You’ve got your hosting account, you’ve got your blog or website up and running… now what?
Well, if you want people to visit your site, you’re going to have to let them know it’s there. Whether you’re using your LetsHost account to host your personal blog or as the hub of your online retail empire, if you want to attract the right people to it then you’re going to have to promote it. Here are five basic pointers on how you can start to drive more quality, targeted traffic to your website.
- Do your homework: before you do any sort of online promotion (and in most cases before you even build your website) it makes good sense to spend some time researching your potential audience. Who are they, how do they use the internet, what are they looking for online, and does your site deliver?
- Search engines are your new best friend: despite the burgeoning popularity of social media websites, and their undoubted potential for sending online visitors your way, for the vast majority of businesses the best source of qualified web traffic will be major search engines (especially Google). Make it easy for search engines to find and index your site correctly. Google has a great SEO Starter Guide that outlines the basics of search optimisation best practice.
- Concentrate on quality content: ultimately the success of any website hinges on content that a) ranks highly for relevant search terms in search engine results pages (SERPs), and b) delivers what the visitor is looking for once they arrive on the page. Think carefully about your content, what search terms you want each individual page to rank for, and what your visitors are going to be looking for when they arrive… then make sure it delivers.
- Spread the word, online and off: how many e-mails do you send out in a typical week… quite a few, probably. Now, how many of those e-mails have a clickable link to your website prominently displayed at the foot of the message. Set up an e-mail signature to make sure a link to your website goes out with every e-mail you send. Likewise, make sure every piece of business stationary, from your letterhead and business card to your off-line marketing collateral, company vehicles and signage, all feature your web address.
- Engage with your audience: we mentioned social media sites briefly, and they’re certainly a great way to tap in to what your customers are talking about online. They’re also a fantastic way to build your reputation as a helpful and authoritative source of information in your field of expertise. Engage productively with the relevant online communities… wherever your customers congregate online… and before long people will start to see you as the “go-to” person when it comes to the products or services you provide.
We’ve barely managed to scratch the surface of the wonderful world of online marketing here… but look out for future articles where we’ll be delving into specific digital marketing topics in a bit more detail.