How Can I Drive Traffic To My Website?
In most cases, putting a sign up form to on your website is one of the best ways to build a list of targeted “subscribers”. These subscribers could be existing customers, potential customers, or just people interested in what you have to say. But if a form is published to a site that no one sees, does it do any good?
Although we would only ever claim to be email experts for your particular business, we can provide set up and advice on how to attract traffic to your website based on our successful experiences.
Of course, you should be sure that you have worthwhile content on your site so that once you have visitors, they have something to see. You want to capture their attention and keep them on your site long enough to (1) read your information, (2) sign up as a subscriber to your mailing list, and (3) contact you to purchase your products and services. That is the “brass ring” you’re looking for.
But did you know that publishing quality content can also help to attract traffic to your site in the first place?
Search Engines Can Send Traffic
Search engines continually crawl web pages and index what they find. It is amazing how many billions of pages and trillions of words they search and evaluate every day. So, whatever you have published on your website becomes part of the directory people get as results when they search (e.g. “atlanta plumber”, “restaurant in Chicago area”, “homeowner tips on painting”, etc.).
Think of search engines as catalogs of most of the information on the web. As long as you’re publishing a unique perspective on a topic, and continually providing “rich” content, new people will find your website this way.
Blogging is an easy way to get content onto your site in a highly readable way, and in a way that search engines can easily index the information. And you don’t have to do anything to get it. Other people enter blogs and help build up the content of your site. Besides the “big 3” search engines, there are also blog search engines, such as Technorati, out there that will index your articles and could potentially drive a significant amount of traffic to it.
This one may be obvious, but sometimes the obvious is overlooked. There are many opportunities out there to advertise the content of your website. Before you begin to gain momentum through the other suggestions offered here, spending within your business’ budget for some advertising may be the key to early success.
Search Engine Advertising
Pay Per Click
Pay Per Click (PPC) is an excellent way to get your website noticed immediately. Most search engines and many websites offer you the opportunity to advertise on their site and only pay when someone clicks on your ad and comes to your website. Examples include: Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, and MSN adCenter. Companies like Google have massively grown as a result of search advertising, and for the most part, this would not be true if it wasn’t effective in driving traffic to websites.
By advertising on search engines, you can bid on the advertising space people see when performing searches on what they’re interested in. By tracking this information, you can see what people want and how they find you and better tweak your keywords to increase your “natural” position on search engines. Go to our page on PPC to learn more.
Referral / Sponsorship Advertising
Some website owners will install an advertisement block, such as Google AdSense to allow advertisements relevant to the content on their site. By exploring this option, a link to your website will appear on pages the agency you use deems worthwhile, and you’ll pay based either on the number of clicks or impressions (views).
Banner & Skyscraper Ads
These ads are graphical in nature (as opposed to the often plain-text search ads) and appear directly on someone’s website, often via a third-party service like DoubleClick.com.
You can also contact website owners who advertise on their sites to discuss a paid agreement for an exclusive ad on their site. Selecting companies that provide complementary services and products to what you offer will significantly increase your chances to getting new customers coming to you this way. Few people looking on a website offering children’s clothing will click on an ad that offers home pest control!
There are always the old standby, traditional means of print advertising. But the purpose of this is mostly to get people to go to your website. Your website should be the “Home Base” you want all your potential customers to go. At one point, this may have been only marginally effective. But as the online experience continues to become more ubiquitous in the lives of people, your efforts to advertise offline in meaningful ways should translate to the benefit of your website.
Consider advertising on whatever print materials you use, both at your physical location and at materials you use for business promotion (business cards, advertisements, etc.) And get creative. That is what will set you apart from your competition and drive more and more customers to you.
Build a Reputation
Some traffic building techniques are highly visible and easily measured. But there’s another that is less so but very important — your reputation as the “expert” in your field. The type of word of mouth advertising that holds true in the realm of offline is even greatly amplified online. This is where content rich websites, FREE information, and solid Email campaigns come in. They keep you in the minds of people and build your reputation as the local expert.
The main way to build a reputation, that helps to drive traffic to your site, is as simple as providing a FREE product or service that people find useful. But you can further increase your chances by putting your name out there where people interested in your industry tend to interact:
- Wherever possible, post blog articles on other sites that are easy to link to and share with others..
- Post highly relevant comments on others’ blogs and in related forums.
- Encourage your email subscribers to forward your messages, which should contain a link to a page where the recipients can sign up easily.
All traffic generation methods were not created equal. Some will help you to build your business for the long run while others pose a high risk to the longevity of your success.
Avoid these traffic generation methods:
- Purchased Leads and Traffic. First of all, they are expensive and they DON’T WORK. In fact, purchased leads are prohibited from use with many Email campaign services out there, including AWeber. Also, all traffic is not created equal either. High volumes of traffic does not necessarily more customers. Inflated numbers of visitors may actually lead to a deflated conversion rate. That means a higher cost per new customer for you.
- Reproducing others’ content on your website without permission. Link to others’ articles like you would reference in a research paper. But don’t plagiarize their content.
- Spamming blogs, forums, or emails with advertisements for your website or email campaign. This will quickly get you into hot water and may make your email marketing campaign permanently ineffective, as ISPs filter your messages to the junk folder. Like you, most people don’t like spamming. Buying lists of people and sending them unsolicited Emails is really spamming. You should read our policy here on SPAM.
Still Have Questions?
If after reading this article you still have questions, contact us for a personal response from our Customer Solutions Team. We’d be happy to spend some time with you to discuss your business and see if our services might help you dominate your local market.