Exposure to potential and existing customers is the main aim for most websites of small business owners; higher web traffic means you've got more visitors and more visitors means you have more potential customers.
We've come up with 12 great tips on how to increase focused traffic to your website. These simple tips can be used for both newly launched domains as well as established websites of varying sizes.
1. Great Web Content
The web is made up of text, so well written content is one of the biggest factors in having a great website. Think about why a customer has visited your website and make sure you inform them about all of your services. Writing a lot of content that is relative to your product and industry can be a daunting task so you may want to utilise copy writing services to ensure your content is the best it can be.
2. Keyword Research
Get into the mindset of your audience and customers. Try to think about what terms they're entering into the search engines when they're trying to find your website and tailor your website to work with these keywords. Google provide keyword research tools making it easy for you to find which keywords are the most searched for in your field. Research should always be ongoing so that you can stay on top of any emerging trends within your industry.
3. Social Media Targeting (Facebook, Twitter, Google+)
Social networks offer a great way to get in touch with your audience in real time but can also be used to drive traffic to your website. If you've just launched a new product or service send out messages through Facebook and Twitter with links through to some more information on your website. Don't forget that social networks are public so a great deal of exposure can be gained from a few posts. Try to get your friends and followers to promote your site through their own network of contacts by offering something that is worth passing on.
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4. Email Marketing
Use regular newsletters and mailshots to contact your client base via email. Giving your customers an incentive to sign up to your newsletter, such as an exclusive saving, can really help to grow your contact list. Use the email to give your customers a quick summary on a particular product or service and then link through to your website where they can find out more information. Make it as easy as possible for the customer to attain the goals you want them to achieve through your website, whether it be product awareness, purchasing online or promoting your brand.
5. Gather Backlinks
Get in touch with your network of contacts and see if they'd be willing to add a link back to your website. Links from multiple websites back to yours will help raise awareness of your company and will also provide a new gateway to your website making it easy for your contact's audience to find out more about you.
6. Pay Per Click (PPC)
A Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign is a great way to kick-start your traffic and target new audiences. PPC adverts appear at the top of the search engine results, offering great exposure to your audience. Be sure to tie this in with your keyword research to ensure you really make the most of your advertising campaign.
VSI-thinking offer a managed Pay Per Click service to deliver adverts to new audiences. View our previous small business growth blog post on Organic SEO Vs PPC for more information about what is the best strategy for your business.
7. Affiliate Networks
Affiliates will help to sell your products to their network of customers for a percentage commission of each sale; affiliates place adverts for your products on their website which then lead back to you. Affiliate networks allow you to reach new audiences which you may not be aware of. Although you may give up a higher percentage than PPC advertising, when you sell through an affiliate network everything is based on sales - if there are no sales within a given time period, you don't have to pay, even though you may have had great brand exposure during the promotion. In addition, any new customer gained is a contact that you can market to directly in the future. VSI-thinking can help with the setup, tracking, and reporting of affiliate programmes.
8. Viral Marketing
Viral marketing can be a tricky form of advertising to get right but when it's executed properly it can generate gigantic quantities of traffic. Blendtec have gained online notoriety for demonstrating the strength of their blenders by putting up against a variety of household items including a tape measure, glowsticks and even an iPad. These demonstrations aren't only entertaining, which leads to more people sharing the video, they're also demonstrating the product and giving viewers a link through to the website to find out more.
9. Word of Mouth
It could be argued that word of mouth was the very first forms of advertising. While it might be one of the oldest it can still be a very effective for marketing your website. Mention what's available on your website in conversation with new or existing customers, talk about new things you're going to add to it soon and even use the address to sign off telephone enquiries. The more you talk about your website, the more others might join you.
10. Traditional Advertising
If you utilise traditional advertising such as print adverts make sure you always reference your website. Adding a weblink is a simple option, with many companies now going further by utilising QR Codes to quickly point their audience to particular pages in their website.
VSI-thinking recently helped Thomas Cook utilise QR codes in their print brochures, sending readers through to a mobile website with a short video providing more information about their chosen resort. If you're going to include links to your social network profiles on your poster make sure you include the necessary extension to reach your page - just adding a Facebook logo won't tell your audience how to find your page but a QR code will actually take them there.
Make it easy for your customers to reach your website by adding a QR code to your print adverts.
11. Offer Online Exclusives
An online exclusive really gives customers a reason to use your website. Many companies already offer great savings on their products which are only available online. Make sure you visibly promote this online exclusive on your website by using a landing page with related content. The greater the incentive, the more customers you are likely to have visiting your website to take advantage of it.
12. Get\Use a Blog
A blog is a great way to give customers an insight into what's currently going on within the business; ensure you write regular posts that promote the many aspects of your work such as new products, special offers, or a rise in sales. Ensure your blog is RSS enabled as this offers a simple way to notify readers about your latest post. As an example, take a look at the VSI Blog feed.
Bonus Tip - Email Signatures
Most companies have a template signature which appears at the end of every email; make sure you use this to link through to your website. Have multiple signatures set up to link through to specific parts of your website based on the area of the business that you work in, so your sales team can link through to your special offers and products while the press department links through to your most recent press releases.
VSI-thinking has a wide range of proven traffic generation strategies which we have refined over time. As well as search engine optimisation techniques, which makes your website more easily indexed by the search engines, we can also provide online shopping cart systems and online booking systems which can be integrated into your own website rather than sending your customers away to an external system. If you are interested in any aspects that have been mentioned in the article, why not contact us and discuss how VSI-thinking can help your business grow?