Having a website is the smallest piece of the jigsaw when it comes to being successful online. In fact; it is the smallest possible piece and truly is “just the beginning” of a profitable online marketing strategy.
You could have the best website in the world. However, if it is not getting enough visitors, it is not going to do much at all in terms of helping you generate new business.
As a local business owner, your goal is to get as many eyes on your website as possible. This is where your pertinent details are; the details that your target audience is looking for when they visit your website. This includes your phone number, address, other contact details, and specifics about your products and services.
While getting as much traffic as you possibly can to your website sounds like a great idea, here’s something many businesses misunderstand about this process: in order to be effective, it has to be the RIGHT traffic.
Not “all traffic” is going to be “good traffic” for your business, so it needs to be targeted towards your specific audience. Ultimately, this means that the people who land on your website should already have shown an interest in the types of products and services you offer. If not, those are just wasted visitors.
You may be wondering exactly how to go about increasing QUALITY visitors to your website; and you may be thinking it’s all about search engine optimization (SEO). While SEO does play a role, it is no longer the single driving force for website traffic.
The internet has changed significantly in recent years in terms of effective ways for websites to attract more visitors. Online traffic is now ruled by a mixture of strategies… ranging from Content Marketing to Social Media Marketing to Video Marketing to Reputation Management… and the list goes on.
Maybe you’re already using some of these methods; maybe you’ve been meaning to implement some of them and haven’t gotten around to it; or maybe you haven’t even heard of some of them.
In this report, we will review various web marketing strategies that that are helping companies across the globe see an increase in website visitors.
Let’s get started…
Strategy #1: Local Search Engine Optimization
You may be familiar with SEO; and it is one of the best ways to get local traffic to your website. If you incorporate “on-site” and “off-site” optimization techniques, as well as choose and use keywords carefully, your website can gain high search engine rankings.
As a result, your site will get more search engine exposure when local consumers search for products and services related to your industry.
Full search engine optimization is a very detailed, extensive process that includes many different techniques to help websites show up higher in the search results for many different keyword terms and phrases.
However, implementing just a few local SEO strategies can work effectively in helping you get higher rankings.
How do the search engines work? Well, let’s assume that you are a dentist based in Miami, FL. Someone in Miami is looking for a dentist, so they go to Google or another search engine and type in terms related to the specific dental services they’re looking for.
Emergency Dentist in Miami
Cosmetic Dentist in Miami
Miami Teeth Whitening
People will enter specific search terms and in order to get in front of them, it’s simply a matter of making sure your website is properly optimized for these keywords and search terms. Since your goal is to attract local consumers, be sure to focus on “local” keywords only.
This means that your keywords should include your location. There is no sense ranking globally for ‘dentist’ if you only operate in Miami, right? It is a waste of time and effort.
A little SEO may seem like a daunting task, but it will definitely pay off in the long run if you do it right. This traffic boosting method has proven to help businesses truly see a return on their investment due to the increase in targeted traffic.
Here are a few simple on-site SEO tips:
- Create web pages focused around each of your targeted keywords; this will help these individual pages show up easier in the search results for each term.
- The content that you post on your site should be unique and of a high quality. Not only will this attract the search engines, but it will also engage your visitors and keep them coming back.
- Include your street address, zip code, local phone number, and any other “locator” criteria to help the search engines validate your location. The search engines do not know anything until you tell them.
- Embed a Google Map on your website to help the search engines establish your location, which will increase your chances of ranking higher for location-based keyword terms.
Strategy #2: Local Directory Listings
The days of the telephone directory are long gone. Today, people go online to find local products and services – and many of them check the local directory listings that show up in the search results.
Local directories such as Google+ Local, Yahoo Local, Bing Local, Yelp.com, and others play a major role in driving traffic to your website. Therefore, it is important that your company has claimed and completed your listing on as many directories as possible. You can put any information you want on your listings, so at the very least, you should have a link to your website.
This way, users won’t have to search around for your website address if they want to get more information about your company. Instead, they can click right through to your website from your listing page.
It is important that you take the time to create a top quality listing on these sites too. You want to ensure that those local listings are optimized for your keywords and that all of your contact details are up to date.
For most local directory websites, you may actually already have a profile in place even if you didn’t create it. Many of these directories create profiles for businesses in the area, which could be missing information or contain inaccurate information.
If this is the case then you should “claim” that profile so you can modify it with correct, detailed information. Claiming your profiles also prevents anyone else from taking control of your listings and misusing them.
Strategy #3: Customer Reviews and Reputation Management
This somewhat ties directly into your Local Directory Listings, which are also known as “Review Sites” because consumers can leave reviews for businesses on them.
Customer reviews are perfect for driving traffic to your website, particularly if you have garnered a number of positive reviews. It’s no secret that more and more people are now heading to review websites such as Yelp and Google+ Local to find out what others have to say about businesses in their area.
If the general consensus is that the company gets a “thumbs up,” people will usually click on through to their website to gather more information about them.
So the more positive reviews you have online, the more people you will have interested in your business. Although many businesses tend to lack in this area, it is crucial that you are actively encouraging positive reviews from your satisfied customers.
Of course, you should not try to “force” or “bribe” anyone to give you reviews, but there are simple ways to build positive feedback. This includes simply asking them to leave you a review at checkout, sending a follow-up email asking them to review you, or placing a call-to-action on your website asking them to leave you a review.
But don’t just stop at customer reviews – be sure to actively build your company’s overall online reputation as well. Online reputation involves many different techniques; such as, publishing great content, monitoring and responding to mentions about your business, cleaning up negative/false information, branding initiatives, and more.
Effectively managing your reputation will work to your advantage because if your overall image is “positive,” more people will visit your website to learn more about you. However, if your overall image is “negative,” most people will skip visiting your website all together.
.Strategy #4: Social Media
Social Media is important for any online marketing campaign today; it’s particularly effective in getting more people to visit your website. Create a social media profile on all of the main social media websites for starters (Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and anything else that may be relevant to your niche).
Social media can help promote your business by sending direct traffic to your site via links. On every social media profile, there is a place for your website’s URL, so be sure to utilize that space.
There’s only so much you can put on social media about your business, so people need to know where to go to find out more about you. If you’re doing a good job of posting and keeping your social media audience engaged, most of your followers will be intrigued to learn more – so make it easy for them.
Facebook, for instance, is the largest social media site online. Most of the traffic that Facebook sends your way will be through the content that you share. So your focus should be on sharing high-quality pieces of content that are relevant to your business.
This could be a blog post that you have produced, which may be useful to your followers such as tips, advice, how-to’s, etc.
If they love the content, they may even share it with their friends and family on Facebook. This will drive even more traffic your way if it is being shared with your target market. The great thing about this is that a single post, providing it is of a top quality, can generate more clicks than you ever expected.
The same idea applies to any social network you belong to; although there may be slight variations about how to go about it.
One point to note; social media is not meant to be a spam field. It is not recommended that you get on there and aggressively market your website.
Instead, you will simply turn people off. Focus on providing great content and be sure to listen and respond to other people as well. This will create a flowing conversation that will make people want to learn more about your business in an indirect way.
Strategy #5: Online Videos
Online Videos can do a world of good when it comes to boosting the amount of visitors to your website. Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world (just after Google)? Millions of people each and every day search for content through YouTube. This makes it a perfectly viable source of traffic for your website; but that’s only if you have great videos out there.
If you want to successfully boost website traffic through your videos, make sure that your videos are useful to your target audience to hold their interest. For instance, you can create product demo videos, how-to videos, testimonial videos, behind the scenes videos, and much more.
Also make sure they are fully optimized with your keywords and location information. Put your phone number, physical address, and keywords in the YouTube video description box to help it rank. Also weave your main keyword into your video title.
Posting videos on YouTube can increase website visitors simply by putting a link to your website in the description box. After viewing it, many will want to learn more about your company.
If you post a video on YouTube and optimize it effectively, there is a good chance that the video you produced will appear in the Google search results for some of your keywords. This means that your video will be viewed quite a bit; and many of the people who view it will also click through to your website.
Although YouTube is the most popular video-sharing site, there are many others such as DailyMotion, Vimeo, and Viddler, so you can upload your videos there as well.
Also share your videos through your social media profiles; many of your followers will share the videos with others in their network – ultimately leading to even more visitors to your website.
Strategy #6: Attractive, Valuable Blog Content
Content is king when it comes to driving more visitors to your website. You’ve probably heard of “blogging,” but are not sure exactly what it is. Blogging is a process that allows you to post frequent content on your website (or external blogging sites) related to your industry.
Many people use blogging to publish helpful tips, “how-to” information, and advice that their target audience would be interested in reading about. Addressing their “pains” as related to your business, and sharing information about how to ease that pain is also a great type of content to publish.
This is a way to keep your audience informed without bogging them down with promotional offers. Furthermore, this type of content is what many consumers are searching for when they go online.
For instance, someone may want to get some tips on getting a divorce. A divorce attorney would benefit by having blog posts that offer advice on things people should know before filing for a divorce.
Blogging helps to build authority in your niche, build relationships with readers, and ultimately, increase sales. By making regular blog posts, you can keep readers coming back to your site to see what you have to say. The more they come back, the better chance you have of converting them into a sale.
Consistency is key; if you start blogging, be sure to create new posts on a regular basis. Don’t make a few posts one time and then stop. The search engines like to see websites that are updated with fresh, relevant information and rewards them with higher rankings for doing so.
Blog posts should be peppered with a couple of keywords related to your business to help them show up in the search engine results when people search for information on that particular keyword term.
Top quality content is shared a lot via social media. Whenever you make a new blog post, be sure to post about it on your social media profiles to let your audience know about it; this will send a lot of traffic to your website almost immediately.
You should also put social media sharing links near your blog posts so when people visit the post, they can easily share it with others in their network.
NOTE: You may also want to consider posting on OTHER industry-related blogs in your area. In most cases, you can include a link back to your website. The key is to make sure the blogs you choose are related to your business. Also, only give valuable information without directly promoting your business.
Strategy #7: Content Marketing
Expanding upon the last strategy of blog posting, Content Marketing is one of the most powerful ways to get more attention for your website today. It is the new way of “selling” without actually “selling” by distributing many different types of informational content around the web in an attempt to “pull” in more leads.
It involves distributing relevant trust-building content via many different digital methods on the internet. Content Marketing is powerful for brand awareness and recognition because the more content you have out there, the more likely people will trust that your company can help with their wants and needs.
Along with blog posts, there are many different types of “content,” you can publish online, such as article marketing, social media posting, infographics, videos, and PowerPoint presentations.
Any content you put out there should focus on the inclusion of keywords that your target audience may be using to surf the web. Also, be sure to keep your audience in mind and only create the type of content that is likely to draw in new leads for your business.
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 “Quick Response” bar codes 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 or stand-alone mobile site 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 keen on 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 going out of business, 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.
Getting more visitors to your website can seem like a difficult task, but it’s actually quite easy when you implement simple strategies that will work effortlessly to improve website visitors.
The methods listed in this report are 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 receives.
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.
I specialize in helping local businesses implement or improve their online marketing strategies. Contact me at 912.486.0602 if you would like more information on the topics discussed in this report.