“If you build it, they will come.” This may have worked for Kevin Costner, but when there are billions of websites, a passive approach to driving traffic to your new online business won’t cut it. Building a new business’s online presence isn’t easy, and it can be frustrating when you don’t gain speed by day two.
Boosting your website traffic organically takes time, but there are proven methods for driving more qualified traffic at a faster pace. From free, simple fixes to ongoing marketing campaigns, here are ten new ways you can drive traffic to your new online business.
- Team Up with Influencers
Influencer marketing is one of the fastest growing trends, with nearly 75% of marketers using some form of it. Reach out to rising social media stars, YouTubers, and thought leaders in your industry and pitch your online business to see if they’d be interested in collaborating. In exchange for free services, discount products, or a fee, the influencer will promote your business, increasing traffic to and engagement with your website.
- Blog Everywhere
The great thing about blogging is that it’s effective and inexpensive. Along with providing informative content to your audience, you’re also encouraging return site visits and building links to your domain. Beyond blogging on your website, create content for other sites that include at least one link to a page on your website. Contribute guest posts to relevant blogs in your industry, submit to online publications, share your content on social media, and answer questions on Quora and Yahoo! Answers. These options help with your SEO and allow you to reach a wider audience who may not have organically found your website in a Google search.
- Accept Guest Posts on Your Blog
Along with blogging and contributing to publications, accepting guest posts on your blog is a free and easy way to increase your website traffic. Consider allowing individuals and companies to contribute posts to your blog if they aren’t direct competitors. They’ll get an SEO boost by including a link to their blog, and you’ll gain access to a new audience when they share the post on their networks.
- Build an Email List—and Use It
A strong, ever-growing email list paired with an ongoing newsletter is a powerful duo for creating returning website traffic and increasing sales. Make sure your website has a newsletter opt-in form so your visitors can sign up to receive news and announcements. Send a weekly or bi-monthly newsletter highlighting new blog posts, sales, or other information to drive your contacts to your website. Many inexpensive platforms make gathering emails and sending newsletters quick and painless, such as Drip, OptinMonster, and MailChimp.
- Create a Rewards Program for Referrals
Don’t neglect your current customers while searching for new leads and website visitors. On average, 82% of Americans seek the opinions of friends and family before making a purchase. By keeping your current customers happy and staying on their minds, you can gain referrals and new business. The simplest and cheapest way to do this is through a referral program that you advertise on your website, through email, and on social media. Offer a discount or gift to customers who refer people. This makes for great word-of-mouth advertising and increased website traffic.
- Sponsor Local Meetups
Meetup.com is one of the most popular online destinations for organizing book clubs, wine tastings, writing groups, and other events. If you operate solely online, host a virtual meetup, such as a book club, and provide information on your business as it relates. Or, if you have a brick-and-mortar location, sponsoring a meetup provides your company free publicity. You can invite them to join your email newsletter or encourage them to visit your site.
- Optimize Your Website for SEO
Working with a professional SEO company is expensive, and attempting black hat SEO techniques is a losing game. However, there are easy, quick fixes you can make to your SEO that can work wonders on improving your website’s visibility. Start by using an SEO audit tool, like SEMrush, for a comprehensive overview of your website’s SEO, including any errors, warnings, and notices. Then dedicate time to fix errors and improve your SEO score, making it easier for search engines to crawl your website and for web surfers to find you.
- Interact with Other Companies in Your Industry
Joining Facebook and LinkedIn groups offers you an opportunity to build valuable relationships with other professionals and customers in your industry, share valuable tips that establish you as an industry thought leader, and attract traffic to your website. Search for and join groups that cater to your niche or industry. On a weekly or monthly basis, share a post, respond to a question, or comment on someone else’s post. While you shouldn’t spam anyone, you can share your knowledge and link to a blog post on your website for further information.
- Build Your Social Media Community
Social media can boost your business in several ways. You can share links from your website, build a following, and establish your legitimacy. To build your community, make sure you post consistently several times per week, sharing a mix of content and information about your products or services. You can also host giveaways for new followers and encourage your fans to share your posts with their networks. Including links to your website in each post will help continuously drive traffic and build interest in your brand.
- Invest in Content Distribution
Advertising can be one of the most expensive forms of marketing, and if you aren’t well-versed in search engine marketing (SEM) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, you risk busting your budget without any rewards. A less expensive and simpler-to-launch alternative is paid content distribution. Using a content discovery platform like Outbrain or Taboola, you can feature your blog posts on popular news sites and publications as recommended content. When a viewer clicks on your link, they’ll be taken to your website’s post. Prices can start as low as $0.10 per click, making it affordable for many small businesses.
There’s nothing quite as exciting as launching a new online business. With the help of technology and a few tried-and-true marketing strategies, you can drive traffic to your website and transform your unknown business into an industry powerhouse.
Have you tried any of these techniques or had success with other methods? Share your tips for success and favorite tech recommendations to help out budding entrepreneurs.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.