Connecting with Your Website Visitors
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Last week, we talked about a few ways to bring new visitors to your website. If you’ve done a good job planning your design and your content, the people you can help through your business will take the time to explore what you have to offer.
However, most people will not be ready to do business with you the first time they visit your site. First, they need to like you and trust you, and before that can happen, they have to get to know you. There are a number of ways to achieve this.
Posting new articles on your blog gives prospective clients a reason to return to your website on a regular basis.
I’m not going to lie to you though – consistent blogging requires time and effort. Even if you hire someone to assist with your blogging activities, you must be committed to the process. Like anything else, the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it.
Planning a blog is beyond the scope of this series, but I may write a follow-up series, Planning a Blog the Organized Way, at a later date.
Sharing your blog posts on social media is a great way to bring them to the attention of both new and existing readers and encourage them to click through and read.
But let me caution you: if all you share is your own blog posts, people will get bored of you very easily. Many experts suggest applying the 80-20 rule on social media by posting other people’s content 80% of the time, and your own only 20% of the time.
Posting relevant content from other bloggers and businesses is a good way to stay in front of your target audience, even if you decide not to start a blog – you just don’t gain the additional website traffic.
Include links to your active social media profiles on your website to encourage visitors to follow you, and make it easy for them to share your content by placing social sharing buttons at the top, bottom and/or side of every page and blog post.
Despite the ever-growing popularity of blogs and social media as marketing strategies, email marketing is still the most effective way to keep your name in front of prospective clients. They may go days or weeks without visiting your blog or their social media accounts, but most people check their inbox regularly.
Many people are very cautious about sharing their email address, so be sure to include a privacy statement on your site. Make it worth their while by offering new subscribers an incentive such as a free tip sheet, e-book, or video lesson. Yes, some will unsubscribe as soon as they receive their gift, but they are not your ideal clients. Those who are genuinely interested in what you can do for them will be happy to read your emails, as long as they’re not too frequent or overly promotional.
You may choose to set up an RSS-to-email campaign, which will automatically email your subscribers when you publish new content to your blog, or you may prefer to create a more formal newsletter. You might even do both.
Once you begin to build a mailing list, make sure you send something out at least a couple of times a year – not only to remind potential clients that you’re available to assist them, but so no one forgets they signed up for your list and reports you as a spammer.
As you can see, there are several ways to connect with your website visitors. Start with one or more; you can always extend your reach later on.