How to Drive Traffic to Your Website for Free
Online discoverability is essential to having a successful small business. Nearly the entire world is connected to the Internet, whether on their phones, tablets, or laptop computers. Your business website is basically your online storefront. You want to entice customers to come inside and look around to see what you have to offer. But first, you need to drive traffic to your website. Here are some of the best ways to increase site traffic for free.
1. Optimize for SEO
Over the past few years, SEO (search engine optimization) has become more and more essential for a small business owner with a website. There are literally thousands of new web pages launched on a daily basis and Google uses an algorithm to sort through all the data. This algorithm decides where your website ranks on a SERP (search engine results page).
A few ways you can improve your search engine rankings, and thus increase the exposure of your website, are adding internal links, producing high-quality content, and writing concise meta descriptions for each page. SEO optimization ensures search engines can accurately track your website and provide information to your customers. It may take a little time to see the results but it should be a top priority for your website.
2. Maintain a Blog
Starting a business blog and keeping that blog up to date greatly helps increase your online visibility. You can create your own content and target keywords that your audience is searching for on the web. Content doesn’t need to be all words; make your blog posts more dynamic by adding videos, infographics, and slide presentations.
One of the most important parts of a blog is the headline because that is what grabs a reader’s attention. It is good practice to include your primary and secondary keywords in the title and smaller headlines throughout the blog. More good ideas are to include links to your homepage or other relevant pages on your website and to insert short and long-tail keywords throughout your content.
3. Mobile Optimize Your Site
In today’s world, more online traffic occurs on mobile phones than it does on desktop computers. If your website is not mobile optimized, people who visit it on their phones will need to pinch and horizontally scroll to see all of your content. Visitors are more likely to just close the page instead of trying to figure out how to navigate your site.
Google made an update to its search algorithm in 2015 which placed greater importance on websites and landing pages that are mobile optimized. Your site must be responsive and efficiently accessed on a mobile phone, tablet, or similar device otherwise Google could reconsider ranking it on the first page of search results.
4. Maximize Social Media
If your business website doesn’t have a presence on the most popular social media platforms, you should do that immediately. Social media is an incredible free marketing tool and one of the easiest ways to reach a large audience at one time. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube are the major social media platforms.
To successfully drive traffic to your website via social media, your posts must contain creative, useful content that makes the reader want to find out more. You could research to find out the most high-volume time of day for your target market so you know when to post. Adding hashtags with targeted keywords to your posts extends your reach beyond your network, attracts a niche audience, and categorizes your content.
5. Start Email Marketing
Email marketing is an effective way of reaching your audience and directing them to your website. If you don’t have a database of customer emails yet, you can place a notification or pop-up on your website for visitors to sign up for your newsletter.
Sending the email is only the first step. To increase site traffic, you need to make the email subject compelling enough for your customers to open it and then click thru to your website. Motivate the reader to visit your website by adding a call to action such as finding out more about an exciting new product or service, accessing useful educational resources, entering a contest, or getting tickets for an upcoming event.
6. Get Listed in Online Directories
Free online directories and review sites are the digital versions of traditional word-of-mouth marketing. On these business listing sites, you should include your website in addition to the company description, physical address, and contact information. Reviews sites like Yelp have a strong domain authority on search engines such as Google.
Optimizing your free Google business profile is another simple and effective way to gain quality website traffic as doing so increases visibility, enables mobile business searches, and gives customers the opportunity to post reviews.
7. Write a Guest Post
Guest blogging, or guest posting, is when you write a blog post for a website other than your own. This sends traffic to your site via a backlink and also increases your brand awareness. These guest blog posts help build your authority in your industry and establish your business as an expert in a particular subject matter. If you aren’t a skilled writer, a content writer can ghostwrite for you.
Another option is to have an industry influencer guest blog for your site. The influencer can promote the content on their site, sending their customers to check out your page. You could also agree with a business in your industry to mention each other’s websites and create reciprocal links for your mutual benefit.
8. Increase Website Load Speed
Improving your site’s page load speed not only boosts your ranking, but it also creates a better user experience. We live in a fast-paced world and if a site takes too long to load, the bounce rate will be quite high as potential customers become impatient and close the page.
You can run your website through a site auditor for a report telling you what you can do to enhance your website and increase its page ranking. Many of these changes you can do yourself, such as compressing image sizes, reducing the number of redirects, and optimizing the page structure.
These are a few of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your small business website for free. The more people visiting your website, the more opportunities you have to sell your products or services and engage with customers. Execute these simple tasks properly and watch the customers flock to your website.