There are several ways to promote your website:
These are important and should not be neglected.
Online promotions involves using the internet to promote your website and includes:
Natural search is fantastic, particularly if you exist in a niche market. If you register your site with 3 or 4 major search engines (free of charge) and give the search engine a short description of your site then it will (eventually - sometimes 3 month later) visit your site and add it to its catalogue. If you've added keywords and a description to each page and the content is relevant then you have a good chance of appearing when people search. Certain markets are already saturated - IT and Financial services are both so heavily populated that making progress is much more difficult and costly.
Some search engines are directories - it's hard to tell the difference sometimes. Many directories you can register for free, some are locally based, some are subject/niche based. They can all result in:
Google have a system where you can pay to appear at the top of a search (sponsored links) or at the right hand side. This works by you selecting key words and a geographic area and a price you're prepared to pay for someone to visit your site.
When someone does an appropriate search then Google will display your advert and if it is clicked on, then you'll be charged. I've known people pay from 6p to £20 for a single click.
Pay per click can be a fantastic way to generate traffic / business that is immediate. There are also some fantastic tools that allow you to evaluate the success of this method.
Ideally the person most in touch with the business should define the keywords and descriptions. If it is possible to pay (a lot!) for someone to optimise your site this should be checked and validated by the person who understands the business best.