Face it, the novelty of launching a Web site has worn off. Teenagers in homes and schools across the country are developing their own Web sites as you read this article. Simply owning a Web site is no big deal any more. What matters is how you’re using the many tools at your disposal to strengthen your business.
Having a business Web site is a necessity in today’s customer-driven marketing climate. Banks, insurance companies, travel agents, newspapers, and even pizza parlours, all have Web sites that are used in the course of doing business.
So, with virtually endless sites to choose from, how do you take steps to drive more traffic to your business Web site?
Tips for boosting your traffic
Here are four of the most effective ways to boost traffic that will work with virtually any business Web site. The trick is knowing your purpose and how to measure the success of your efforts.
1. Tell people through co-marketing. The people who are most likely to visit are those who know you and your business already. How are you building on this relationship?
If you want your customers to visit your site, you must do two things, and do them well: a) prepare something of value for them and put it on your Web site, and b) invite and instruct them to visit.
2. Hold a contest. Tap into your customer’s creative or competitive spirits. Cisco Systems held a contest for the most creative uses for their high-tech equipment and got ideas for new products and services that were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Another entrepreneur offered a $50 book certificate for the best caption to a silly photo. Be creative to attract creative ideas. It may not matter so much how you engage visitors, so long as you attract their participation. Contests also produce great “word-of-mouth” traffic that introduces new visitors to your site.
3. Submit to search engines and directories regularly. Forget the solicitations to “submit your Web site to 6,000 of the world’s search engines for only $200” when you send your credit card number to such-and-such an address.
According to a WebHits report, over 90% of the traffic that gets referred to a Web site from Web site search engines comes from one of these seven locations: Yahoo, Altavista, Excite, Go (Infoseek), Lycos, Snap, GoTo.com. Rounding out the top 10 brings aboard MSN, WebCrawler, and Ask Jeeves.
If you are responsible for marketing a single Web site, there’s no reason to duck this responsibility once you know where to focus your energies.
4. Build a community. If you have a business with customers, you have an untapped community waiting for your leadership.
Engage any group with common interests (such as benefiting from your products and services), give them an opportunity to interact at their convenience via your Web site, and a chance to get to know each other, and you’ve got the basic ingredients for an online community. Visitors return to communities more so than to online locations that do not offer such opportunities.
You now know how to drive more traffic to your business Web site. With a bit of creativity and knowledge of your business, you can adapt these techniques to build stronger relationships with your customers and attract new prospects to your business…which is really the core purpose of any business Web site.
By Bill Ringle, managing director of StarComm Development, an Internet training and development company. Source: The Frog Pond Group.