Your website is finally up and running, your brand is ready for the world to see, and you are expecting the same results as every other business out there –
- To increase conversions
- To grow your customer base
- To increase sales of your products or services
Websites are an important part of the customer journey and can easily help you achieve all these goals. However, there is a catch. Before you can wow your audience with the vision, products, services, and stories of success that your website tells, you need the traffic coming through in the first place.
While there are numerous paid methods to increase your online presence and bring more people to your site, including boosted posts and ads across social media platforms, it’s always a good idea to start with the basics. Before you commit your marketing budget to direct people to your website via expensive advertising, check out these 8 ways to do it for free.
1. Install an SEO plugin
Making sure that your website is one of the top results in people searching for your products or services is key to them choosing your business over your competitors’. Search engines rank websites in search results according to how relevant their content is to the keywords of the search and how much authority they have. Installing an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) plugin will help your website be deemed authoritative and relevant by search engine algorithms, in turn helping it to appear higher up in search results and attract new customers to your business. There are plenty of free plugin options that ensure your URL, title, description, and content all have an SEO focus and check your pages against a focus keyword – the most popular being Yoast, All In One SEO and Squirrly.
2. Have a blog
One of the most important factors in implementing great SEO is having high-quality content on your website containing the keywords that your target audience will be searching for online. The long content of blog articles gives you the space to reference those keywords multiple times while also providing informative, educational and entertaining material for your website visitors to read. On top of this, posting your articles on social media networks is a great way to attract interest in your brand, direct people to your website and build up the authority of your site with likes, shares, and followers.
3. Post on Medium
As well as hosting your blog on your own website, marketing your articles on third-party content platforms such as Medium will give you a well-known, legitimate domain that you can drop links to your website into, constructing reliable backlinks that search engine algorithms will recognize as authentic. This also has the added bonus of helping you reach a whole new audience to market your products or services to, demonstrate your expertise to and convert into customers.
4. Be an active member of online forums
When it comes down to it, the more people who know about your business, the more people will visit your website (and vice versa). Raising brand awareness among the right audience, however, is also crucial to prevent yourself from wasting money or efforts in the wrong places. Online forums and social media groups are spaces for like-minded individuals with a common interest to share ideas, debate topics and give advice to one another. Finding forums and groups centered around your niche – or even creating your own – allows you to connect with the right people, demonstrate thought leadership to an audience who cares and post links to your website in a relevant setting.
While spamming people with cold marketing emails is likely to damage the business of your reputation, sending newsletter updates to an audience who has subscribed to hear from you is a great opportunity to drive web traffic. Whether you are alerting them to a special promotion taking place, a new product which is out now or a recently published article you think they would find interesting, give them just a snapshot of the content with a buttoned link to a landing page on your website if they want to find out more. Use catchy headlines that arouse curiosity, and. Although newsletters rely on a list of subscribers, who are commonly pre-existing customers, directing repeat customers to your website and building a loyal fanbase will also lead to them sharing your links with their friends, family, and colleagues as brand ambassadors.
6. Make sure it’s mobile-friendly
Website traffic from mobile devices amounts to almost half of all web traffic worldwide, and you’re missing out if your site doesn’t give people a good experience from their smartphone. Mobile usability is key to ensuring that you’re not losing out on customers who find it difficult to navigate your website or make purchases when they are on-the-go. There are numerous design aspects to have in mind when optimizing your website for mobiles, from sticky menus to clear and concise typography, as well as more technical protocols such as ensuring your content is AMP-specification ready.
7. Claim your business on Google
This is a simple step to helping potential customers come across your website online, but it should not be overlooked. Set up a Google Business listing and fill out every field of the form, giving it a well-written description, high-quality images and useful information such as opening times, Q&As and all the different ways to contact you – including, of course, your website. Having an inaccurate, outdated or unattractive profile will prevent people who come across you on Google from clicking through to your site and finding out more. It will also optimize your business in Google’s search results, which can only work in your favor.
8. Keep your website fresh
Unfortunately, once your website has been created and published, it’s not quite time to relax. It’s vital to keep the content on your website updated, making sure that your material is regularly renovated to remain relevant to both search engine results and visitors browsing through your site. This also gives you an opportunity to generate more traffic and leads by rehashing old content and sharing it across different social media platforms.