It can be intimidating for small business owners to navigate this vast online space. This social media marketing guide will help you elevate your small business online.
It’s not enough to have a business website. To grow revenues and profits faster, you must increase website traffic. But this is not always easy to do.
Here are seven proven strategies to drive more traffic to your website.
1. Optimize your website for SEO
It’s hard to overstate the importance of optimizing your website for SEO. Marketers could see an ROI (return-on-investment) of over 1,000%, depending on the industry.
And although 3.5 billion Google searches take place every day, results on the second page of Google only have a click-through rate of less than 1% for each position.
Here are a few first steps to take when optimizing your site for SEO:
- Make sure you have content your customers want to read. One of the most critical factors in ranking for SEO is the quality of your content. If Google sees that people click on your site and immediately leave, it will hurt your search rankings. Monitor your bounce rate and time on site in Google Analytics to determine if people find value in your website.
- Optimize your content with keywords: Keywords are words that people are already searching for online. You may have a great blog, but if your content doesn’t contain the right keywords, people may not be able to find it. Using a tool like UberSuggest and Semrush, create a list of keywords you’d like to rank for. Then, sprinkle these phrases throughout your product and service pages and your blog.
- Update your content regularly: Are there pages on your website you haven’t updated in years? If so, it’s probably hurting your SEO — or at least it’s not helping. Content freshness is believed to be one of Google’s ranking factors, making it essential to include regular content refreshes as part of your content marketing strategy. Update old blog posts with new data, reframe previous article topics to make them relevant to today’s users and update product and services pages to reflect your current offerings.
- Be patient. If you’re starting a business and don’t yet have a content strategy, it’ll take time to build credibility and enough content to drive meaningful traffic. This won’t happen in a few weeks or months. Most new companies find that it takes at least 12 months to generate traffic through SEO efforts.
2. Set up your Google My Business page
An astonishing 56% of businesses haven’t claimed their Google My Business page. This is a huge oversight, as Google My Business is a critical tool that allows people to find you online.
How to set up your Google My Business page
Head to business.google.com/add to request ownership of a business profile. Once you’ve secured your listing, take these simple steps to optimize your Google My Business listing:
- Enter all fields: Make sure to fill in all required information, including your physical address, phone number, category, and attributes.
- Verify your locations: This can be done through your Google Business portal.
- Keep your hours accurate: Remember to update them for holidays or different seasons.
- Respond to reviews: Replying to reviews shows that you value your customers and take their feedback seriously.
- Upload photos: Include inviting photos of your facilities, group shots of your team, pictures of happy customers at your location, and other imagery that will put your business in the best light. Be sure the images and accompanying branding are consistent and showcase your company logo, brand colors, and voice.
- Ask for reviews. You can ask customers directly when you work with them for a review or send them a link to your Google My Business page in an email or as part of your post-sale feedback form.
3. Start a blog
Starting a blog is also one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site. 56% of marketers who leverage blogging say it’s effective, and 10% say it generates the most significant return on investment of any of their marketing efforts.
Not sure what to write about? Make sure to create blog content for all sales funnel stages, from upper-funnel awareness-building articles to lower-funnel conversion content to post-sale content that helps customers use your product.
Start with topics that cover the pain points and most frequently asked questions you get from potential and existing customers. Then use a keyword tool to incorporate terms that people are searching for online to make your content easier to find.
4. Start getting backlinks to your site
55.24% of all pages on the web do not have a single backlink. However, the top results on Google’s first page have an average of 3.8 more backlinks than the pages below them. If this tells you anything, it’s how vital a link-building strategy is.
If you’re not familiar with them, backlinks are links to your site from someone else’s website or blog. Three of the most popular ways to get backlinks to your site include joining directories, signing up for HARO, and guest blogging.
A simple and easy first step is to join relevant directories. Start by submitting your information to general directories like Yelp and Yellowpages. You can also reach out to niche directories in your industry and local organizations such as your city chamber of commerce.
HARO (which stands for “Help A Reporter Out”) is a website that connects journalists with expert sources for writing news stories. It’s also an excellent way for business leaders to secure media coverage and links to their websites. Simply sign-up for HARO as a source and keep an eye out for their daily emails. When you see a good fit, respond to that request. As you get featured in more and more articles, you’ll see your backlinks grow.
Finally, submit guest blog articles to other sites. Identify some relevant blogs in your niche and email some pitches to the editors. Many blog sites are amenable to letting contributors include a link to their website in their article or bio. This is an excellent tactic for gaining backlinks, but it will also help you build your credibility and audience.
5. Build your email list with an enticing freebie
Email marketing continues to be a potent tool for driving traffic to your website — and driving conversion.
Before the COVID-19 crisis, 61% of consumers preferred to hear from businesses and organizations by email rather than through other channels. And now, with consumers more active on their digital devices than ever, the average email open rate has even risen.
It all starts with growing your email list. As digital marketing guru, Amy Porterfield explains,
Your list is such an incredibly powerful resource as an online business owner, one that surpasses social media or any other efforts that you can make online.
According to Porterfield, having an effective lead magnet or freebie is vital for any list-building endeavor. Here are seven types of lead magnets that Porterfield recommends:
- Cheatsheet: “It’s roughly defined as a series of pages that offers steps, examples, and lots of imagery to help illustrate a strategy.”
- Workbook: “With a workbook you’re providing information as well as take-action pieces for your potential clients or students to actually take some time to get the ideas out of their head and onto paper.”
- Guide: “A guide is more of a narrative where you can lead your potential customers through a story and then stack the value throughout.”
- Video training or audio training freebie: “With this, you are giving visitors the opportunity to hear or watch a piece of your content. … [A]t this point they could be seeing you and that makes things a whole lot more personal. “
- Challenge: “With a challenge you are obviously challenging your audience to do something every single day for seven to ten days.”
- Quiz: “You’re going to learn who your audience is and what they’re all about. That is gold right there. For your community that is taking the quiz, they are going to learn about themselves. If you do the quiz right they are also going to get marching orders so they know what to do with the information that you’re sharing with them.”
- Free course: “Think in terms of a mini training.”
6. Get more active on social media
In this day and age, businesses can no longer afford to ignore social media. Recent research from Sprout Social reveals that:
- 55 percent of consumers learn about brands on social platforms
- 78 percent will buy from a brand after a positive social media interaction
- 91 percent of business leaders plan to boost their social media marketing efforts in the next three years
So make sure you’ve claimed your social media handles and use them consistently: Promote every blog post on social media. Repurpose useful snippets from your blog content and turn them into visually compelling images or infographics. Poll your followers and ask them engaging questions. Post video testimonials that will resonate emotionally. Over time, you will see your numbers grow, and your social channels will become a valuable source of traffic to your website.
Steady wins the digital race
Standing out in today’s digital age may seem daunting, but businesses that invest in the strategies above will see a return on their efforts. It may take some time to see results, but consistency goes a long way in driving steady traffic growth.