Oh, to increase website traffic! One of a business’ main concerns, and with good reason. According to Statista.com, 41% of internet users worldwide purchase products online. The value of cross-border B2C or retail e-commerce is projected to grow to $1 trillion by 2020, with 900 million people expected to shop online by this year. At the same time, B2B lead-generation opportunities are also on the rise, with 94% of B2B buyers conducting online research before proceeding with their purchase.
Savvy business owners wanting to take advantage of these opportunities would do well to increase website traffic on a creatively-developed site that both draws customers to learn more about their business and its products, as well as influence them to make a decision to purchase from them.
A website acts as a virtual storefront for businesses on the Web, providing a glimpse of the products businesses offer, and attracting customers to browse further. If they are happy with the information provided, they may be able to purchase the goods or services on offer, or inquire further to schedule a sales appointment.
However, no matter how well-designed your website is, if you cannot increase website traffic, and then get customers to visit and make a purchase, you will soon be recording losses and may even be forced to downsize business due to lack of customers. Fortunately, there are several tactics you can use to attract customers, increase website traffic, and begin making the profits you deserve.
How to increase website traffic for your business
The following are the most common methods that businesses today can use to attract customers to their websites:
1. Social media marketing:
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have taken the world by storm and boast a collective user base of 1.85 billion people as of January 2016. Businesses can take advantage of these numbers by setting up active pages on these social channels to showcase their products and services, as well as to interact with prospective customers and handle any customer complaints in order to improve their overall user experience.
Done well, social media is an inexpensive and effective tactic that has the potential to drive traffic to your website, and result in sales that contribute to your overall bottom line. However, it often requires having someone on staff — or hiring a capable specialist — who is engaged full-time interacting with people on social media and convincing them to visit your website.
As time has passed by, however, getting serious attention from users on social media exclusively through organic (i.e., non-paid) efforts has become ever more difficult. This is because these channels have purposely reduced the reach of organic social posts, turning channels like Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram into paid advertising channels, almost exclusively (more on this below).
In addition, it can be difficult to weed out the serious potential customers from people who are simply online to pass the time and make random comments on your social channels with no intention of purchasing anything.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
SEO — or Search Engine Optimization — is the process of improving your ranking on search engine result pages, so that your website appears on the top based on what customers are looking for.
This means that, for example, if a customer is looking for a shop that sells a certain type of baby clothing, you will tailor the content on your website to align with search engine algorithms that ensures that your site is among the first results the customer sees when they type keywords around what they require, such as “hypoallergenic baby clothing,” or some other combination of words.
SEO can be an effective method to increase website traffic, but it has one major disadvantage: in most instances, it takes quite a while before you can begin seeing improvements in your website’s rankings on search engine results. Depending on the competition for Google AdWords and other search engine criteria, it can take up to six months or more to see the results you want, and can sometimes be simply impossible to rank for your preferred keywords while under a limited budget.
The second disadvantage of this method is the SEO efforts are only scalable insofar as the search volume for a site’s primary keyword increases. In other words, for example, if your business is ranking #1 for “attorney help cleveland” and there are only around 100 searches per month for that keyword, the only way to obtain more than that amount of potential visits would be to rank your site for a different primary keyword, which requires that you begin the ranking process from scratch.
3. Digital Advertising
Digital Advertising is among the fastest-growing methods to increase website traffic today. Businesses are increasingly turning to paid traffic methods such as pay per click (PPC) and pay per view (PPV) advertising, banner ads, Facebook Ads, Google AdWords, YouTube Ads, among many others.
Digital Advertising simply refers to methods to increase website traffic that your business pays for. One example of paid traffic is the sponsored digital ads that appear above the organic results you see in Google search results when you type in a query for a product that you want to buy.
Digital Advertising offers several advantages, compared to the other methods we discussed above:
- Your page will appear on the top or on the side in search engine results. In addition, your website will be shown in the sponsored ads section, and customers who are serious about making a purchase are more likely to click on such ads and through to your website.
- You can also quickly place your brand on prestigious and highly-visited websites, such as CNN, Entrepreneur Magazine, Business Insider, or any others specifically related to your industry.
- You can increase website traffic in as little as half an hour, which is good news for sites that are just starting out and are looking to attract large numbers of customers to boost their business, instead of waiting and hoping for visitors to come by (as in the case of SEO, as discussed in the previous point).
- Digital Advertising provides you with tools to measure whether your marketing campaigns are working effectively, and use these statistics to tweak your marketing efforts for even greater effectiveness.
- Your business will have access to many great features including geo-targeting, the ability to target a certain customer demographic, ad-scheduling (where you can specify which specific days and times the ad may run), and even ROI tracking to determine how cost effective your Digital Ads are.
- Finally, Digital Advertising is scalable, so you are at liberty to increase or decrease the number of desired visits as much as needed with relation to your invested budget and other factors.
What Digital Ads Can Do For Your Business
Quite simply: Digital Ads are one of the most direct methods to attract visitors to your site.
In spite of this, some potential challenges you should be aware of include budgetary concerns — especially for small businesses that are just starting out — technical errors, and using advertising channels that in the end are not suitable for your business — whether because of high costs, your target market not being present, or any other possible issues. However, most of these problems can be ironed out by enlisting the help of qualified and experienced Digital Advertising professionals.
Based on its myriad advantages, Digital Advertising is easily the quickest method to drive targeted visitors to your business website, and convert them into paying customers.
If you have decided that Digital Advertising is the right option for you, have a discussion with your internal marketing team to discover how much you are currently paying to acquire customers throughout all of your marketing methods, and then ask a qualified online advertising specialist for input on how these costs may be reduced — and at the same time increase website traffic while attracting more leads of an even higher quality — through a Digital Advertising effort.