So you’ve got yourself a website. Congratulations! If you’re a professional working online (and offline too), a website is a must-have. Depending on what you do, it can be a full-blown site with multiple pages or a simple onepager describing your services and featuring some testimonials. I’ve met people who think that they don’t need a website and do their work through Facebook pages and groups. Yeah, OK. Does that sound professional to you? Not to me. A business without a website is a like a shop without a sign. Or worse – a shop with a paper stuck to the window using blu tack. Yikes! So I hope you get my point that you really need a website even if most of your work comes from Facebook and social media.
Now, let’s assume that you have a website, it looks beautiful, and it has lots of good content. The only thing it lacks is visitors. Your analytics stats shows your own clicks and nothing else, nada. Well, you’ve got to start doing something about it and I’ll help you by listing some proven ways to drive traffic to your site. They’ve worked for me and I’m sure they’ll work for you when implemented the right way.
Do Your SEO
Yes, the good old SEO is still crucial because it will help you drive organic traffic from the search engines. I’m a huge believer in SEO because I’m a content writer and I’ve seen content do wonders. Organic traffic is amazing because there’s a potential to get millions of visits to your site and the visitors will be people who are looking for whatever your site is about. That is, if you’re not using black hat SEO and stuffing your site with misleading keywords. Don’t do it, seriously. Because the outcome is always the same – Google deletes such sites from its index.
Good onpage SEO can do wonders only if your website is properly built, has a valid XML sitemap and is indexed by Google and other search engines. So make sure you do your tech stuff right.
Now, I won’t teach you SEO in this post but I just might write a separate article on the subject.
Get Referral Traffic
Referral traffic is the next big thing you should focus on. Most popular websites, even the ones that are Google’s first page regulars, get a huge portion of referral traffic and high quality one too. By referral traffic I mean visitors that come to your site from other websites. These other websites can be blogs, directories, review sites, etc. The list is huge.
There are several ways to get quality referral traffic and your exact strategy will depend on your industry, whether you offer a physical product or a service, your location and many other factors. Nevertheless, I recommend you try the following:
- Submit your website to online directories. If your service or product is tied to your location, submit your site to local directories and Google Maps.
- Connect with influencers and bloggers that work in the same or closely related industry and ask them to review you (with a backlink to your site).
- If you’re an expert in your field (you are, aren’t you?), offer popular related blogs to write guest posts and add a link to your site in your bio.
- If relevant, create and maintain a YouTube channel where you share some of your expertise. YouTube is a huge traffic driver, so make sure you post a link to your site in every video description.
- Post on relevant forums and use a link to your site in your signature. Don’t spam, though, and keep in mind that forums are more relevant for some countries than others.
I love cross-promotion because you get to advertise to a high-quality audience for free. Basically, cross-promotion is a form of referral traffic because you agree to promote someone’s business in exchange for them advertising you. This works especially well for professionals in related industries, like a content writer promoting a Web designer and vice versa. For software developers, it works for apps that complement each other without being competitors. Try cross-promotion. It’s really worth it.
It’s Time to Get Social
Everyone is using social media these days. Instead of spending your days on Facebook liking silly posts and pushing ridiculous selfies to your Instagram followers, make social networks work for you. Facebook is amazing for most businesses, including local, because Facebook pages rank high in Google and offer a great opportunity to create a community around your service or product. Supplement that with running a group for clients, followers and fans where you answer questions and are generally nice and insightful. Use Instagram to post business updates and educate people about your environment, what you do and how you do it. Don’t forget to add a link to your website in your profile, though.
Another great social media site is Pinterest. Hey, did I say social media site? I beg your pardon. Pinterest is a SEARCH ENGINE. Yes, you got it right. It has a powerful search algorithm, millions of users, and it has an amazing potential to make your posts viral. Have you started thinking of how to utilize that? Start now!
Oh, hang on. I hear a yell “What about Twitter?”. Yes, what about it. Twitter can drive a lot of traffic, that’s true, especially if you use great hashtags. But most of the time it will be low quality visits with a high bounce rate. You still should have Twitter presence but don’t expect too much of it.
Oh, one more thing. I’ve already mentioned hashtags. Most social media sites support them and they’re really important. So make good use of them.
Unlike the above-mentioned strategies, this requires a budget and preferably a decent one. There are lots of different ads you can run but the most effective ones are search engine contextual ads (like AdWords) and social media advertising. You’ll have to figure out which ads work for your business and be very careful to advertise exactly what you’re offering.
Start Building an Email Marketing List
Email marketing is not really relevant for a brand new website that gets very few visitors. Still, it’s a great way to boost your sales and engagement, so start thinking about building your email list early. There are several ways to grow your list and I especially like offering freebies in exchange for subscribing. You know, a free eBook, a set of photos, free vectors, free patterns, etc. Freebies can’t drive traffic to your site but they do a great job providing value and making people give you their name and email address so that you can market to them in the future.
I hope that this post helped you get some ideas how to drive traffic to your brand-new website. If you have questions or ideas, make sure to share them in the comments. Stay tuned!