Tips and Tricks for Improving Your Small Business Marketing
Tips and Tricks for Improving Your Small Business Marketing
“If you build it, they will come,” simply does not work for new websites. As a small business website designer I’ve seen this story far too many times. Site owners expect their customers to be as excited about their new website as they are, but high expectations often leads to big disappointments. So what can a new website owner do to increase website visitors? And how can they drive that traffic to their offers without spending a lot of money?
Don’t be discouraged because there are some simple things you can do to increase website visitors, many of which are entirely free. It may take some time and effort but once you understand what you are trying to accomplish, it isn’t as difficult as it may seem.
If you are looking for free ways to get your first 1,000 website visitors then you need to understand the term ‘organic traffic.’ This is simply a techie way of saying you want to build traffic to your website that you don’t pay to attract. While all of the suggestions you will read here on building traffic to your website are totally free to try, some may have an option to hire a pro. Sometimes a professional can help you generate better returns for your budget. However, if you have limited funds, you can utilize each of these strategies yourself. Just realize that it will take time, effort, and practice to get right.
You will hear it said over and over, in a number of different ways, but all the pros understand that “content truly is king.” The most attractive website designed by a modern day da Vinci might get people to give your site a quick visit, but how likely do you think it will be for them to stick around a while? The content you upload to your website will keep your visitors browsing around without bouncing off as soon as they get there.
Keep this in mind because this is one of the most critical aspects of building a website that attracts visitors. So how do you go about creating great content? The simple answer is to write informative material that engages and lures the reader in. Something so great that they desire to read anything and everything you have to say. This can be a very difficult skill to acquire, so spend ample time learning all you can about writing well and uploading media that compels your visitors to stay tuned.
Google decides which websites it likes best, and consequently which websites will rank up top. But there are steps you can take to improve your ranking in their SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) Again, this is something you can learn by researching SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and using it effectively within your content. Remember, there are right ways and wrong ways to do this.
This is especially important for local businesses. Local brick and mortar establishments often think their website is merely there to tell potential customers who they are. While that is essential, it’s not the most important aspect of having a website for your local business. Did you know that more people search for local businesses via mobile devices than by any other way, including phone books and desk top computers? Which leads to the next free thing you can do to get those first 1,000 visitors to your website.
Chances are you built your website with a WordPress theme (at least we hope you did!) All the other Content Management Systems (CMS) also have pre-designed themes you can use as a foundation for your site. The key is, to use one that is mobile friendly. If you’ve already built your site and it is not responsive (meaning having the ability to be viewed equally well on any size screen on any mobile device) then search for a plug-in or ‘fix’ that will at least make key pages responsive. We build all of our new sites mobile friendly because we’re starting to see mobile traffic outpace desktop.
Never underestimate the power of mobile searches for your local business. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, Google will not list you in local SERPs. That’s a fact! At the very least, optimize key pages for mobile devices and Google will list those. It’s a start and an effective one at that.
There are a number of social media sites out there, so choosing the best one or two for your niche is of vital importance. Facebook and Twitter are two with literally billions of global users so those are a good place to start. If you sell visual products (art, clothing, accessories, furniture, etc.) then Pinterest or Instagram are two viable options built around an ‘image gallery’ type of format. As a small business, you have a lot of options.
The key point here is that visitors want to be engaged. If you can successfully create interest and engage your visitors they will be your most effective brand ambassadors. As always, personal relationships are so important in business. Social media gives you the opportunity to create one-on-one relationships with your customers. Research points to Millennials (who have overtaken Boomers as the generation with buying power) strongly value ‘relationship’ with the brands they purchase from. Millennials want to know about you just as much as they want to know about your products or services.
Stay active on social media, gain a large following, and see how quickly they follow you back to your website. It’s amazing just how quickly this can increase website visitors!
Speaking of strong visuals, let’s take a look at what YouTube can do for your small business website. According to the latest statistics released by YouTube, their users tally up to more than 1/3 of Internet users around the globe. With 1 billion active users, think about the market you can reach with a short and well-produced video.
Bear in mind that today’s consumer wants to know you so a common first video simply spotlights key people in your organization. You could demonstrate a product or service or even have a light and fact filled ‘talk’, but always feature key players in your business.
Other than entertainment, ‘how-to’ DIY videos are among the most searched for on YouTube, so think about giving a step-by-step presentation on how to use your products. Don’t forget to use competitive keywords when uploading your video, even YouTube is all about SEO. Don’t forget those keywords!
Most businesses understand that direct marketing is a one-on-one, face-to-face way of reaching a target audience. You can utilize a number of strategies but the most effective will also help you gain an online audience and these include:
Those are just a few of the ways in which you can use direct marketing strategies to increase website visitors. Just don’t forget to have your URL printed on each and every item. Yes, you will probably need to pay for the layout and printing or publishing of these items but as a side benefit you get ‘free’ traffic to your website. The focus of printed advertisements is to bring people in the door but many will look you up online first which will help build website traffic.
Another simple, often overlooked method? Put your new website in your email signature!
There are actually three kinds of links, most of which are free, that you should learn to use if you want to increase website visitors. Learn how to use inbound, outbound and interlinking techniques and you will quickly gain rank in the SERPs and this organic (free) traffic is what will give you the most hits.
When it comes to SEO, links are very important. Google sees a link as a method for “vouching” for another website. If my site links to yours, that’s the equivalent of my site saying, “Hey, I trust this website and it has something you might want to see.” If you can acquire links from other websites, it will significantly improve your ranking.
These inbound links often come from guest posts you take the time to write and have published on other websites in your niche. Outbound links like this one will lead you to an article on Forbes, a major site of authority (aka a super trustworthy site), and give your more info on why and how Google wants you to use outbound links for optimal results.
Next on the list is interlinking which simply means linking back and forth internally on your website from one page to another. It’s just as the name implies. You are linking articles, blogs or even product pages to each other. This is why related stories can usually be found at the bottom of every online article.
So then, what can you take away from all this? The important thing to understand is really twofold.
Together these create an endless loop. You increase website visitors, keep them there (a reduction in bounce rate) which in turn gives you a higher ranking with Google which in turn is designed to increase traffic in ever greater numbers.
Use these free ways to get your first 1000 website visitors and you will be amazed at just how quickly you will get your share of those 3+ billion people who regularly access the Internet. Your new website is just the start.