16 sure-fire strategies to increase traffic to your website
Whilst the question remains the same, the answer differs greatly depending on which decade you live in. In the 50s the answer might have been door to door sales, 60s perhaps a housewives party, 70s through 90s yellow pages, and so on.
In the naughties (2000s) the answer was, most obviously, to develop a website and get on facebook. But having a website and digital media account is not enough. In the twenty-teens, we know that to be ahead of the game, you need to go one step further. You need an engaging website incorporating social media integrating across all aspects of your business. Rather than ancillary, this should form the backbone of any marketing strategy. It is nearly always the first place a potential customer will engage with you.
So the clear message is to invest time and budget into getting a great website, understanding and integrating social media that not only gets people to your site, but keeps them coming back.
Here are some simple tips to get you on the right track.
One of the easiest but often overlooked techniques for improving your website is to test your existing site with people who represent your target market. What do they like? What is tricky or confusing to them? What are they looking for? And how does your site compare to other similar business websites they like and use? Get tips and make improvements quickly and easily.
2. PPC Advertising
This is a little more complex, but something that a chunk of marketing budget should be directed towards. It probably deserves a whole blog to explain it. Oh – here’s one.
3. Irresistible content
Put information on your website that is at the cutting edge of your business, information that people are going to love to read, and want to share with others. Consider images, videos, music. Support your business, but avoid, at all costs, an overt sales pitch. What does your target market wish to read about? Ask them.
4. Write frequently
Newly updated sites with content that changes, encourages people to return to your site and recommend it to others. It keeps it fresh and shows that you are on the ball, know where your customers are and what they want. A static site that never changes screams ‘gone out of business’.
5. Give freebies
A free sample or downloadable bit of information, a free web seminar, tutorial or podcast enables people to try or learn more before they buy. This is an age old marketing strategy that can easily be adapted for use in new media. Sampling enables you to engage with your customers and understand what they want so that you can continue to tailor your goods/services.
6. Create a social site and interact with readers
Provide spaces for customers to ask questions, provide comments and even complain. Ask questions and respond to the comments. The more you do this, the better you will understand your consumers and be able to provide solutions.
7. Use social media
If your product or service is at all visual, get on Instagram. One pic a week is all it takes to keep you fresh in the minds of your customers. Tweet on trends, engage on facebook, display on youtube, provide insightful strategies on LinkedIn and deliver content on your blog. Social media is a treasure trove and a mine field. But the only way to learn is by doing. So jump in. Perhaps practice with a personal account, watch what your competitors are doing and learn. You might make mistakes, but no engagement is worse!
8. Good web design
The most important strategy to keep people interested is good web design and navigation. Invest in a good web designer. You need someone who knows what they’re doing both technically and aesthetically, someone who you work well with, someone who is easy to communicate with and someone who shows interest in your business.
Key points for good web design are:
- Balanced pages – content with breathing room
- Beautiful photography
- Simple navigation
- Easy to read fonts
- Great colours – 3 colour palette
- Quick load time
- Mobile friendly
9. Monitor how your site is used
Ask your web developer on the best ways to monitor your site usage, or engage in google analytics. Get reports each month to find out what’s working and what people don’t use. Adjust your site based on usage.
10. Use email signatures
An easy way to get people to your site is to put a link to your site at the bottom of every email you send. Done through the signature function, this task alone can get more people to your site as you make it easy for them to click a link.
11. Keep business cards on hand – always
Take a stack of business cards with you everywhere. Make them match your site design perfectly and don’t be afraid to hand them out. Networking functions, meetings, on your front desk, in your wallet. Never leave home without them!
12. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Optimise your content for search engines. Link internally to content without confusing navigation. Use descriptive words for uploaded images. A good web designer can help you achieve this, so make sure you invest in one who can support you.
13. Get in the news, win an award, host awards
A good way to generate website traffic is to get others talking about you. Getting media to write about you, entering awards, sponsoring events, hosting events are all ways to get exposure.
Give away merchandise in conference bags, events or throw some into your existing customers shopping bag. The more people see your brand, the more likely they are to recall it, and visit your website. Be aware that if you get to the point where you see a market to sell your merchandise, ensure it’s desirable, perhaps unique, related to your business, and something that people want!
15. Link to content you like
Many sites these days are built solely as a portal to other sites. If you link to other interesting content on a regular basis people will visit your site to see what’s going on in the world they are interested in.
16. Invest your time
The final point here is to encourage you to devote some regular time each week to developing your understanding of web trends, exploring online content, getting your ‘voice’ out there and being active. This way people will get to know your business, your personality, and visit your site. The online environment changes so quickly so it’s important to keep on top of it. This is good use of your time and will ultimately drive more people to your super interesting and engaging site.