You've purchased your domain and hosting - Tick
You've configured a beautiful, useful and informative website - Tick
You've got it live online and accessible via your URL - Tick
You've sat back with a tall glass of *Insert your poison of choice here* - Tick
Watch the traffic roll in - ???
"Where is everyone?"
So what's happened? A website was meant to help grow your business, yet now that you have one nothing has changed. Unfortunately, the journey of growing your business online doesn't end there. In fact, getting your website up and running is simply the first step in having an online presence that allows you to reach a new customer base while engaging better with your existing customers
So what else needs to be done?
There are a lot of extra things that need to be done once your website is up and running. Making people aware that it exists, and getting them to visit are the main goals we need to focus on. We can do that using:
Ideally with a new website it should have been developed with Search Engines in mind, so it should already be optimised. However it is always worthwhile getting a review to find out if any improvements can be made. The more optimised your site is for Search Engines the more chance you have of getting organic traffic to your site.
SEO is a large topic that we won't cover in detail here, but check out our other blog posts on the Search Engine Optimisation. We also recommend reading some great articles from these SEO gurus:
Social Media pages
Social Media is another way to boost traffic to your site, and overall help grow your business. If you don't already have them, create some social media pages to help advertise your business. Social media is a great channel for delivering information to your customers, as they actively access their social media daily. This means we can push content and information out to them, rather than waiting for them to come to the website to consume what you have to say. This is a very powerful way of growing your brand and making sure people are aware of your business
Social media can also be integrated into your site, giving you more ways to grow your social media following, as people who come across your site in other ways can like and share your content, growing your brand and confidence with Search Engines
Social Media pages can also be used for Paid advertising to get your business out there. Sponsored ads appear in your potential customers newsfeeds so they see your logo, and whatever message you are trying to convey.
So many social media outlets in heavy use
If you didn't already build your site with Newsletter functionality, then giving people another way to stay in touch with you is very important. A mailing list that people can sign up to, means you can send them regular emails with deals, sales, news articles and any other information about your business you would like to get across. Regular newsletters can be a very powerful way to communicate and engage.
There are some great tools out there to assist with creating and sending Newsletters such as:
Advertising - Business Cards/Flyers etc.
Now that you have a website, you need to make sure it is included in all of your marketing and advertising material. Put the address on business cards, flyers, catalogs, T shirts, car stickers and any other advertising you use. The more places people could see your website, the more likely they are to visit it. Then once they are there, they could make their way to your social media pages to follow you, giving you a closer relationship with your potential customers.
Having integrated advertising channels is a very powerful way to get your information across. Focus on making your flyer/newspaper ad eye-catching rather than informative, so people need to go to the website for the further information, which could lead them to your social media pages, or have them sign up to your Mailing List.
On top of the other advertising you are doing, you could also add Search Engine Marketing to the mix. SEM helps people find your business at the exact moment they are looking for your product or service, giving you a great chance of converting them into sales. SEM is also another way to grow your Social media following, growing your reach and potential audience.
SEM is a large topic that we won't cover in detail here, but check out our other blog posts on Search Engine Marketing.
Add more functionality to your website
Websites don't just need to be about informing your customers. They can also give them tools that will allow them to make better use of your services, or just generally make their life easier. For example a business such as a restaurant can include being able to book a table, or even order their meals online. Salons, driving schools and many other services can accept bookings online and allow people to manage their own bookings. Not only does this added functionality give the power to your customers, it also gives you back the time you would need to manage this effective yourself.
Other ways you can add functionality is to sell your products, or even service-related products online. For example a hairdresser may sell their favourite hair products online, adding to their service business. A gardener may sell the gardening tools they use on their site, or even allow people to purchase plants, which they can then offer to plant for an additional price, growing the business and adding services along the way.
There is always something you can do online to give your customers power, it all comes down to which business you are in.
Does your customer feel like a hero?
Keep posting content
They key to growing website traffic is consistently providing more reasons for people to return to your site. Adding more content, such as a business related blog, will bring in more potential customers as well as keeping your current customers engaged. Blogging is also a great way to show your skills in your field, which gives customers confidence in your ability to get the job done.
You don't need to spend hours and hours blogging either. Simple mini-blogs that link to other articles can be just as effective, and still provides good content to your sites visitors.
Your Blog posts can then be posted to your social media pages, reaching a greater audience.
So while getting your site up and running is a big step, it's the first of many that you need to take in order to grow your online presence. Deciding which one comes next really comes down to what your goals are as a business, and what your customers biggest pain points are. Once these are established, a clear path can usually be determined.
Then the website traffic comes