Driving Traffic to Your Website

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Planning a Website the Organized Way: Driving Traffic to Your Website

Some people tell me they’re hesitant to have a website because they’re afraid of being inundated with more business than they can handle.

My first response is to ask them, “Would it really be so bad to be able to raise your rates and/or refer business to your colleagues?”

Then I offer them a reality check. Just putting your business on the internet doesn’t mean your phone will be ringing off the hook and your inbox overflowing.

Driving traffic to your website takes a lot of time and effort.Click To Tweet

As you’re planning your website, consider the different ways you can get the word out once your site goes live.

People You Know

Word-of-mouth has always been and will probably always be the most effective – and the least expensive – form of marketing.

Get new business cards printed with your website address on them and give a few to everyone you know – not just business contacts but friends, family, former co-workers, neighbors and so on. Even if you don’t think someone would be a good client for you, they may know someone who would be. When your contacts pass your cards on to their contacts, they can check out your website even if they’re not ready to get in touch with you directly.

Add your website address to your email signature too.

Search Engine Optimization

Unless your website’s objective is simply to have a place to direct people who already know about your business, search engine optimization, or SEO, is probably on your mind.

Google, the most important search engine, makes frequent changes to their algorithm, making it next to impossible to stay on top of what strategies will be most beneficial. Even top industry experts say so:

No SEO or content marketer can accurately predict what any future update will look like. Even some Google employees don’t understand everything that’s happening with the web’s most dominant search engine.

Neil Patel, The Ultimate Google Algorithm Cheat Sheet

Part of SEO involves conducting research to learn what keywords or key phrases people are likely to enter when they have a problem that you can help them solve. Coming up in the search engines is something that happens over time, and incorporating these words and phrases into your content will take you a long way, especially if you add fresh content regularly.

Here are a few free SEO tools that you may find useful.

Google Auto Suggest

The quick and easy way to do keyword research is to go to Google and start typing what you think potential clients might enter. If it auto suggests the rest of the phrase before you’ve finished typing, that’s a pretty good sign that others have searched on that phrase.

Google AdWords Keyword Planner

The Google AdWords Keyword Planner is one of the most popular and most powerful keyword research tools.

You have to sign up for Google AdWords in order to use it, but you can use your existing Google account, and it doesn’t cost you anything unless you decide to buy advertising. When you enter a phrase, it will suggest some related phrases for you to consider, and show you numbers that indicate how popular each one is as a search term.

Yoast SEO

The Yoast SEO plugin is an excellent tool for WordPress, and now Drupal sites as well. Unlike other SEO plugins that simply take whatever information you enter, Yoast SEO encourages you to select only one keyword or phrase for each page or blog post. It will then tell you whether you’ve used your “focus keyword” often enough or too often. However, it doesn’t tell you if it’s a good keyword – you still have to do your own research.

The plugin also includes a Page Analysis tab, which offers more tips to help you optimize your page or post, as well as other valuable features.

To stay on top of the latest developments in SEO, you may wish to read Yoast’s SEO Blog or sign up for their SEO Training.

Backlinks

Links to your site from reputable websites can also enhance your site’s SEO. You can attain quality backlinks by:

  • Listing your business on directories that are specific to your geographic location or industry. Avoid “link farms” – these will not help you and may even hurt your search engine ranking.
  • Guest blogging on respected blogs.

Social Media

Social media marketing is discussed extensively on this blog, so I won’t go into a lot of detail here today.

Just be aware that social media has become one of the top tools for driving traffic to your website. Its importance will likely increase even more now that Google is including tweets in their search results.

Make sure you’re on at least one of the top sites and that your profiles include a link to your site.

Other Options

When recording your voicemail greeting, suggest that callers visit your website for information while they wait for you to phone them back.

If you do public speaking, be sure to include your website address on your slides and handouts.

You can even advertise your website on your vehicle!

Gravatar mystery man

A former professional organizer, I'm now a Website Design and Care Specialist. I love helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years! When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

Gravatar mystery man

A former professional organizer, I'm now a Website Design and Care Specialist. I love helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years! When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

10 Comments

  1. Avatar Seana Turner on September 25, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    I always learn something when I read your posts, Janet. I didn’t know that Google was looking at tweets! SEO is definitely an ever-changing endeavor, but these tools can help. I think joining a blog share group can also be a helpful tool for driving traffic to your sight. Thanks so much!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on September 25, 2015 at 1:17 pm

      I agree – blog share groups are wonderful that way! Even though it may seem that it’s only the same group members reading your posts, when they share them with their networks, it extends your reach considerably.

  2. Liana George Liana George on September 26, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Thanks for the information Janet! Your tips are always so insightful and helpful! Great article!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on September 28, 2015 at 10:56 am

      Thank you so much, Liana! You have no idea how much your kind words mean to me.

  3. Avatar Sarah Soboleski on September 26, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Extremely informative! And I love the tip about mentioning your website in your outgoing vm message. I’ll admit I had a “Duh!” moment there!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on September 28, 2015 at 11:05 am

      It’s especially helpful for people who received your phone number from someone else and may not even realize that you have a website.

  4. Avatar Carolyn Caldwell on September 26, 2015 at 10:26 am

    I ought to have this article laminated and posted on the wall in front of my desk. I’m working my way through it. I’m with Sarah…Duh moment.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on September 28, 2015 at 11:10 am

      Wow, that’s quite a compliment – thank you! Please let me know how you make out.

  5. Avatar Tiffany on December 18, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Great post! I didn’t know that Google includes tweets in their search results now. SEO is a difficult business to pin down. Once you think you’ve got it right, everything evolves. Your blog is a great help to stay on top of the latest and greatest. Thanks for sharing!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on December 18, 2015 at 4:57 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Tiffany. I just completed an excellent four-day SEO course, and I’m going to blog in January about some of the things I learned, so be sure to come back!

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