All you need is a website and then your business will just grow! This might have been true at one point in history, but today you need to let people know you have a website before the traffic will come streaming in.
I like to think of it like a family dinner. Does everyone in your house just know when dinner is ready? Or do you tell them when dinner will be ready, remind them about it, and call them down to dinner?
Your website = dinner. In order to get your family there, you have to keep telling your family about it every single day.
1. Search engines
Back when search engines like Google or Ask Jeeves (do you remember this one?) first got onto the scene this was a huge driver for website traffic. But as more and more websites now exist, organic search engine traffic (a.k.a. free traffic from people searching and finding your business) is less and less a traffic driver for most websites.
Search engines are like your kids coming to the kitchen to ask when dinner is and finding it ready to eat. Don't expect your website traffic to come from search engines unless you're putting a lot of work into it. Something that increases your ability to get traffic through search engines is...
Content is the images, videos, or copy you have on your website that people are looking for. When we think of website content, we traditionally think of blogs.
Blogs are really helpful in building your website traffic because they are consistently doing this over time by sharing new things people are searching for.
Quick Note: If anyone tells you having a blog is a waste of time and too old school, don’t listen - they are usually the same people saying email marketing is dead. Getting traffic to your website isn't as easy through content as it was 5 years ago, but it’s still effective.
Using that dinner analogy, if you have dinner every day at 6 pm, your family knows when to expect it (whether they come running or not) - the same is true for your blog. If you write consistent, high-quality content for your blog (once a week, once every other week, once a month), people will grow to expect it and possibly search it out.
Even more, this content can be a direct answer to what people are searching versus more general content you have on a webpage on your site.
Whether it's a downloadable PDF, blog article, or podcast transcript, consistent content draws people to you. It also gives you things to share on...
3. Social media
Whether you like it or not, social media is where a good majority of your audience spends a little part of every day. Are they going to find you when they hop onto Facebook or Instagram?
I get it, as much as I go on Instagram or Facebook literally every single day, posting and sharing seems a little...difficult.
I post for my friends, not unlimited internet strangers, but now's the time to take a step out of your comfort zone.
Your social media profiles can link back to your website and you can share the things you're doing on your website.
- You just launched your website? Share it on social!
- Sent out an amazing newsletter today? Share it on social (and ask people to subscribe to your next one).
- Post a new blog article? Share it on social!
- Have some amazing one-liners in that blog article? Social post.
- How about a recipe or download? Share it on social.
- Learning something new? Share it on social!
See a pattern?
People aren't wanting or looking to see what you had for lunch (unless it relates to your business), they want to see what you're up to and doing, and they want it effortlessly showing up in their feed.
4. Online platforms
There are regular ole social networks like Facebook and then there are the "others". These are places like Pinterest, YouTube, Reddit, Tumblr - I could go on! You might not be a fan of having a Facebook Page, but maybe you love finding things on Pinterest, why not try sharing pins on Pinterest that lead back to your website?
Pinterest is essentially Google, but with images!
And there's YouTube, Google with videos! Create new video how-tos or explanations and post them on YouTube, then take that information and turn it into a blog post (making sure to embed that video inside of it. We do that all the time on our blog).
Don't rule out the power of being involved in other community platforms online. From places like Quora to Pinterest, people are looking for the knowledge you have!
5. Guest articles
You don't have to have your own blog in order to have blog articles that help build traffic for your website, you can write guest articles on other blogs! Reach out to businesses that are serving a similar audience as yours and have an active blog. Suggest a few different blog topics that their audience would appreciate and when they accept, make sure you include links to your own website in the article (as well as links to their website where applicable)!
6. Networking events
Whether you're connecting at your local Toast Masters or are a part of an entrepreneurs club in your town or city, start asking if you can subscribe people to your newsletter, send them your latest helpful blog article - all to get them to your website and learning more!
7. Email signature/business cards
Every time you send an email or share a business card make sure your website information (and what people will find there) is accessible! Do you have free samples? Include a line like "Get your free sample of XX at www.yourwebsite.com." Use your passive marketing information to drive action!
Hold an event, teach a class or workshop and ask people to go to your website to download a bonus piece (or even just your speaking notes!). This is a bonus for you as well since it allows you to add them to a funnel
Think about how you currently connect to people for your business - reflect on how your website can and should be a part of that connection. Do you invite people to subscribe to your newsletter? Share blog articles? Give away free samples?
Make sure you're driving all of that marketing effort to the hub of your business - your website!
Better understand how your website fits into your customer relationships by seeing how your website drives your business goals, we're walking through the steps here