Traffic is the life blood of any website or online business. At the end of the day it’s what search engine optimisation is all about – you want to rank higher so that more people find you, and you get more traffic to your website.
But besides optimising your site and building backlinks to get you as high as possible in the rankings, is there anything else that you can do?
Well the good news is that yes there is.
You should never ever with the greatest of respect to Google, see them as your sole business model, otherwise you’ll spend your time climbing your way to the top of the greasy pole, only to find that one day you wake up to find they’ve updated their algorithm and poof! Your website and your livelihood have vanished in a puff of smoke.
What you should do is to find other ways of driving traffic to your website.
In the last section I mentioned social media, but it isn’t just a matter of setting up a Facebook page and Twitter account and expecting it to somehow magically bring people to your website.
You need to be active on them, connecting, talking to, and communicating with people.
And it isn’t just a matter of signing up and then spending every minute of your day trying to deliver an endless stream of sales pitches to them, you need to make a useful, valuable contribution to the community.
Along these lines you could also join forums related to your business, and contribute there, helping people to solve problems, giving advice, and generally getting yourself known as an expert in your field and someone that people can trust and rely on.
You can also make it easy for people to share your website with their friends by using Facebook like buttons, and other tools that allow them to connect your web pages to their social media pages.
You could produce PDF guides that people can download from your website for free and distribute freely, and you could also load them up onto document sharing sites as well.
What you need to do is to step out of the me-me-me mindset, and start thinking about you-you-you. The more helpful you are, and the better known you become, the more visitors and business you’ll get.
Remember There’s a Whole other World Out There
It’s also important to remember that just because you’re selling online, that the online world isn’t the only place that exists. You’d be amazed at the number of people who switch on their website, and then switch off everything else.
In other words, remember about marketing yourself in the “real world” as well.
You can do this through flyers, newspaper or radio ads, signs on your van or car, by attending networking events, by joining your local Chamber of Commerce, and attending events and trade shows specific to your industry.
If there aren’t any events relating to your business, make some!
Just because you’re a sandwich shop on the outskirts of town doesn’t mean you can’t go out and hand out samples of your wares around town, or promote your French season of sandwiches in honour of the Tour de France, etc.
Look at what McDonalds do and how they create special menus to drive traffic – drive traffic, geddit?
If you have a physical premises as well, then you can do loyalty schemes, get people to promote you in exchange for some reward, etc, etc, etc (you can do these too even if you only have a website) – the list is almost endless.
It’s not necessarily all about how well your website ranks, it’s all about getting more business, and you need to do everything you can to drive it whether it’s flyers around your neighbourhood, or from internet search engine traffic.
Finally, if all else fails and you just absolutely need some search engine traffic and you need it now, then you can always pay for it through pay per click (PPC) advertising like Google Adwords.
It’s not always cheap but it delivers results fast, and is a great way to quickly see whether or not your website design converts those visitors into customers.