Making sure people will come to your website

Where does a company’s website fit in the overall marketing puzzle? Smack dab in the middle.

Everything you create to generate leads should point to your website for the full story. Think of a website as a silent salesperson, working 24/7 – not needing breaks and never putting in a workers’ comp claim. It’s there for you, round the clock – for credibility, sure — but often for leads and sales as well.

Nearly 350 million websites exist today, but just because you build one doesn’t mean they’ll come. How will prospects find your website?

People may be exposed to your message, say, driving by a big billboard, but they don’t visit websites unless there’s a reason to. You have to give them a good reason to click to your site.

There are just three ways a prospect will have arrived at your site. He or she either:


  • Knew your URL. It was on your business card, a direct mailer, or that big drive-by billboard, so they came directly to it.
  • Saw your ad or post somewhere, perhaps from an ad on Google, the local paper’s online version, or a mention on a blog or a posting that included your URL in Twitter or Facebook.
  • Found your listing on the Google results page when doing a search.


How do you gather the most people possible using any or all of these three methods? That will be our answer to “how to drive traffic to your website.”

Direct
To get more people to just type in your URL in their browser window, think about ways you can get that website address front and center. Let’s start with your business card. Is the Web address on it? What about in your signature on your emails? Is it on your printed literature? What about your vehicle wrap? Have fun thinking of ways to promote your Web address.

Referrals
This is where other websites point to your website. We also call them “inbound links.” Besides driving traffic to your website directly, having inbound links, if they are relevant to your business, is a strong signal to Google that you are a popular site worthy of ranking by a search engine.

What other ways can you think of to get websites to send people (and Google) to yours?

Search engines
This is the third way you can drive traffic to your website – via your “natural” or “organic” listing in the search-engine result pages. This is where your website is shown when someone types a query into the Google search bar. How does your website magically come up in the non-advertising section of Google?

Well, there are at least 200 ranking factors Google uses to determine which lucky 10 sites (typically) appear in a top results page. But of those 200 plus, four are crucial:


  • Having lots of content (words on the page);
  • Lots of relevant websites are pointing to your website;
  • Having key-worded tags, meaning using words in your meta keywords that you imagine people will use to find your site;
  • Providing updates to your content regularly.


Laurie Macomber, owner of Fort Collins-based Blue Skies Marketing, can be reached at laurie@blueskiesmktg.com or 970-689-3000.

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