Congratulations!! You have taken the steps to create your website. It's looking good, but where is everybody?
Now you face the challenge of getting visitors to your site. In today’s digital age where users are constantly presented with endless amount of content and advertisements, it takes creativity and going outside of the box in order to get their attention.
Here are 5 methods to obtaining your audience, whether your website is professional or personal:
1. Hosting a launch party
Having an event towards the launch of your website attracts not only your current customer base, but in addition provides an opportunity to connect to prospective, potential clients. A good launch party is what gets your website and brand name out there. Not only can a successful launch party get you press, but can result in a large amount of traffic.
Tip: Promote your website at the event through business cards and a relevant hashtag. Encourage your guests to Tweet, Instagram, and Facebook this hashtag during the event. This expands your reach outside of just your guests.
2. YouTube videos
Audiences love stimulating and eye-catching visuals. Having videos can help build and expand your fan base, and boost customer engagement. In addition, videos are easy to create and are inexpensive. But what you can you put in your videos?
The main idea is to get personal. Give your audience a chance to get to know you. Provide client testimonials, do how-to guides, have behind-the-scenes access, show a day in the life of your employee(s). Be creative and don’t be afraid to try new things. While every business wants to go “viral”, it is important to remember that not every video needs millions of views to successfully drive traffic to your website.
Tip: At the end of your videos, show viewers where to visit (your website), how to get there (provide a link), and an incentive to visit (contests, give away, updates, etc.).
3. Blogging and guest blogging
Offering free, original content on your website can attract new visitors and set you apart from your competition. Blogging helps you to get noticed on social media. Every post is a potential opportunity to get discovered through sharing on social networks, exposing you to a new audience, which in turn increases traffic to your site.
Guest blogging on other websites is another opportunity to find an audience. Including a link to your website in your biography at the end of your guest post(s) can draw in potential visitors. Once again, expanding your reach is key.
Tip: Your audience is visiting your blog regularly to read fresh, new content. If you don’t blog enough, you will lose them. If you blog too much, you will exhaust both you and your audience. Set up a schedule and be consistent. Research the best days of the week and times to publish new blog posts and commit to those times.
4. Facebook/Twitter Ads
Facebook and Twitter can be very beneficial in promoting your website. With millions of people using Twitter and Facebook every day of all demographics, the sky’s the limit. Facebook and Twitter give you an opportunity to tailor your ads to specifics such as: location, gender, age, interests, and what other pages/accounts they like/follow.
You can pay for a campaign that goes for a specific beginning and end date, or you can set the price you are willing to pay and have it go until you reach the limit. In addition, both Twitter and Facebook provide analytics to show you how you can reach out to users and the type of audience that have checked out your ads.
Tip: Keep your posts and campaigns short and sweet (100 - 250 characters) and tap into user’s visual sense. As I mentioned before, audiences love stimulating visuals. Take advantage of that when promoting your website on Facebook and Twitter, as an eye-catching visual is more likely to get their attention.
5. Search Engine Optimization
SEO is where you increase your website’s visibility in search engine organic results. This is done by customizing your pages with keyword phrases people are likely to search for. Think about it: when you search for something on Google, do you ever go past the first couple pages in results? Probably not. In fact, majority of people don’t even go past page 2. The goal of every business is to have your website show up on the first page as the first thing people see when they are searching. How do you do this?
Adding keywords to new and existing content, increasing the numbers of backlinks or inbound links (the popularity or importance of your website - determined by the links your website receives from other webpages), having short urls, just to name a few.
Getting to the first page is time-consuming, however it is necessary in order to get more traffic and be at the top spot in search engines for your main keyword phrases. SEO can be quite complicated, so research and stay on top of the latest updates and news on improving your Google ranking.
Tip: Building great content and keeping it up to date is the key to being successful with SEO. Search engines love sites like blogs, that are regularly updated and refreshed. Take this into consideration with your own company blog. Include links and once again stick to your blogging schedule.
Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment - Trial and Error !!!
Regardless of whether your website is professional or personal, the important thing is to think creatively and experiment. Through trial and error, you will figure out what works for your business/yourself and your website. All these ideas demand a time commitment and sometimes money for businesses, but these are long-term investments that pay off. With millions of websites vying to get users attention, you have to go above and beyond if you want to see traffic to your site.