Posts Tagged ‘traffic’
One creative way to drive more traffic to your website and encourage interaction with your customers is by integrating your blog into your business website. Rather than solely using a blog or website respectively, using both together can improve the interactivity with your customers.
Interactivity is becoming increasingly important for consumers and their purchase decisions. A business website gives the consumer general information and a professional business presence. A blog allows consumers to see updated and fresh information, testimonials from recent purchasers, and even comments and conversations posted by existing customers.
Search Engine Optimization
Blogs are also great for increasing your search engine optimization, or your visibility online. By posting fresh content on a daily basis you increase your search engine ranking and the ability for people to see you online. Blogs can also drive traffic to your website by providing useful information while also using links and a call to action to direct your readers to your company site.
Having a blog on a site like WordPress or Blogger will give your company a personality that many other companies don’t have. Publishing more personal content rather than pushing sales pitches gives you an advantage over your competitors. Because consumers are seeking more intimate relationships with the online companies they purchase from, a blog can be a great way to establish communication, relationships, and credibility with your consumers.
How To Integrate Your Blog and Website
There are several ways you can integrate your blogging platform and your business website. If you choose to use an existing platform like WordPress or Blogger, make sure to include links on every post you publish that directs your readers back to your website. Also, have links to your blog on the homepage of your business website. This encourages people to learn more about you, your company, your product, and your consumers.
If you wish to have a more seamless integration, consider investing in a content management system that includes a blogging platform. This means that your blog will be an actual page of your website and you wouldn’t need to send your customers away from your website in order to connect with them.
Picture this: You’ve finally set up a website for you small business, you’ve hired the best designer in town…and nothing’s changed. If this sounds like you, you’re pretty much stuck until you gain control over your content.
As a business owner with an online presence, having the authority and access to your web content is crucial to your website’s success. If you want a professional site that successfully represents your company, brings more customers to your business, and increases your revenue stream, there are a few techniques you need to use.
Use a Content Management System
It’s your website. Essentially, it’s another branch of your business. Because it’s not quite as straight forward as your brick-and-mortar location, you might not realize exactly how much work goes into making your website an effective location of commerce.
If you have a content management system, you can easily update content to keep up with the ever-changing consumer demand. You also have control over the keywords, meta-tags, and meta-descriptions that drive traffic from search engines to your site. This is important because keywords are always changing and your website needs to change with them.
Definitely avoid using industry-specific jargon. People are interested in buying your product to solve a specific problem. If you clutter up your content with too much information that is beyond the level of even the most basic customer, they can quickly be put off by it. In the simple words of Jen Udan from ChooseWhat.com:
“If they don’t understand what you’re selling, they won’t buy.”
Keep Your Website Simple
While flashing lights and fun graphics are always cool, they might actually render your site ineffective. People are looking for answers to their questions when they reach your website. If at anytime they feel confused, it doesn’t take much for customers to leave your website and visit a competitor’s.
Make sure everything on your website is clear. Your homepage should have basic information about your product and its benefits. In addition, every page should have a clear call to action. This call to action needs to be identified by you, the business owner. What do you want your browsers to do after reading your information, call you? Subscribe to you? Order from you? These questions need to be answered before writing any content because it should provide the framework in which you write any and all of your information.
Marketing for small businesses can be difficult. It is important to remember that you are a small business, with a small budget and you need to make wise decisions. Larger businesses have a little more wiggle room when it comes budgets and resources. You as a small business owner need to know how to allocate your resources as efficiently as possible.
Business know-how gives us some advice on how to market wisely as a small business. Follow these tips from a post on Business know-how and learn how marketing can help you greatly if done well:
1. Offer a Cheaper Version
Some prospective customers are not willing to pay the asking price for your product or service. Others are more interested in paying a low price than in getting the best quality. You can avoid losing sales to many of these customers by offering a smaller or stripped down version of your product or service at a lower price.
2. Offer a Premium Version
Not all customers are looking for a cheap price. Many are willing to pay a higher price to get a premium product or service. You can boost your average size sale and your total revenue by offering a more comprehensive product or service …or by combining several products or services in a special premium package offer for a higher price.
3. Try Some Unusual Marketing Methods
Look for some unconventional marketing methods your competitors are overlooking. You may discover some highly profitable ways to generate sales and avoid competition. For example, print your best small ad on a postcard and mail it to prospects in your targeted market. A small ad on a postcard can drive a high volume of traffic to your website or generate a flood of sales leads for a very small cost.
4. Set up Joint Promotions with Other Small Businesses
Contact some non-competing small businesses serving customers in your market. Offer to publicize their products or services to your customers in exchange for their publicizing your services to their customers. This usually produces a large number of sales for a very low cost.
5. Take Advantage of Your Customers
Your customers already know and trust you. It’s easier to get more business from them than to get any business from somebody who never bought from you. Take advantage of this by creating some special deals just for your existing customers and announce new products and services to them before you announce them to the general market.
There are several different marketing strategies you can use. However, for the sake of your small business budget, there are 3 very important strategies that help with organic traffic gain as well as giving your pocket expenses a break.
Step 1: Optimize Your Website
You need a base where people can search for your product, find you, and remain interested enough to order from your website. You truly will not be able to succeed in today’s market if you don’t have a website as your platform for transactions. Your website should in essence, run itself. With quality content, enough information, and the encouragement of feedback and conversation, you have the ability to invite people to learn more about your product or service – and buy it. Your site should have:
- Strong and well researched keywords
- Quality content that actually answers questions
- The use of meta tags and descriptions
- E-commerce capability
Step 2: Build Your Customer Base
Once you have your (quality) website up and running, it’s important to keep those customers coming back to you. One of the most basic marketing strategies you can employ is a subscribers list, or membership option. You can build a base of customers through an email list as one example, if your site has:
- A sign-up option
- A blog
- Newsletters and promotions to send to subscribers
Step 3: Maintenance
Once you have your quality website up and running, and a strong customer base with which you consistently interact, you need to be maintaining your website with fresh content. One great way to do this is to write blogs (daily!) and have them on your website and really anywhere else you can distribute them.
This helps with your exposure, search engine rankings, traffic, and credibility. The reason it helps with credibility is that it shows the initiative you have to answer customer questions and constantly provide fresh information. It shows that you are not all about the transaction, but more about the relationship you have with your customers.
If you are a small business owner dabbling with your advertising and marketing strategy, you may be tempted to offer free products as promotions. While this can be a great idea to achieve short-term results, it can actually hurt your business in the long run.
Free can be dangerous
Offering something for free can train consumers to think that your offer does not have much value. In time, consumers might actually come to expect things for free. For example, remember the days when we were all happy to get a free standard cell phone after signing that dreaded two-year contract? These days, we have come to expect a free cell phone with every new contract.
Online businesses are starting to offer free shipping, which can cut seriously into their profits. Hotels offer free Internet service, etc. These things are going to become extremely difficult to charge consumers for because they have come to expect these commodities as “free.” These perks aren’t even free anyway, we pay for these commodities via other buried charges.
Free can be copied
If you are offering some sort of accessory, or supplementary product for free, your competitors are fully capable of offering it too—especially if you are successful. If you are gaining a lot of traffic and attention through your free promotions, your competitors won’t be far behind. What you think starts out as a transient tactical marketing strategy can actually bury you in the industry.
You don’t want to get caught in an industry albatross where you keep cutting prices to undermine your competitor and both of you end up losing an intense amount of money.
Offering products for free every once in a while (everything is okay in moderation), is fine. Whether it’s a free consultation or a free sample, it can be at your advantage to offer something for free as a kind gesture even.
However, offering anything for free requires a significant amount of discretion.
As Steve McKee from Bloomberg Businessweek said in his post:
“It’s when you offer something for nothing as an enticement to buy that the danger sets in. If you try to fool your prospects by making your pitch about what’s “free,” you’ll also be fooling yourself.”