Attracting Visitors to Your Website
So you've gotten yourself a website. This isn't Field of Dreams where "if you build it, they will come." You can have the coolest website in the world with every gadget available, an easy to use user interface and it's search engine friendly, but that doesn't mean people will visit it and you can't force people to go there, right? We've all heard heard the phrase "Location, location, location..." when it comes to business, but with the internet, how can you get the best location? How will people find your site?
Without getting overly technical, let's look at what you can do with your site.
Who are your customers, your audience? We could talk about demographics and niche markets here, but I don't want your eyes to glaze over as you stare blankly into space before gently falling asleep from boredom. Hey, look...a bunny! If you have some experience interacting with your customers/audience you have already gathered what type of people they are. If you sell something only used by left-handed people, you know that only left-handed people or people buying something for the left-handed person in their life would be interested in your products or your site.
Besides the name of your company or site, what kind of words will your customers use to find your site with a search engine? If you are using a Content Management System, there should be a place to enter keywords describing your site/page/product (our CMS has an area for this), but if your site doesn't, try using these words in your page's content or product description.
*Example keywords: left-handed, scissors, spatula, guitar, your company name, your location, etc.
*Example keyword meta tag:
*Example content: Joe's Left-Handed Emporium is your hometown supplier for all of your left-handed needs! We offer the largest selection of left-handed products in the whole world. If you aren't left-handed but know someone who is, you've come to the right place for finding the perfect gift for that special left-handed person in your life.
*Example product description: Left-Handed Scissors (picture of scissors): These left-handed scissors come in every color of the rainbow. Buy one, buy a dozen! You can have a pair of left-handed scissors in every room of your house!
See how many times "left-handed" appeared? You get the idea. This is a common tactic to encourage people to visit your site by appearing in the first page of the search engine results. Use those keywords on your site when creating content. DON'T just shove a bunch of keywords on your page without making them into actual sentences, this won't get you anywhere with a search engine (dang it! they figured out our secret plan), so make sure your content makes sense.
Search engines crawl the internet to find relevant content for their results. If you offer products, services or information make sure your content is relevant to someone searching for what you offer. This goes back to knowing your customers/audience. If you the the world's foremost expert on couch cushions and also make or repair them, let people know. Create content about your couch cushion passion. Write articles about the history of couch cushions, which fabrics to use or what have you. The more content you create, the more likely someone will visit your site to get the low down on down couch cushions. Tell people what types of products and services you offer, your hours of operation, how they can get in touch with you and/or where you are located. This is information that would be visible in an actual store, so don't forget about it online.
Use images and video when creating content. Some search engines crawl the internet specifically images and video. I made a tattoo website that was constatly crawled because of the amount of images available on the site, so people found the site through image results AND content results. Images and video count. DON'T expect your fuzzy smartphone photo to be the best representative of your product. You don't have to hire a professional photographer to get a good picture, if lighting is problem, take it outside, natural light rocks! Show pictures of people using/creating/enjoying your product or service. Customers want to see what you do/how you do it. "Gosh, that customer sure is happy about that couch cushion. I want to be happy with my couch cushion..."
Okay, it's not what it sounds like. I don't want to encourage you to sell your kidney or (ahem) "intimate" services. Don't quit your day job to become a gigolo! If you want people to buy your products/services or read your articles, tell them about it...and then tell them again because they might have forgotten it...and then maybe remind them later in case they weren't listening the first few times you tried to tell them. This is where your site content and social media come together.
You have a new product or service? Write about it on your site. Don't just add it to your product catalog, write an article about your new product or service to tell everyone how great it is...and it's NEW! Then share the heck out of it...share that article on FaceBook, Twitter, Google+ and anywhere else you can. Then share the new product or service link on those same sites and keep it up. Did you write an article about how much you love organic kale? Share it...and then share it some more. Is your business having a sale? Tell people, don't keep it to yourself.
Keep it professional!
If you are a wedding planner you probably, shouldn't write an article complaining about your last customer on your site. This also applies to social media. No one wants to hire someone that will turn around and air their dirty laundry Bridezilla moments for the world to see. They have reality shows for that, they don't need to see it on your site or business page. How you would like people to view your business?
These are just a few of the things you can do for your site without being a code monkey or crazy web genius. It's mostly common sense but maybe it will get you thinking about what you can do to bring in more business online, to your website or business page.
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