This post is for anyone interested in using site optimization and web analytics to promote your site. If you think of SEO as a three layer cake, the layers would be: site organization and structure, then site optimization, then analytics. Finally the finishing touch, or the frosting, would be promotion that includes, among other things, social media, blogging, and paid ads.

Some web developers use the philosophy, “build it and they will come.” This doesn’t always work out as planned. There are so many websites, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. Let’s imagine for a minute that you are an amazing baker who uses your grandmother’s recipes and loves buttercream frosting. Your business, Baba’s is all about making delicious cakes with tasty frostings.

How To Promote Your Site

So what can you do to attract visitors to your site? How about some good, old-fashioned marketing. Not too old-fashioned, the tools are brand new. Don’t be nervous. Promoting your site on the web is a piece of cake. There are oodles of simple, inexpensive, and effective ways to promote your site. Some are free! You won’t even have to spend a penny. Use these tactics and you’ll be well on your way to increasing your number of visitors and conversions, and improving your site’s rankings.

Free Ways To Market Your Business

Let’s start by looking at some ways to promote that don’t cost any money. The first thing to do is to submit your website’s link directly to the various search engines. This is easy and takes just a minute. Go to the major search engines and search for the term, “Submit your Site.” This will improve your SEO and is absolutely free.

Next do a search for an online directory that focuses on your type of business. Are you a baker? Look for directories that focus on food or weddings or baking, like food The beauty of being listed in this directory is that people can find you and the directory links back to your site, which improves your SEO.

Blogging is a fun, free, and creative way to promote your site. A blog is an online journal that’s updated on a regular basis. The language is informal and it might have a theme like being a mom or maybe baking. It’s a way to share your thoughts with the world. It’s also a powerful marketing tool.

A blog allows you to promote a product, a service, or or even your entire site just about every day. Be sure to select a blogging schedule you can keep up with, like once a week. Regular posts will encourage traffic. As you get more comfortable, you can post the occasional special blog, when needed. For example, if there’s a wedding expo coming up, you could blog about wedding cakes.

Another free way to promote your site is by using links for navigation. Using links for navigation in your site can help promote your content. Let’s say you blog about a new type of frosting or cake flavor. You can provide a link to your product page within the blog. Providing descriptive links and URLs is helpful for navigation. They also encourage others to link to your site, which in turn will increase traffic and enable better crawling by search engines. Be careful to create these links wisely. Using too many links can cause confusion. and frustration that will lead to less traffic, not more.

Cost Effective Marketing Strategies

Social media is an inexpensive and valuable way to promote your site. Certain rules apply when using social media. Remember, it’s social media, so keep it social. Don’t just broadcast your point of view. Allow for give and take, ask questions, and start conversations. Keep in mind, the one-in-three rule of thumb. For every one pure marketing post, you should have at least three social posts. The truth is, if you’re creative, you can promote your site each and every post or tweet, as long as the information that accompanies it is useful and engaging. You can also use a variety of platforms. Think about using Pinterest, Facebook, and even YouTube.

Did you know that YouTube is one of the most searched business directories in the United States? Just because you’re online, don’t forget the other ingredients in the marketing mix. Remember to incorporate traditional marketing techniques like putting your URL and social media handles on all communications as well as letterhead, business cards, and any marketing pieces that you distribute.

Not to be overlooked, another way to promote your site is by registering your business online with tools and apps such as Google Places, Yellowpages, Foursquare. The list is endless. Having your site listed in these locally focused directories will help promote your business as well. Remember to pay attention to your analytics when promoting your site. Reviewing the data on a regular basis is key to identifying patterns. You’ll get a sense for what is working and what isn’t.

If you monitor your analytics before and after a marketing campaign, the introduction of a product, or any changes to your site, you’ll soon begin to recognize trends that can provide valuable feedback. With all of these low-cost marketing ideas, your business is sure to thrive. You’ll be able to have your cake and eat it too!