Your company’s website, if utilized correctly (read: well-designed in both appearance and function), is your most valuable tool for connecting with people interested in your products/services and converting them into customers.
But before you can reap the lead-generating, profit-producing rewards of your well-designed website, you have to get people to visit it first.
That’s easier said than done, given that all your local competitors have sites of their own as well. And if your focus is on selling products (as opposed to, say, offering a service like landscaping), you’ve also got popular online stores like Amazon and Zappos to compete with.
Thankfully, there are measures you can take to stand out from the competition and increase traffic to your site, including:
Buy Internet Ads
One of the easiest ways to get people onto your site is to advertise on other sites.
Ever see those ads for sites that sometimes pop up at the top of your search results on Google? With Google AdWords, you could be one of those sites. The beauty of AdWords is that you know you’re not wasting your money on ineffective ads, because you’re only charged when someone actually clicks on the ad, rather than paying for displaying your ads whether you get results or not. The same can’t be said of traditional advertising like television, radio, and print spots.
Get Active On Social Media
The one problem with buying internet ads, of course, is that it costs money. This is particularly a problem with small and medium-sized businesses, as they often don’t have much of a marketing budget to work with.
We just mentioned advertising on Twitter and Facebook –you can also use those social media platforms to promote your business for free.
Hashtags on Twitter allow you to make your posts visible to a lot of people who aren’t even following your account, and being active on both sites by frequently posting highly-quality, useful content will engage people who otherwise wouldn’t be interested in your business (your social media accounts should prominently feature links to your main site).
Mobile-Friendly Is a Must
Americans spend an average of 2.8 hours every day on their mobile devices. If your website isn’t already responsive (automatically resizes itself to fit the small screen of a smartphone or tablet), it must be a priority to make your website responsive as soon as possible.
Know Your SEO
Search engines like Google use complex algorithms to determine which sites get placed where in search results. Since most people find the businesses they go to, whether it’s a taco stand or a tax accountant or anything else, through a search engine, it’s incredibly important for you to be featured above your competitors.
Just imagine: if you searched “Mexican restaurant Seattle”, for example, which site would you be most interested in visiting? The one that’s listed first or one that’s a few listings down?
Using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques on your company’s website allows you to climb the rankings and get listed higher than your competitors, which makes you appear more reputable and will get you more hits.
SEO techniques include, among other things, maintaining a blog that you can stuff with relevant keywords (but not too many keywords – search engines will penalize you if SEO is too blatant), and furthermore keeping the titles to these blog posts short and memorable and the posts themselves over 400 words each.
You can read an entire guide to SEO here.