“If you build it, they will come.” Perhaps that is true if you are Kevin Costner and you are building a baseball diamond in your cornfield, but not so if you are building a website and expect visitors to immediately flock to it the minute you go live.
We’ve all been there. We’ve spent months – sometimes years – developing our product. Then we dedicated the time to build the perfect website, crafting beautifully written content that we know will resonate perfectly with our potential customers. And then our site goes live…and we wait. Well, by waiting I mean obsessively check our web stats every 5 minutes and wonder why the orders aren’t jamming up the server.
The bottom line is that those of us who believe that the work is over when our site goes live are destined for failure. The work BEGINS when the site goes live.
A website is an organic, living, breathing vessel and it takes work to build traffic. The exact combination of tactics that it will take to bring the right traffic to your site will depend on several variables including the type of product you are selling and the demographics and needs of your target market. But there are a few must-do tactics that we have compiled for you on a list that we lovingly call the “If you don’t do this then there is no way you are going to sell products or increase profits list”.
1. Maximize SEO. We would like to argue that there is no more overused acronym in the world of digital commerce today than our dear friend Mr. SEO. This is because Search Engine Optimization is a vital part of gaining website traction by increasing your performance in organic search results. The way to accomplish this is by making sure you do things like include unique accurate page titles, use meta tags, improve the structure of your URLs, utilize anchor text and optimize the use of your images, or (to be quite frank)…nobody will ever find you. But short of hiring a digital advertising expert or going back to school to get your Masters in SEO, you will need to educate yourself to make sure that you are doing all that you can to maximize your website’s exposure.
Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide: CLICK HERE
2. Utilize Social Media. Although there may be other industry-specific social sites that are appropriate for your particular product it is generally recommended that you make sure you have a presence on the Big 5: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. Many new businesses make the mistake of not recognizing the importance and power of this social world. These portals are an opportunity to quickly connect with current and potential customers in a somewhat less formal way that can build brand-equity and define your brand personality. Once you figure out the kind of social content that works with each of the viewers of these sites, you can create the right calls-to-action to bring those people back to your website and ultimately increases sales.
3. Make your Blog Work for You. The purpose of having an active business blog often can be a confusing one if you don’t understand exactly how it works. The easiest way to determine what to write about on your blog is to figure out what questions your target customers are most commonly asking. Then you create blog posts that explain the answers to those questions. People searching the web will start finding those blog posts in the search results. The goal is to have them click on that listing and they are taken to a blog post that is housed within your website. And then once you have them there…that’s when the magic happens! You now have the opportunity to get them to notice that you have a product or service that is directly relevant to what they are searching for.
It is very important to be aware of some common mistakes that are made when we begin blogging. First and foremost, there is a fine line between being authentic and a sleazy salesman. Never forget that a blog is there to entertain and inform and should never seem like it is written in order to just hit on key words or to push a product. Remain consistent, engage with your readers and be flexible in your content creation based on what the needs are of your audience. In no time you will figure out exactly what they want and you can deliver on it. Then, everybody wins!