The top 6 ways businesses are boosting their website traffic for free
Written on the 17 June 2009
Without traffic, a website is a billboard in a desert - seen by no one and a complete waste of money. To make your website a worthwhile investment for your business, you need to put some effort into promoting it.
The good news is that there are many free ways to generate traffic to your website - all they will cost is some of your time. Here are the top 6 strategies that businesses are using today to boost their traffic:
Twitter is the latest social networking phenomenon. It's an online community where users 'micro-blog' - share their thoughts or opinions in a short blurb of less than 140 characters. For businesses, it's yet another opportunity to get your brand in front of a potential customers. Go to www.twitter.com and sign up for an account then find interesting people to follow - generally if you follow someone, they will follow you too. Then start tweeting - always include a link to your website, make your tweets valuable (not always about advertising your business) and aim to add a new tweet every day or two.
We've just introduced a new function in Ezy Communicator to easily publish your articles to Twitter. When you are adding an article, simply put your Twitter login details into the system and a tweet with a link to your site will be posted on your Twitter automatically.
You might already have your own Facebook profile for interacting with your friends and family, but you can also have one for your business and it's a great traffic and lead generation tool. To create a page, go to www.facebook.com and click on the link on the home page to create a business page. Then upload your logo, images of your products and photos of your team to give your brand a friendly face.
To promote your profile, update your status reguarly with special offers or news and send out a weekly message to all your fans to keep your business top of mind. You can't add fans to your page yourself so you need to use other ways to promote it. Put a link to your Facebook page on your website and in your email newsletters.
Another great way to increase traffic to your website is to get as many reputable websites as possible to display a link to your site. Not only will this improve your Google PageRank and get you listed higher, it will also expose many more potential customers to your business. It is important to make sure that the website your link appears on has a similar target audience to yours, so your link is being seen by actual prospects.
The easiest websites to get your site listed on are those of your business alliances and associates as well as information websites for your industry or local area, because they usually will put a link to your website on their page for free. You could give them an article or testimonial to put on the site so they get some value from it too.
You need to capture the details of every person that visits your website so you can add them to your database and communicate with them on a regular basis to drive them back to your website. You can send them a monthly email newsletter with interesting, valuable articles that link back to your website - display a snippet of the the article in the newsletter then have a 'learn more' link that takes them to your site to read the rest of the article. You can also try the same strategy with special offers - give them a code to use in your shopping cart and link them to the products in the shop that are on sale.
Once you've got them back on the website, you've got another chance to sell to them - whether they are an existing client you want to upsell to or a new lead you want to convert.
There are numerous directories that you can potentially be listed in, such as industry directories, chambers of commerce directories or local area directories. All you need to do is conduct some research on the internet and you will find lots of directories that you can add your business to for free. These listings increase the number of ways that potential customers can find your website, and will subsequently increase your traffic and search engine rankings.
Some good general directories to list your business in Australia are:
And in New Zealand:
A forum is basically an online chat room where users have conversations with other people about certain topics. The topic really depends on the website that the forum is on - it could be anything from fishing, to computers, to advertising. The biggest and most successful forums are usually on third-party sites, like fan sites, because they have more credibility than a forum on a company's own website. Find some forums that relate to your industry or area of expertise, then start posting.
Find a conversation (sometimes called a thread) you can participate in, add your comment and put a link to your website at the bottom. Your comments need to be genuinely valuable, so take the time to think of some advice or information that is relevant to the other forum users. For example, an electrician could answer someone's question about outdoor wiring. Make sure the information you give is accurate and don't spam forums with advertising for your business - you'll get banned very quickly.
Your business should have strategies like these in a formal internet marketing plan, outlining your goals and ideas for promoting your website. Ask your Bloomtools consultant about how we can help you create an internet marketing plan for your unique business needs.