Many business owners think the purpose of their website is just to get traffic from Google. Here’s why search traffic is only a small part of it.
I met a business owner who told me his website was worthless.
I looked up his business. The design was solid. He had a clear value proposition and a good call to action.
I asked him what the problem was.
“The problem is I’m on page 8 of search,” he said. “What’s the point of having a website if nobody can find it?”
I agreed that being on page 8 wasn’t ideal. But I strongly disagreed that meant his website is worthless.
There are a lot of ways to get people to your website, and many of them are as vital (if not more) than online search.
Furthermore, most people will check your website to familiarize themselves with you no matter how they find out about you. More than ever, your website introduces your business.
Smart businesses with professional, persuasive website content funnel leads to their website. If the only traffic you’re getting is from Google, you’re missing opportunities to influence your audience.
Here are some other ways to drive traffic to your site.
Put Your Web Address on Everything
Your web address should be ubiquitous. It’s on your business cards, brochures, swag, and vehicle wraps. It’s on all your paperwork, from memos to press releases. Anywhere you have a logo, you should have your web URL.
Heck, if you’re really dedicated, include it in your next tattoo. Have a sign spinner work a corner with your business name and URL. People looking at their phones while they wait for the light could be looking you up.
You can also use QR codes so people can quickly get to a webpage without having to type in a URL.
The point is that when people see anything associated with your business, you want them to go to your website. That’s where you present your value proposition, introduce your services, and persuade them to make formal contact with you.
A particularly excellent example of this comes from an electrician in Chicago. He keeps a box of magnetic business cards and puts them on the outside of his truck:
This is an inexpensive, effective way to drive web traffic and get more calls. You could also put a QR code on your vehicles that takes people to your homepage.
Get your web URL out there. Direct traffic is a beautiful thing.
If there is anything small businesses tend to overlook, it’s the power of brand advertising.
Brand advertising focuses on making a memorable impression. It’s encapsulated in your business name, logo, and tagline.
It’s also created by being present. Active social media is an excellent way to brand. Content marketing with blog articles and YouTube videos is unbeatable branding. The modern twist on the old billboard (a digital billboard) is a great way to brand.
Any PR you create gives you brand lift. Helping with social causes is really effective branding. Even local networking is a form of brand marketing.
The result? People remember you. Then, when they have more interest, they look you up online by searching on your brand name.
Unless you’re doing something really wrong, your website should rank for your brand name. This is direct, targeted traffic with strong buying intent. You can’t beat it.
At Marketing 360® we’ve come to view brand search traffic as the most valuable you can capture. It’s a KPI that shows you’re doing many other things in your marketing right.
Again, the focal point you direct this traffic to?
Pro Tip: Be sure to run paid ad campaigns on your brand name so you dominate the search results.
A lot of business owners wonder why they should bother with social media. Bet you can guess why now.
Yes, social media platforms are another excellent source of website traffic.
To begin with, your social media profiles can all include a link to your website.
Likewise, any post you do that has relevance to your website content should link back (for example if a blog article expands on the topic of the post).
With organic social media, the call to action (which is often indirect) is to click through to your website. This is targeted traffic from people interested in your brand.
Your Homepage Is a Landing Page
In web marketing parlance, we talk about website landing pages. These are very much what they sound like.
First, people “land” on your website from the places we’ve described here. They see something with your brand and website URL, then look you up to check you out in detail.
The page content is not just random stuff. It’s carefully designed to provoke an action, which in most cases is for them to contact you directly. That’s the lead-generation component of this. Whether it’s a form fill, call, or purchase, the action (called a conversion) happens on your website.
Think of your website homepage as a landing page. You’re not driving all this traffic to your website just to show people pretty pictures and catchy slogans.
You need to present your value proposition and give visitors a compelling reason to act.
If they don’t act, it won’t matter if you’re on page one of search or have a well-known brand.
Your goal isn’t traffic. It’s targeted traffic that results in business growth. Get that traffic from every channel you can. That, far more than just a page one ranking, is what having a business website is all about.