The old cliché, “If you build it, they will come” doesn't apply to many aspects of business. In fact, after nearly 15 years of running businesses, I’ve found that few things would meet that mantra. I've come to expect that every project will take twice as long, and cost twice as much. I know, it's sad that I think this way, but when projects come in on-time and on-budget, I'm ecstatic.
Over the years I've been fortunate to work with hundreds of business owners on hundreds of websites. I've even created several dozen of my own. I learned a long time ago that creating a nice-looking website is only half the battle; the other half is attracting qualified visitors who want buy your product or service.
Whether it's a start-up, or established business, it takes a lot of work to make the website a success. And regardless of it’s size, all businesses are on equal footing when it comes to online marketing. Everyone has the opportunity to grow their business with web leads. But how? It comes down to who is willing to invest the resources and create a long-term plan. I’ve seen many one- or two-person shops grow to the point that they’re competing with larger, more established companies simply because they focused on building quality website traffic. Success is within reach of just about anyone who puts his mind to it.
But how does one build that traffic? I believe in using a combination of five principles.
Search Engine Optimization
Also known by its acronym SEO, this is the foundation of creating positive website traffic. There are a number of techniques that one can employ “behind the scenes” on a website that will improve the site’s ranking on search engines. This, in turn, gets more people in front of your goods and services. A strong SEO foundation is key to getting found online.
You are an expert at what you do. So let people know. Content marketing captivates customers because you are creating valuable content that speaks to your target market. For example, regular blog posts are a great way to reach targeted groups of people because they showcase what you do, offer relevant advice, and build trust with your readers. As a bonus, search engines like to see blog posts, too.
Using social media is another great way to reach your customers. While Facebook is a good way to share information about your company - like your blog posts - an even greater value lies in the ability to directly engage with your customers. With a good strategy and some digital elbow grease, you can create a community of folks who are interested in what you offer.
Pay Per Click
Another excellent, low-cost way to be seen by qualified customers is through a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign. In a PPC campaign, you would bid on certain keywords. When a target customer searches for those keywords, an advertisement for your services appears on their web browser. If the view clicks on the ad, you incur a small charge and the viewer is led to your website - which provides relevant information and the services he or she is looking for.
One more technique is to make sure that you’re included in relevant online directories. Customers are more likely to find your business if you have verified listings in directories such as Yelp, Angie’s List, or Google Places, to name but three. These directories help customers leave reviews, share information about your company, and help to build your reputation.
By taking action in each of these five categories, you will be on the right path towards generating the right kind of traffic right to the front of your digital doorstep.