By Ilya Pozin -
So, you’ve taken the steps to create your company website…but what do you do now?
Now you face the challenge of actually bringing in new, qualified traffic. After all, that’s how you will make more sales and increase your customer base.
Check out these 10 ways you can pull in visitors to your website:
1. Search engine optimization
SEO is the process of increasing your website’s visibility in search engine’s organic results through optimizing your pages with the keyword phrases people are likely to search for. Think about it: when you search for something in Google, do you typically go beyond the first couple pages of results? Probably not, and neither will your potential customers.
Some popular ways to improve organic search results are through editing existing content, removing barriers to indexing activities of search engines (something we’ve been doing for a while and see this type of marketing as one of the highest return on investments) increasing the number of backlinks or inbound links (links your website receives from other webpages — which indicates the popularity or importance of your website).
SEO can be a time-consuming process initially, but it’s an important step towards getting more traffic and grabbing a top spot in search engines for your main keyword phrases. If you haven’t already optimized your website for search engines, it might take several months to see significant results with SEO.
2. Blogging and guest blogging
Offering free, original content on your site can help bring new visitors and set you apart from the competition. However, writing for other prominent blogs in your niche, is even more beneficial in generating traffic. By including a link to your website in your biography at the end of your guest post, you can draw in new visitors from a source that likely gets much more traffic than your current blog or website.
3. Pay per click (PPC)
Use PPC Internet advertising to bring in traffic to your website from search engines like Google. Here’s how it works: you pay a fixed price for every click your ad gets in the search engine, and your ultimate goal of the click is to convert that user in order to see a return on investment. With GoogleAdWords, there’s no spending requirement — you can set a budget of as little as five dollars a day or a maximum cost of ten cents for each click, for example. Your main focus should be conversion so you get the best ROI possible. Simply choose keyword phrases and the search engine will help you get your ad in front of your target market, wherever they might be looking on the Web.
Retargeting ads work by placing a tracking cookie on each of your visitor’s computers. Then, when they leave your site, they start seeing ads to come back. Using this type of advertising helps you reach visitors who leave without conversion — which is about 98 percent of all your traffic — and makes retargeting a valuable strategy in getting those visitors to come back and convert. You’ve already worked hard to get people there, but most leave…so get them to come back to make sure you’re not throwing away that money you’ve already spent.
5. Facebook ads
Millions of people use Facebook every day (they had 483 million daily active users in December 2011) and the average U.S. Facebook user spends eighthourspermonth on the site. And it’s not only popular with teenagers and college students — all types of demographics are now regular users of the social network. Additionally, according to a study from Nielsen, people are 68 percent more likely to remember seeing an ad with social context than without. Facebook ads can help you target people from a specific location, friends of your current fans, or even folks who “like” other pages, among other options such as age and interests. Plus, it’s a cost-effective way to bring in new traffic — you can set a daily budget, pay for clicks, or pay when people see your ad. Similar to Google AdWords, you’re piggybacking off of Facebook’s traffic in order to bring those visitors to your website.
Creating videos and posting them to YouTube can help your content get found on YouTube itself. From there, not only does Google index your content, but others can embed your video on their blogs and share it via social media. Although going “viral” is certainly desirable, it’s important to remember that not every video needs to get a million views to successfully drive traffic to your website. Instead, focus on a call to action that tells viewers exactly where to go (your website), how to do it (link), and why to do it (free content, contest, etc.) once they’ve finished watching.
You can also advertise on other people’s videos by buying targeted ads relevant to your business — which could yield a high conversion.
7. Email marketing
Email marketing is a great tool because most people need to be engaged multiple times before they buy. It’s been around for years, and is still one of the strongest ways to engage potential and current customers. Give people a compelling reasons to subscribe (contests, great content, insider information, etc.) and then continually send great content so they don’t unsubscribe. Encourage them to return to your website on a regular basis by showing them what they’ve missed since they last visited — perhaps it’s a new product, blog posts, whitepapers, videos, or something else.
8. Word of mouth (forums/Facebook fan pages, etc.)
When you’re looking for a new salon to get a haircut, or a great restaurant in a neighboring town, you probably turn to trusted friends, family, or online sources to discover the best rated and reviewed options. These sources are key points for driving traffic for your website, too. Focus on building connections with your fans and followers in order to gain positive reviews and word of mouth recommendations. You can also participate in related forums or comment on blog posts in order to plug your company without coming off as too promotional.
9. Social media
Similar to email marketing, social media helps you communicate with your potential customers and encourage them to buy. Again, you should provide compelling reasons to “like” your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter, but you should also share content that gets them visiting your blog or interacting with your brand on a regular basis to remind them why they stopped by your website in the first place. Social media is also a great tool for word of mouth marketing; it helps you see what people are talking about and what recommendations they provide. It’s also a great tool for customer service inquiries and real-time communication when a crisis hits.
Building your reputation and influence is an important part of driving traffic to your company website. Through public relations strategies, you can brand yourself as an expert in your niche and build your credibility. Doing this can increase your conversion rates and build your brand awareness. For instance, by serving as a source in journalist’s articles, the outlet typically provides a linkback to your website — which is usually great traffic that converts well, all while building your reputation. Plus, when you’re mentioned on a big press outlet — a trusted source for many people — they ultimately trust you more. Press releases can also help drive traffic and generate interest in your product or service.
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