The best approach when running businesses over the Internet is to concentrate on directing quality traffic towards your Web site. In order to do that, there are some tricks that can be done and some rules of thumb that must be taken into account.
Don’t sit back and imagine that your site will draw relevant traffic all by itself. In order to make your return on investment worthwhile, you really have to put some effort into promoting your site and luring the right prospects towards your business.
Getting the Right Traffic to Your Site
Targeted traffic may not be easy to acquire, but it’s important that you keep in mind to always aim for it. This is what can make your business profitable.
Ask anyone and they will tell you that visits to your site that convert into sales are the ones that really matter. No matter how many visitors your site has, if the ones that you’d like to see aren’t there, you should really start working.
Submitting your site to search engines “as is” may not be a totally wrong approach. Of course, there will be people searching for what you have to offer, and you will get some ranking based on how many visits your site received.
But be aware that most of these visitors will probably qualify as “spam traffic”, with little to no relevance for your business. Don’t understand from this that search engines will do you no good. You still depend on them to make your site popular and appear as high as possible in their rankings.
There are some things you can do to increase your chances of getting as little spam traffic as possible and observe an ascending tendency in the figures that reflect your targeted traffic.
One of these things is paying attention to the keywords that you use. The general advice from experts is that you focus on two or three keywords per page. Do some research on this issue and see if what you chose is looked for extensively enough to be worth placing in your meta tags. Then, do your best to make that keyword a great target for your traffic. Most SEO advice pages on the Web cover this issue.
Another important factor is linking. You want your prospects to be able to find you in relevant places on the Web. Some of the means through which you can get good links are:
> Personally contacting the webmasters of relevant sites and negotiating a “link trade” – you give them space for their links, and vice versa
> Writing your own articles (good ones) and submitting them to popular article Web sites
> Finding forums that are closely related to your area of activity and posting valid comments there – remember to include the link to your site at the end of the comment, preferably included in your signature.
It is not uncommon practice to speculate on the information gaps of other Web sites. If you find such gaps, exploit them. Offer users more than general information on the topic covered by your site. Close that gap by offering them exactly the information they might be looking for.
As a bonus to this, you could actually contact the webmasters of those other Web sites and let them know that you cover some area that they lack. A profitable cooperation could result from this, as the other site will reference yours.
You should not leave out the benefits of affiliate programs. Create your own program and then “recruit” affiliates. This is a sure way to get your site known on the Web, especially if your affiliate program comes with a good marketing strategy and good copy. Remember that affiliation can also increase your search engine ranking, which comes as a well-deserved bonus.
A Few Tips
> Make sure that your site is a quality one. No Web user will be attracted by a mediocre site. After all, packaging always makes a difference.
> Create RSS feeds and allow visitors to subscribe to them. People who found your site worth remembering will want to receive news from you ASAP. Don’t deny them this privilege, and don’t deny yourself the prospect of gaining targeted traffic.
> Add “Tell a friend” and “Newsletter” scripts to your site. These are small scripts that will allow you to reach people that are likely to be interested in your products / services (tell a friend), or help people remember, on a periodical basis, that you have news or new products / services that might be of interest to them (newsletter).
> If your budget allows, run pay per click advertising campaigns (AdWords). You will definitely get noticed by using that.
> If you also have a blog, make sure it also looks nice. Post relevant things, offer solutions and generally be helpful with your articles. Refrain from posting just for the sake of occupying hyperspace. You’ll build credibility and the results you’ll reap from this might be incredible.
> Do answer emails that you receive. Be prompt and you will benefit from this. A happy customer will most likely reference you to a prospective one.
> When answering emails, try to make your answers as personalized as possible (in keeping with the nature of the business you’re conducting). Be formal or casual, as appropriate, but let the other person feel like you’re really interested in their personal problem (as you should be).
Bottom line on all of the above is that you definitely need to know exactly whom you’re targeting. If you want your ROI to look pretty, do some research on all the aspects mentioned in the previous paragraphs (and don’t limit yourself to them, go even further). Stand out of the crowd.
Be different by being more relevant, more useful in your sector than others. The world of Web-based businesses is a jungle; you can’t survive without the proper set of tools.