Second, make it easy for visitors to share and recommend pages to their friends. You can include simple code that will allow them to post the link to a page on Facebook and/or other social networks to which they belong. You can also create a “Recommend This Page” or “Recommend This Site” feature. When clicked, such a feature lets a user email the link to a friend they think would be interested in the content. News-based websites include this feature with their articles all the time; you can take advantage of it as well, and save your readers the trouble of cutting and pasting.
Third, make sure all of your website’s links actually work. Use software like Xenu’s Link Sleuth regularly; it checks your links. Fix or remove any links that no longer work. Visitors do not like to click on a link to a page that looks like it has the information they need…only to find that they can’t get to that page after all.
If you want to make this a little less painful and a bit more helpful, build a custom 404 page. You can include a means to search your website, fit in some extra branding (so users realize that they are, in fact, still on your site), and even include a little humor. Some custom 404 error pages even include a contact form, so users can report what link they tried to follow, giving the webmaster valuable information they can use to fix the problem. If you’re stuck for ideas, search Google for custom 404 error pages; you can even add adjectives such as “creative” or “funny” for the best lists.
Fourth, consider you audience, figure out what they would appreciate as an “added value,” and find a way to provide it. Would they be interested in affiliate programs? Free e-books? A short trial of your main product or service? A list of links to related websites? That latter technique can be more useful than you might think. Say you’re a nursery and you sell plants to do-it-yourself gardeners. You might want to link to the local botanical gardens…where your customers can get additional ideas for what they’d like to do at home, with your help.
Fifth, consider teaching classes and/or giving talks about topics related to your business. Check with local not-for-profit organizations; often, they’re very open to hosting guest speakers. Local libraries, for example, often host speakers on a variety of topics. You can mention the talk on your website, and include its URL in any material you hand out to attendees. You’re helping your audience by sharing your expertise. Doing this also helps build trust – and visitors are more likely to purchase from someone they already trust.
I’ve listed five ideas to help promote your website. With a little brainstorming, I’m sure you can come up with many more. Good luck!