Driving traffic to your website is critically important if you are a ‘locally-based business’.
It’s particularly important if you are working from home or a co-working space, meaning your website is your ‘storefront’.
However, when you’re a small business, it can be hard to rank well in the search engines. You’re likely up against the big corporations, and their huge advertising spend which makes it near impossible to rank at the top for local searches.
And with so many websites and competitors out there, it can be quite a challenge to get visitors.
It’s just not as easy as “build it and they will come”.
What is SEO?
In basic terms, it means your website is technically sound so that it can be indexed by the search engines and well-designed for good usability. It also contains content (including keywords and phrases) that people are searching for often.
A great place to begin is to check that your website is appearing in the search engine. If it isn’t, then you may need to verify your site with Google Search Console.
To appear in local searches on Google Maps, be sure to add your small business to Google My Business (now known as Google Business Profile).
Also, check your page (and post) titles and meta descriptions. To assist with your ranking, they need to be the appropriate length and contain your keywords.
It can take a while to see the benefits of SEO as it takes some effort and time to create the optimized site structures and content. However, once you enhance your website, you can gain free traffic from the search engines, so it’s worth the investment and effort.
Some of the components of SEO are technical, and if you aren’t confident in this area, we would be elated to help or point you in the right direction.
There are both free and paid options when it comes to directory listings. (Do your research with Paid Directories and pay attention to how they bill (monthly or PPC).
Start with the membership associations that you belong to, and search for a directory on their websites. Find out how you can get a listing to promote your small business.
A good example of this may be your Chamber of Commerce.
To find other online listings, search for your niche in Google and add the word directory after it. You will likely find blog posts that people have written containing the most popular directories which you can work through one by one.
One strategy to drive traffic to your website is to partner with another business that can link to your site and send you referral traffic.
This strategy is known as backlinking, and it also adds authority to your website. It’s excellent for SEO as it means you will likely rank higher than another site with lower authority.
When setting up the link, be sure to check that there is not a ‘no follow’ reference on the link. A no-follow link is not good for SEO as the link will not carry any authority.
If you don’t have any established partnerships, another way to get backlinks is to search for broken links that no longer work on other websites using the Broken Link Checker site.
If you can find a website in your niche that has a broken link and you happen to have a similar blog article on the same topic, then send a quick email to that business letting them know that they have a broken link and if they would like a replacement article then you have one available.
While internal links move visitors around within your site, they can also assist with driving traffic to your site if they are well designed.
Excellent site structure is essential to see the benefits of SEO. If the search engines can determine that your site has good internal links, then it will rank higher than those that don’t.
When your website pages link well, you are also more likely to keep people on your website longer which can help with making those all-important sales conversions.
Consider how you can also use high-volume pages to drive traffic to other low-volume pages on your site. Use your Google Analytics platform to identify where you might be able to boost the traffic to your sales pages with strategic links from well-performing blog posts.
When writing emails to your list always ensure there are links back to your website within the email.
If you write a new blog post or want to promote one of your services, be sure to include a link directly to the relevant pages.
And don’t forget to add your website link to your email signature on every email you send.
Creating highly valuable content on your blog is a great way to drive traffic to your website.
It will increase the chances of your website being found in the search engines and perhaps being shared on social media by other people.
There are many formats that you can use within your blog to boost the chances of it being shared on social media. Interviewing an influencer in your niche is one way to do this, as there is a high chance that they will share the article with their audience once you’ve published it.
Pinterest is also a great place to share your blog articles and drive traffic for free.
If you have a newsworthy story to tell or could contribute to an article that a journalist is writing, then it could generate some free publicity for your business.
Identify the publications you would like to appear in and make contact with the journalists in your local area who write about small businesses or trends happening in your niche.
There are also websites such as HARO (Help A Reporter Out) that connect journalists with bloggers and contributors.
While you may not have a large advertising budget, there are low-cost ways to drive traffic to your website.
LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, all have affordable advertising platforms where you can promote your business for as little as $5 a day.
The benefit of these platforms is that you can target your audience quite specifically. You also have the option to remarket to people who have visited your site before when you install a tracking code.
You may also consider using Google Ads and Google Remarketing if your audience would more likely use search to discover your business. As always, before you spend any money on advertising make sure that you are clear on your end goal and marketing objectives.
You can drive considerable referral traffic directly from social media once you have built up your following.
The key to growing your audience is to have an optimized profile that includes the keywords for your business and that your content is engaging.
It’s essential that you show up consistently on social media every day to create brand awareness. If you need help with this, we would be elated to help. Besides, you’re in the business of what you do…not Social Media Management.
Sharing your links and helping others out inside of Facebook groups is an excellent way to build awareness.
However, be strategic about the groups that you decide to join, so that you are using your time efficiently. It’s very easy to lose hours and hours on social media during your day, so be sure to get in and get out when you need to.
Also, it’s a good idea to monitor the results you’re getting. You’ll find that you generate more traffic, subscribers, and sales from certain groups and you’ll soon work out which ones to visit.
Many people don’t realize that YouTube is a massive search engine that can be very effective in driving traffic to your website.
Consider the types of videos you could create to post on here, as well as the promotional videos you could make to market your services on YouTube.
Google also indexes and returns videos in the search results, so it’s crucial to optimize the videos you are posting on your website by adding appropriate titles and meta descriptions.
There is an increasing demand for visual content online!
Video marketing is one way that you could differentiate yourself from your competition who may not be doing this yet.
Answering questions on forums such as Quora is a great way to build your authority in a niche. Search for others by typing your niche with the word forum after it into the Google search.
You can also include a link to your website in your profile and your answers. A website link to your blog that answers specific questions about your industry or niche could significantly increase traffic to that article.
Searching on these sites before you write a blog article is also an excellent way to research what you should write.
If you are writing about a popular or trending topic, then there will be a larger volume of people who will be searching for your content.
There’s no point in writing a blog article that no one is searching for an answer on, so be sure to choose topics that are regularly searched.
You may have a podcast, or you may be invited on to someone else’s podcast. Either way, the episode provides a way to promote the content on your website and drive the audience back to it.
You could increase the amount of traffic to your website by also including a special offer or by sharing something interesting that they can find out more about on your site.
Podcast episodes are also then shared on other social media platforms and via email marketing, making the audience for them much more extensive than just those listening to the audio.
Writing articles and pitching them to other larger media outlets or influencers is a great way to build your profile and get a link to drive traffic back to your website.
It can take some time to write a guest blog post though, so it’s important to choose a topic that others would be willing to share on their site. Identify syndicated publications that will share your articles on multiple platforms.
Don’t forget to invite others to write a guest post on your blog. If you publish their content and they are a well-known person in your industry, then you could attract a new audience. Contributing influencers will likely share your website with their (more substantial) audience to drive traffic to your site.
Additionally, besides online methods, there are also offline forms of marketing that can increase your website traffic.
It should be standard operating procedures to include your website address on all forms of stationery, brochures, flyers, merchandise, and promotional materials.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you read through this long list of ways to drive traffic to your site.
However, it’s important to consider which methods will be both sustainable for you to keep doing overtime as well as which ones will generate the most traffic.
For example, if you don’t like writing or aren’t that good at it, then starting a blog is likely not a good idea. Instead, recording videos might be faster to create. (Tip: You could always have your videos transcribed so you can repurpose as long-form content on a blog or as an article on LinkedIn or on a Facebook Page)
Alternatively, you may feel more comfortable hosting a podcast or going live on Facebook where you can speak to your audience.
Try to pick a few methods above that you know you could stick to doing. Consistency is a big deal that will help deliver results! Additionally, remember, you don’t have to be overwhelmed by all of this! You don’t have to do all of them at once.
Building up a following, and traffic flow will take some time if you don’t have a large budget, so be patient and consistent with your marketing activities.
I would love to hear what you have found to be effective in driving traffic to your small business website?
Let me know in the comments below!
If you need help implementing these ideas into your marketing plan, we would be delighted to help, give Level Up a call today at (888) 754-5164.