These days, having an online strategy for your small business is a key component of your overall business strategy. Unfortunately, if you have spent the last 10 years focusing on a particular set of skills that you need for running your business you may not have been focusing so much on the online world.
When we say "grow your traffic" we should probably be saying grow "good" traffic, traffic where the visitor actually stays and looks at things on your site and potentially takes some sort of action. The way to assess the quality of the traffic coming through to your site is to look at the KPI's that your are getting in Google Analytics. In particular you should be looking at the bounce rate, the time spent on the site and the number of pages visited. If a particular traffic source is supplying traffic that has a really high bounce rate and the visitor is only visiting one page or so on the site and is spending just a few seconds with you then the traffic source is probably a dud. In assessing the quality of a new traffic source it is probably best to rate the KPI's versus the KPI's that you get from your normal organic traffic. If your organic traffic is delivering a bounce rate of 45% with 4 pages visited and time on site of 60 seconds and your new traffic source is providing a bounce rate of 48% with 3.5 pages visited and 65 seconds on site you are probably doing quite well. Something to keep in mind also is that Google will use these metrics to determine your rankings for keywords. If you get a ton of traffic and it is all really high bounce rate then it may end up negatively impacting your overall rankings which could then impact on your organic traffic. Therefore the solution is to always look for good quality traffic.
The easiest way to quickly increase traffic to any website is by paying for Adwords (when I say Adwords here I also include Bing). Adwords can be divided up into 4 seperate areas, search, shopping, display and local. With search advertising on Adwords you set up an ad and you select specific keywords that you would like to target (When we say keywords we don't mean a specific word, a keyword can also be a phrase or a sentence that we want to target). Once we have our keywords we tell Google how much money we want to spend per click on that keyword. When somebody searches for a specific term Google will look at who is bidding on those keywords and will rank the ads according to the bids. The advertiser with the highest bid will generally get first spot with the second one in number 2 position etc etc. If the person searching for that term ends up clicking on your advert then Google will charge you for that click. Google shopping works in a similar way except it is more based on products. If you search for a laptop online then Google will display a list of laptops that vendors have uploaded to Google shopping. Once again, if the person searching for the laptop clicks on your advert then Google will direct that person to your website and will charge you for that click. Display advertising works a little bit differently in that your advert will be displayed on websites and in publications rather than based on keywords. For example, if you are advertising laptops then the ad may be shown in an IT based website or online magazine.
Unfortunately there is no hard and fast rule in terms of what works best for which business. Obviously Google shopping should work well for online shops however with all of these Google products it is very much a case of trying it out, fine tuning it and seeing if it is right for your business.
There are two aspects to Facebook and social media that you should consider and this is whether you opt for a paid service or you want to just go with an organic service. If you are just going organic then you need to approach it as a content writing project. Try to spread your posts over the entire month, don't simply post them all at once. Also, try to pick topics that are likely to be shared amongst your visitors. If you can get a topic to go viral then you can generate a huge amount of traffic. If you decide to opt for a paid advertising service then companies like Facebook make it very easy. Because of all the information that they have on their users you are able to really demographically target potential visitors. You can pick visitors that live in a specific area, are a specific age and sex, have a specific income level and even visitors who have a specific interest. From my experience with Facebook and Social Media advertising there are some companies that it will work exceptionally well for and others that will not really work at all. In general, in my opinion social media advertising is good for B2C type businesses and not quite as good for B2B. Fortunately it is really cheap to test it out so even if it is not right for your specific company it will not cost you a fortune to find out.
Google My Business has been known by a number of names over the years and people will still refer to it as Google Places etc. GMB are those pages that come up with a little map when you do a search on Google. The sites that come up will be shown according to a Google algorithm which will be based on which is seen as the most relevant to your search. Google My Business is a free service whereby you log in and then create a business page for your company. When creating this page/s you should try to include as much detail as possible. Include images that are relevant to your business and always make sure that the phone number and address match those that you are showing on your website. Optimising your GMB account is a science and their are thousands of pages on the internet explaining what you should do and what impact it should have. Be careful not to simply follow the first instructions that you read, look at a variety of pages and give more credibility to the new ones as the algorithm will change on quite a regular basis.
SEO or search engine optimisation covers a whole range of options that relate to driving organic traffic to your website. The first thing that any website owner should do when looking at SEO is to look at their onpage SEO. Onpage SEO refers to the way that your site is structured in terms of headings, content, images, meta tags and more. Again, there is tons of information out there in terms of what you should do however a lot of it will be misleading. If you are scouring the internet for advice then stick with some of the bigger more reliable sources like Moz, Searchengineland and Neil Patel. Once you have your onpage SEO sorted you need to look at backlinks that you have coming in to your site. Back in the old days it was simply a matter of generating lots of links from any type of website, these days it is more about earning quality links from authority sites that are based around similar themes to your site. While SEO is put forward as being "free" organic traffic if you don't really know what you are up to then you should probably pay someone to give you a hand.
When we talk about email marketing we are talking about opt in email marketing and not spam. If you email someone and they don't know who you are then you have an almost 100% chance that they are not going to do anything with your email. If they do know who you are and they enjoyed their last experience in dealing with you then the story can be totally different. If you collect email addresses from your visitors and you want to email them then there are a number of really good systems out there to use. For example MailChimp, AWeber and Campaign Monitor all provide cost effective and beneficial services. If you would like to find out more about email marketing then sites like AWeber have quite extensive blogs on the topic.
Hopefully these 5 suggestions will help you to turbo charge your website and drive a lot more quality traffic to both your website and to your business.
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