As a business owner, there is no doubt that you will be proud of your product or service and extremely passionate about the business you are in. However, you can offer the best product or service in the world but it nobody sees it you won’t have an online business for very long. When it comes down to it, you need to get customers on your website in order to make a profit.
We see this problem time and time again: The number-one challenge faced by local business owners taking the business online is a lack of traffic. If this is the situation you find yourself in, these tips will help. So even if your site is getting little or no traffic right now you can start putting some of these tips into action immediately and it won’t be long until you see results.
- Provide exclusive content on your site.
The most effective means for increasing traffic to your website is to offer people information and content that they can’t get elsewhere, or at least, not to the level of quality that you are offering it. There are a number of ways to ensure that your website content is better quality or unique than your competitors. These include:
- Creating content that is genuinely helpful and useful. Simply cutting and pasting information or hastily rewriting content from another website will not generate traffic. Make it your priority to offer visitors the information they need to achieve a goal, solve a problem, be entertained or receive news updates in your particular niche. Your content needs to engage with them.
- Keep the content fresh. If you want visitors to keep coming back, it is crucial to provide regular updates to the website, especially in frequently visited areas like your company blog. Add fresh content every few days if possible or at the very least, weekly.
- Improve your search engine ranking.
You can do this by focusing your content on keywords specifically related to your topic. This is called search engine optimization (SEO) and will help people find your website when they’re searching the Internet. Ensure the keywords flow naturally with the text. If you are struggling about what keywords to use, think of all of the words and phrases that you think potential customers might use to try and find your business or service. It is always a good idea to ask your friends and family for words that they would use to try and find your site in the search engines. Don’t overdo the keywords because this will result in a very low search ranking for your website and will be counterproductive.
- Use social media.
If you post compelling content and engage with your followers you’ll soon build a loyal following for your business and brand. Social media is exactly that, social, so be social and follow and share with other users. This will pay off as many will reciprocate and follow you, as will their followers. Keeping up to date with social media and finding time to post can be tricky as it does require commitment, but it’s well worth it. Let people talk and become part of a community and they’ll promote your content for you. This will save you a great deal of time and you will be able to reach target clients who you might not have found out about you and your business otherwise.
- Give away freebies.
Put your hand up if you don’t like receiving freebies. The fact is, everybody loves a freebie. Online freebies are very common and they leave the visitor wanting more when they are well written and informative introductory materials. Here are some suggested freebies:
- Giving away an eBook with your advertisement on it. Allow your visitors to also give the freebie away. This will increase your ad exposure and increase web traffic to your website when it goes viral and more people see it.
- Holding free online classes or seminars. They could be held in your website’s chat room. The idea of “live” information will definitely entice people to visit your website. You will become known as an expert and authority on the topic.
- Giving visitors a free entry into your contest or sweepstakes. The prizes should be something of interest or value to your visitors. Most people who enter will continually revisit your web site to get the results and will also see what other information you have on your site, especially if you update it regularly.
- Giving free consulting to people who visit your website. You could offer your knowledge via e-mail or by telephone. People will consider this a huge value because consulting fees can be very expensive and again, will establish you as the go-to authority and expert and in your niche.
- Be patient.
You need patience as search engines will need time to index your new website and domain or if it is an older site they will require time to index all your content. However it is well worth the wait and should be factored into your website profitability and/or popularity timeline. In the meantime, continue to add high quality content to your website and keep it up to date and relevant and you will soon see the results of your hard work. Your site will get higher rankings and you will receive many more visitors to your website.
- Make your site easy to navigate
Few things chase visitors away and is more annoying than a hard to navigate site. For easy navigation, you should create a toolbar with links that are easy to navigate and position the toolbar in an area that makes sense. Web users often look for the toolbar across the top or down the left the left hand side of the page so it makes sense to put it where they expect. Don’t forget a link to your homepage. A lot of small business websites often forget about the homepage but it is very important to point your users back to it.
- Make your content easy to read
It is vital to make your pages easy to read. Break up large blocks of text and create short paragraphs instead. You should consider the key points on each page and create headings and subheadings use one or two fonts so that visitors can easily read it and find the information that they want. Ideally you should select one font for your headings and subheadings and another for the body text and highlight key words and phrases by bolding or using a different colour. A word of warning though; be careful when selecting colours and don’t use every colour in the rainbow. Some font colours such as yellow and pink don’t stand out well if you’ve selected a white or black background so keep this in mind when designing your site.
- Make sure your site loads quickly
We all get impatient when it takes more than 5 seconds to connect to a website. Because most people view the internet via their smartphone or tablet, users are often on the go, so you need to ensure that your pages load as quickly as possible. Eliminate unnecessary or large graphics, especially flash graphics (they can take a long time to load and a lot of smartphones and tablets can’t view Flash anyway).
- Advertise your website.
As well as trying to be found naturally in the search engines, you must make use of numerous other ways to increase web traffic. Sit down and write a list of all the ways you can think of to get your web address noticed and clicked on. For example, if you have a marketing budget – consider Pay Per Click advertising (PPC). The big search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing all provide advertising options, the most well-known, being Google AdWords. The beauty of PPC advertising is that you can keep in control of exactly how much money you want to spend. (Please contact us for advice before trying this yourself).
- Stick Around
The longer you are in business and producing quality online content, the more likely you are to pop up in search results for all related keywords in your niche. Starting a blog and adding some updates is all very well but keeping those activities going for years as opposed to months (or weeks) makes a huge difference. The search engines will reward you with a steady flow of new customers every day.
Time for action
Customers are looking for your business on social media and search engines, in the news and in their inboxes. They expect you to be online.
Following the tips above will help put your website on the radar so that your site can be found.