As we all know, a website without traffic is not worth much. Even a poor website with a lot of traffic will get at least some sales...but a fantastic website with no traffic is useless.
So how do we get web traffic? Does it cost money? How much time do we have to spend on it? These are very good questions which every small business owner and non-profit should think about.
Here are the top 5 ways to get traffic to your website. Some of them are very easy to do and are somewhat helpful, others are difficult things to do and are extremely helpful. We recommend using a combination of several methods, (if not all of them) so pick and choose the ones which you think will work.
1. Use Social Media
Even if you don't have a website yet, we recommend getting setup on all the major Social Media outlets. The four that Fresh Look uses for our marketing is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and of course, Blogger.com.
At a bare minimum you should be using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, for the simple fact that once you get them setup, you can link them together. In other words, if you post something to Facebook, it automatically posts it to Twitter, and then it automatically posts it to LinkedIn.
What should you post on your social media pages? Well that's another topic all by itself, but basically you post whatever your customers will find value in. Appeal to your audience by lending your expertise without appearing to trying to sell them something all the time. Coupons, helpful articles, upcoming events, client of the month, etc are all good ideas.
Note: For assistance on how to use Social Media, come to one of our workshops. Receive our email newsletter (click here to sign up) or check back frequently to our website to find out when we are teaching our workshops on Social Media. Because it's such a popular topic right now, we usually have one every couple months.
2. Send out an email newsletter
We highly urge everyone to send out an email newsletter. Just like Social Media, it's very easy, inexpensive, and does not take a lot of time once you get it set up. A lot of the content you write for your newsletter will be similar to Social Media - announcements, coupons, resources, etc.
If you've been following our articles, you know we use Constant Contact for our newsletter, but there are lots of other options (read our article on email newsletters). Pick the one that fits you best, which will depend primarily on the size of your email list. Also, many of the options out there offer free trials to get you started.
We find that our web traffic spikes significantly every time we send out our newsletter. It reminds semi-interested people who we've contacted already about our services, without being intrusive or pushy. It is an extremely valuable part of how we get people to visit our website, and ultimately become clients.
3. Get found on the search engines
Search engines have the potential to bring exponentially more traffic to your website than any other avenue. You can reach people who you would never be able to any other way. It can be a huge boost to your internet traffic.
So how do the search engines find you? That answer is easy - the search engines automatically find you. You don't have to register with Google or anything, it will eventually happen automatically.
The real question though, is how do people find you on the search engines. Google may have found you, but if you show up on page 9 than that does you no good.
There are many factors that contribute to a websites search engine rankings. In fact, an entire new profession has been born out of the necessity to be found on the search engines, and that is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM). A search engine expert is in high demand these days.
So what's the solution? We recommend talking to a search engine marketing firm about your options. At Fresh Look Web Design we have several packages for different budgets so contact us if you're interested. Also, stay tuned for our article on do-it-yourself ways to improve your search engine rankings.
4. Facebook Ads
As we've already written about in our article - A Fresh Look at Facebook Ads, Facebook ads can be very helpful in bringing targeted traffic to your website. You can read more about it in the article, but with a smart Facebook ad you can directly target the type of person you want to view your website. You can set a specific budget so you don't spend anymore than you want to, which will help ensure you get a good return on your investment.
5. Business cards, email signatures, etc.
Basically everything else you can think of. Put your web address on the side of your company vehicle, billboards, signs in your store, t-shirts, coupons, any literature that you produce. Definitely make sure it's on your business cards as well as the email signature on the bottom of your emails.
We hope that some of these ideas will help you in bringing new traffic to your website. Unfortunately the "if you build it, they will come" concept does not apply to websites, but with a little work you can make your web presence a very successful one.