There are over 1 billion websites online today. If your website doesn’t have the momentum it needs, it will get lost in all that noise and not be effective for your business. In the sixth and final article of this series, I will talk about the importance of promoting your website to get momentum going.
The “Incredible, Invisible Small Business Website” … Don’t Let This Be You!
Want to drive traffic to your small business? Build it and they will come … right? Websites are not like brick-and-mortar stores used to be. There is no foot traffic where people will just “walk by” your website and come in, no matter how inviting it looks! For all practical purposes, without proper Internet marketing, your small business website is invisible! So, let’s take a look at why this happens and the 9 actions you can take right now to start driving visitors to your small business website.
Over 1 Billion Websites Can’t Be Wrong … or Can They?
There are over 1 billion websites containing roughly 4.73 billion web pages live on the web today (http://www.worldwidewebsize.com/)! That is a ton of noise to cut through. Expecting visitors to “just show up” and make a purchase because you built a website is NOT realistic. This is like planning to pay all your bills by finding a winning lottery tickets on the ground each month! It isn’t going to happen. The good news for you is, very few of these websites are optimized correctly for search engines and even fewer have a realistic web-marketing plan for their small business. With some determination and dedication you can make your small business website stand out from the crowded web space without breaking the bank!
Begin to Drive Traffic with These 9 Actions You Can Start Doing Today
The following are some things that you can do as a small business owner to help drive traffic to your website and ultimately grow your small business.
- Register your business with Google, Bing, Yahoo and other Internet directories
- This is a step that too many small businesses miss. You need to have your small business listed on all the major Internet directories. While this is a time consuming task, it is well worth the time.
- Search for “Places Your Business Should Be Listed Online” for an updated listing and then register your business on as many as you can
- Checkout meetup.com and search for local marketing meetups designed for small business owners. You will meet people in your local area that you can network with and learn valuable ways to increase traffic to your website at the same time. It’s a win-win!
- You don’t need to be active on all social media platforms, but you DO need to be active on some. Ideally, you need to be on the ones that your target market is using the most.
- If you are not sure which social media platforms your target market is using, you can always request a target market review from a small business web marketing specialist. These are affordable and worth every penny you invest!
- Lead the horse to water if you want them to drink! I know, I know, you can’t make them drink, but if the horse doesn’t know how to get to your watering hole then he will find somewhere else to get what he needs (your competitor).
- A funnel is just what it sounds like it is. It starts out wide with a lead magnet of some sort to attract people, then it funnels them down to the narrow end. When they exit the funnel you hopefully have a qualified lead (who you know is interested because they followed the trail you left for them) to show your incredible offer to (the landing page). Sales funnels are built using a mix of advertising, social media, pay-per-clicks, email newsletters, banners, landing pages, and more. Think of a funnel as a trail of bread crumbs!
- Effective content for the web should not only be compelling (inspire people to take action) but must be optimized for search engines so they can find your content when searching key terms.
- There are many services available online that will help you write compelling content that is optimized for the web (Google search “content writing services”). Many of these services will write content for a minimal investment on your part. Never forget, time is money!
- Be the expert! This is one of the easiest ways to let others know that you are an expert in your field. In today’s shared economy, you have to give to get. Be sure that you are including a link to a useful page on your website or social media that will expand on the answer you are giving.
- Having an email newsletter that provides valuable information for your target market is a very effective way to drive traffic to your site. Using lead magnets (like free eBooks, etc.) and a lead capture tool (like a pop-up opt-in window) are great ways to build an email list you can leverage later.
- YouTube is now the #2 search engine in the world.
- Animated Explainer and Whiteboard videos are inexpensive to produce and have proven to be very effective.
- Forbes.com reports that 64% of customer are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it and visitors to websites are 88% more likely to spend more time on websites with video on them! (Forbes: Using Video for Web Marketing)
- The most important thing you need to drive traffic to your website is to develop a strategy then be consistent and persistent. Internet marketing, SEO, and especially social media marketing, are all about momentum. I understand that we are all busy and it is hard to be consistent, but to get the results you want, you will need to invest both time and money. Schedule time just for this task or hire someone to help you get it done.
Don’t Fear Web Professionals if You Feel Overwhelmed
Finally, Don’t fear the professionals, we don’t bite! – We are here to help your business grow and when you win, we win! There are many Internet marketing packages to help small business owners help get started with their small business web marketing.