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How to get more people to visit your website.

How to get more people to visit your website.

If your website is so amazing that everyone is talking about it and telling others to go see it – well, put your feet up!. But for most, getting more people to come to your website is one of their biggest challenges.

And sadly, “build it and they will come” only works in the movies.

It takes work, sometimes quite hard word, to get more people to visit your website. But to make it easier - we're giving you a dozen ways to do it.

1. Create great content

People want information. That means content.

Not just good sales copy about what your company offers, but content that helps them out in some way.

People love content so much they will actively hunt it down.

You want them to find you when they do this.

And to attract them, your site needs a blog, tips, FAQs or resource section - or even better, all of the above!

You have to publish things that people want to read about, which isn't normally the same as the stuff the organisational hierarchy have a strong opinion about, so:

  • Ask reception or customer service staff
  • Look at sites like Quora.com for questions frequently asked
  • Think about what you're asked all the time by friends, family and associates
  • A radical thought - ask your customers directly.

Then create content that answers those questions.

We talk more about blogging in the post "Why Blogging is Essential for Getting People to Visit your Website".

Having said create value-add content, don't forget the nuts and bolts of information that potential customers will want to know including:

  • What exactly do you sell
  • What features does it include
  • How much does it cost
  • How do they get it
  • Who you are – don't hide behind a smokescreen.

Be honest about who and where you are because this builds trust.

Creating great content is number one on this list because it is the foundation for so much more. Read on to find out what....

2. Get out and be social

People do business with people, so make sure you are where your customers hang out – whether it be Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Pinterest.

Being active on social networks means being the face of the business so get someone who is an appropriate spokesperson – not just the youngest, hippest person on the team!

Like the website itself, you will need to promote your Facebook page or Pinterest page, and reach out to build your Twitter/LinkedIn communities. This can be done via competitions and giveaways, or actively reaching out to individuals. It depends on the platform.

Once you've written your excellent content, share it on these social media platforms so that it is exposed to more people. Include social sharing buttons on your website so it is easier for readers to share it for you.

Interact and join discussions - if you comment intelligently on content or discussions that are directly related to your business, and if you back it up with helpful content on your website – then this can be very effective.

However, it can be time consuming, and too many people comment on blogs and forums just for the sake of it so pick your platforms and discussions carefully. If your content answers a question you can also link to it in your response to questions or discussions..

Sharing on social networks will also help your search rankings, so you just can’t ignore it.

If you want to know more about what and how to share on social media, then read "What Does Social Sharing Mean for Small Business".

3. Guest blogging

Guest blogging is a good way of getting your name and reputation out there, especially if you have an enthusiastic and competent writer on your team.

You need to be a bit picky about where guest posts appear on behalf of your business however. You want a site that is relevant to your industry and audience, one that has a good amount of traffic in it's own right and gets good social engagement.

When reaching out to site owners with offers of writing, you will need to be able to demonstrate you can produce quality material. Having your own blog with good, value-add content is a great way to do this. Another quality blog or website won't be interested in posting content that is blatantly self-serving, so approach the owner with a win-win outcome in mind.

4. Become a news media darling

You want to know how people get quoted in magazines and newspapers? They are good at networking and schmoozing with the right people – i.e journalists.

Social networks like Twitter are a good way to start conversations by responding to their tweets and/or communications. But bear in mind this is about relationships so be nice, professional and be available. You'll need to be quotable so think about how you will make your comments more interesting than other people who might be asked for a quote.

If you don't want to deal directly, a PR company can spread the word on your behalf.

While a quote in the local newspaper may not generate traffic per se (unless they are willing to include a link to your website), getting your name out there will raise you and/or your business's profile.

5. Get repeat visitors

Don’t forget that it can be cheaper to get more business from your existing client base than it is to win someone who has not dealt with you before.

Make sure you have some of your website dedicated to providing good support and service to your existing customers.

Include regular updates and fresh content on your site so people come back for more - even if they weren't ready to buy what you offer the first time they visit, over time they will become familiar with your content and your business. And knowing is the first step in the know-like-trust process.

Email newsletters with links to your latest blog or article is a great way to a) get material for your newsletter and b) send people to your website where they can spend time reading about your offers that might be relevant to them.

Newsletters are also a fantastic way (if not, essential way) to let people – both existing and potential customers - know about new products and specials.

6. Become a video star

A blog post or article that answers a common question can be re purposed as video or Slideshare content. And for complex services, a picture paints a thousand words.

Have a product? Are you a location based business? A video is a great way to show them off.

Set up a You Tube or Vimeo channel to post your video, and include prompts to visit the site or subscribe to your channel for further updates. Video content also contributes to search visibility.

Good video can take a while to prepare and you need the right tools to do it. Alternatively there are video creation companies that will do it for you.

Again, value-add material in the way of how to's and tips are the most useful. We've got more tips in "Top Tips for Video Marketing"

Many business owners and marketers dream about creating a video that 'goes viral' but having this as an outcome can be overly ambitious for the average small business. Concentrate on video’s that solve a problem for your audience.

7. Paid search and social marketing

Paid campaigns like Google Adwords is a very effective way of quickly getting visitors to your site while you wait for other more time intensive methods to kick in. You have to manage the campaign carefully to avoid spending money on clicks that have a low potential to turn into clients.

As a rule of thumb, display advertising is good for building brand or product awareness. Direct response rates are lower and you need very good creative to entice people to leave what they were reading and click on a link. The search network targets people actively searching for what you offer, and gets a higher response rates in the form of clicks to your website, but to avoid wasted clicks you want something concrete to offer.

Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter all offer advertising and these may be effective choices depending on how socially engaged your audience is.

8. Paid site or directory listings

These are when you pay someone like Yellow Online for a 'higher profile' listing on their directory site. You can also pay to advertise on industry specific websites.

When you do this, find some good quality local sites that attracts your specific target audience. For example, No Cowboys has paid listings for New Zealand tradespeople.

Take care that you don't pay for listings on sites that can't establish a level of credibility and show you proof that listing on their site will be an effective way of promoting your business. In particular, directory sites can be quite expensive - paying to get to the top of their category listings might get you a lot of views – but it does not guarantee you visits to your site.

To find these sites, enter your search words into Google and find any sites that have listings.

9. Attract referrals from other sites

Referred visitors are a bit the same as referrals in the offline world. They vary in quality but can be a very effective way of attracting visitors to your site and getting leads.

Referrals are when another site places a link from their site to yours – when someone clicks on that link they will show up in Google Analytics as a referred visit.

We discuss this in more detail in "How to Increase your website traffic by focusing on referrals".

Links from other sites to yours are also is essential for good search rankings because they act like a vote for your business.

10. Let affiliates do the work

Affiliate marketing is when you’re paying other people (or rather, other websites) to bring you customers.

You pay your affiliates for any sales they generate. You should only pay them if the visitors they send to your site convert visitors into customers. This means that you need to have a system of tracking visits and which site they come from, and tracking that all the way to a sale.

Affiliate marketing is popular with software products. Here's a quick guide to affiliate marketing by Kiss Metrics if you want to read up on it further.

11. Grab yourself a daily deal

Discounts and special offers via deal sites is a great way to get people to your site, but they will tend to be bargain hunters. You should have a strategy in place to try and turn these in to full paying customers otherwise you may be constantly shaving your margins.

Some of these people will only ever be after special deals and they may not have a good loyalty potential. But if you impress them with your product or service they could become fans or at least provide testimonials and/or social proof to back up your offer.

12. Organic Search Traffic

Organic traffic is that which comes from people clicking on the (non-paid) search result links.

Most effective, websites with healthy visitor numbers, have a good proportion of visits coming from organic search.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is everything you do to make your site a more attractive destination in the search engines eyes – i.e to get you good search result rankings. Some of the strategies above are necessary to improve your search rankings and grow organic traffic.

But in addition, your site should be optimised for search – which means getting all the technical bits right so the site is an attractive destination for the search engines. This includes:

  • Unique landing page for each product or service offering
  • Search friendly URLs
  • Canonical URLs
  • Unique title tags and descriptions
  • Appropriate use of keywords in the above, but also in headings and content body
  • Clean, fast loading code

13. Old fashioned methods

Don't forget to include your website address on all and any print material, in your email signature and actively encourage people to visit the site any time they need help, more information or to download a special offer you might have a part of your sales pitch.

Hand out brochures, leave your business card and give away promotional products like pens that have your website address on it.

Where's the silver bullet?

These methods are not quick fixes and nor will they guarantee increased revenue - but done right you will see a return.

They require time, effort, constant review and especially persistence. Good measurement systems will tell you which ones are bringing you visitors that actually buy from you. You don't just want more visitors, you want more of the right kind of people. People that will buy what you're selling whether it's sports gear, professional services, consumer products or business.

But the good news is the benefits are cumulative – as your site attracts links and email subscribers, as your content gets noticed and shared, you’ll find your site attracting more and more new visitors.

Image: Eva Rinaldi

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Client words...

We asked the team at Essentee to look at our website and advise the best way to optimise our website so we ranked higher on a Google search.

They suggested we arrange a competitor analysis and the end result is that it told us exactly what we had to do to improve the hits to our site.

Read more ...