There are two things you must do to grow your business. First, you must drive traffic to your website and second, you must design your website so that it closes sales.
Driving traffic to your website and optimizing your website design is a classic case of the chicken and the egg! Your business can have a very appealing, well-designed website but if there is no strategy to drive traffic there, it will go unnoticed.
Equally, you can spend lots of time and money driving traffic to your website and if it’s an awful user experience, your visitors will quickly abandon you. You must have both and they must work together.
Let’s focus on techniques that drive traffic to your website. For more on designing a website that closes sales, read Does My Small Business Need a Website?
The very first rule of driving traffic to your website, is to drive the right traffic. You want to engage with customers that have a problem you can solve. If that situation doesn’t exist closing sales is impossible.
As satisfying as it is to watch your website traffic grow, focus on attracting, retaining, and selling to the right people. It’s better to attract a thousand qualified visitors and close 25% of them than it is to have a million visitors bounce unceremoniously off your landing page and back into obscurity.
You can drive traffic to your website using these three techniques:
1. Provide high quality content Blogs, video, newsletters, webinars, curated content, white papers, case studies, infographics, and the list goes on. The choices are many so choose a couple to start and add more later. You’ll probably be surprised by the results that sharing high quality, relevant content can produce.
As an example, I published this article on LinkedIn and by itself it drove enough traffic to my website to result in almost two dozen leads. That may not sound like a lot but for a one woman band it’s been great! Half of those are now either clients or actively in the proposal stage.
Ironically, that particular article had nothing to do with my usual subject matter; marketing for small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs. However, it built a connection with some readers who were in the market for a skillset like mine.
My short bio at the end of the article led them to my website and there they were able to gauge if I could help them solve their problem. Providing links within your content to destinations on your website also drives traffic, as long as the destination is relevant to the content and to your audience.
2. Develop your keyword strategy Whether you are driving your traffic organically or by using ads, you have to be willing to get to know your ideal customer intimately. The more complex your product, the tougher this can be.
The principle is to identify your target market and then break the market into buyer personas. For example, the buyer personas I use are these:
- Entrepreneurs and startups – they tend to run very lean and move pretty fast. They are probably engaging investors and often their goal is to be acquired.
- Small businesses – I break this group into two. The first has no safety net and needs to get their business to market now. The other has a safety net, perhaps a job that pays the bills or a lifestyle that doesn’t depend on the immediate success of the business. They tend to move more slowly and may disappear for periods of time.
- Established companies – they frequently have campaign-style needs. This means they need help with a particular project but not all the time. They like establishing a relationship with a high performing and reliable resource that doesn’t want to be a full-time employee.
This is an overview of my buyer personas. I evaluate my buyer personas in terms of their goals, their characteristics, their pain points, how my services solve their problem, the challenges are of selling to them, and the strategy used to address their specific problem.
Add to this their specific feedback and I develop a robust picture of my clients. This shows me what’s important to them and typically holds the answers to the questions, “How, when, and where should I market to them? What will be useful to them that will give them a gentle push towards my website?”
If you have a good understanding of who your potential customers are, what keeps them awake at night, and how they go about solving problems, you probably have great insight into how they’ll search for the answer to their problem.
Once you understand how they might search, use those key words and phrases naturally in your content and to support messaging and ad development. Results are rarely immediate but with consistency and a willingness to analyze results, you can drive the right traffic to your website and convert it into sales.
3. Promote and Distribute Take advantage of social media to promote and distribute your high quality content and most importantly, to engage with your target audience. Post engaging social media content and always make it easy for your audience to move between channels. Make it especially easy to get to your website.
These are easy channels to use well and they allow the customer to choose where they want to interact. Even though you want to get customers to your website it has to be on their terms and in their time so distribute your content using social media to drive more traffic to your website.
Driving traffic to your website and designing your website so that it closes sales are not the only two things that will grow your business. However, if you don’t do these two things, you’re making it practically impossible for your customers to buy from you. Be easy to do business with!