It’s no news that a small business owner’s most precious commodity is time. We have to wear many hats, be scrappy at all times, and choose our priorities very carefully in order to be successful. Because marketing generally requires some level of direct involvement, and results are often not immediate, it is an area that is often ignored.
The fact that it can come with a steep learning curve does not help either. This is especially true with search and social media marketing. So we’ve put together 5 free and easy things you can do right now to bring more website traffic.
1. Audit Your Website
Google takes a lot of factors into consideration every time a search is made. It’s difficult or impossible to make headway in your quest to be on page one if you don’t know where you are succeeding and where you are falling short.
There are free tools like this one that will audit your website and generate a report on what can be improved to make it rank higher.
2. Go get links
One of the best things you can do to increase traffic is to obtain links to your site from other more established sites. Doing so has two benefits: First, it enables referral traffic from sites that already get the visitors you want. Second, it helps improve your domain authority, resulting in increased organic search traffic.
One source of these backlinks is online directories. Obtaining directory listings is super easy to do and free of charge in most cases. Here is a list of some of the best directories to check. Make sure your information is exactly the same (and up-to-date of course) on all sites.
Another good way to obtain backlinks is to use tools such as SemRush or Moz (they have free trials which you can take advantage of). Either tool will show you where your competitors are getting their backlinks, so you can pursue those sources as well. List your business on a directory you didn't know existed (but found out about from your competitor research), or start contributing to a forum in your niche, always listing your website link in each contribution/comment. These efforts will boost your site's ranking in Google. A more advanced move would be to reach out to blogs that write in your area of expertise and ask them to insert a link to your website.
3. Take full advantage of Google My Business (GMB)
Do you have access to your Google My Business page? A complete and accurate GMB profile is the easiest and most reliable way to ensure your local business appears on page one of search when people search for your business by name. If you have not claimed your business page, go do that right now.
Once you claim your Google My Business page, you control what people see in that right column of Google’s local search results for your business, and how you show up on Google Maps. And it’s completely free.
Once you’ve optimized your profile so that your business page is appearing for these local searches, you can further engage visitors by publishing posts to your GMB page. These posts can contain an offer, an important product announcement, or a showcase of your most popular service. Think of it as free advertising.
4. Request a review from your customers
Getting positive reviews on your website can be a challenge. Most satisfied clients don’t give a thought about sharing their experience online, while dissatisfied ones seem to relish the idea. You can change this by proactively asking your customers for feedback online.
Apply some street smarts here: talk to customers following their purchase experience, and send your review requests to the ones you sense are delighted.
Easily Get Online Reviews from Your Clients
Google reviews are not only an excellent way to boost credibility and word-of-mouth referrals, but recent studies also show that search results boasting positive reviews underneath them tend to rank higher and have higher click-through rates. Thus multiplying your positive reviews on Google will have a direct impact on your traffic and growth.
5. Start blogging
If you want to attract visitors who are searching for the products and services you offer, but who don’t already know you, publishing high quality content in the form of a blog is absolutely essential.
For many small business owners who don’t consider themselves good writers this is a daunting proposition. But remember, you are the subject-matter expert. You already know your customers’ pain points. You know the terminology. You have experience on which to base stories and examples. If you write down your rough ideas, the hard part is done. Now all you need is an editor.
There is a wealth of of information available about how to write effective blogs. But here are some basics to get you started:
- Each should be at least 300 to 500 words (longer is better), and ideally be organized around one topic at a time.
- Write engaging, informative content. Superficial, boring content or content with poor grammar or style will be ignored. Here are some additional tips on writing high quality content on a budget.
- Optimize your post for a single focus keyword. This requires doing some research to find out what keywords are most heavily searched and relevant to your business. Work this search phrase into your post title and subheadings. But don’t overdo it; Google can penalize pages for keyword stuffing.
And there you have it. Five free and easy strategies to increase your website traffic. It’s important to be consistent. Determine what is realistic for you and your staff to commit to online marketing, and then set aside some time each month to go through the steps above.
Let us know how it goes! And if you need help getting started, take advantage of our Free Consultation.