By Joe Carstairs
Unfortunately, many people don’t realise that their website is sitting in cyberspace completely unnoticed. Unless you direct traffic towards it, it simply won’t be seen.Therefore, just as you’d invite people to your office for a demo, you need to be directing people to your website.
It might seem intimidating but there are simple steps you can take to make it easier than you think. Here are five easy ways to get more traffic to your website.
Start a blog
The simplest way to start engaging with the online community is by starting a blog. It means you’re generating fresh content (which search engines like) and shows you’re keeping up with what’s going on in your market. Your blog should have a clear angle and demonstrate your company’s expertise. Research what keywords will work best for your business and remember to link from your blog to a relevant part of your website, so readers can find out more. On its own, a blog, like a website, can go unnoticed. However, it is important as it provides the base content for social media interaction and internet marketing.
Use social media
If you’re not using social media, you’re missing out on engaging with a huge number of prospective customers. You may think that social media is just used by people with too much time on their hands but this is not true. Platforms such as LinkedIn couldn’t be more business orientated, while Twitter could help you communicate directly with someone you’ve been trying to meet for months. Use these platforms to publicise your business’s latest news (or even better, your new blog), to converse directly with other users and to comment on events that matter in your industry. Get your tone right and people will naturally want to click through to your website and find out more.
Develop email campaigns
Every business has a list of customer email addresses, as well as those of prospects and even competitors. So why aren’t you using them to communicate your message and drive traffic to your website on a regular basis? Some people think email marketing can do more harm than good because it can seem like pestering.
However, if you split your email lists into appropriate groups, supply well targeted information, always link to relevant pages on your website and provide a clear opt-out opportunity, you’ll generate more traffic to your website without annoying anyone.
Don’t forget the offline world
Just because your website is online doesn’t mean you should only use internet marketing techniques to direct traffic towards it. It may seem obvious that your website URL should be on your business card but is it also on your letterheads, display banners and stationery? Also, is the ‘Help’ section of your website referenced in your ‘on-hold’ phone message? Are your sales staff referring prospective customers to the sales pages for more information?
Leverage third party links
As well as those that produce fresh content, search engines love websites that are linked to from other sites. As well as helping with your search engine ranking, having your website linked to by other sites increases the likelihood that the other site’s visitors also visit your site. Encourage clients, partners and member associations to link to your site by offering the same in return. Use social media to engage with other companies and individuals who may share a link to your website with other people. Finally, submit ‘educational’ articles to your market’s main news publications. They’ll appreciate the articles you provide for free (as long as they aren’t too salesy) and, as long you ensure there is a link to your site included, you’ll get a proportion of their readership clicking through to your site.
Joe Carstairs Carstairs is a freelance copywriter and content producer who helps businesses to improve their online presence. He specialises in web applications and software, particularly those aimed at small business lending, but also writes about social media and other aspects of marketing.
[Image: Salvatore Vuono]