Six Tips for Website Traffic
How Long Do Want Your Business to Last?
Do You Want to 'Be' or 'Go' Online?
Where creating a customer base is concerned either you're in it for the long haul or you're not. And if you're just flirting with 'being in business' then you have to be honest with yourself and that approach.
The same goes if you need help, or have an ambitious dream – a nationwide franchise in two years is a common one – and you want complete autonomy because you know your own comfort zone. Ultimately it's irrelevant (and none of my business) if your comfort zone happens to match your approach to spending.
All that matters is that if you want to be online, be under no illusion, I can help you with the website that you ask for. The one you ask for because you know best. And yes, a website is marketing, so we can tick that box.
But, will the website 'go'? And what do we mean by that? We mean, how do we get regular traffic, not just setting up for a one-time launch, but for all the time.
The Only Way is Up
You Need to Be Open to Business
Let's use the common lemonade-stall-in-the-middle-of-nice-field analogy:
Where are your lemonade drinkers?
And do they want lemonade?
Do they want your lemonade?
Are you the business flirt or just-for-myself type who doesn't want too many customers at the moment? Someone who wants to make profit and therefore survive will embrace the classic lemonade stall analogy.
Don't get me wrong, I fully support the idea of going at your own pace. Especially at a local level, and if you have your social media (SM) strategy in hand or your giving out business cards with your website address. But you can well imagine what will happen in a season's time (just three months) when your website doesn't set the world on fire. You'll have a little debate with yourself: You sort of didn't want it to anyway... or did you?
The nub is, if your true goal is doubling sales like everyone else, then you have to at least increase the effort. You have to put wood in the fire. Basically, a website is like you've opened another branch, it's the centre of your holistic marketing approach. So if you don't get your set up right, and make your site 'a happening place' then there's no point worrying why you're not getting clients.
So here are six important strategies you need for your new website if you want more visitors than family or friends:
Do You Know Who Your Customers Are?
1. Research for Your Customer Search
You may have already done this when you started. You may have a website plan. Good. But are you up to date? Are you practicing planning?
Is that gap still as wide; are your opportunities still there?
Because being opportunity aware is a way of business life.
Other questions you need to answer are:
- Who are your competitors, what are they like online?
- How could you improve upon them?
- What's your region?
- How's your design and branding, colour schemes, fonts: are you happy with them?
- Is your image effective?
- How about your 'story', the narrative of your business or you?
This brings us to writing...
2. Make Your Content Sing and Searchable
People go on about content like they know what it is. It's not just words. It's the selection and presentation of the words that make the difference. It's the very centre of things that makes people talk about you.
It's engaging videos.
It's interesting pictures.
And you have to convey your mission or passion with expertise while giving a clear indication that you are about quality and good service. Your reputation depends on being the go-to guys that can always be trusted.
Meanwhile your web pages must planned to contain your message, profile, USPs and service/product descriptions in a concisely engaging way using your business personality, maybe sprinkled with wit or emotion, but definitely imbued with passion, humanity and your helpful voice
As well as this there has to be call-to-action (CTAs) or signposts to sales or picking up the phone.
And as well as this your copy and content:
- needs to be search engine optimized; with
- meta data in the back end of your website; and
- search engines alerted to your presence by linking to their analytics tools.
What Kind of Impression Do You Want to Make?
3. Make Your Website Enjoyable to Visit
This is the user experience (UX) side of things.
Okay, so assuming we've got good content to put in readable, digestible paragraphs. Next, keep your site simple and easy to navigate, make the colours match (or clash for a reason), fonts uniformly alike and the structure familiar.
Make the site like ones you enjoy using. (A friend of mine likes lots of pages. I asked him if his customers did). There's also no harm in humbly asking for feedback on a regular basis: I do believe this is another way to get traffic. Perhaps you can include in your pre-build research the kind of websites your future visitors would like that are already in your sector.
For example, photography sites are picture heavy and some take a while to download and view. If you have to wait and there are lots of things you need to see would you stay on that website for long? Really, you don't want to see the technique (or the 'strings') of your website 'working', it should just flow.
4. Get into a Relationship with Search Engines
Getting found is is all about optimizing your website to work well with search engines. To maximise people searching for you you're going to have to get familiar with what search engines want you to do on the website (on-page SEO) and on the rest of the internet (off-page SEO and back-links).
Check your content has the keywords that potential clients are most likely to type in. If this means scrapping your current site because it's been set up in a spammy, overselling way, then hurry up and build a new one. For the criteria you need to get found you need to bone up on a search engine's webmaster tools. Or you may think of hiring an SEO specialist who advertises that they do this.
Choose the Right Platforms for Your Niche
5. Don't Be Anti Social Media
Once you have set up your social media (SM) sites with the same pics and logos as everywhere else, converse with other human beings one at a time (like they just walked into your 'reception' area) in the appropriate style of that social network or media site.
- Prove you are the expert and provide consistent assistance;
- Avoid being a sales rep and stick to being the expert;
- Don't be put off by negativity or trolling idiots;
- Stay in quality, business character.
It goes without saying you link up your social media sites with your main website and vice versa. Once you have done this use the analytics from your search engine webmaster tools, your website statistics and your social media nmbers to see what kinds of posts are working better.
Good Practice is Practice
6. Develop a Mindset for Improvement
To recap: If you build a site and expect lots of constant visitors without preparing for them first you're wasting your time. It's my job as a holistic digital marketer to tell you this a static website is realistically only the beginning of a fraction of your online story.
- Has your venture stopped?
- What makes you the expert today?
- What happened this week?
- What offers, promotions and discounts have you got?
- Your visitors need to know
For yourself the best thing here to do is to develop the practice mindset and always ask what needs to be done to improve the website. This is not the same as a work ethic, a phrase describing credibility and effort because you're rolling a boulder. The practice mindset can help you think and decide how you can:
- delegate a task
- do it more efficiently
- turn it into an opportunity
- try things from another angle
- not be fazed by starting again.
In the end though, if or when you hire someone else to do this for you: Digital marketers worth their salt shouldn't just do what you tell them. They should like you more than that. They need to give you tough love and avail you of all the options to help you work out what's needed now and further down the line with an infinite bridge for your business for the flow of others to cross.
© 2018 Jonny Wills