Small Businesses Need to Increase Website Traffic
More often than not a conversation with a prospective client begins with the need for a more effective online presence that will result in an increase in website traffic. “If you can only get us on Google we will be fine!” For most small business owners an increase in website traffic takes a lot more than simply being on Google. There are paid ways to increase website traffic, like AdWords or PPC campaigns. But many small business owners have bare-bone digital marketing budgets. Lucky for them there are ways to increase website traffic for free!
We should point out that an effective content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) strategy combined with pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns still are the most effective way to quickly increase website traffic. And we highly recommend that you keep them in your digital marketing arsenal. But for small business owners with limited to no marketing budgets there are other ways to increase website traffic and conserve whatever marketing budget you have. Try and see how some of these work for you!
8 Strategies to Increase Website Traffic for Free!
1 – Keep an Active Blog
You are reading this, aren’t you? Blogs are far and away the easiest way to increase website traffic. Pick a few topics of interest to your audience, write a few engaging and informative posts, and publish them. The key is to stick to a regular publishing schedule. When you publish an awesome post you not only get your name out there, you get a nice SEO bonus as well. And you will also drive increased traffic to your business website as your readers will want to know where all those fantastic ideas came from.
Takeaway: Blogging is the number one way to increase website traffic
2 – Comment on Other Blogs
I don’t know how many times I will have to remind you of this, but here we go again. Online interaction is like having a conversation. You need to say something to get noticed! I suggest that you select a few key blogs in your industry or niche. Begin to interact with them by commenting and responding to their blog posts. Many blogs attract thousands of visitors, yet receive only a handful of comments. Be one of the few people who add to the discussion and others will visit your website to learn more about you. You may even get others to respond to your comments, and earn respect as a commenter.
Takeaway: Speak up and get noticed
3 – Participate in Discussions
Here we go with the conversation part again. And one way to have a lively conversation is to engage in an online discussion. There are online communities for just about any interest group, including yours. And online communities are filled with engaging people discussing ideas with each other. Once you become an active member of an online community you once again earn trust. Most forums allow you to include your web domain in your signature. If you do that, over time people will start to view you as a thought leader. They will visit your website, and they will encourage others to do the same. The key is to participate regularly, and to contribute valuable content.
Takeaway: Contribute valuable content and become a thought leader
4 – Participate in Tweetchats
OK, we admit, this may not be for all small business owners. Twitter is a highly effective way to increase website traffic; here in Seattle more small business owners use Twitter for their social marketing than anywhere ales in the US. Tweetchats are simply conversations by groups of people on Twitter about a given subject or topic. It’s very easy to get started, just search a schedule of Twitter based chats, find one that appeals to you, and participate. No points if you just listen, sorry! And before you decide this is not for you, consider this: Tweetchats can have hundreds and even thousands of participants!
Takeaway: Develop thought leadership and plug your website content
5 – Use Social Bookmarking
Let us put it this way, you are not going to increase website traffic if nobody knows you published new content. Simply updating your site map for the Google bot is not quite enough. You need to attract some human visitors as well. One of our favorite ways of promoting content, like this blog post, is on social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, Digg, Hacker News, and Delicious, to name but a few. Social bookmarking sites work by promoting the discovery of new content. While not all content will appeal to every audience, if you tag your content and describe it to your target audience it may resonate and do well in these social circles.
StumbleUpon is a service that helps people discover new and popular websites. Digg works a little different; people submit articles for the count of public opinion to rank them as high as possible. Hacker News is a leading source of information security, hacking news, cyber security, network security with in-depth technical coverage. And Delicious works by categorizing links and allowing new sites to earn higher interest and traffic.
Takeaway: Use social bookmarking and make your content go further
6 – Support a Cause
Nothing says you care about your community, neighborhood, industry, or customer demographic like supporting a good cause. Supporting a cause, and then telling all of your clients, prospects, friends and neighbors about it is a great way to increase website traffic. Not surprisingly most people have an extremely favorable view of a small business that engages in any philanthropic effort, no matter how small! And keep in mind that social media is a very effective platform for you and your audience to get the buzz going about your cause or mission.
Takeaway: Even a small volunteer effort can have a huge effect
7 – Be Active at Events
If you are like us you actually enjoy going to professional networking events, but attending the event is only part of the strategy to increase website traffic. You really need to be active both online and offline. One of our favorite ways is to post pictures of the event on our social profiles, mentioning any involved host, presenter, or sponsor. This leads to increased sharing and liking, which results in an increase in website traffic for several days. But you can be a networking hit by covering an event live via a live blog or webcast, ongoing tweets with appropriate #hashtags and @mentions, and even shooting video and asking attendees and presenters questions that interest your audience.
Takeaway: Covering an event live on social media leads to increased engagement
8 – Be Helpful
This is another obvious way to increase website traffic, and one that gets frequently overlooked. We keep telling our clients, if you can establish yourself as a trusted resource and authority in your field or industry you can count on repeat site visitors. All you need to do is to engage with your audience, provide resources, and generally help your intended customers overcome obstacles. Especially by answering questions you become known and respected as an industry expert. Sites like LinkedIn and Yahoo Answers are well indexed by search engines. And both will display your name and your website URL along with your answer. Another benefit is that you can recycle top questions as blog posts, videos, webinars, slide decks, and more.
Takeaway: Answering questions establishes you as a trusted resource
How You Can Increase Website Traffic
Now that you understand some free strategies to increase website traffic you can take the next steps. First of all, start with the strategy or strategies that appeal to you the most. For instance, if you already support a cause, that would be a great place to start. Think of how it relates to your audience and how you can communicate that.
Or perhaps you already started a blog. Yes, we know it may have been a while ago. One post every few months is just not going to cut it if you want to significantly increase website traffic. Before you start blogging determine a blogging schedule that you feel comfortable with, and then stick to it. And be sure to allow comments. Otherwise you are missing the whole engagement part!
Remember, the main reason that people keep coming back to any website is the content. If you think that your content is lacking in any way we suggest that you look into ways of fixing your content before you start to increase website traffic. And yes, you will have to keep creating engaging content if you want to increase website traffic. That includes posts on social media and guest blogging and commenting as well!
Of course, if creating engaging content is really far above and beyond your own comfort zone, or if you simply do not have the time, you may need to bring in some outside help. Now that you have a better idea which type of content will help you increase website traffic you can start sourcing it.
If you are on a tight budget you may want to start at your local college or university; interns and students looking for summer jobs can be very cost-effective. The results can vary, of course, but you may be surprised. For consistently high quality results you may have to dig a little deeper and pay for professional services. While that sounds expensive it may be more cost-effective, especially if you have some catching up to do.
Want Us to Pump Up Your Volume?
Here at ESPRESSO.digital, we offer a full range of services geared to helping you increase website traffic to your business website, including digital marketing services, content strategy and development, search engine optimization, and social media marketing. Contact us to learn more about our small business marketing services, and how our team can help you increase website.
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