If you want your website to be a lead generation tool for your business, you need to drive traffic to it. If you want to drive traffic to your website, you need to give it a prominent presence on the web. Here are ten steps you can [and should definitely] take to make sure your website stands out, gets noticed, and helps to grow your business.
SEO (search engine optimization) is the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of traffic to your website through organic (unpaid) search results. SEO is a vital component to your website’s success and must be planned properly to grab the attention of the right people.
Utilizing specific keywords and content throughout your website will be one of the primary ways to help you succeed at SEO. Conduct some keyword research to find which words and phrases you should be using. Also, be as specific to your product or service as possible to ensure you’re only pulling traffic that actually wants what you’re selling.
Option 1: Personal trainer
Option 2: Personal trainer for women in Boston
Obviously, option 2 is going to attract a specific demographic so you won’t be getting men from Arizona calling you for your training rates, and that’s a good thing.
There are other technical tips to improve SEO like optimizing your page to load quickly and revisiting your site’s navigation and internal links structure. If you have a webmaster, you should definitely be putting this on the table for discussion.
Search engine marketing (SEM) requires a small monetary investment but can really help out your online exposure. This is mainly accomplished through ad purchases and pay-per-click campaigns and can easily get you on the first page of a Google search. For example, if you search “personal trainer Boston”, the immediate view of the search results before scrolling contains paid search ads:
The primary benefit is that you’ll quickly get in front of a large audience. Note that if you have a robust web following as it is, this may not be the best option for you, but if you’re just getting your site or business off the ground, this is an effective way to gain instant visibility.
Online directories are like personal assistants. They do all the work getting people onto their own site and when people arrive, you’ll be there waiting for them! However, it doesn’t work if you’re not signed up. Create accounts in online directories like:
– Google Maps
– Google My Business
Be sure to include a link to your website in your directory profiles for it to get noticed. For example, Stateside Vinyl Siding has a Google Maps listing, so it shows up when you perform a Google Maps search for vinyl siding in Pawtucket, and you can see their website if you click on their listing.
Beyond just being listed in popular online directories, having stellar reviews on those sites helps as well. Don’t be afraid to ask satisfied customers to drop you a five-star review. Most of the time, if someone is really happy with your service they’ll be more than willing to share their experience. The more positive reviews you have in these directories, the more likely people will be to notice and visit your website.
Most of these sites have sorting features such that users can order their search by number of positive reviews, so your reputation in these forums is important!
One of the simplest ways to get your website noticed is to promote your website on your social media pages. Cast a wider virtual net by posting shareable images and information to cause a snowball effect of reposts. Ask conversation-starting questions to get your online community engaged, join LinkedIn groups, use popular or custom hashtags or direct people who have asked questions on social media to your site for answers.
These first five ways to get your website noticed can all be seen in action at once on one search engine results page. The results page in the example below is for a Google search for “vinyl siding pawtucket.” You can see that Stateside Vinyl siding uses all but one of them (SEM).
Have you started a blog yet? This is one of the best ways to leverage SEO because you’ll be creating more opportunities to pepper your site with meaningful (searchable) content. An added benefit is the more pages you have published the more opportunities you have to get your site noticed.
One of the most important things to remember when writing for your blog is that you will live and die by the quality of your content. Don’t make the mistake of starting a blog just for the extra pages. People visit blogs because they’re looking for helpful information or advice. It is a resource for your potential customers and increases the value you bring to the table. Use your blog to demonstrate your expertise so you’ll be sure to reach your target audience when they’re seeking information online.
People search for images online for inspiration, information or maybe for just laugh. If you have high-quality photos of your products or services, be sure they’re optimized to rank in an image search by doing the following:
1) Choose an appropriate file name
2) Keep the file size small to reduce load time
3) Add captions
4) Use alt text and title text
5) Include images in your XML sitemaps
Look for influencers, bloggers or micro-influencers to help drive traffic to your site. Invite them to do a guest blog post or ask for a feature on their blog in exchange for plugs on your social media pages. Essentially, this is a prime opportunity to start a symbiotic relationship where both individuals help one another reach a broader audience.
Plenty of local media outlets will give you mentions in their publications for free or for a reasonable fee. Reach out to local papers, magazines, radio stations and news channels with an interesting story about your organization or upcoming event and direct traffic to your website for more information.
Placing ads in newspapers and local publications will also help to garner some newcomers to your site.
Promote your website anywhere you can. Include it in your email signature, on promotional flyers, on invoices and receipts – you may even want to slap a decal on your car! The point is, the more eyes you get on your URL the more people you’ll see visiting your website.