How to drive organic traffic to any small business website
7 free ways to get people to visit your website
So, you’ve built a website for your business. Now what?
Or maybe you’re thinking of building one, but want to know how to get people to visit it when it’s done? What resources do you need to grow your organic traffic? And where should you start?
This article aims to answer those questions, by providing you with a short walkthrough of the most effective means of driving free traffic to your business website. But, as you read, remember that there is no such thing as a perfect recipe for driving traffic and getting engagement on your website. What’s worked for your competitors won’t necessarily work for you.
How do you succeed? By knowing your target audience and meeting them where they hang out. You don’t have to invest your resources in all the marketing practices mentioned below. Just in the ones you think your tribe will react to.
But first things first…
Is your website ready for more traffic?
Just putting anything on a web page and calling it a website won’t do. Before you invest in bringing people to your website, you should make sure your website’s ready to receive visitors. Otherwise, one of two things can happen:
A. you’re not going to see much engagement. People will land on your page, look around for 2-3 seconds and leave. Congrats! You’ve just lost them (maybe forever).
B. in addition to not engaging with your page, they will remember you for having wasted their time. This is how you can lose your reputation early in the game. And reputation is really hard to get back.
Therefore, before you start marketing, ask yourself, and your web development team the following questions:
1. How reliable is your hosting? Does your plan include automatic website backup and updated SSL certificates?
2. Is your website optimized for mobile browsing? Most people browse on their devices, so your website must account for that.
3. Is your website cross-browser compatible? It should look/feel the same in the most common browsers.
4. How fast does your website load? The faster, the better. Generally, page speed should be under 3 seconds.
5. Is your content interesting? Is it useful? Do your landing pages have a clear call to action (CTA)? Put yourself in your visitors’ shoes. Does your content answer their questions? Does it align with your brand?
6. Do you have Google Analytics installed? You’ll need it to measure the results of your marketing to adjust your strategy later.
Done? Now we can talk about getting people to visit your website.
How to boost organic traffic = free ways to get visitors
Search engine optimization is still the most effective organic means of getting people to your website (B2B and B2C). The first thing people do when they have to make a decision is to google it.
However, the results won’t be fast. You’ll have to tinker with your website for a few months until you see the results of your hard work. Besides, SEO is continuously evolving, so you should keep up-to-date with changes in Google algorithms and policies.
My advice is to get comfortable with SEO because it’s not going away anytime soon. Consider every optimization as an investment into the reputation and the visibility of your website. It’s slow, but it pays off in the end.
2. Create and share valuable, good quality content
We’ve tackled the issue of good website content in a bunch of other blog posts on the NerdPilots blog. We’re not going to dwell on copywriting now.
Instead, you should bear in mind that there’s not just one type of content. Your homepage, your landing pages, the blog, the product descriptions, the policy and FAQ pages, basically every piece of content that’s on the website or linked to your website has the potential to bring in visitors and keep them engaged.
- Keep adding content to your blog – it’s a great place to bring your visitors for useful/interesting content and to build a relationship with them. If you publish regularly and use relevant keywords and links, you will also increase your SEO score.
- Update and/or repurpose content – every piece of content you’ve ever written can be transformed and reused. Turn blog posts into social media posts, emails into webinars, page content into an eBook – the sky is the limit.
- Guest blog – write articles as a guest on other websites (Medium is a good place to start) or magazines. Invite other bloggers to write for you once in a while.
- Publish interviews, and get interviewed by other industry leaders.
- Answer questions your target audience might have – create a FAQ page and use the QA approach to generate content for social media and the blog too. People browse the internet for answers. Provide them with the answers they’re looking for, and you’ll have their attention.
- Experiment with video – it’s getting a lot of attention.
3. Leverage social media
Most people spend a lot of time on social media every day, so you’re not wrong in thinking that social media could help you boost your organic traffic. From staying informed and planning holidays, to getting help with house chores, swapping recipes, and buying presents, people use social networks for almost anything.
However, not all social media channels are the same. Depending on the habits and interests of your target audience, you’re going to have more success interacting with people on certain platforms. Go back to your consumer profile to figure out which platforms to target first. Rank each of your social media options on an effort matrix: prioritize high value + low effort channels and forget about low value + high effort ones.
4. Use email
With the increase in global online traffic, consumers are bombarded with emails (yes, more than usual). This is not necessarily a bad thing, but you do have to work on your delivery because open rates are falling everywhere. People are becoming more discerning when consuming content.
Our advice? Produce better emails than your competition:
- Make your emails mobile-friendly (70% of all emails are opened on mobile), just like your website.
- Write effective copy.
- Come up with catchy subject lines and titles – as little spammy as possible.
- Include actionable calls to action.
- Add contact details to every email.
- Learn as much as you can about email marketing.
A big part of running a business these days is the hustle. A successful business can’t be an island. It’s an archipelago at best. Some of your activities as a manager and/or business owner might include making new connections/friends, building business relationships, participating in trade shows, events, and so on.
Use all these new connections and business opportunities to create cross-promotional campaigns. They are a great way to grow your online visibility with minimal effort.
Let’s say you run a cleaning business. You may want to make friends with a cleaning product supplier who aligns with your values to deliver a shared message to all your followers. Find common goals and figure out the most effective ways to achieve them… together.
6. Create free classes, teach webinars
Teaching online classes is a great way to bring traffic back to your website. If you create super valuable content, you can host your tutorials either on your website or on platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, even YouTube. Don’t forget to link back to your website for even more valuable content.
In addition to direct traffic, you can also get your students to leave their email information so you can send them updates, special offers, tips, and tricks to improve their skills, etc. If you manage to build a loyal, engaged community, you’ll have a loyal customer base.
7. Display your website offline
Getting people to visit your website may take more than online action. Depending on your industry and area of business, you can include your web address on your business cards, display it in your office, in your shop window, add it to car wraps, trade show brochures, uniforms, and whatever else you can think of. All these simple steps add to the overall exposure of your brand and build up to increased traffic.
Contrary to what some “marketing gurus” are saying, there’s no universal recipe for growing organic traffic to your website. If there were, marketing companies, branding, communication, and SEO specialists would all go out of business.
That’s not to say that you should hire a specialist (although that could get you a bigger, quicker traffic boost). But you should consider where your business goals and your customer’s goals intersect. That’s where you’ll find the most value.
So, whatever marketing strategy you employ, and whatever channel you use to grow your organic traffic, think to yourself: “What do my customers want? How much of that can I offer, and how do I offer it?”.
Then, put your message out there by publishing valuable content on your blog, starting meaningful conversations on social media, educating people, networking, and growing your brand. All these things will add up in time to a strong reputation and more sales.
Need professional help with developing, maintaining, or marketing your website? Get in touch. We’re happy to help.