Promote your website without paid ads

One of the most common forms of advertising for small and medium businesses is paid ads online. Sponsored posts on Instagram, Facebook ads and Google AdWords campaigns are the three most common types of paid ads.

In general, these methods of advertising are affordable and have a good return on investment. However, they are not the only way to promote your business and reach your target market. Here are a few ways to grow your website without using paid ads.

See what people say about your competitors

Scour social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and see what people are saying about your competitors. Whether the conversations about your rivals are good or bad, engage with the users in the comment section.

You can use the opportunity as a sneaky way to promote your business. If users are saying that your competitor doesn’t offer something that you do, take the opportunity to tell about your services. If they’re commenting that they like something that your rival offers, let them know that you can offer the same thing for a slightly reduced price.

It may seem like guerilla marketing, but it’s actually harmless and good for competition purposes. Engaging with users on your competitors’ comment threads will generate more traffic to your website as interested users check out your offerings.

Comment on your competitors’ websites

We’re not talking about petty comments and mud-slinging here. Remaining strictly professional, leave some comments on your competitors’ articles on their websites. Give them credit where it’s due, bounce some ideas off of them, suggest some tips if you feel helpful.

Positive engagement on your competitors’ websites will show their readers that you’re invested in the industry and that your willing to go above and beyond to help. They’re also likely to check out your website as a result, boosting your traffic once again.

If at all possible, and in the most natural way, link back to your site in the comments. Perhaps say “We love what you have to offer and your clients can benefit from an added solution such as [link]”. This subtle way of driving traffic to your site comes with a compliment and helpful suggestion that can benefit the consumer.

See who’s linking to your competitors’ websites

There’s a website called Ahrefs that lets you research your competitors and monitor your niche. Simply put your competitor’s website URL into the search bar and Ahrefs will show you who is linking to them.

You can reach out to some or all of the websites that are linking to your competitor and persuade them to link to your site too. You can keep the emails casual and don’t assume anything; simply tell them what similar services your business offers and how they could be better for consumers.

This is likely to convince the website managers and content creator to link to your content too. Ahrefs is a great tool to explore to gain a better understanding of your market and your rivals. Spend some time exploring its features and make use of the data for the benefit of your website.

Take a look at your competitors’ content

By looking at the articles and content on your competitors’ websites, you can see where you stand. Buzzsumo is a nifty website for analysing the most popular content on your competitors’ sites. It also shows you the least popular content in your industry and you can use this to compare with your own articles.

Put your competitor’s URL into the search bar on Buzzsumo and it will rank their most popular content by how many social shares each article has received. Read these successful articles and work out how you can write a better version, with better SEO and visuals.

Don’t copy the content, but use it as a guideline and improve on the argument or conversation. Do more research, add a unique opinion or perspective, write about your business’s bespoke offerings – make the articles more useful to readers.

These tips and tools will help you to grow your website audience and reach. They are great ways to promote your content without having to pay for advertising. All you need is some spare time and a few savvy ways to utilise social media and other tools to the advantage of your business.


Sorted Design Agency is a creative company that constantly looks for solutions to other people’s problems. These problems come mostly in the visual format, such as graphic design, logo and illustration, but we’re experts in brand development, website design, and digital SEO campaigns as well.


Based in Pretoria and Cape Town, Sorted has been in the content marketing industry since 2006. We assist your company with its corporate identity by communicating core values through content and articles written for your website, blog and news area. This content is supported by AdWords and social advertising, which facilitates wider reach and audience growth. Turn your website into a business tool.


Sorted also owns two other businesses; InkFish Print Studio – a printing company that handles a range of promotional materials for businesses and other services for individual customers, and Pampiri + Kie – a gifts and stationery store selling online and in-store. Both of these companies operate from Cape Town and Pretoria.


Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn for the best tips on design, marketing and web development. We also share the latest industry news and fresh content to inspire fellow designers, creatives and marketers.



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