How to get people to visit your website
Once you have a website, your next step is to get the word out. There are lots of ways to attract people to your site, but building an online audience or customer base goes beyond getting one-time visits—thriving websites have a following and repeat visitors. In this article, we’ll discuss why site traffic matters and introduce some of the basics on how to attract visitors to your website (and keep them coming back).
Why site traffic matters
Whether you’re building a brand or selling a product, the success of your website relies on the number of visitors you get and the quality of those interactions. An obvious example is an online store, where more traffic often means more sales. But traffic is also important if you have a blog, where reaching more people can help you inspire and impact more lives. Also, with more visitors, you can create opportunities for sponsorships and ad revenue. No matter what kind of site you have, bringing more traffic to your online doorstep is the way to grow and thrive online.
Where to start
You can drive traffic and build your online following through a variety of ways. Choosing what’s right for you depends on your budget and your goals. Here are examples of both paid and free ways to promote your website.
Following the basics of keywords and search engine optimization is critical. Conduct keyword research to determine what types of words and search terms to include in your URLs, page titles, product descriptions and blogs. Learn more about SEO for small businesses
2. Social Media
Establish a business page or profile on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. When you’re just creating your brand, establishing a social media presence will help you protect your identity, create a forum for connecting with customers and like-minded brands, and most importantly, give people a place to find you. Every social media account should link to your business website so that new followers can discover more about your business and products or services.
Setting up these accounts is a free way to expand your online presence. But don’t let these online profiles sit idle. Set aside time each day or week to engage with customers by posting specials, sales, contests and giveaways. Also, engage with customers if they comment and ask questions. Never ignore a comment, good or bad.
A simple strategy to guide your web design and content is to think about user experience (UX), so factor in things like fast-loading websites. How fast your pages load affects their ranking on search engines. Run your website through PageSpeed Insights to get a recommended list of changes you can make to your online store’s performance.
4. Mobile UX
All pages should be just as readable on mobile as they are on desktop. Try this Mobile-Friendly Test to check how easily a visitor can use your page on a mobile site.
5. Online advertising
Consider using Google’s online advertising platform to get in front of customers searching for businesses like yours on Google Search and other Google products. With Google Ads, you’ll only pay for results, like clicks to your website or calls to your business.
6. Content marketing
Creating useful content that your target audience is interested in can help you attract and engage an online community. For example, a food shop could start a recipe blog, or a financial advisor might create a newsletter about saving for retirement. Content marketing includes blog posts, videos, email newsletters, podcasts, lists, magazines, how-to guides and infographics.
7. In-person promotion
Word of mouth is always an effective marketing tool and can be especially valuable for connecting your site with the offline world. Talking to your friends and people in your network is a great way to start. But you can also volunteer in your community, do speaking engagements, host or sponsor events, and seize other opportunities to connect with your audience face to face. Wherever you go, tell people about your site!
8. Friends and family
Social media are important, but relying on friends and family can help drive awareness and lead to your first sales. Instead of asking them to buy from you, just ask them to support your business by spreading the word about your new business. (Best etiquette is to offer them a free sample or a major discount). People are eager to support small and local businesses more than ever, and personal referrals can help drive early momentum for your newfound venture.
Making sure your business website ranks high in search results is only part of the job. You also need to convince visitors to stay, peruse and purchase from your site. Focus on compelling content and copy, as well as great web design that aligns with your brand.