After forming your online business, one of the most important tasks for acquiring customers and converting leads is to increase website traffic. Even if your company has a more traditional brick-and-mortar storefront, it's becoming increasingly important to have a highly trafficked website. In the information age, thriving after any kind of company formation requires finding customers through the internet and social media. No doubt your company uses skillful online marketing on its website, but in order to put your site to good use, it needs to get clicks.
With time and effort, you can put a solid strategy into place to attract the website traffic that your business needs. In order to maximize your ability to generate traffic for your internet business, follow these five proven, growth-driven strategies.
1. Make Sure Your Website's Content is Relevant and Up-to-Date
In our information-heavy modern culture, customers expect to get value from your website's content. This includes free evergreen information, in addition to interesting news and timely blog posts. Along with direct online marketing and sales, it's important for your website to let customers know about your industry.
Relevant content is informative and related to your internet business's line of work. Interesting, industry-related information on your website helps customers learn about your area of specialty, increasing their desire to buy. This also helps build your online business's sense of authority and expertise.
Examples of Relevant Content
The type of content you write about depends on your business. For example, if you're an internet business selling clothing, let your customers know about the best fabrics for clothes, and how to choose a flattering and comfortable fit. Writers and editors might want to show informative samples of their work and blog about the writing industry, and a general contractor can offer tips to help their customers choose the best construction company for their needs. You may also link users to informative pieces on other websites, but focus most of your content creation and online marketing on your own site and services.
Keeping Your Content Fresh
Once you've created initial content, make sure to keep your site up to date. Content that's no longer relevant makes your online business seem less credible to customers. Furthermore, unless you update or change content frequently, customers will be less motivated to return to your website. At least once a month, go through your website and remove outdated information and any broken links. Look at your website's copy with a critical eye and see what updates you can make to freshen up the information. New, exciting posts will drive a steady stream of website traffic.
2. Develop Shareable Content
Your website isn't just a static tool; it's also a way you can build ongoing connections and relationships with customers. Creating fresh and intriguing content gives your customers the desire and interest to share it on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. Keep your blog posts, videos, and online marketing eye-catching and interactive, and you might just go viral!
Customers who enjoy your content are more likely to return regularly to your website, looking for the next interesting thing to share. In the meantime, you're getting additional website traffic from potential new customers who saw your content on social media, and may be interested in sharing it themselves.
Here are two ways to make your online business content especially shareable:
Make it Relevant and Entertaining
Shareable content needs to have a hook that motivates potential clients to click on the lead to your website. Good content is original, in some way solves the client's needs, or offers a fresh, interesting angle on a previously covered topic. You'll also want to create the content in a way that entertains and engages your target customer base. Content that is informative but uninteresting is less likely to be shared on social media.
Make it Visually Interesting
The appearance of your content is nearly as important as its itself. Make sure you format your article or page in a way that's easy to read and lacks clutter, with ample headers, sub-headers, and space between paragraphs.
Most customers also like visuals, and prefer articles with one or more high-quality photos. When choosing photos, either use your own or use photos in the public domain, such as images under Flickr's creative commons license. You can also create your own informative graphics, such as relevant statistics or engaging quotes transposed on a colorful background.
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3. Start a Newsletter and Send it Out Weekly
Not all of your potential customers will be active on social media, and even for those who are, it's helpful to remind them of your internet business in more than one place. A business newsletter is an important aspect of your company formation that goes directly into the inbox of customers, letting them know about your products and sales. The best newsletters, like your website content, also provide fresh shareable content. Ideally, your business's weekly newsletter content is different from what you post on your website, although it's also okay to link back to your site.
Following the CAN-SPAM Act
It's important to follow email newsletter regulations in your country, to avoid fines or other penalties for breaking the law. In the United States, newsletter subscribers need to actively opt in to your newsletter by signing up. This means that you can't automatically sign up customers just because they made a purchase. You can have clients opt in legally by having them check an opt-in box when they make a purchase, or sign up using a form on your website or social media page.
Businesses also need to allow customers to unsubscribe at any time, with a clear and visible unsubscribe link in any email campaign. Using email campaign software, such as Constant Contact or Mailchimp, makes it easy for internet businesses to comply to these regulations.
4. Create a Blog and Online Forum
Two of the best ways to keep your website's content fresh and relevant are a blog and an online forum. Both of these mediums make it easy to share news in the industry and interact with customers. They also log additional keywords that improve your website's SEO and make it easier for your business to show up on online search engines, increasing website traffic. Ideally, you'll post a new blog and write on your forum at least three times a week.
Making a Blog
A great blog helps your site twice: first, when you publish a post and share it on social media, and for years down the road, when potential customers find your website via an online search engine. For this reason, it's best to focus on posting evergreen content, or blog posts that remain relevant for long periods of time. Newsy blog posts also attract website traffic, but they have a shorter shelf life.
Improve your website traffic through blogging with specific keywords relevant to your online business, so that your company ranks high in SEO (Search Engine Optimization). If you sell graphic t-shirts, good keywords for your online marketing include graphic shirts or cotton t-shirts. It's easy to write a number of relevant and interesting posts your customers will love on those topics, each from a slightly different angle.
Good bloggers also interact with their readers. When potential clients comment on your blog, be sure to respond and continue a dialogue, to further increase engagement with your base.
Developing a Great Forum
Forums give your company even greater opportunity to interact than blogs. On forums, your business can regularly post newsy company announcements and engage customers with interesting discussion topics. Topic discussions on forums are another great way to boost your website's SEO. A great, engaged forum has an active business representative answering questions and is user-friendly for customers of all ages.
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5. Create a Facebook Group Where Customers and Clients Can Interact Directly With You
In the age of social media, many members of your customer base will prefer to use Facebook groups to interact with your internet business over forums. Facebook groups offer certain advantages in the company formation stage as well: most people are familiar with how to use them off the bat, they're simple and free to set up, and you can make forums private or secret if appropriate to your audience. Facebook groups are another great place to communicate with clients about your products, answer questions, and allow customers to interact.
How to Set Up a Facebook Group
You need to be a member of Facebook in order to set up a group. Once you've joined, you'll see a downward arrow on the top right corner of your Facebook page. When you click on this arrow, an option comes up to "Create Group."
Next, select the type of group you'd like to form; it can either be for connecting, planning, or commerce. After deciding, you'll get directed to a page that lets you choose the group name, add people to the group, and choose the group's privacy level. Once you select "create," you'll have further options to customize your group, with a description and unique photo.
Once you start your Facebook group, you can let your customers know about it through your website and weekly newsletter. The Facebook group is a great place to network and create community with current and future clients. Don't forget to add links to your website and newsletter sign up in the group as well.
With a game plan in place, your company will go from a relatively new, unknown brand to a powerful voice of authority in its area of expertise. Your online business will boom, and sales will increase. It takes work to increase website traffic after your company formation, but the rewards are always worth it. Generating website traffic remains a top priority for new and long-time businesses alike, and if you implement these strategies, your online presence will continue to expand.
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