How to drive traffic to your website after you just went online?
There can be nothing more frustrating than investing time and money in an attractive and high performance new website, loading it with fantastic products and speed, enabling analytics – only to see literally no activity on there after the launch. Day by day, you access the metrics and see that the only person visiting the site is you – checking to make sure nothing is broken. It’s a sorry tale that underpins a thousand (If not more) failed ventures. Your website looks like this old abandoned factory.
Taking Price to one side (We must assume that your product is attractively priced, otherwise all other factors are moot), let’s consider these in an order that makes sense. And then discuss some things to avoid.
The issue you are facing here is that marketing on the internet is not really that different to marketing, which you would do on the high street. Only it’s a big high street with lots of competing ventures. The fundamental marketing adage, taught on academic courses worldwide still applies. Price, Promotion, Position, Place. (Disclaimer, other orders of the same words can be found !!)
Place – the fundamentals
Well, youre on the Internet right ?? You are, but you’re a newcomer, you have a nice shop, but it’s in an internet back alley compared to the giants who have been there for years. Yes it’s accessible, but you are not really findable, using search engine or existing business directories, at this point you are as if you would not exist at all.
You need to get INDEXED by the principle search engines – and in this game at this time that means Google. And then Bing and Yahoo, but principally Google. That may seem unfair, but in this game, at this time, Google holds all the cards. So first thing to do is submit your site for a crawl (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/submit-url). This is done in a Google tool called Search Console. Addition will not happen straight away but you’ll be in the queue. And as part of the preparation for that you need to make sure that your :
- Site is compliant with all the search engine friendly conventions that google expects.
- Your site content is loaded with the requisite keywords and metadata to help the search engines classify in the right places (If you sell gearboxes, do not spend a lot of effort discussing different flowers !)
Having got the site in the queue for indexing, the time is right to get some INBOUND LINKS. This is links to your site on other sites. There is also internet lore that the search engines value unidirectional inbound links above reciprocal links, and doubly value unidirectional inbound links from highly rated sites. Opinion is divided. In any case, start visiting the business directories for your locality and your product and get listed in there – with a clear and non-redirected link to your site. There are a variety of both paid for and unpaid directories.
And now we come to the forums and blogs – We’re into PROMOTION now! There will be a lot (Hopefully) of Blogs and online forums discussing your business sector. Inbound links from these (Particularly the popular ones) can be invaluable in both building site rank and driving traffic. Making genuine and value adding comments on blog posts, with a link to your site, can be a way forward – but Blog owners have become increasingly wise to this – they may or may not be sympathetic. Then almost certainly will not be sympathetic if you are a competitor!
A better approach to the Blog owners is to discuss with them in advance by email how to get a placement or promotion on their site. This may be directly costed, but it could also be in the form of an article you create for them. Creation of content is a time consuming activity – providing well-crafted compelling content that drives traffic for them and you can be a happy compromise.
EMAIL Promotion can provide a valuable mechanism to drive customers, there are myriad suppliers of email lists who claim to be able to provide targeted lists of engaged consumers and run the campaign for you. Marketing emails, if inappropriately distributed can be perceived as unwanted spam and can have a detrimental impact of the perception of your company. Proceed with caution.
Finally we come to PAID PROMOTION – Register with Google for Adwords campaigns, do your research and identify relevant but not exceptionally pricey keywords and design an attractive banner. Or get an online promotion specialist to do this for you. Online-advertising can drive a lot of traffic to your site with great exposure across both aligned and in some cases competitor sites with relatively little effort. But it is an arbitrage – it is easy to get lots of the wrong sort of visitor who both cost you money and buy nothing from you – If this is your first experience, it may be better to pay for an experienced advertiser to manage your first campaigns.
Finally – a word of caution, do not be tempted to any of the following –
- Game the search engines – They have seen almost every variation of attempt to gain ranking on their platforms and have a habit of punishing attempts to game the system – this can mean being taken out of search results.
- “Buy traffic” from other internet sources, this will cost money but is unlikely to result in quality visits that deliver revenue
- “Buy links” This is a variation of gaming the search engines – lots and lots of inbound links created very quickly – usually by bots, but across lots of unrelated sites. The search engines will spot this and may punish the target.
Do not forget to play fair, but also keep in mind, that activity is necessary in order to make your website findable. Put the effort in, make yourself a name and make your customers happy.[The original article was written in English. To other languages it was automatically translated by Google Translate]