There’s one question that should be at the top of every small business site owner’s list: How can I get more traffic flowing to my site, and how can I turn that traffic into profit? A few tips and tricks are presented in this guest post from Vinny Lingham, the CEO of free website builder Yola.com.
It’s as true for your site as it is for a storefront: increased traffic equals growth equals profit. There are plenty of free, very effective, tools you can use to grow your site traffic without spending a penny. Let’s take a look at a few things you can start doing right now.
1. Make Your Site SEO-Friendly From the Start
Plan and build your site with SEO in mind. If you’re just beginning, check out these helpful tips. Keep your page topics focused, add keywords to your content, and tag your images, too. If you’ve already built your site, go back and revamp. (Another reason it’s great to be able to update your own site!)
2. Help Your Customers Find You
Before your future customers can visit your site, they’ll need to find it, which means that first, search engines need to find your site. Make your site more attractive to search engines so they can index it by strengthening your site’s SEO (search engine optimization). Start here for some helpful hints, and read on for even more ideas.
3. Help Your Neighbors Find You
Optimize your site for local searches (keywords plus a location) with these helpful ideas.
4. Create Great Content and Keep It Fresh
Keep your content lively and current. Start with good, informative content and update it regularly. Include seasonal messages and offers, change images, add current products. Your site should look and feel open for business every day, with new information that keeps customers coming back.
5. Key Up Your Keywords
Use the most-searched keywords to raise your chances of being found. Google’s Wonder Wheel keyword research tool is one great, free way to find the top search terms for your business.
6. Set Your Site Apart with Metadata
Add unique title, description, and keywords to each of your site’s pages. Search bots pay close attention to this metadata. Also, make sure subheads on each page contain a keyword or two, and don’t forget to tag your images.
7. Build Your Own Buzz
- Start a blog to share your expertise, connect with new customers, and build your network.
- Reach out to bloggers, local news sites, and online journalists who write about your area of business. Promoting yourself online takes some initiative – but with a little work and these tips, you can give your site a higher profile.
- Add social media to your site to expand your reach and get the word out. Place Twitter and Facebook buttons on your site. Share your site through Digg or StumbleUpon. And take a look at this post for more great ideas.
8. Research, Analyze, Measure
It’s also important to measure and to analyze your growing traffic to see how you’re doing and where you could improve. Check out our top 20 free SEO tools to help you achieve your goals. Your site is a work in progress, and you can always keep improving it.
Reach Out to Your Customers with Paid Tools
Once you’ve amped up your SEO and search engines begin to index your site, it’s time to get more a little more serious about increasing your traffic. After all, your business is worth it, right?
But, before you start paying for ways to grow your site traffic, make sure you know:
- Who your customer is
- Where your customers are
- What they need
- How they’re currently connecting with the type of service or product you offer.
Then, you make the most of every cent you spend by reaching out to new customers where they are.
Make A Name for Yourself
- Invest in a custom domain name. Some SEO research suggests that sites with their own domains rank better than sites published to subdomains. A shorter web address stands out in search engine results. And a custom domain is essential if you – and your business – are going to be taken seriously.
Launch A Paid SEM Campaign
- Start a “pay-per-click” online advertising program, also known as search engine marketing, or SEM. Think Google Adwords or Facebook Ads. Google will even set Adwords up for you, so it’s hassle free. When you become a Yola Silver member, Yola gives you $100 worth of ad credits so you can try out either, or both, for yourself.
Get Back to Basics
- Close the loop between your site and your storefront with good old-fashioned personal touches. These days you can order great-looking custom business cards, postcards, printed flyers, and brochures online for just a few dollars.
Yola is the premier website builder for small businesses. Yola makes it easy for anyone to build, publish, and promote a site – no special technical knowledge needed. With Yola’s free tools, anyone can get a web site started and Yola’s professional, premium options help create success as a business grows.