Building a website is only half the job – promoting it is the other half, and it never really ends. Luckily there are several things you can do to make your site promote itself, freeing you to do more relationship-building and hands-on promotion.
Here are some things you can add to the site to encourage people to visit and share what they find there.
Add a Tell a Friend feature
Sure, you can encourage people to tell their buddies about your site, but you might as well make it easy for them. Create a tell-a-friend feature that makes it simple for them to forward your site or a resource they found there to a multitude of readers at once.
Add a Link to Us page
Empower your visitors to create links to your site, replete with your site icon, on their site with a Link to Us page, available on every page. Provide the HTML coding they’ll need, and make sure it includes well-formed SEO links (including a full title, alt and anchor text). Put together a variety of text links, images of different sizes and everything someone would need to link back to you.
Maintain an engaging blog
The single best way to build engaging information on your website that attracts a following is to start a blog. I mean, you’re reading this right now, aren’t you? So give people a reason to keep coming back. Just make sure it’s tightly focused and worth reading.
Encourage people to follow your social media
Once you’ve got a blog, tell people how to follow it. The beauty of blogs are RSS feeds, which let people receive updates of articles as soon as they’re posted. (See how to get updates of this blog.) This is the same for Twitter updates, which is really a microblog, and any social networking accounts you have, like Facebook.
Present tools for sharing
If you have an article-rich site, give people tools for sharing your resources with their friends. Try some little buttons like this:
Ask people to spread the word
Remind people, again and again, to tell their friends about you. Sooner or later, they’ll act on your request.
Add a calendar
Show people you have stuff going on that’s worth tracking. Your calendar might have trainings, appearances, fund drives, special events – surely you’re doing something that people can react with.
You should never stop promoting your site once you’ve built it, but invest smartly in tools that do the heavy lifting for you. While you focus on other promotional activities, your investment can multiply.