Getting Website Visitors (part 2)

Let’s pick up where we left off in article 1 of this 2 part series…

Strategy #8:  Classified Ad Sites

Classified ad sites, such as Craigslist, are a great way to send more visitors to your website. The best part about it is that most classified sites are absolutely free to use. So they’re a cost-effective way to boost exposure.

You can place your website address in all of your ads. If you’re using image ads, you can even link your image ad directly to your website.  Since your ads can only be so long, it’s always good to include a call-to-action that urges ad viewers to check out your website for further information.

Strategy #9:  Mobile Marketing

More and more people today are using their mobile devices to find and interact with local products, services, and businesses online.

Therefore, companies are using the power of mobile usage to increase traffic to their websites. This includes having a mobile optimized websites, text message marketing, mobile apps and QR codes.

With text message marketing, you would build a list of targeted mobile subscribers. Once they opt-in, you can text them with offers and information that they want to hear about regarding your business. You can always include a link back to your website in these messages to increase traffic.

With a mobile app, users will actually download your application and stay directly connected with you. This app represents your brand and ultimately results in more direct visits to your website.

QR codes are “squarish” barcodes that can be placed on your marketing materials. These codes can contain a lot of information and can be scanned by mobile users. Once scanned, these codes can send users to any online destination you choose, including your website.

While all of these methods can be powerful for generating more visitors for your website, the main thing you need is a “mobile-optimized” website. Sending mobile traffic to the desktop version of your website is not a good idea.

Regular websites are not meant for mobile viewing. So if your website is not optimized for mobile, these potential prospects will have trouble accessing and navigating your site.

When encountering websites that are not mobile-friendly, mobile users will experience slow loading times – if they load at all. The problem is that most of them won’t wait for the site to load more than a few seconds.

If the site does load, it is nearly impossible for the user to find the information they need. The site is skewed and requires a lot of pinching and scrolling, which takes effort and more time than a user is willing to spend.

So in order to capitalize on the massive amount of mobile internet users, businesses must have a mobile-friendly website.  People do not want to go through hoops just to find quick information on their mobile device.

If your site is not mobile-ready, you are possibly ignoring a huge portion of traffic that has indicated some type of interest in your product or service.

The good news is that this can be fixed with a responsive web design that will allow your site to fit comfortably on mobile devices.

Mobile users are high-value prospects for local businesses because they are usually looking to take some type of action right away when performing a local mobile search.  So you definitely should not ignore having a mobile site that is convenient and easy for them to use.

Strategy #10: Email Marketing

It is vital that you have some way to capture your website visitors’ contact information so you can follow-up with them (such as their email address).

People surf the web and visit websites daily; however, if you do not have a process in place to help you reach out to them in the future, chances are, they may never return to your site.

Email marketing is a process which will allow you to send emails to people who have opted-in to your email list. This is usually accomplished by placing an opt-in form on your site where you give away information or an offer in exchange for their email address.

For instance, if you are a pet grooming service, you can offer a free report on pet grooming tips in exchange for their email address.  This way, you can follow-up with them via email to offer even more tips and an occasional offer related to your products and services.

Email marketing is a great way to build credibility and relationships with your target audience with just a couple of clicks.  It’s also an effective way to get many of these people back to your website, so you should always include a link to your website in every email you send out.

Most email applications make this process easy by allowing you to setup a simple signature that is automatically added to every email you send out. Just put your website’s link in the signature and this way, you won’t forget about it.

So even if your email subscribers are not interested in a particular email offer, they may be interested in checking out your site for more information on your products, services, or business.

Strategy #11: Online Paid Advertising

Some businesses are hesitant when it comes to paying for online advertising. While most of them invest heavily into traditional offline advertising methods – such as TV commercials, Yellow Pages, newspapers, etc. – they’re still leery about investing some of those marketing dollars into the online space.

This is a huge mistake because the fact is that online advertising is much more cost-effective than most traditional methods.  Furthermore, most of your target audience is spending a great deal of time online; meaning you will get more a return on your investment.

When it comes to getting more visitors to your website, of course you should include your web address on ALL of your marketing ads; however, no ad will send more visitors to your website than an “online” ad because users have the capability to click on it immediately and be directed to your site.

Another great feature of online advertising is that you can closely target specific prospects who want and need your products and services. With offline advertising methods, you’re simply paying a fortune to put your message out to the masses and hoping someone bites.

There are a number of different platforms online that you can use for paid advertising. However, two of the most common platforms in the paid advertising space are Google AdWords and Facebook Ads.

  • Google AdWords: Utilizing this advertising network will enable you to place ads on the Google search engine, as well as sites that are a part of the Google Content Network (millions of websites around the globe).

With Google AdWords, you can target the EXACT keywords that you want your ads to show up for. This means the people who are seeing your ad are actively searching for information related to your product or service.

These ads are setup on a “pay-per-click” format, meaning you only pay when someone actually clicks your ads.  If it gets clicked then it is likely that the person is interested in what you have to offer.

  • Facebook Advertising: Facebook also has a paid advertising platform to help you target Facebook users. While it works somewhat similar to Google AdWords, you’re able to create ads that are even more targeted.

For instance, you can choose to display your ads to specific demographics, such as specific age groups, genders, and even to people who have indicated an interest in your type of product or service.

Once these people view your Facebook page, they will be exposed to your website address on your page and will possibly click it to get even more information about your business.

These are just a couple of the many different paid advertising methods available online. Regardless of which ones you use, they can be extremely effective in getting more targeted traffic to your website.

Strategy #12: Infographics

Infographics are a great way to get more exposure for your website. You may be wondering what an infographic is, so let’s start there.  It is a graphic that basically tells a story or shares information in “visual” form.  They usually focus on a single topic and deliver relevant facts, figures, tips, advice, etc. related to that topic.

The web has grown to love infographics because the information is easier to consume than regular text. Infographics help beat information overload so they hold attention and make sure your message gets across thoroughly and quickly.

When you create infographics, you should always put a link to your website on it and post it on social media sites such as Pinterest, Facebook and others.

Visual content is extremely engaging, so it is highly shared across social media sites.  Each time your image is shared, the more likely you will have a new visitor to your website.

Infographics can also show up in the Google Image Search results if the filenames are associated with keywords related to your business and location.

Strategy #13: Tag Your Images

We all know that people love images, which is why you are likely to have some on your site. But did you know that search engines also love images?

Similar to infographics, you can help the search engines find the images on your site simply by tagging them with a relevant title and alternate text (usually related to keywords you want to target).

This will help your site images show up in the search results and send more traffic your way.

Strategy #14: Coupon Websites

Many businesses steer clear of websites such as GroupOn and Living Social simply because they are not excited about giving rather hefty discounts on their products or services.

However, they fail to realize that by giving away these “hefty” discounts, they are actually getting more exposure for their business. For instance, if you get a new customer by offering a discount, this one sale has the potential to bring you many more sales from that customer.

Also… by having listings on various coupon sites, there is usually a link to your website included with the offers. Not only is this a great backlink for your website, but it also means that even if someone does not take you up on your offer, many of them may click through to your website to learn more about your company.

If someone likes your coupon offers, they have the ability to share them with their friends, family, and associates via social media and email. As you can imagine, this results in even more eyes on your offer.

People today are all about saving money, so coupon sites are a powerful way to tap into this type of audience. Once they see the bargains associated with your brand, many of them will be interested in learning more about your company.

So although you may be giving out a big discount, the rewards of using coupon sites go way beyond a one-time sale.

Strategy #15: Press Releases

When you think “press release,” you probably still think of going to the local newspaper to submit news about your company. But as you’ve probably noticed, many newspapers are moving to online publishing, while online news sites are growing tremendously.

Most people now use the internet to get their news. Therefore, digital press releases can be picked up by many different online news outlets and can send a lot more traffic to your website.

One reason is because you can optimize them with keywords related to your business, which means they will show up in the search engines for people who may be looking for your type of product or service.

You should also naturally mention your city’s name in your press releases to let the search engines know where you are and what audience you want to attract. In addition, place your company’s street address and phone number in the press release to help link it to your website.

It is recommended that you use an online distribution system to get your press releases in front of as many people as possible.  These different sites can help your business get a lot of attention from targeted prospects.

Another reason press releases can help is because they provide links back to your company website, which is great for your SEO.

Businesses that publish press releases often get the most benefits. Don’t think you have enough “news” to publish? There are many different types of newsworthy activities that you can release, such as the introduction of a new product or service, offers and promotions, event information, new staff members, a new contract or client, local sponsorship, contests, receiving an award, and more.

Strategy #16: Give Away Free Information

Many businesses can generate hot leads just by giving out free information that would help their target audience, such as tips and advice. One way to do so is to create and give away free reports that your target audience can benefit from (in exchange for email addresses, of course, as mentioned earlier).

When giving away these reports, be sure to include a link to your website – preferably in the footer of every page.  This way, readers won’t forget where they got the report and have an easy way to reference back to your website for further information.

Strategy #17:  Make Sure Your Website Design is Attractive

Unfortunately, many small businesses have unattractive websites. No matter how great your products and services are, an unflattering website could turn off visitors; which means many of them won’t return.

The problem is that many people equate the quality of your products and services with how professional, attractive, and clean your website is. In other words, they judge a book by its cover.

Therefore, make sure your website is inviting with a nice design, professional layout, easy-to-use navigation, and relevant images/graphics/photos.

Strategy #18: Make Your Website Address a Staple

If you want to drive targeted traffic to your website, you should share your website address everywhere, including your offline marketing methods. It needs to go on absolutely every single piece of marketing material that you produce – such as business cards, newspaper ads, billboard ads, printed postcards/flyers, and even your TV commercials.

The fact is that most people are not going to take the time to hunt down your website address; so it’s best that you put it right in front of them, making it easy for them to access your site.

Don’t Forget the Call-to-Action

Whenever you produce materials with the ultimate goal of sending them to your website, be sure to tell them to do it with a simple, direct call-to-action.

This can be as simple as: “Visit our website for more information.”

While this seems like a no-brainer, so many businesses neglect to do it. However, studies have shown that you have to tell your audience what you want them to do when it comes to marketing in order for most of them to actually do it.

Conclusion

Getting more visitors to your website can seem like a difficult task, but it’s actually quite easy when you implement simple strategies that work.

The methods listed in this article are really just the tip of the iceberg of how to improve your website traffic. However, starting with these simple steps will go a long way in helping you boost the amount of traffic your website gets.

Online marketing changes often and can sometimes seem over-bearing. However, businesses can no longer afford to ignore the power of the internet when it comes to helping them generate more leads and sales.

 

If you like this sort of thing, stay tuned for Chamber sponsored webinars where we talk about social media, positioning, marketing, and other business topics all of the time.  Past webinars are archived at http://chamberwebtraining.com

 

About the Author:  Ken Ivey, affectionately dubbed ‘the Web Czar’ by peers – has been helping businesses embrace technology for 27 years. Contact him at  [email protected] or call 920-645-2700