Subscribe to our regular newsletter for tips on growing your business online
Today, more and more people are using the internet to research products and services. So the chances are that if your customers are looking to buy your product or service, they're probably going to head online to find out about it. As a result, it's important that your business has a web site and that it can be found. Here's 5 ways to boost your web site traffic for free.
Google offers a free local business listing service called Google Places. You can register or 'claim' your business on here, add information about what you offer (including photos, videos, opening times etc) and allow customers to post reviews. The benefit of Google Places listings is that they are designed for local searches and a well written, popular listing can lead your business to being top of Google on specific local searches, driving more traffic to your web site and, more importantly, more leads for your business.
If you want your web site to rank well in Google, having other quality web sites linking to it is vital. Google looks at these as 'recommendations' or 'thumbs up'. The more quality web sites like your site, the more important Google will think it is. However, it's important that these links are sourced from genuine (not SPAM) sites and be sceptical of companies who promise to get your site to the top of Google for £50.
In addition, register with quality local directories like Yelp and specialist web directories related to your industry. Contact your customers, suppliers and business associates who have web sites and ask if they can put a link on their web sites to yours. Your aim should be to continually source these links; it'll take time but it will be worth the effort.
Social networks can be a source of good quality links and we implement social with a lot of our clients, so make sure you have a profile on Twitter and YouTube as well as a page on Facebook and include a link to your web site on there. In addition, interacting and posting on social networks is a great way to raise the profile of your business and get more traffic to your web site. Make sure you post interesting and relevant content, such as links to useful articles, photos of your latest products and details of forthcoming events. As the cliche goes, think outside of the box. You should include prominent links to your social networking accounts on your web site as well as your offline marketing.
Why not get creative and create a video about your business, post it to YouTube and share it on Twitter and Facebook? More and more people are watching video online as internet connections continually improve and more devices, such as smart phones and tablet computers, are designed for consuming video content. Posting a unique and interesting video will get people talking; they'll share the video and get your business noticed. Plus you can place a link to your web site on the video posting, generating more traffic and benefiting your search engine optimisation.
It's important not to neglect the offline elements of your marketing programme. Make sure that your web site address is on every piece of marketing material that your business uses. This includes your signage, stationery, vehicles, uniform, invoices, business cards, brochures, advertisements and leaflets.
You should monitor your web site traffic to see the results and refine your strategy. Most web hosts will include a statistics package to help you do this. We recommend Google Analytics; it's the industry standard and it's free. It will give you lots of detailed information about visitors who have been on your web site. If you're not sure whether you have something like this then contact your web design agency for guidance.