One of the easiest ways to attract new business is getting more visitors to your website. Increasing traffic to your website can be the most cost-effective way to increase your sales, which means you need a solid strategy for growing your online audience.
In that spirit, I wanted to explain some of the best ways to drive traffic to your website. For those of you who’ve been in business for a while, you may know several of these options, but even experienced online entrepreneurs can learn how to optimize these promotional techniques.
We’re going to break your options down into two categories — free and paid — and give you some of the pros and cons of each.
3 Free Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website
Creating and posting evergreen content helps you establish your authority in a particular subject, which is critical for attracting new customers.
Blogging not only keeps your website fresh for visitors, but every page you add to your site helps increase your visibility on Google. To further help your SEO, you should be embedding links and keywords specific to your industry in all of your content.
A word of warning: Many businesses go too far with keywords, serving up content that’s nothing more than marketing jargon. That’s an easy way to turn off visitors.
It’s pretty obvious that many small businesses now use social media to help drive traffic to their websites, with many businesses using Facebook as their channel of choice. While organic social growth doesn’t necessarily require money, it does take time and patience.
When using social media to drive traffic, make sure you keep a consistent posting schedule and share content from other pages as well as your own. Too many small businesses refuse to share any info that doesn’t directly relate to their business.
In addition to creating evergreen content for your own site, take the time to write for someone else’s. This can give you a large sudden boost in traffic (since you’re tapping into an entirely new audience) but can require lots of work to set up. You’ll need to network with and earn the trust of the outlet you’re trying to write for.
If you’re just looking for another place to post content, many businesses choose Medium.com, which is easy to write for but can leave your content buried. Creating a relationship with someone in your field and guest writing for his or her audience is much more fruitful.
3 Paid Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website
If you’re looking to generate traffic as quickly as possible, paid ads can be a great option. Generating organic traffic can take weeks or months, whereas paid ads, if done correctly, can create an immediate influx of visitors.
That said, there are a few pieces of advice to keep in mind. For example, you should never pay for banner ads. Banner ads have a notoriously low rate of return, and most people only click on them by accident at this point.
For small businesses, Facebook advertising is the best place to get an easy return on investment. Or try an email newsletter directed to an audience that closely matches your customer base. Both of these options will allow you to easily measure results and adjust your ads on the fly.
If you want to dip your toe into social media ads, see if you can get some free ad coupons to start and avoid paying money for your early mistakes.
Distributing press releases can help you build brand awareness and generate traffic to your site, since they are still widely used by news outlets looking for stories to cover.
If done correctly, your press release can be picked up by multiple outlets, which means more eyes on your business and your content. In addition to attracting visitors, your release may also lead to contact with a reporter or two, which can certainly help with marketing down the line.
Depending on the distribution service you use, your press release can be sent to vastly different outlets. While the distributed press release may not have much SEO value, it does generate great exposure for your story.
An affiliate program is a deal between a marketer and a content publisher and is sometimes referred to as “performance marketing.” Why? Because you can set the terms of engagement, paying the publisher who is promoting your content based on the number of clicks or sales he or she sends your way.
Usually these are partnerships are set up through a network, such as CJ Affiliate or the Google Affiliate network. The network will help ensure your promotions get in front of an interested audience, but you should vet the options thoroughly to see if they’re a good match for your business.
By using a combination of these marketing techniques, you can begin to drive more traffic to your website. So go ahead. See which options work best for your business and run with it.