You’ve got people coming into your library.
But now you want to direct them to your library website.
Maybe you want to build awareness for events. Or, maybe you’d prefer if people went to your website to find out what books you have available before coming in to ask for them.
Whatever the case, getting exposure for your website will take some work.
Not sure where to start? No problem – here are several things you can do to get your website seen by more people.
Hold Local Events In And Around Your Library
There’s a good chance you already know the power of events.
It used to be that a library was a quiet place people went to read and study. That image has gradually faded as we’ve transitioned into the digital age.
Certainly, you may still have “quiet time” at your library, and that’s perfectly fine.
But it’s important to recognize that your space can be utilized for just about any kind of event imaginable, whether it’s a concert, networking event, book reading, or otherwise (assuming you aren’t violating any regulations). All you need to do is schedule it in and let students and the public know when there will be something happening at your location.
Your website is a great place to share all your events. But you might not have people coming to your website just yet. So, let’s look at things from another perspective – why not leverage events to promote your website?
Your website address could be printed on library cards, business cards, pamphlets, posters, and so on.
You could also make your website the homepage on all browsers, so whenever people go to use your computers, they’ll immediately see your website. If you want to take it a step further, put a search bar on your website and add the kinds of resources people are likely to be looking for when they log onto one of your computers.
Try building awareness for your website at the various events you hold.
Create Contests For Schools Local To Your Library
Today, there are plenty of libraries making their presence known by running contests.
Holding contests for local schools is a great way to encourage more reading and self-education among students. For instance, you could hold a contest where the student who reads the most books wins a gift card.
There are plenty of other fun contest ideas you can run, depending on your goals and prizes you’re offering. The key thing is to keep it simple for more students to participate, because you want to gain the greatest exposure possible.
But how exactly do you generate traffic to your website when running a contest like this?
It’s quite simple.
You could direct people to your website to sign up to be a part of the contest and to read up on the rules.
You could encourage participants to log in to your website to see standings.
You could also get winners to go to your website to claim their prizes.
As you can see, there are many ways of growing your traffic through a contest.
You can hold as many contests as you want and collaborate with as many local schools as you want. If they see the value in what you’re doing, they’ll be happy to partner with you.
The most important part is figuring out that delicate balance of “fun” and “educational”. If you can achieve this balance, you may not be able to get as many schools onboard with the idea of getting their students to participate in a contest.
Content Marketing Is A Great Way To Market Your Library
Content marketing is a great way to build traffic to your website over time.
Blog posts, infographics, podcast episodes, and videos can all be leveraged to attract your core audience.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, I’d recommend blogging. As powerful as other mediums can, text plays a critical role in helping you rank in search and gain traction for your content. Plus, it tends to take the least time to create compared to other forms of content.
So, what do you write about?
I think it’s best to have a local focus. Book reviews, author profiles and interviews, commentaries or editorials, study tips, and so on, can all be great content pieces. The problem is that you’re probably going to be competing with thousands (if not more) of others who’ve already covered the same topic. Ranking in search is going to prove difficult.
But if you cover local events, volunteering opportunities, scholarships, and anything related to your library, it’s going to prove much easier for you to gain some traction with your content early on.
When creating content, above all, consider your audience. Who are you trying to attract to your library? Why? What do you want these people to do once they’re on your website? Is there something you offer that’s unique? How can you solve their problems? Why should they be interested in your library?
Try to answer these questions in your content so you don’t end up with a lot of low-quality traffic that bounces off of your website the moment they arrive.
Publishing Articles On Other Relevant Website (Guest Posting) For Increased Exposure
If you’re already in the habit of blogging, then creating content for other relevant websites shouldn’t be a huge stretch.
Why would you do this?
Because a lot of websites already have a following. So, if you guest post on these sites, you can immediately increase traffic to your site while boosting your SEO. Two birds with one stone.
Here are three relevant websites you can contribute articles to:
- Educational App Store: The Educational App Store gives you access to an audience that’s primarily made up of teachers and parents. They’re looking for original content in the 700- to 1,500-word range that covers any topic relevant to this audience. Not surprisingly, they are interested in content related to tech and apps, but they also accept tutorials, posts on how to make learning fun, and so on.
- Frugal Entrepreneur Small Business Blog: Libraries can appeal to a wide range of people. If you aren’t already targeting entrepreneurs, it’s an audience you might want to consider. For instance, you could write a post about how a library can be a valuable resource for home-based entrepreneurs that don’t get out of their house much. Find an angle.
- Edugist: Edugist is looking for expert authors who can write about disruption in education. A good angle might be to talk about how libraries can be more relevant or how libraries can offer a different kind of experience for students and others passionate about growth.
Online And Offline Ways To Promote Your Library Conclusion
What’s next? Go back to step one and repeat.
You can always hold more events and contests, create more content for your blog, and contribute articles to sites that appeal to your target audience.
Keep track of what’s working and do more of it. If anything isn’t working, then take a new approach, or just eliminate it completely. There’s no sense in wasting a lot of time and money on marketing that doesn’t work, and what works for one may not work for another.