Top Ten Ways to Increase Your Website Traffic
So many of us, when we start a new business and get it online, we kind of expect folks will find us, right? Our website will show up on Google and folks will find us. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Websites are rarely created with built-in audiences. Unless you're famous, your business is established or you have a tremendous social following, generating traffic to any new website requires time and effort - just like running any business.
Establishing a brand identity is the first step, and it doesn’t require a Coca-Cola-sized budget to do so. Do you have a custom logo? Tap into resources like Fiverr.com for custom logos and Facebook cover images for as little as $5. Your business cards, social media profiles, website, logos and other marketing materials should have a consistent look and feel.
It may seem like branding is inconsequential, but taking time to establish a solid brand identity now will help drive traffic to your website by tying your various online and offline presences together.
#1 Invite People to Your Site
The best way to kick off a new business or a brand new website is to share the good news with your personal contacts. That’s right, the simple act of telling your friends and family about your new business venture should drive a little traffic to your website. We all have to start somewhere and you can build on it. I recommend writing to each of your contacts personally. Re-connect on social networks. Consider sharing your news with Aunt Mary Jane, your favorite barista and anyone you meet who might be interested in what you do.
You don’t have to sell anyone, just let them know what you’re doing and describe who your potential customers might be. In general, people like being helpful, especially if you make it easy for them. Your contacts might not be a part of your target audience, but it’s pretty likely they know someone who is. Hint: Ask and you shall receive. Ask your peeps to share your new website with friends who might be interested. As time goes on, you’ll learn to identify and seize the right opportunities.
#2 Create a Website Marketing Plan
By creating and implementing a marketing plan (even a simple one) you pave your way to success – at least initially. You may change your course as you learn more, but you will only learn more if you get started. Marketing your business online requires time and effort, just like any other aspect of managing any business. In fact, new business owners find they do a lot of marketing before they see a steady flow of sales, so figuring out how to get traffic should be at the top of your priority list.
It's important to identify your goals and how you will measure them. If you don't have a goal, your road to success might be a winding one - and you'll never really know if you ever get there. What does success look like for you? How will you know once you reach success? Does success mean a certain level of profitability? Does it mean a certain number of sales? A certain amount of traffic to your website? Or, perhaps a certain number of speaking gigs? Only you can answer these questions. The more specific you can be, the better.
#3 Learn Internet Marketing Basics
In just a decade internet marketing has become the new "conventional" marketing. If you don't know anything about it, you're not alone. This is very often the missing piece of the marketing puzzle. By marketing online you'll start increasing your website traffic- even if you learn just the basics.
You’re also in the right place. IndieMade lets non-designers build creative websites easily, but we don’t stop there. We’re here to help you learn all the ins and outs of marketing and running your business, too, including tips on how to get traffic to your website and start converting those visitors to paying customers.
So that said, where to begin? Here are a few key areas where your website might be missing the mark, along with some excellent resources to help you overcome each challenge:
#4 Add Quality Content
If you have only titles, a short description and pricing info for your store's description or your images in your gallery have no explanation and your blog isn't being use, search engines don't know enough about you. Taking the time to add relevant, high quality content to your website is well worth the effort. You can easily start by adding an "About Us" page or a "FAQ". While you consider how your audience might search for a creative entrepreneur like you, be sure to add these terms to your website's copy. These resources will help you research keywords, create a blog, and write engaging copy for your website.
- Identifying target keywords
- Creating a blog
- Writing user-friendly content
- Writing great tutorials
- Blogging tips for indie artist
#5 Write Better Product Descriptions
A picture tells a thousand words, but rich product descriptions turn browsers into buyers. Your text is also the way search engines find you and understand what you do. Check out these resources for best practices and tips for using pictures and words to paint your products in the best light.
- Product photography tips
- More tips to improve your product photography
- Writing rich product descriptions
- Using copy decks for product descriptions
#6 Optimize Your Website for Search
SEO (search engine optimization) is a set of tips, guidelines and best practices that help you get more visibility in the search engines. Stay calm! We’ve got tons of step-by-step tutorials to tackle every aspect of SEO.
#7 Give Customers a Reason to Visit and Buy
Most people are creatures of habit, and changing habits is hard. This is why you need to reward your visitors. This can be accomplished by publishing interesting content (video!) or by creating a store promotion to entice folks to purchase from you. - Offering "free shipping," a special offer or a simple discount of 25% off is often enough to start driving traffic to your website. How about a free gift with their first purchase, or a special friends-and-family promotion? Customers like to feel like they’re getting value for their money.
Are you ready? Here’s one of the most closely held secrets in the marketing world: Delivering value doesn’t actually have to cost you anything. Nada. That doesn’t mean deceive your customers; it means finding creative ways to add value to your products or services, such as a free downloadable guide, pattern, or a subscription to your weekly newsletter chock full of tips and tricks.
To gain the maximum visibility on search engines, you'll want to make certain that you've taken care of all of the techncial details. Your site should:
If you have an IndieMade site, these are all taken care for you automatically.
#8 Build Your Social Network
It’s time to get out there and get social! Social media is a fun and effective way to build relationships with your target customers and drive traffic to your website. Here are some resources to get you started.
- What to do with your Facebook page
- Using Twitter for business
- Using Pinterest to market your business
- Marketing with Instagram
- You need social sharing buttons!
- Tips for social media success
#9 Promote Your Website Through Off-line Marketing
Do you attend craft shows and art fairs? Teach workshops in the evenings? Talk about your website. Pass out business cards with your URL. Offer a discount to customers who follow you on Facebook. Here are more resources for tying together your online and offline efforts.
- Selling at craft shows
- How to market your products – unsuccessfully
- Indie business cards – tips
- Accept credit cards at craft shows
- Choose the right craft show
- Using coupons in IndieMade
#10 Get a Website That Works for You
Not all websites are created equally. Your website should provide a place for every type of content you have onlne. Using an integrated website platform (like IndieMade), which has a built-in features: web store, blog, image galleries, micro blog, calendar, SEO and professionally designed website templates, is a great way to begin. This way you can capitalize on the link juice from your content - product descriptions, images, your posts and event calendar dates (think local search) and harness the power of social sharing.
Again, building a website is only the beginning of the adventure you’re about to embark on. The great news is that once they learn the ins and outs, most creative entrepreneurs love marketing their businesses! Why? Because they get to get involved with their audience, spend time talking with others about what they love, helping people solve problems and provide incredible products and services that make customers happy. Ready to roll? The resources listed above are just the beginning. Take a look around our Resources for more in-depth tutorials for getting the most out of your IndieMade site and start driving traffic to your website.