Not too long ago in the brick and mortar world of small business, customer foot traffic may have relied on a mixture of the following:
- Posted hours that required extra employees
- Newspaper Ads
- Radio Ads
- Local TV Ads
- Word of Mouth
- Chamber of Commerce membership
- Joining a business association like BNI
- Giving away free samples
- Attending trade shows
- Outdoor Signage
- Coupons on Pizza boxes
- Flyers and mailed brochures
All these methods take effort, time and money and they continue to be a valid ways of attracting customers to your door. However:
Fast forward to today.
With the Internet, the same brick and mortar store, in downtown anywhere can easily increase their customer base from local folks to a worldwide buying audience. In most cases with, less effort and cost.
It’s a business owners dream, less expensive more revenue. But is it as easy as that?
To start down this road, you need a website, possibly an ecommerce website, with a domain name people can find
Investing in a great descriptive domain name will cost less than $20 a year. The domain name is yours as long as your pay for it each year. It’s the web address you will send customers and prospects to. It’s the address where your website resides, the website that you either build yourself (DIY Templates) or hired a designer to build it for you.
But after all is said and done, having a beautifully designed website does not guarantee anything. The website needs traffic, visitors, and buyers. Here are a few suggestions to increase your website traffic and who knows, your brick-and-mortar store traffic too!
Create Search Engine Optimization (SEO) content. SEO best practices suggest the use of meta tags, good descriptions, images and of course engaging content. Always do your own sanity checks look for design errors, (they do happen) misspellings, broken link, bad redirects, all things your designer can verify for you.
- Your designer and hosting company will be able to assist with loading speed.
- On the subject of content, use generic keywords, include them in your title, headers and meta descriptions. When you use images, include descriptive keywords in the ALT attribute of image tags (your designer can help you here)
- Paid search is similar to a newspaper ad, except you pay when someone reads it (clicks on the ad. Link). This is also known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising Example of PPC GoogleAd words, Facebook and, Pinterest
- Use Social Media channels, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to promote website content.
- Write an informative blog
- Invite guest bloggers
- Look for opportunism to answer postings on your industry such as ones found in Linkedin
- Link your content to internal pages
- Include an industry glossary
- Keep your website current and update content often
- Run contests and giveaways
- Host or present webinars
- And most importantly use email marketing
Website traffic is an investment, just like a TV ad.
When you look at the list above, its prudent to still:
- Join the Chamber of Commerce
- Become a member with a local business association
- Attend trade shows
Building a good ranking on the search engines to attract organic traffic is the best strategy. Its not expensive, it requires patience as it takes a longer time to generate traffic. Regardless of what you use, a high-quality website to convert visitors to buyers should be your goal. Start with a easy to use template from DWLI or a customer web site made to order.