By: Katie Morell
Every company has a website these days, but not all of them attract clicks. Clicks convert to dollars. The more visitors you have, the more you can engage with your customers, the more you can charge for advertising on your site, and the more you will sell.
But unless you run an Internet-based company, chances are your website isn’t top of mind. You are busy tending to your company’s day-to-day operations, putting out fires and trying to get to bed before 1:30 a.m.
A word of advice: make time to revamp your website—or pay someone else to do it for you. More page views will pay off, and you will have new customers in no time.
Here’s how to increase your website traffic to enviable levels:
When Mike Sprouse launched a site to promote his book, The Greatness Gap, he posted content whenever he felt like it and was disappointed when page clicks didn’t meet his expectations.
He soon started posting content on a regular basis and saw his numbers rise dramatically.
“You need to give people a reason to come back to you site,” says Sprouse, chief marketing officer at Epic Media Group in New York.
Updating your site doesn’t mean writing something every hour or even every day. Instead, try posting something new once or twice a week. Spouse recommends alerting industry colleagues to new content via social media, e-mail blasts and e-mail newsletters.
I always click on videos. Aren’t those little icons hard to resist? I’d rather watch a two minute clip than read through website text.
Melissa Cenker, marketing and media relations consultant at Melissa Cenker Consulting in New Hope, Pennsylvania, says home videos attract the most views.
“Instead of using an expensive company to develop a video, just sit in front of your webcam and make a video about issues relevant to your customers,” she advises.
Download the short clip to YouTube and then throw it up on your site (make a short mention of your company at the end of the clip), she adds.
“People love reality TV and they love home videos—if you make it relevant enough, they might even share your video, which will bring even more people to your site,” Cenker says.
Search engine optimization (or SEO) is important for any website. If a site is properly optimized, it will pop up on the first page of a search engine when a relevant term is searched.
For example, if you own a clothing store in Chicago and someone is looking for a summer dress, they may type ‘women’s clothing, Chicago’ into a search field, and click on the first few links. If your company is one of those links, all the better.
To optimize, use keywords in your site. These are words that may be used when searching for your type of business. Visit this site to find keywords for your industry.
“Keywords should only constitute 3 to 4 percent of each website page,” warns Tasha L. Mayberry, vice president of marketing for Corporate Compensation Plans, Inc., an insurance brokerage firm in Danbury, Connecticut. “If you use too many keywords per page, search engine spiders will think you are spam, and you will be docked for that.”
Build a community
Wouldn’t it be great if your customers visited your site every day? This is possible if you engage your base via message boards or forums.
“If your site is based in WordPress, you can input a message board onto the site—just start a conversation and encourage people to comment—pretty soon you will have a chat room environment that will encourage people to stay and hang out on your site,” says Sprouse.
Write articles and post them on other sites (with your link at the bottom of the text)—it’s a great way to attract clicks to your site.
“As business owners, we are all experts in what we do,” says Mayberry. “Show your expertise by writing an article—it is a great way to get back links to your website.”
Sites that accept article submissions include Ezine, PublishMyself,Yahoo! Contributor Network, Buzzle, Article Circle and Article Online Directory.
Press releases are another effective vehicle to attract website clicks, says Cenker.
“There are tons of free pres release websites (a few include PR.com,24-7pressrelease, and PRBuzz),” she says.
She recommends posting releases on a variety of topics—not just big news—and to make sure the text has an attractive headline, is newsworthy, and has a professional tone.
There are about 1 million blogs out there on every topic imaginable. Mayberry suggests identifying top blogs in your industry and commenting on interesting/influential posts.
“Don’t be salesy in your comment, try to add value, but always include your signature line with your name, your company’s name, and your URL,” she says.
Cenker takes this a step further. She recommends reaching out to writers, bloggers and vloggers (video bloggers) to offer their audience exclusive discounts.
“Bloggers are a great source because they have an audience; give their readers a special discount or coupon code; it will give followers an incentive to visit your site,” she says.