Our efforts to drive traffic to our websites can be divided into two basic categories:
- Online Strategies;
- Offline (or, off-page) Strategies.
Keyword selection and placement, backlinks, the use of social media, and good website structure are obvious components of healthy search engine optimization. These are what we call “online” strategies. But, we shouldn’t depend on these things alone to promote our websites. We should also implement “offline” (off-page) strategies.
Offline Strategies are the efforts we make to drive people to our website outside of the web. Here are a few examples:
- Word of Mouth – Remind the membership to tell their friends and family about your website.
- Printed Items – Be sure to include your web address on your business cards, bulletins, brochures, tracts, stationery, and all church correspondence. It might be worth purchasing a rubber stamp with your web address on it. It also might be a good idea to print business cards for the sole purpose of members passing them out, advertising your web address and inviting people to visit. If you door-knock, print your web address on door hangers.
- Signs – Consider printing small signs advertising your web address and asking store owners to place so their customers can see them. If you have a Marquee, be sure to post your web address on it.
- Advertising – Take out ads, or even simple, classified ads in the newspaper or other publications and invite people to visit your website. If you had bumper stickers printed, would members of your congregation attach them to their vehicles?
- Press Releases and Article Marketing – Submit an article to your local newspaper or publication announcing your new website. You might see if your newspaper will print occasional article submissions – and along with your name and phone number to be printed, include your web address.
- Give-Aways – Consider placing your web address and contact info on ink pens or other gratuities and get them into circulation in your community.
- Voicemail – Include your web address in your recorded voicemail or answering machine greeting.
A little creative thinking can go a long way in promoting your website, without even logging on to the Internet! These kind of methods are sure to drive traffic to your website and place the truth in the hands of those searching.