Category Archives: business website

10 Concrete Ways to Get More Website Visitors

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crowd of shoppers who want to visit websitesMarketing gurus can talk in all the concepts all they want (guilty!), but this blog post is not about concepts.  This list is all about more concrete, hard-and-fast ways to get more visitors to your website—and logically, to turn those visitors into paying customers.

Make sure your website is worth the visit(s).

Let’s be clear: you are not going to get meaningful website traffic that increases sales unless you have a solid website.  A solid website is well-organized, has information written specifically for your audience (if you can’t, contact the pros that can), loads pages quickly, and has an easy-to-use contact site that visitors can use (more must haves for a solid website here).  Many a business has tried to promote a crappy website only to find their initial traffic numbers have gone up—but so has their bounce rate (the number of customers leaving their website quickly).

Add your website URLs as the call-to-action in your content marketing pieces.

Content marketing is a powerful piece of marketing; writing content about relevant topics that you can share builds trust with your audience and search engines.  That content also gives you a logical place to include your website URLs.  Think about it: if you write about a problem you can solve, or something you can help with, it makes cents (pun intended) to link the call-to-action (i.e. for more information, if you have any questions, etc.) to your website where they can contact you for help.

Optimize your website pages.

If you want to get to your customers, you’re going to need to charm a powerful tool that’ll get you there: search engines.  Write your website content with two audiences in mind (or hire pros who can): your customers and search engines.  Include well-written, optimized, relevant content to keep everyone happy (including yourself when you gain website traffic).

Include website page links in your next email.

Email marketing is a marketing tool with one of the highest return-on-investments—if you build your email list the right way.  Once you have a solid email list full of people who want to receive your communications, make sure you catch their attention with creative headlines and direct people logically to your website for information.  Note: that doesn’t mean you should fill your email full of random website links.  Instead, add them in logically to your email text (or use your content marketing pieces in your email) so your users understand what you want them to do.

Use optimization to get your website to the top.

When users have questions or need information, they go to the top search engines (Bing, Google, Yahoo) and ask.  Website optimization gets your website on page one (if done right and with the right technology) so users can find your website (and your content) easily.  If you are a local business, you can target your website optimization efforts even tighter; top local SEO firms can get your website at the top of user’s searches within a 10, 20, or 50 mile radius of your location.

 Add a website page URL to your postcards.

Adding your website to your postcards, direct mail pieces, and brochures should be common practice.  If you have a page where your customers and potential customers can (and want to) interact with your business, add the website URL and an easy-to-scan graphic to get them to your page.

Share your website on social media.

In the middle of all the sharing business pictures and funny memes, it’s easy to forget to share pages from your website.  Make sure that your website is a place people want to go to, and add sharing pages from your website to your marketing plan.  For example, if you have a page full of coupons, videos, tips, and discounts, let your customers and potential customers know—and make it easy for them to visit the page from social media.

Make your website part of your next video.

Video is the future, so use it to your advantage.  You don’t have to make a whole video and jump around and scream your website URL.  Instead, make a video with a purpose (as part of a campaign in your marketing plan) and logically insert your website URL as part of the video.  For example, if you are making a video about an event, add a page to your website with information and a call-to-action (or put it on social media) and include the URL in your video.

Invest in social media ads.

Social media advertising can be a powerful way to promote your website, if you make it relevant.  Social media ads are not a billboard; you need to craft an ad that people (your targeted audience) want to click on to make it effective.

Include your website URL EVERYWHERE.

We admit this isn’t a hard-and-fast tactic, but it’s time to start thinking about your website as part of your business instead of an isolated marketing tactic (more ideas for integrated tactics here).  If you have a solid website, put it to work.  You’ll be glad you did—and so should your customers.

6 Red Flags that Scream You Need a New Website

angry woman screaming at smart phone“Ugh!”  “This blows!”  “Seriously, this website is so yesterday.”  Strong repulsions are not the reaction any business owner or manager wants when it comes to their business website.  You have literally one chance to make a favorable impression online, and a website with one of these red flags is not going to get the reaction you want.

Your website isn’t mobile-friendly

You’d have to be unconscious to not notice how common smart phones and tablets have become.  With statistics putting American ownership of smart phones between 50% and 66% of the population, it makes cents (pun intended) to have a mobile-friendly website.

If you don’t, your website is not going to impress your two key audiences: search engines and users.  Search engines have publicly announced that mobile-friendly websites are going to get more credit for being mobile-friendly; users that do land on your website are going to jump ship almost as soon as they find it.  In essence, you’re not going to be listed where customers can find you.  Even if they do find you, your customers are not going to review all the information you created for your website.

Your website takes forever to load

Slow websites increase bounce rates; online users that get tired of waiting for a website to load, leave.  If you want your website to drive up sales, make sure that the pages load quickly enough for the most impatient users.  Slow-loading pages also give you a black mark in the eyes of search engines; major search engines like Google have publicly said that slow page loading speed can send your website off the first page of search engine results.

Why should you care about search engine listings? More than 90% of users use search engines to find information, products, and services.  With the increased use of smart phones, users are now upping the ante and using their mobile devices to find local products and services in their area.  Local SEO technology gets your website at the top of users’ search engine results within 10, 20, or 50 mile radius (find out more about local SEO in this post).

Your website isn’t worth promoting

A beautiful website is an obsolete marketing tool if you don’t promote it.  If you’re so ashamed of your website that you don’t feel the need to promote it, it’s time to invest in a new website that represents your company.  Make sure your new website has all the must-haves: functionality, a solid contact us page, well-written content, social proof.  If you don’t have time, contact a company that can make it a reality.

Once your new website is online, it’s time to promote and use it.  An excellent website never stops working for you.  Use search engine technology to get your website at the top of local users’ search engine listings.  Include useful website pages on your social media sites.  Add relevant content to your blog targeted specifically at your audience to increase traffic and online conversions. 

Your website isn’t functional

A properly-organized website is a rare and valuable gem, giving your customers an intuitive navigation system (menu and links to related content) that makes it easy for them to find what they are looking for.  If you are getting a lot of complaints from customers that they can’t find information, or your website isn’t performing as hoped, it’s time to step outside your business and look at your company as a customer would look at it.  What topics do they want to know about?  Where would they look for it?

Once you have your answers, draft a chart (or hire the experts who can do so quickly with minimal input). Use others—people outside of your company—as a sounding board to get to a finalized menu.  Sometimes you can be so close to your company and topics that it’s hard to see your company from the outside.

You’ve re-branded

When your business comes up with a new logo or takes any other steps to rebrand, don’t overlook rebranding your website and online profiles.  To the contrary, creating a website with your new logo and marketing language should be one of your top priorities.  Do the same with any social media profiles or online review profiles you’ve created; your goal is to have a uniform online business presence.

Your website looks old and is outdated

Don’t brush off a website with outdated information. Potential customers won’t call you, or do their research on your site if they know it’s outdated.  What’s even worse is when they think they’ve found the answer to their problem only to get an email that says, “sorry, our website is wrong.”

There are only so many changes that should be made to a website before a full website rebuild is in order.  Contact a quality marketing company if you don’t have the time for the process, and give them information and files they need to get you the business you want from your website.

7 BIG Reasons Your Website Isn’t Getting Noticed

woman covering her eyes not looking at company websitesTwenty years ago when we were just starting out, just having a website put your business at the head of the class.  It set you apart and gave you automatic status as a leader in your industry.  Ah, the good “old days.”

Now having a business website is about as commonplace as having an internet connection—and expectations for those sites are higher than ever.  Put simply: why create a business to have a business website that doesn’t do anything for you?  That isn’t coming up in potential customers’ search engine listings?  That isn’t giving your customers the information they need and bringing in inquiries?

If your website isn’t meeting any of those expectations mentioned above, and getting you the response you want from customers, you’re in luck.  We’ve compiled a list of the most common reasons why websites don’t get noticed (by customers and search engines).

Your website content (writing) sucks

We hate to be so frank, but the internet is littered full of websites with terrible, terrible writing.  Writing that isn’t targeted at potential customers (doesn’t include what they want to know), writing full of grammatical errors and typos, writing that isn’t divide up into short, easy-to-read paragraphs and sections.  Even if your website writing just fits one of these categories, your website content isn’t going to perform to its full potential.

If you want to create a better, more readable website that decreases your website bounce rate, hire a professional (or professionals) to create an affordable website with well-organized content that draws website visitors in, gives them (and search engines) what they need to know, and an easy way to contact you if they have any questions or needs.

You haven’t integrated your marketing

It’s amazing how many business owners see their website and their offline communications as completely separate, never to be connected in any way.  However, your in-store and on-phone communications play a key role in promoting your website.  To bring the two together, create signs and cards with your website and social media printed on them (other ideas for integrating your marketing here).  Talk to your staff about promoting your website as they interact with customers.  If you are building an email list, give your customers an incentive to sign up for your email list.

To integrate all your different sales and communications into a solid strategy, create a communications plan that times all your messages (both online and offline) so your customers are getting regular interactions with your brand. (We’ve given you instructions on how to build a solid marketing plan here.)

You’re not using local SEO

Local search engine optimization (SEO) for a local business only makes cents; after all, if you’re trying to reach local customers in local communities around your local business, SEO technology and tactics gets your website at the top of your local customers’ search engine listings.  Local SEO can get you at the top of search engine listings in towns and cities within a 10, 20, or 50 mile radius. Even if you don’t sell products online, or have any interest in e-commerce, integrating search engine optimization is a smart marketing strategy because the internet is where people are searching for products, services and information (and don’t get us started on the effect of mobile devices on search traffic).

Statistics back this trend up; today 54% of Americans have substituted the Internet and local search for phone books (comScore).  Ninety-five percent of smartphone users have looked for local information (Source: The Mobile Movement Study, Google/Ipsos OTX MediaCT , Apr 2011).  The numbers are equally as impressive for businesses that have included local SEO in their marketing strategy.  A local flooring company saw their website traffic double in just four months because of search engine optimization. In 30 days, their unique visits increased 122% and hit an impressive increase of 200%. Website traffic is just a number unless you can convert those visits to customer interest. The flooring company receives form submissions every week from potential customers, with 60% of those visits stemming from their search engine optimization package.

Your website stays static

Your job is not done when you publish your new (and hopefully well-organized, aesthetically beautiful and functional) website.  Your job has just begun.  To continue to feed the fire that’s hopefully erupted by your new website, update your website with information relevant to your audience.  It’s called content marketing, and, if executed properly, can get the attention of both your target audience and search engines.

The goal of content marketing is to build trust with your audience so don’t fill it full of sales pitches.  This isn’t advertising.  It’s a series of well-written content that answers your customers’ questions with timely, relevant topics.  For example, if you’re a travel agent, your blog is going to answer common travelers’ questions and give them information about their next trip.  It sounds easy, but many a business has run out of time when trying to execute a flawless content marketing strategy; be realistic about the time you have available and don’t be afraid to consult the experts.  Pair that with a solid content promotion strategy, and your content marketing is going to be hit with your potential customers.

There is a secondary perk of content marketing.  Search engines scan the web for content relevant to use in users’ searches.  They also gauge your website’s validity and the strength of your pages based on the content you produce. By posting regular content, you are showing search engines that your content is updated, quality and relevant—three criteria they use to rank websites for search engine users.

Your contact page is lacking

This is where knowing your audiences (yes, plural) really pays off: potential customers and search engines.  The perfect contact page makes it simple for your customers to contact you (both in-person, on the phone, and via email) with an accessible contact form that is easy to fill out.  The perfect contact form is a fine line: a form with just enough fields that you can get the contact information you need to contact the customer but not too many fields that your potential customers aren’t intimidated by the form.

In addition, your contact page needs to have a second purpose: to make it easy for search engines to scan the page and include it in their search engine listing. Statistics have shown that more searches are being done on mobile devices than on desktops, and many of those searches are targeted at finding the location of local companies.  Make sure your hours, phone number, and address are included on the contact page for search engines and customers.

You aren’t promoting it through social media

Your social media sites (here’s how to determine how many social media sites are right for you) and website should be on speaking terms, both literally and figuratively.  Actively promote your website on your social media channels, and make it easy for users to share your content on social media.  Links to your social media sites should also be conveniently located on your website so potential customers can check out your social media reviews and posts.

You aren’t linking back to your website in your emails

Email marketing is a tactic with one of the largest return-on-investments in marketing.  Every email should be strategically sprinkled (sprinkled, not overrun) with links to your website.  Don’t just send out an email with your website in the footer; instead show your readers how valuable your website can be to them.  If you are creating new content on your website, tie these two tactics together for a strategy that’s sure to get your business noticed.