For small business owners, generating website traffic on a shoestring budget can be a struggle.
We have listed some ideas below to help make this easier.
Be proactive, get involved with your business. The more you read and learn about your industry the better you’ll be able to advise customers, find ways to expand and grow, and as a by-product you’ll have lots of interesting articles to link to.
Mix it up, there’s no magic formula for blogging success. Vary the length, format and content (video, infographics etc) until you find something that fits your style. If you keep this up you’ll find people will come back, recommend articles to friends and your website traffic will increase substantially.
Mailchimp has made email marketing an incredibly simple but powerful tool. A moderately simple email blast can result in significant traffic increase.
Refer a friend offers
Refer a friend offers are great free advertising, especially if you link it from your website. Offer 5-10% off for each recommended sale and you’ll see your customer list grow along with website traffic. Follow up a recommendation with a sales email ‘Your friend Kate has recommended this product…(link to website)’.
Make friends with local businesses; see if you can put leaflets in shop windows, business cards on pin boards or even on their counter. Local fair? Take advantage, the more people you spread the word of your website to the more people will visit.
Create a free product or service and put it on your site
In this example, you’re a wedding caterer trying to increase web traffic. By creating something helpful – for example a downloadable ‘Wedding Checklist’, this would be searched for by all newly engaged brides eager to get organised. They would download this from your site to use (maybe in exchange for their email address?), fully branded with your logo, with one of the checklist items being ‘Get in touch with Wedding Caterer: “Your Brands name here”’. Cheeky, but effective.
Build a community
Create a forum where people are able to swap information/tips, talk to each other and discuss different aspects or qualities of your product, service or industry. This is particularly useful for groups of people new to the industry or activity – such as new mothers, new fishermen, new kiteboarding enthusiasts etc. People will appreciate your advice, recommend your forum and drive more traffic towards your site.
Never underestimate word of mouth
People enjoying your products, services or advice will talk with their friends and recommend and promote you themselves. People trust the recommendations of friends – this is one of the reasons social media and sites such as Feefo and Trip Advisor are so powerful. Customer service and marketing are inseparable.
Free site directories
Popular ways to display free classified ads, get listed in directories, inclusions in listing etc. Not all directories are free, so keep an eye out. These provide an easy way for people to find you and contact you.
Include your URL everywhere
Your signature, stickers, letterhead, business cards, invoices, social media, leaflets etc. Get it everywhere, nothing should be left untouched.
Submit an article
Submit an article you have written about something successful you have done to a local paper. Charities are always a good place to start, support a cause close to you or your industry. This will give your business exposure while you do something worthwhile.
Pay attention to onsite SEO
Optimising your content for search engines is as important as ever. Are you creating new links to internal content? Using your image alt text? It’s not rocket science, and could help boost organic traffic.
Focus on your websites keywords, particularly your long tail keywords such as ‘red polka dot wellington boots’ – people are becoming increasingly internet savvy and long tail keywords now make up the majority of web searches. If you’re not targeting your long tails you’re missing out.
If you have any other suggestions on generating free traffic or would like help with tailoring these ideas specifically to your business, please leave a comment and we’ll do you best to give you some great ideas.