You’ve updated your new website, congratulations! Now what? How do you drive traffic to it? You may know of a few ways, but do you know all of them? Below is a list of how to drive traffic to your website and the strengths and weaknesses of each method.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) — This method involves having your site rise high in natural search engine results. Like when someone types in “flooring Fresno ca” and your site is on the first page of Google on the left hand side. Google doesn’t charge for these listings, but it may cost you some money to hire someone skilled at SEO to attempt such a good ranking.
2. Pay Per Click (PPC) — This method is similar to SEO in that you want to show up on a search results page. But this time you would show up in the “sponsored” sections, either at the top of the page or on the right hand side. You pay only when someone clicks on one of your ads. This method is much faster and more direct than SEO. It can also be narrowly targeted to a specific geographic area. But, again, it takes someone very skilled at creating and managing a PPC campaign. I’ve heard from many clients who were disillusioned with this method and felt Google just sucked up their money. But in the hands of a skilled manager, PPC campaigns can be very effective and profitable.
3. Broadcast — People still listen to the radio and watch a lot of television. So don’t forget to include your website address in your commercials. Yes, you may prefer for someone to simply walk into your store, but most buyers like to check out your website before they invest the time to get in the car, fight traffic, find a parking space, and walk into your store.
4. You Tube — Put your television commercials on You Tube, because it’s the second largest search engine in the world. It won’t cost much, it won’t hurt, and you never know …
5. Facebook — A Facebook business Page listing your website is a must. Facebook ads are also available. The jury is still out regarding their effectiveness. However, so many people are hanging out on Facebook, it will definitely be a viable option for certain markets. Know your target audience. If they are not big Facebook users, then don’t spend your money there.
6. Twitter — For a while, I was seeing some test ads on Twitter, but I haven’t seen any lately. For local markets, I recommend tweeting to establish a presence, but don’t spend a lot of time on Twitter, unless you have a niche where it makes sense.
7. Internet & Banner Ads — A lot of people are reading their news online. Ads with links to your website on newspaper sites may be helpful. If you have your Google analytics set up, you will be able to independently measure their effectiveness.
8. Yellow Books / Trade Directories — If you take out ads in any print or online directories, be sure to list your website. Also be sure to track how much traffic is driven to your site with Google analytics.
9. Review Directories (like Yelp) — There seem to be a zillion directories. And they can hog up search results pages, usually in the absence of decent websites in a particular category. Many directories will pick up your information without you doing anything. I recommend listing your website on Yelp for local retail businesses. Otherwise I’m neutral on them.
10. Online Articles — Editors are always looking for new material. Write an article and post it on sites where your customers might visit. Include a link to your website in your bio.
11. Blog Commenting — This is one of my favorites. Whenever I read a blog, I try to leave a comment with a link to my website. I’ve actually gotten new clients this way.
12. Email Signature — Put your website address in your automatic email signature.
13. Business Card — Don’t forget to include your website address on your business card.
14. Stationery — Ditto
15. Newspapers/Magazines — Put your website address in press releases and in ads. I’ve had clients who have run full-page ads and not put their websites in the ads. Don’t do that.
As you can see there’s a lot of work to do just to get people to your website. But there’s one more thing to consider. Once you’ve driven buyers — who are interested in your product or service — to your website, what will they find? Is your site, at the very least, better than your competitors? Does it make people like your business? Do they make an emotional connection with your web pages? If not, all that hard work of driving traffic to your website might have been for nothing!