Turn on the Traffic Flow: Six Ways to Bring People to Your Website
Is your website getting enough visitors? Successful websites get traffic from a variety of sources, and a web marketing plan should cover as many as possible. Let’s look at some of the major categories.
Search Engine Optimization
If one of your goals is to be found in Google, you’re not alone. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a major focus for many webmasters. SEO is all about building a website that search engines will consider important and relevant. Some of the basics of site optimization are still the same -- things like coding your site in a way that the search engines can crawl and including content on each page that is clear, relevant, and useful for the user as well as the search engines. But SEO is a fast-moving field, and today Google and other search engines are looking for signals beyond web content to indicate the quality of your website. Usability, site architecture and social signals (tweets, Facebook posts and other online chatter referencing your site) are all becoming more important. Ensuring that your site is search engine friendly and that your marketing activities help promote your site for search are both very important to harnessing the power of Google.
Once a well-kept secret of successful webmasters, advertising is now a mainstream way of getting your website seen. This makes it more competitive and often more expensive, but there’s still opportunity to be found. Advertising can include pay-per-click text ads like Google AdWords, display ads like banners on websites, and more. The key to success here is tracking. Knowing who is clicking on your website, how much that costs you, and what they do when they get to the site -- especially how much they buy or how often they turn into a lead -- helps you find the pockets of opportunity in your market.
Once you have customers, how do you maintain and build relationships with them? Keeping in touch is critical, and email marketing allows you to do that in a scalable way. An email newsletter created once can be sent to thousands of prospects and customers affordably, and can encourage those who already know and like your company to visit the website again and again. Got a new product? New service? Promotion or sale? Announce it to your loyal customers and other interested parties through a professional email and see what it brings you!
Today’s young adults are far more to Facebook message their friends than they are likely to email them. This is why a brand presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media sites is so critical -- it allows you to be where the conversation is. Social media has also replaced search engines, blog feeds and other websites as a primary place to get information, especially when it comes to recommending products and services. A branded Facebook page is a great place to start, and allows you to get in front of an ever growing audience and build a relationship that will keep you top of mind. And when you do share that new coupon code or free webinar, you’ll have an audience ready to pass that info along to all of their friends.
Affiliates & Referral Partners
There’s no better way to get new business than by referral. Luckily, the web makes it easy for you to see who is referring you and even identify new referral partners -- it’s as easy as a link to your website. One great article, testimonial or review about your company with a web link can attract hundreds or thousands of new visitors to your website monthly. All it takes is the right link! These referrals can come through affiliates, companies that you pay a finders’ fee for referring people who buy from you. The most authentic referrals, however, are free, and come from great service and great products that people can’t wait to share with their friends.
Many businesses miss opportunity by forgetting to look offline for sources of web traffic. Got a store? Put a coupon on every receipt that offers a discount for additional purchases made at the website. Give a talk at your Chamber of Commerce on your subject of expertise, and offer people to download the presentation slides on your website. There are lots of opportunities to encourage people you meet offline to engage with you online. Making promoting your web site a part of your everyday business activities will start building this kind of traffic over time.
There are many ways to get visitors to your website. Need more ideas? Contact us to talk about your web marketing strategy.