10 ideas for generating traffic on your website, Part 1.
The champagne has been drunk and the cakes eaten – the publishing of the website has been successfully celebrated. Now it is time to think about increasing awareness of the website, about how to increase traffic on the website, how to attract new visitors to the website. The different sections of this article will cover ways of increasing traffic to the website with cost-free or low-cost methods.
We should say – if you are a web or marketing guru, this article may not tell you anything new. But be aware that, in essence, we have put together this information for our existing customers who are all experts in their own fields, but whose day-to-day work does not include the generation of website traffic.
Each section of the article features 10 ideas to boost traffic on your website.
1. Place information about your website in free internet directories.
This has two main benefits – firstly it can improve the position of your website in search engine results. Secondly, many people continue to search directories for information and will consequently find your site. How do you decide which directories to place your information in? You probably already know a few. But finding more is quite straightforward. The simplest way: type the phrase that interests you into a search engine and you will get a listing of directories, some of which will be free. Better still, add the word ‘directory’ to your search phrase.
Example: you sell sewing equipment. Search for ‘sewing equipment directory’ (naturally, in Latvian and other languages, too)
The results show that it is worth placing information in the following directories:
When placing information in directories, definitely include important key words in the description: ‘sewingbrigade.lv sells sewing equipment and sewing supplies, advises on the servicing and maintenance of sewing equipment, as well as providing warranty service for sewing equipment’
Don’t forget to also register in the Skype directory of companies.
2. Tell the world about yourself with regular press releases
It is a long time since press releases were directed exclusively at the mass media, through the medium of your website you can reach your target audience without middlemen.
Write frequently, at least one release a week
Place your press releases on your website – search engines will index them and a large proportion of visitors locate them through search engines, searching phrases of interest to them (for example: ‘sewing machine repairs’ will lead them to your article ‘New sewing machine repair centre opened’)
Publish your press releases in distribution networks. If your target group is only within your local language, you can restrict yourself to national networks (for example, Latvia has Leta, BNS, Tribine.lv, Digg.lv, a number of niche portals). If your target group uses English, don’t waste energy by sending press releases to all the world’s media. Instead, place your article in distribution networks (for example, ezinearticles.com, findarticles.com) and press release distribution networks (for example, prweb.com), where it will be found and re-published by thousands of media sites and blogs
Nothing new has happened and you have nothing to write about? What about this example – a press release from a company selling sewing equipment ‘Research reveals that 20% of housewives still use sewing machines acquired before the war’?
What is important is that at least 80% of your releases are about issues of interest to your target group, and only 20% are on company news.
3. Create a Twitter profile
Even if, to date, your typical customer has been a 60-year old who hates anything to do with the internet, times change, forcing target groups to adapt. Find out about and utilise the new internet communication methods.
Create a Twitter profile and place a widget on your website (some examples can be seen in the Twitp.com blog, and technical execution can be entrusted to your website developer), which automatically shows the latest tweets. Naturally, link to the most interesting twitterers in your sector. How? Enter key word(s) from your sector in Twitter’s search engine and you will find thousands of people worth keeping up with by clicking their ‘Follow’ tab.
Nothing to write about? Example: We have discovered that 20% of housewives utilise ancient sewing machines. Read the article
4. Create a blog which will be your personal mass medium for communication with your target group
Utilise the main platforms (for example, Wordpress) at absolutely no cost. If you want your own design and title, the cost will not exceed a few hundred euros.
Link the blog to your website (for example, if you use the Wordpress platform, ready-made technical solutions are available to automatically display the latest articles from your blog on your website page. The simplest way is to utilise your blog’s RSS feed), to your Twitter profile and to other communication channels. If you put new information on the website, report this in your blog and Twitter and vice versa. Allow the followers of one channel to keep up with other channels. Bear in mind that blogs are a relatively informal environment.
Nothing to blog about? How about: Alexander, one of our sales team, realised that his mother was still using her ancient sewing machine. This made him think and instigate some research which showed that ...
Oh yes, make sure you decentralise your blogging. Don’t just appoint a single blogger, encourage a number of your employees to write something new.
5. Launch your own TV station
We don’t of course, mean cable TV. But find a personable employee who can, in front of a camera, present press releases in an interesting way. Place the filmed material in Youtube and place links to it on your website and blog, and announce it in Twitter.
Create your own channel in Youtube and, in time, many useful clips of interest to your target audience group will be collected there.
6. Observe the basic principles of SEO when publishing content on your website and blog
It is important that your content can be found by search engines. Thus, when creating content, observe at least some of the principles for optimising search engine results:
- Headings must include important key words (sewing equipment)
- Introductory text must include important key words
- An article’s address must include important key words (sewing.lv/articles/housewives-use-ancient-sewing-machines)
- An article must have a page title, description and appropriate key words
- Articles should have images. Image titles must include important key words(housewives-use-ancient-sewing-machines.jpg) and images must have ALT text with significant key words (Image – housewives using ancient sewing machines)
- Within the text, add links to important key words leading to other articles (for example, the words ‘ancient sewing machines’ are a link to an article ‘The history of sewing machines in the last century’)
- Within the text, put important key words in bold text (but do not get carried away)
- Within the text, the proportion of key word should not exceed 5-7% of the total word count
7. Advertise in search engines on a cost-per-click basis
If your website can still not be located by significant key words, definitely utilise the cost-per-click (CPC) advertising option. For example, place advertisements in Google Adwords or Yahoo. The internet already has many good articles about the effective use of CPC advertising. CPC means you only pay for actual clicks. For example, lodge your advertisement so that it is only displayed when someone searches for ‘professional sewing machines’ and you only pay if somebody actually clicks on your advertisement.
Also, utilise available tools for finding appropriate key words and traffic forecasting. One of these is the Google Keywords Tool.
8. Create free tools and place them on your website
If your website features useful free tools that can relieve an improve the work of people within your target group, they will definitely pass on that information to their friends and colleagues, also to internet channels. For example, the following useful tools could be created and placed on the sewing.lv website:
- Calculate how much knitting yarn you need for different articles of clothing (jumper / hat / socks) and sizes
- Calculate how much cloth you need for different articles and sizes of clothing
Your website developer can definitely help you devise and create these types of tools.
9. Enable information about your website to be easily disseminated
Have your website feature tools which enable visitors to simply and quickly share the link with others. For example, utilise the Addthis mini-tool – a tiny application enabling users to quickly share the link to your website with many different community portals and communication platforms, including Facebook, Delicious, Twitter, etc.
10. Place your information on suppliers’ and partners’ sites
A blazingly simple means which, sadly, we frequently forget. Ask your accountant for an outgoing payments report for the last six months and identify those suppliers and partners with websites. Place information about you on their websites: your company’s name, a description (containing significant key words), a link to your website (with alt text including key words), your logo (whose file name and alt text includes key words).
The outcome – firstly, the larger number of incoming links will improve your website’s position in search engines, secondly, you will attract visitors directly.
How do you start a discussion and achieve a result? The easiest way is to write an e-mail to your supplier and then make a follow-up call to explain how the organisation of information discussed above can have a positive impact on the position in search engine results for both your own and your partner’s websites. Stress that you are offering win-win cooperation. We have to admit here that a two-way exchange of links is less effective than one-way, but to achieve a one-way exchange, you will need to offer your partner something else, not necessarily expensive, but appealing enough for him to provide a link on his site for at least one month (some ideas – lunches, gift vouchers for solariums or go-karting).
This article will be continued in a few weeks. Stay up to date!