Do you feel like your site is lost out in the middle of nowhere on the information superhighway? This article will give you a few pointers to drive more traffic to your site.
(This is the 2nd article in a series called “5 keys to effective internet marketing”. This series is particularly geared to the local brick and mortar business who is trying to maximize their internet marketing.)
Plan your marketing and traffic strategies
Unlike the baseball movie “Field of Dreams”, just because you “build it” doesn’t mean people are going to come to your web site. In fact, this is one of the biggest misconceptions that I hear when I talk to business owners . It is often a major source of frustration that ends with the proverbial “my web site doesn’t work” comment.
As a business owner, it is really important to understand that marketing your web site is a must. Otherwise you’re going to find yourself out in the middle of nowhere on the information superhighway with no traffic.
Here are several ways to start driving traffic to your site:
1. Plaster the web site address on all of your marketing materials such as business cards, flyers, your vehicles, and so much more. Even better, use direct response marketing and give a “call to action” and incentive to visit the web site. This can be in the form of a “special report”, an informational video, This will net you much better results than simply listing your address.
2. Use Pay Per Click ads on sites like Google, MSN or Facebook. This can be very effective, but it can also be expensive and a big budget buster if not planned carefully. Be sure to set a budget!
One of the best ways to use pay per click is to test and measure. Run different ads and different keywords to see what people respond to. You can then take this research and target better search engine optimization in step 3 below.
3. Optimize your web site with search engine optimization with a particular focus on local search. This will result in what is called “organic” listings on Google and other search engines. Your goal is to get to the first page of the search engine for your particular keyword and locality.
Search engine optimization boils down to 2 things; The content and structure of your web site, and the number of good quality links pointing back to your website.
4. Video Marketing. Recent statistics show that 80% of all web users watch video online. You can leverage this into traffic for your site by tapping into sites like YouTube. By setting up your own YouTube marketing channel and posting videos about your business, you can drive additional traffic to your website.
Video is also a powerful way to connect with your visitors and engage them in who you are as a company.
5. Social Networking sites like Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter. After Google and Yahoo, these sites are the most popular on the internet today. An effective social networking strategy can build what we call the “know, like, and trust” factor. It is a great opportunity to build relationships. It can also serve as a fantastic way to drive traffic to your web site once you’ve put in the effort to create quality connections and build the relationships.
6. Local web portal presence. Look for opportunities to be listed on local portal websites. These are web sites that are completely focused on a particular locality or region. Some will give you a free listing along with premium listing opportunities. For example, we’ve created GatewayToSalem.com as a local portal for Salem, Oregon (and we’re in process of building for other cities as well).
7. Consider writing articles. Articles are a great way to position yourself as an expert in your field. You can submit articles to sites like EzineArticles.com, and then these articles can be syndicated among many other web sites.
8. Harness the power of RSS feeds. RSS stands for “really simple syndication”. By using a web site with RSS technology, you can allow a “feed” of your content and headlines to be placed on other web sites. When you provide an RSS feed, your latest content magically appears on the web site that has used your RSS feed.
9. Use Craigslist. This is one of the most popular web sites in the country. Design a professional looking ad for your business and list it on Craigslist. While it is a given that most people are looking for bargains there … it can still be a very effective way to drive traffic to your site.
These are just a few suggestions of how to drive traffic to your web site.
If you’d like professional help to accomplish your traffic building goals, give us a call at 503.581.4554.