Does your website perform well for your business? Is it generating inquiries from qualified leads? Can you find your website in Google? Before you push the panic button, read further. There are simple things that you can do to help promote your website, without spending a whole lot of time and money …Today’s consumers search for information online before making purchasing decisions. If you don’t have a website, you’re losing customers to other businesses that do. You only get one shot at making a first impression, so a professional looking website is critical if you want to be taken seriously. But having a great site is not going to help you much if you don’t let the world know about it. It is like printing a beautiful and expensive brochure, and leaving it in the box in the back of the storeroom.
Here are 5 simple and free things you can do to improve your website’s traffic.
- Content is king. Make sure your site is attractive to search engines by using a few simple SEO tactics. Keep your content relevant and fresh, pay attention to spelling, grammar and syntax, give your pages proper titles and try to incorporate your unique keywords wherever possible. Don’t use images where there should be text and if you do use images, add alt text and proper image descriptions. Make sure your contact information isn’t presented as an image file. Search engines don’t read images, they read text, and if someone can remember only your street address or phone number and uses that as search criteria, you won’t be found if your contact info is presented as an image.
- Use Google’s free features. Local customers are already searching for the products and services you offer. Why not make it easy for them to find you on Google search and on Google Maps? Google + Local business pages are the place to start. Formerly known as Google Places, Google+ Local integrates with other Google services, including organic Google Search and Google Maps. This free feature works well for businesses of any size, providing a mini-site format where you can exhibit your images, gather visitor ratings and testimonials, and drive traffic to your website. Listing info can be updated at any time.
- Email & Newsletter marketing. More than ever, direct communication is critical to building and maintaining strong customer relationships. Email marketing is an easy, effective and affordable way to keep your customers and prospects informed and insure they continue to return to your site. Utilizing attractive, professional-looking email communications is a great strategy to drive traffic to your website by engaging clients and prospects in calls to action.
- Get a QR code. Those odd looking little square boxes you are seeing everywhere are known as QR (Quick Response) codes. The are actually a modernized, two-dimensional version of the old bar codes, and can store addresses, phone numbers, websites, email addresses or text files, and appear in magazines, billboards, on wine bottles, signs, buses, business cards, t-shirts or any object you can use to promote your business. Free QR code reading software can be downloaded to any phone equipped with a camera. The camera is used to scan the image of the QR Code, which will launch a browser window and direct the user to the programmed online content. Generating your personal QR code is also free, and available online on several sites.
- Install a signature on your email program. Make it easy for potential clients to find your website by including your website link at the bottom of every email you send. Most e-mail programs allow you to designate a “signature” to appear at the end of each message you send. Limit it to 6 to 8 lines: Company name, address, phone number, URL, e-mail address, and a one-phrase description of your unique business offering.
Next time, we will initiate a series on the often confusing, but highly effective world of social media, starting with an overview of social media platforms, purposes, pluses and pitfalls.
P.S. Confused by web terminology? Feel like you’re learning a new language? Check out the web glossary at my blog makingwebwork.com.