Four Ways To Increase Traffic To Your Website

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You invest in a website for your business. You spend hours, days and weeks crafting your message, selecting just the right images. You are careful to include the right keywords and phrases that customers will use to search for your product or service.

And, finally, your launch day arrives! Now, you can just sit back and wait for all the business to come pouring in!

Right? Well, not really.

Your website is competing with a huge number of sites on the web. Some interesting facts from Internet Live Stats:

  • Right now, there are an estimated 1.205 billion websites.
  • When Google first launched in 1998 there were only 2.4 million websites.
  • Oh, while I wrote this article, the number of websites increased by 14 million, to 1.219 billion websites!

So, how can your website possibly be found just by using the right keywords?  It really can't!  You need a marketing plan that integrates both online and offline activities.  In this post, I'll talk about just a few of the online practices you can put in place to drive traffic to your website.

Online Activities to Drive Website Traffic

Google is all about search. And, their main objective is to deliver to you, the searcher (and their customer), the results you are looking for as quickly, accurately and painlessly as possible.

So, how does your website "hold up its hand" and say, "Hey, Google, pick me"!

There are a number of things you can do to help Google out:

1. Add Fresh Content To Your Site

Adding fresh content to your website helps in a number of ways. Simply, it signals to Google that your website is not stale or abandoned. If your website content has not been changed in years, what is the likelihood of the right answer being found there? Writing a blog is a great way to add content that answers the questions that your customers and potential customers are asking. So, when they search for those questions, your website is more likely to appear in the list of results.

As you write, think about the words people might use to search for your content, especially long-tail keywords. For example, if you are writing about your vacation rental, you could include "secluded cabin on Lake Clear in the Adirondacks" or "5 bedroom rental with a boat". Try searching for those two phrases and see the difference in the results.

If writing a blog is just not in the cards (yet!), at least make sure that the information on your site is accurate and up-to-date, and add new content such as testimonials, portfolio items, and products or services to freshen up your site.

2. Get That Content Out - Use Email To Spread Your Message

Yup, you wrote your blog and NOW you can sit back. Not quite.

Google may pay a little more attention to your website, but that's not enough. Email is your next tool.

Yeah, we've heard it, too. Email marketing is dead – NOT.

Email is a great way to drive traffic to your website and to keep in contact with your customers and prospects. Here are just a few benefits of email marketing for small businesses.

Many people mistakenly believe that social media is an adequate substitute for email. Email is a great tool for making your audience aware of new offerings from you and your business – and it goes right into their inbox! You don't have to cross your fingers that it will be noticed in the stream of content on social media. You took the time to create this great content, why wouldn't you let your closest connections know about it?

Of course, to continue to be opened, your email has to be relevant to the recipients. But, don't think that it has to be opened every time – think about it, do you open every email you receive from your favorite vendors? What makes the difference? Maybe the subject line? Maybe whether you are currently in need of their products or services? How much time you have? But, whether you open it or not, isn't it a friendly reminder that your favorite vendor is out there?

Here is the key to driving traffic to your website using email. Make sure that you include links back to your site. Maybe you are including a number of "intros" to your blog posts, with links to those posts. Or, maybe you are having a sale, with a link back to the relevant information on your website. Or, maybe you are introducing a new product or new exciting client – with links back to your website. You get the idea.

But one more thing – share this email content on social media – and encourage your subscribers to share, too -- and get all your bases covered at once!

3. Get Links From Authoritative Sites

Another way that your website can "put its hand up" to Google is to have quality links, known as backlinks, pointing back to your website. What is a quality link?  A quality link comes from a website that many people trust and visit frequently. There are HUGE trusted sites – think Forbes, Wall Street Journal, ESPN, just to name a few.

There are also links from locally trusted sites that can also benefit your website. Think about local directories of membership organizations, professional association directories, your local newspaper and other businesses and nonprofits you work with from your community.

While it is not impossible for a small business to get some exposure on those HUGE sites, working toward links at the local level is something that should be very doable. Here are some tips for getting local backlinks

4. Don't Ignore Google

Specifically, Google My Business, Google +  and YouTube. (Yup, Google owns YouTube.)

Granted, Google hasn't made it super simple to work with these tools (well, YouTube is not bad, but then, it didn't start with Google, they bought it). And, due to that, it's likely the reason so few people use Google + or even think it has any value.

BUT – remember that Google is the King of Search! And, they give preferential treatment to their friends. So, make sure you have a Google + account and post to it. Absolutely make sure you have set up and populated your Google My Business Account (Google just might have done it for you, and not with the information you want to publicize), and start thinking about how you can create and publish video to a YouTube Channel for your business. You'll make the Google Gods smile on your website!

There you go, a small number of things for you to consider and do to increase traffic to your website. Maybe you are ready to jump right in – or maybe it's overwhelming! The most important thing for you to do is to do something! Pick something from this article that feels doable to you and make a commitment to start. Google will be glad you did!

What are your thoughts on this?  Leave your comments below.

Next up will be an article on offline activities you can consider to drive traffic to your website.

Do you have a question or suggestion for a future post? Leave it in the comments!


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