It’s a bit anticlimactic when you first “go live” with your new, updated website, just to see that your analytics barely shift; or when you write that thought-provoking, controversial, smart piece of content meant to drive traffic to your blog, but two days later, it’s already looking like its dropped off the cliff into internet-obscurity.
This post is going to assume for its purposes that you have a quality website (both in design and in performance), and that you’re producing quality content on it. Because although that’s in-itself a tough hurdle to overcome (need our help?), it’s only one of your obstacles.
Answer me this: If you have the perfect website, why isn’t everyone flocking to it?
Step 1: Create a Newsletter List
One of the best ways to get returning users to your site is by reminding them, via email, that even after they’ve bought your product or used your service, you can still be of use to them. Email is one of the best ways to reach loyal customers (at least, loyal enough to plug their emails into your website), to let them know about upcoming events, new products and special promotions, or that great new article you just posted on your blog. If done right (i.e. only when new, quality content is added to your site or an event is approaching), your newsletter won’t feel like spam–it’ll feel like a friend giving you an insider’s tip.
Step 2: Start or Grow a Blog
I shouldn’t really have to tell you, here, that a blog is important for driving traffic to your site (you’re here, aren’t you?). Although I mightttt be biased, here’s a couple quick reasons a blog can help drive traffic to your site:
- It can improve your SEO (Search engines loves fresh, quality content, particularly if you can be one of the first to write about a timely or controversial issue; also, the more you blog, the more likely some of your content will rise to the top of search engines).
- It can help you connect with your audience–i.e. potential customers–by chatting with them in the comment’s section, asking them questions on your blog posts, or even just checking how popular each post is (if you have 200 views on your puppy article, but only 3 on your hiking article, you can probably start to understand your customer’s interests better).
- It gives your followers something to share! You aren’t going to find many people–besides your mom–who want to post about your static website with the title, “This is a great software service to check out.” But you will find many people who are willing to share, on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter, that article you wrote about “top ten software tools to improve your business’s SEO.”
- It can validate you as an informed leader within your industry, and prove that you are an expert within your field–particularly helpful if you’re a small business looking to stand-out against big corporations.
- It can build your brand! It’s pretty difficult, I’ve observed, to show your personality through a price-quote page or even an “About Us” page. A blog is the place for you to really go in-depth about who you are–and, when those loyal readers of yours are finally ready to start researching top software companies in the area, they’ll remember your brand as that trusted and helpful one.
Step 3: Local SEO… Make Yourself #1
Need I say more?
Just kidding, I know I need to say more. Although I won’t go too in-depth here about SEO in general, because that’s really a whole article (or novel) in itself, here’s a few quick and easy ways to improve your local SEO:
- Use Moz Local. This can detect all listings associated with your website so you can claim these listings and ensure all of your business information, wherever it’s posted, is correct and up-to-date. For example, if you put the suite number on your website, that should be listed everywhere; if your company has “Co.” at the end, ensure it’s added everywhere.
- Make sure all of your information (address, phone number, hours, etc.) is correct on your Google My Business account. Don’t forget a link to your website! Adding quality photos of your company and/or product wouldn’t hurt, either.
- Ask your satisfied customers to add a review on Google. Not only can this improve your SEO, but it can also raise your conversion rate if people in the area see their city-neighbors are giving you five-stars…bonus!
- Remember that blog I told you to start/improve? How about writing some local content? This can attract a diverse range of potential customers by expanding on the potential keywords people need to search to find their way to your site.
- Post to your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., often. Google can find search results from postings on your social media platforms.
Step 4: Engage in an Online Community
Your site shouldn’t be the lone wolf on the internet, committed to doing it solo and only receiving 5 frequent visitors as a result. Accept that you can’t do it alone. Let’s be honest–no one can. That’s not the point of the internet.
The point is connectivity. So get out there. Find some social media influencers with hundreds of followers already, and reach out to them. Within reason (i.e. are they in a similar industry? Would it make sense for them to promote you?), they are probably willing to discuss potential projects with you, or give you a shout-out on one of their sites.
Besides that, communicate with others in your industry on TwitterChats–perhaps you could even guest-host a chat–or on LinkedIn. Comment on posts, ask questions… just, please, do something besides only promoting your own content. With time, you’ll become a recognizable brand on these pages because of your smart, insightful comments–not because you’re the annoying guy who only pops up to try to sell you stuff.