Choose the Right Strategy
If you’re using the internet to sell your products or services you need a “Website Traffic Strategy”.
Here are three well-tested strategies that will help you increase website traffic (you can choose to use a combination of all three):
- Invite visitors to your website by distributing marketing materials (business cards, brochures, advertisements etc)
- Drive visitors to your website using targeted lists (e.g mail-lists of potential customers in your target market sector)
- Attract visitors using the search engines (Google, Bing, Lycos – using what’s often called “organic SEO” )
But it’s not sufficient to get more visitors, you also need to make sure that they linger long enough on your website to take some form of action. The action they take could include buying one of your products, downloading a report you’ve written or signing up for your newsletter.
However, they are unlikely to decide on any of these actions if the content on your website is poor (i.e it doesn’t say anything interesting, is badly written or is badly presented).
The important point to understand here is that its not sufficient to increase website traffic without at the same time making every possible effort to improve the quality and presentation of your website content.
Good quality content will also encourage visitors back to your site and increase website traffic even more.
Articles or Blogs?
You can either write articles or blogs to help boost website traffic. Which you choose is going to depend upon your writing skills, the sort of products your selling and the profile of your customers. If your product is complicated your prospective customers will be looking for good well-written, informative articles on the features of your products.
Blogs are very different. They are more like conversations or chats and probably contain opinion and views; sometimes controversial views. Although they may also inform, they are more about building on-line relationships.
It doesn’t have to be either or. You can increase website traffic by using a combination of both.
Make Sure Your Website isn’t just a “Brochure” Website
If you’re a small business and you’ve just started to build your online presence you probably started with a website containing mostly product-related articles to create a website that’s a bit like an online brochure.
There are millions of small business websites that are really no more than on-line brochures
If you want to increase website traffic significantly you need to make sure that your website isn’t just a brochure site, but combines informative product and topic articles and blogs. If you do this, your customers will not only have better information about your products, they’ll also get to know you (the guru or expert), behind the products, and by building strong visitor relationships you’ll boost website traffic even more.
You can get a good idea about the social value of a blog by considering your own interactions with people who try and sell you their products. It can make all the difference if you know the person or product.
So what do you need to include in your blogs so that you build up a loyal following of customers and, boost website traffic and ensure a steady flow of repeat business?
The Secret Power of the Website Blog
When you start writing blogs, make sure they aren’t monologues (articles often are). Above all you need to make sure that your visitors can interact with you concerning the things you blog about.
Here are seven ways of creating this interaction:
1. Encourage Visitor Comments
Most website building tools nowadays provide facilities to set up a “Comment” section at the end of a blog or article (tools like WordPress are among the best known).
It always seems strange to me when I visit other websites that there are very few (if any) visible comments from previous visitors. Make sure your blog is different by encouraging your visitors to make comments and you’ll be taking a very significant step to boost website traffic.
Ask visitors for their views and opinions and stress how useful it would be to have their input on the matters you’ve discussed in your blog.
2. Carry out Opinion Polls
You can increase website traffic by using polls on your website.
There are lots of low-cost and free tools and services to help you do this. PollDaddy is one very popular one.
Polls are an excellent way of providing visitors with information about particular community or business groups and topics. Opinion polls will also provide you with new ideas for other blogs and website articles.
3. Create Community Forums
Community Forums are an excellent way to build communities of users that increase website traffic by encouraging visitors to return to your website repeatedly to read about or discuss particular topics of interest.
There are lots of free and low-cost forum-building software tools suitable for small businesses (for WordPress websites SimplePress provides a good solution).
By taking part in the forums you set up you’ll discover ways in which you can quietly promote your products and services and the products and services of affiliate partners. But make sure you don’t overdo your promotional bit!
4. Use Social networks
You can increase website traffic by embedding social sharing buttons on your website (Facebook, Twitter, Scribd etc.) These social links will make it easier for visitors to share the stuff on your site with others. You’ll notice that on our site we use “floating” social icons.
People like to recommend products they have found useful and often do this through social networks.
5. Offer Videos and eBooks
You can increase traffic by using videos instead of writing articles and blogs. You can inform visitors about your product with a video in a very relaxed, personal way. If you want to get a strong message or view across a blog video is sometimes much better than writing.
Sometimes there’ll be subjects you want to write about but don’t because the articles would be too long (a good length for an article is 1000 words). Tackle these subjects with an ebook instead and make them available as downloads on your website.
Your ebooks don’t have to be long. Twenty to thirty pages is sufficient in most cases.
If you decide to produce an ebook make sure you obtain the name and email address of your visitor and build up a mailing list for future marketing.
6. Create Product reviews and ratings
The popularity of websites like Trip Advisor and Amazon is high because they provide visitors with the opportunity to voice their opinions.
If you’re selling products on line considering incorporating a review and rating service service like Feefo into your website (expensive but very effective).
If you have a business in a sector where there are lots of products complementary to your own, write product reviews and enable users to write their own comments. A review is a often a hybrid of the article and the blog; informative but relaxed and personal as well.
Don’t get worried about negative comments (unless of course they relate to shortcomings in your products or services). The occasional negative comment you do get will help to make positive comments more credible.
Have a look at the customer reviews and comments on Amazon. They are used by this highly successful on-line retailer to boost website traffic.
7. Distribute Newsletters
Finally, you can increase website traffic by using email and e-Newsletters. When visitors like your website content they’ll happily subscribe to your newsletter or email teaching series etc.
Another valuable feature of newsletters is that you can embed hotlinks in them to take the recipients to product pages on your website (and make a sale!).
Learn About Other Ways to Boost Your Website Traffic
The methods described above to increase website traffic aren’t the only ones, but if you start with these you’ll not go far wrong, and you’ll certainly have enough to keep you busy for some time to come.