A website is one of the most important contemporary business tools. In fact, without a website, a small business might as well not exist.
That’s why small businesses scramble to get a plot of nice online real estate of their own.
But having a website isn’t enough. If you are running a small business with an online presence via your own website, you face various ongoing challenges — such as getting steady (and, ideally, ever-increasing) traffic to your site.
Marketing your site is crucial if you expect to run a sustainable business on the Internet.
The following are 5 essential strategies to drive highly targeted traffic to your site through the use of proven online marketing tactics.
1. Optimizing your site for search (SEO)
The number of people who search the Internet for products or services still outstrips the number that rely on recommendations from acquaintances via social media.
And when people pull up any names using Google or Bing, chances are they’ll choose search results that appear on the first page of the SERPs — and more often than not, the ones that make the top five results.
That’s how important search engine optimization (SEO) is. It’s an indispensable online marketing strategy that allows your site to gain maximum visibility. If people can’t readily find your site, they’ll give their business to the company that shows up on Google’s first page instead.
SEO can be time-consuming, but if you’re up for it, it’s your best ally to gain highly-targeted traffic; the kind that matters most to your business.
For some tips on SEO, read On-Site SEO: 6 Quick and Simple Tips and 5 Key Off-Page SEO Optimization Tips after Google Penguin.
2. Content marketing with a blog
Blogging is now playing a huge role in enabling businesses to communicate more effectively with consumers. With a blog, you gain full control over the type of content you provide to your audience. It empowers you to present yourself as a trusted expert that your audience should follow.
Blogging has also opened up new opportunities for those who hope to develop massive exposure for their site. Guest blogging is one tactic that not only provides value to both site owners and followers, but also allows the former to attract massive, highly-targeted traffic through inbound links.
3. Video marketing with YouTube
Creating videos and posting them to YouTube can position your content to turn up on searches of YouTube itself. Not only does Google index your information, but others can embed your video on their blogs and share it via social media.
This is one topic I’ve covered over and over again, for one very good reason: video is the wave of the future, and it’s now making more money than any other technique.
Video marketing, especially if it is done on YouTube, offers your site a tremendous amount of opportunity in terms of exposure. By why choose YouTube as your main platform for your online video marketing campaigns?
First of all, YouTube is owned by Google. That being the case, there can be no doubt that it’s given special treatment in terms of ranking. Also, as the world’s second largest search engine, which primarily indexes uploaded videos, YouTube will likely get your site a much-needed boost in exposure.
Too many people have assumed that the key to success in video marketing is “going viral.” That’s not necessarily the case. Although “going viral” would certainly be ideal, it’s important to remember that a video doesn’t have to land a million views to drive productive traffic to your website.
Instead, you should focus on a call to action that tells viewers exactly where to go (your website), how to do it (via a link), and why (free content, contest, more useful information, etc.) once they’ve watched your initial video. All you need is a clever and carefully designed marketing message that includes a powerful call to action and directs people to the next step you want them to take.
With the ability to include links in the video’s description section on YouTube, you will create for your site a high-quality backlink.
4. Referral or word-of-mouth marketing via forums and social pages
Each time you look for certain products or services around your area, you probably turn to your friends and loved ones for recommendations. You may also turn to sites where people talk about certain topics related to your concerns. Such sites, whether they are forums or social media pages, are hot spots with the potential to drive substantial traffic to your site.
Indeed, online word-of mouth can be extremely powerful. It could provide your site with massive and highly-targeted traffic. It can also increase your site’s conversion rate. That’s why it’s highly recommended that you either start a forum discussion around your services or area of expertise and point people to your site . . . or start getting active in other people’s forum discussions.
You should also start looking for social media pages that discuss topics and problems related to your site.
5. Social media marketing
Social media is the biggest thing to happen to marketing in recent years. With social media, business owners are able to communicate with their audience more directly and effectively, and with relative ease and consistency. If you make intelligent use of social media, you can keep your customers in the know and alert them whenever you’ve got something new to offer.
As for website marketing, not only is social media very powerful in terms of providing quick bursts of traffic; but with the increase in importance of social signals, social media is now a force to reckon with as a mainstay of online marketing. It helps you to stay informed with regard to what people are saying about your business and your site.
These days, if you are running a website for your business, it’s imperative to complement it with social media pages. When you create social media pages around your site, be sure to consider the top locations, such as Facebook, Google+ for business, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
By creating pages for your site using these social media platforms, you will make it easier for your audience to know what’s new on your site.
There are lots of other great online marketing strategies you can take advantage of to market your site. But the recommendations outlined here are some of the most well established ones that successful site owners swear by.
If you have questions about how to set up the strategies discussed here for your business, contact us and we will gladly do a free site assessment for you.
Want more information on content marketing? Head over to our comprehensive guide on content marketing here: The All-in-One Guide to Planning and Launching a Content Marketing Strategy.