Like all holidays, the approach of Valentines Day sends businesses into a flurry of activity. You will have noticed heart-covered websites, increased e-mail marketing, special offers and sales as e-commerce sites fight to keep themselves visible and ahead of the competition. Whether you're selling flowers, cakes or gifts the increasing competition, in all industries means you need to work hard to boost your website traffic.
After all, a shop on a main high-street will naturally get a lot of footfall, whereas a shop just off the high-street is going to need to work a lot harder to get the same number of visitors. In the digital world, you can't simply move to a better location, you have to attract the right customers and increase your website traffic through the use of digital marketing.
Below are 5 tips on how to increase your website traffic.
Tip 1 – Find out who uses your site
Discover who your audience is and where they are. Do you sell birthday cakes for toddlers? A blog dedicated to sneezing cats? A forum of people who prefer oranges to apples? Once you understand your target audience and find out where they are, you can target them much more effectively. Spending your entire advertising budget on Facebook, when your audience actually prefers Google+, is likely to be a waste of money.
Take time to research who needs your service, and target them specifically on the channels they use.
Tip 2 – Make yourself accessible to your target market
With the rise of social media, simply ‘having a website’ is rarely enough. If your target market uses Facebook to communicate, create a Facebook page. If your users spend the day tweeting, get on Twitter. Most social networks will let you to create a business page, allowing you to go straight to your customers, rather than waiting for them to come to you.
Tip 3 – Make sure you're sending the right message
If you walked into a shop called “Smith's Vegetarian Restaurant” and it was a steakhouse, you're likely to leave immediately. Make sure that your website's title, landing pages and content tell the user exactly who you are and why they should stay on the site. With such a variety of sites available on the Internet, making a good first impression is vital (and could be the difference between a user becoming a lifelong customer or leaving immediately).
Tip 4 – Learn from your users
Not having analytics on your site is like driving a car blindfolded. Whilst it's possible, it's pointlessly difficult, prevents you from avoiding danger and can cost you a lot of money in the long run. If you don't know how your users are acting when they're on your site, it can be difficult to identify problems with user experience, as well as which areas of the site are performing well and which need attention. Even basic indicators such as page views and bounce rate can tell you if you're cruising on the road to success or if your site is breaking down on the hard shoulder.
Implementing Google Analytics onto your website is easy to do and will give you a much greater insight into how your users behave.
Tip 5 – Provide useful content
There’s nothing worse than seeing a blog with the words "Welcome to my blog”, with no other content. If you’re thinking about launching a blog, consider what content you could be posting over the coming months. If you are struggling for ideas, why not wait until you’re more established and have a backlog of unique, valuable content to post.
Content doesn't have to be text-based, adding visual content such as photos, videos and infographics, testimonials from clients or intellectual property such as briefs and whitepapers will keep your customer's focus for longer.
In short, if you want your site to stand out in the tide of mediocrity that fills search engine results and social media you need to give potential users a reason to come to your site rather than going to your competitors. The Internet is full of potential customers; it's up to you to make sure that they know you're open for business. Increased competition means you need to work hard to increase your website traffic.
Image: Valentines Cup Cake Selection © 2010, Stuart Webster