something on your site.

13. Press Releases. Press releases are picked up by news services and can potentially drive a lot of traffic to your website. If you have a new product or service that you’d like people to know about then this is potentially a great way to tell people about it.

14. Do you have friends or business associates that can include a link to your website? If you have a trusted customer, supplier, or perhaps a company that offers the same service in a different geographical region then agree to advertise each others website.

15. Determine which searches you’d like to show up for and see what’s presently showing up. You may find some unexpected places that you can advertise in as well – e.g. it’s not unusual to find free directory listings in the search results.

Promoting your website is just a link in the Search Engine Optimization chain. Be sure to consider all aspects of SEO in order to get great performance from your website.

The Myth of Willpower – Why You’ll Never Build Your Home-Based-Business Without the Proper Structure

Now more than ever, people should consider starting a home-based-business. Let’s face it, the job market is uncertain, the stock market is uncertain and the housing market is uncertain. But we as individuals can control ourselves and thus have some certainty that with hard work and the right structures, ANYONE of us can run a successful home business.In the past the problem with most home-business models was that they were based on fluff or emotion. This was most prevalent in the old school MLM model where people were encouraged to come up with the most compelling and meaningful “why” to help them build their businesses. It doesn’t matter how badly you need the money or the success or how many hard times you’ve been through, your “why” will not do it alone.All sorts of people set goals for themselves and forget they need structures in place to support these goals. As many Network Marketers can attest to after months or maybe years of failure, success through will power or your “why” alone is a myth.Structures support us in achieving goals in every facet of our lives. However, with a home-based-business these structures are even more important because no one will do the work for you, nor nag you to get it done.Will power like most emotions is dynamic and changes. You can have a strong desire and great will power for a while and then maybe it wanes. Good structures are always there whether you are feeling focused and determined or exhausted and burned out.So imagine you’d like to build a successful home business. Sure you probably have a great “why”. You may want to spend more time with your family, bring in additional income; maybe you just lost your job etc. etc. Will that “why” really build the business for you? Or, do you think you may need some structures in place to support you?Structures in your business reflect structures in your lifeA structure keeps ideas, procedures and elements together in place over time. When things are in their right place we say things are running smoothly. There are visible and invisible structures in life that support our beliefs; the way we run our business, how we maintain relationships etc. Essentially structures are what support us to reach our goals and manage our commitments.For example, if deep down inside you feel like you are not worthy (of love, success, money, anything) you might have structures in your business that help you support this belief such as no real plan, no support, a false sense that you can become successful by not doing anything and on and on. Procrastination is a certainly a structure that would back up feeling not worthy. On the other hand, a person who deep down inside feels worthy of success and love may create a structure such as a time calendar to make sure he or she is working hard and finding time for play too. This will also back up the feelings of worthiness by keeping him or her focused and thus more successful.Empowering Structures Make All The Difference :Key Structures Every Successful Home-Based-Business Owner Must Have!Because structures support our progress and goal setting no matter what our emotional state may be, empowering structures make all the difference. If you create structures that reflect your spirit of abundance and the fact that you love yourself and feel worthy of success, you will see results in your business.Remember, structures are not necessarily tangible things you see like scaffolding around a building. Of course they can be, but sometimes they are hidden from plain site.Here are three tangible structures that EVERY home-based-business owner needs in place for success:1- Time Calendar Promotes Consistency
A time calendar is a GREAT structure for your home-based-business as it lets you create your days around what you have to do to be successful and what you want or need to do for YOU. (Remember, one of the perks to working from home is supposed to be more time for you and your family.)I recommend taking a few minutes out of each Sunday night to look at the week ahead. Be reasonable about your responsibilities to your business, your family, your other job etc. and create your blocks of time to reflect these.The most important function of your time calendar is to create consistency in your efforts. Make sure that you are actually working on learning and growing your business during the hours you set aside. Cleaning your desk, emailing friends and online shopping does not count! You may even decide to schedule time for that. Again, make this work for YOU and you are more likely to stick to your plan.Here is an example of a time calendar I created with a client who is a stay-at-home mom: 6-7 AM exercise, 7:30-8:45AM is for the kids (getting them up, dressed, fed and off to school or activities) but 9-12 is for studying and implementing home-based-business marketing. 12-12:30 is “her” time for lunch or surfing the net and 1-2:30 she creates content and continues practicing what she is learning. The kids are home at 3pm and it’s family time.OK obviously this is an example that doesn’t fit for everyone. However, it’s a way to demonstrate how valuable the time calendar can be in helping you stay focused and consistent. Once your business is really booming you may have to re-evaluate how many hours a day you work. You may be working too much and sacrificing exercise, family and other commitments. You may be working too little and just at a plateau. The point is you can revisit this each and every week and remember consistency is key!2- Marketing Budget
You wouldn’t start any other business without a budget for your marketing and advertising needs so why start a home business without one? The fact of the matter is that you need a strategy and a budget to implement the marketing techniques you will need for success.You don’t have to spend a fortune but you will need to set aside a consistent amount of money each month. This is for things such as your autoresponder, placing ads in ezines, Pay-Per-Click, marketing trainings and newsletter subscriptions. This does NOT cover the cost of your Internet or phone service and other basic business necessities.As you move forward and begin earning money for your home business you may want to increase your marketing budget. Make sure you are constantly replenishing this budget so you can continue to reach out to your target audience.Again, don’t feel like you have to go out and spend a fortune in the beginning. I recommend $50 per month starting out simply for marketing. If that sounds too high, whatever you can consistently set aside each month should help you get started.
Keep in mind that with the rise of social media (Twitter, Facebook, Digg, You Tube) you don’t need to have a huge marketing budget to reach your prospects. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t need a budget at all.3- Mentors & A Support System
It can be scary starting a home business or taking an existing business online. There is so much to learn and so many places to lose money. Just like any other business, you will not be successful without a bit of teamwork and collaboration.Mentors are incredibly important as you develop and grow as a professional. It can seem overwhelming when you are starting out and it can be hard to know whom to trust. Just like your marketing budget, you don’t need to spend a ton of money in the beginning. I recommend signing up for some FREE newsletters and training courses to figure out what parts of your business you want to focus on starting out. Get a basic grasp on the ways in which to make money from home and how you want to market yourself. Of course you will want to research and develop your unique angle during this time so you can focus on the mentors that speak to you.Once you have found your mentors (at this stage of your business- remember they may change) I recommend working closely with them to learn as much as you can. There are newsletters, conference calls and training programs out there that deliver! And, there are some that are not so great. Trust your instincts and make sure you are implementing what you are learning so you can be sure you are on the right track.With the right structures EVERYONE can have a successful home-based-business.In the beginning, leaving the rat race and starting a home-based-business can seem scary. And, it is. It’s a huge step but one that when done correctly, will be the best step of your life. The right structures are very important. As I mention above, our structures reflect our emotions and our deep-seated beliefs. Take some time to reflect on the structures in your life and how they reinforce positive or negative beliefs that you may have. Remember structures are not always tangible and like the example above something as silly as procrastination may be a structure that reinforces self-doubt or fear of success.And, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are many of us out there who have valuable information to share.