by Thom Hiatt
Business owners and organization leaders often ask, “How do I get more traffic to my website?” It’s a great question, and the answer is simple.
Better yet, the answer includes a wide variety of options that allow you to customize your action items. That way, you can capture new website traffic using the time and resources that you have at your disposal.
In other words, you may not be able to do it all, but you can certainly take smaller actions that are free, inexpensive, or that utilize the budget of your choice. Let’s take a look at a few actions you can take to increase traffic to your website:
FAST, EASY and FREE TRAFFIC
Blogging and Content Marketing: This involves creating and sharing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. By providing valuable content, you can establish your website as a trustworthy resource and attract visitors who are interested in what you have to offer. SUGGESTED ACTION ITEM: Log into your website and create a new “post” or news item. Your post will include a headline and a body (or article) that is as long as you wish. Search engines like Google will eventually add your posts to their search results. That way, people who are looking for content similar to what you wrote are more likely to find your site. If you want people to find your cupcakes, then write posts about your cupcakes! If you don’t like to write, invite guest writers (your peers and admirers) to submit their own articles about cupcakes, and you can add their articles to your website.
Guest blogging: Similar to the last note above, guest blogging involves writing articles for other websites in your industry and including a link back to your own website. By contributing articles to other websites, you can reach a new audience and drive traffic back to your own website. SUGGESTED ACTION ITEM: Find a similar organization and make friends with them. Make an arrangement with the other website’s leadership that you will each “guest blog” for other website once a month, and this way you both benefit from newly added content.
Social media marketing: This involves using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to promote your website and engage with potential and current customers. By regularly posting updates and interacting with followers on social media, you can drive traffic to your website and build a community around your brand. Plus, modern websites allow you to add a news post that can automatically be shared to your social media. That way, you’re not only adding content to your site, but also automatically sharing to your social media where people can interact and link back to the full article on your site… new site traffic! SUGGESTED ACTION ITEM: Make sure you have a Facebook page and a Twitter profile. Connect them to your website so that your site can post to your social channels. And finally, be sure to use your social media and interact with your followers who leave comments.
NEARLY FREE TRAFFIC
Email marketing: This involves building an email list and sending newsletters or promotional emails to subscribers. By regularly sending emails to your subscribers, you can keep them informed about your business and encourage them to visit your website, via the links in your e-news. SUGGESTED ACTION ITEM: Once a month, send an email blast to your customers or associates. In the email, include links to your recent news and upcoming events. Voila… more traffic to your site!
Printed marketing: This includes making sure your web address is printed on all of your collateral materials such as banners, brochures, magazines, business cards, tee shirts, posters, vehicle magnets and so on. SUGGESTED ACTION ITEM: Review your materials to make sure your web address is shown prominently. If it is not, be sure to update your graphics so that the next printed batch is up-to-date and meets your needs.
Search engine optimization (SEO): This involves optimizing your website’s content, technical aspects, and inbound links to make it more attractive to search engines. By improving your ranking in search results, you can attract more organic (unpaid) traffic to your website. SUGGESTED ACTION ITEM: Make sure the pages of your site include the valuable words and phrases that you believe people should be searching for to find you. Remember, if you want people to find your cupcakes on Google, be sure that your web pages are talking about various aspects of your processes, ingredients, recipes, equipment, pricing and pleasure that surround your cupcake business. BONUS: Make it local… If your geography is limited, for example if you only sell cupcakes in a certain neighborhood or surrounding area, be certain to mention the neighborhood(s) and relevant zip code in your page and post content.
BUDGETED MARKETING FOR ADDED TRAFFIC
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising: This involves placing ads on search engines or other websites and paying a fee each time someone clicks on your ad. PPC advertising can be an effective way to drive targeted traffic to your website, but it can also be expensive if not managed carefully.
Influencer marketing: This involves collaborating with influencers in your industry to promote your website to their followers. Influencers are people with a large following on social media or other platforms, and they can be an effective way to reach a new audience. Even if you don’t sell a product, perhaps you know a few people who love what you do and how you do it. You can partner with them to make occasional mentions on their social media and e-news, inviting their friends to participate in your organization.
Affiliate marketing: This involves partnering with other businesses to promote their products on your website in exchange for a commission. By promoting products that are relevant to your audience, you can drive traffic to your website and potentially make some income through the commissions you earn. For example, you may wish to sell a gorgeous three-tiered cupcake tray (and other relevant cupcake and dessert products) using Amazon Affiliate links. People might search for and find the product on your site, and thus enter your site as new traffic.
Video marketing: This involves using video content to promote your website, such as through YouTube or social media. Video content can be an effective way to engage with your audience and drive traffic to your website. SUGGESTED ACTION ITEM: Create short videos and post them to YouTube or Facebook. As part of the video graphics, your script, and the video description text, include links to your website, creating additional traffic into your site.
Now when someone asks, “How do I get more traffic to my website,” you can provide solid steps to take regular action with very little monetary investment.