What good is a website if it isn’t generating revenue and interest for your company? Websites can be great tools, when used properly. And sometimes it takes a little creativity to drive people to your site and then to get them to do business with your company.
Not Too Creative: Depending upon your target customer, you don’t want to drive them away with a site that is too over-the-top for your market base. “Being too creative too fast is a bad thing for bringing in new business unless you have a very young market that loves cool factors on your website, or you are in a creative arena where cool is expected,” says Tom Antion, founder of the Internet marketing school IMTCVA.org.
Do Your Keysearch Research: Through keysearch research, you can locate people who are interested in your service. “Most businesses are too close to what they do to be effective at this research. It’s a great idea to survey your current customers and give them some kind of discount or incentive to help you out,” says Antion. Use a free tool like Wordtracker.
Keep Track: Use online tools to track the traffic to your website so you can understand who your visitors are. “Create an advanced segment in Google Analytics to understand where the visitors are coming in from,” says new media marketing manager/search specialist Jonathan Casella of Sparxoo Agency. “For example, if you’re an online clothing store, create an advanced segment to see what people, who come in from Facebook and Twitter, are clicking on most– perhaps it’s your style trend, editorial or blog or, and most probable, your sales section.”
Capture Emails: Most experts say all small businesses should capture emails. “All the big players in the Internet marketing arena make the bulk of their money off email. We’re not talking about spam here. Capturing emails from potential customers and then broadcasting email and using autoresponders to service and sell them automatically is still the number one way to sell online,” advises Antion. Check into Aweber and Mail Chimp to help you capture emails.
Use Social Media Wisely: Don’t just have a presence in social media, make it work for you. “Give away a freebie or hold a contest where people have to register with email then send them emails to sell them,” says Antion.
Kim Randall, CEO, KiMedia Strategies, LLC, suggests “On sites like Google+, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook, make sure you are using hashtags (keywords) that your target customer would be searching to find you. Join groups on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn that have your target customer as members.* Join hashtag chats on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.”
It’s All In The Visuals: Videos are great tools to capture people’s interests. “Making a cool video can be fun, but unless it’s so good/lucky to go viral, your video will hear crickets chirping because no one will find it or watch it,” says Antion. “Shoot traffic-driving videos based on what people are already looking for. Videos can get top rankings in search results, sometimes in minutes where a similar text page may take months if it ever gets a high ranking at all.”
Advertising digital trends expert Tom Prewett of Blue Fountain Media says to use video to market your products and company. “Short videos are an excellent way to quickly convey your products and service offerings to a new audience. Google already gives videos quite predominant placement in search engine results as well, providing a new opportunity to generate search traffic looking for your business’ services,” explains Prewett.
Blog It: “One of the best ways to drive traffic while establishing yourself as an authority in your niche is to network with other bloggers and update your blog with fresh, relevant, and most importantly valuable content. It’s a sure-fire way of getting loads of traffic,” says blogger Shabbir Nooruddin, founder of boot strapping ecommerce.com
And you don’t have to do all the blogging yourself. Ask others to contribute. “Find guest bloggers that focus on similar or complimenting topics and offer them your product or service for free in exchange for a review. It’s a great way to encourage individuals to share your site. Be a guest blogger on other websites and link back to your site,” suggests Kim Randall, CEO, KiMedia Strategies, LLC, which focuses on creating unique online marketing campaigns.
Use the blog to connect with customers. “Feature customers’ pictures, reviews etc.,” says Randall. “Post tips focused around the theme of your product or service – become the leader within this industry. Host contests to give away samples or complimenting products.
Participate in Relevant Forums. Reach out to other online sources. “Forums are gold mines for potential customers. Just be careful that you don’t spam the forum with links back to your site, or you will get blocked. Remember to post helpful and insightful answers, and when tasteful, drop a subtle link back to your website,” says Nooruddin.
Spread The Word With Google/Bing Ads: Online advertising is a great option as it is relatively inexpensive and extremely targeted. “Google Adwords and Bing Ads show your ads only to searchers who are looking for your particular products. Choose keywords that people search for, bid on them to show ads, and Google will display your ads and only charge you every time a customer clicks on a listing. Remember to not send them to your homepage but to the page most relevant to what they were searching for,” says Nooruddin.
Give Mobile Advertising A Try: With almost everything going mobile, why shouldn’t your advertising? “As mobile device use continues to grow at a rapid rate, it is important to position your business on all devices all the time. Once you begin targeting tablet and smartphone users, it is also important to provide a decent mobile user experience with a mobile website or, preferably, responsive design,” says Prewett. “Without a user experience tailored to mobile users, your mobile advertising budget will simply go to waste as these users bounce off your site or struggle to use it properly.”