The bottom line for any company is sales revenue, and the leading factor toward online sales is the amount of traffic to your website. If you want to focus your advertising dollars on any single metric, choose an increase in traffic.
Start By Measuring Traffic
Most internet hosts provide a count of the number of visitors to your website. This is not enough, even for a basic start. At a minimum, you want to know three things: the number of new visitors to your site, the number of repeat visitors to your site (the remainder), and the number of purchases at your site for each type of visitor.
The most effective and straightforward method to getting this information is to solicit a login registration. Then you will have complete information for each customer including the number of times visited and the amount of money spent. You can use the total number of logins from the online host to determine how many visited without registering.
No matter how small the scale of your operation, choose one of these two methods to get a complete, basic picture of your website visitors.
Increase Traffic By Increasing Your Rankings In Search Engines Through SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) techniques will tell search engines what they want to know to send the appropriate internet visitor to your site. Search engine algorithms are designed to determine relevancy, the degree to which your business matches customer expectations. The common language for determine relevancy is the same language the search engines use with their clients: keywords.
A person who uses an internet search engine learns to use defining words. The person may decide to shop for shoes and enters the keyword “shoes”. However, in the face of thousands of hits, the person realizes he or she only wants red shoes and so enters “red shoes”. On the other side of the transaction, an online store selling shoes will certainly mention shoes in its copy. The search engine will register that store and associate it with the keyword “shoes”. However, if the store sells red shoes, but neglects to say so specifically, the search engines will not associate the store with the keywords “red shoes”. Therefore, the store can optimize itself for search engines by including the word “red” in its copy.
It is an important talent, to be able to write copy that “speaks to the search engines” as well as communicates naturally to actual web visitors. However, communicating to both parties is essential to making sure the live visitor finds your site in the first place. In this way, SEO is a strong strategy toward increasing website traffic.
Increase Your Traffic Through Targeted Links
Search engines are not the only way customers find websites. Often, a customer will be reading an article on foot pain, and learn that a solution to the pain is proper arch supports. This induces them to want to purchase these supports. They could open a new search engine window and enter the keywords “arch supports”, but a more direct method could be to follow a link in the article itself.
Many companies will publish such an article, either on their own site or on a general information site, in order to lead to the link and the eventual sale. Alternately, they may collaborate with another company selling similar products, and each provides links for the other. For the arch supports example, the symbiotic store could sell sports shoes.
Finding link partners and then setting up a link agreement can take a lot of time and effort. An easy alternative is to hire a targeted traffic service, which will do the work of locating and providing links with appropriate partners.
Once an appropriate set of partners is identified, choosing the type of link is important. There are five types of links with varying visibility and client impact. Using the previous example of the article on foot pain, the link could reside right in the copy as a hyperlink. This method is customer-friendly, but does not provide any differentiation (logos, etc.) for the target company. A second method is a sidebar ad. This is also customer-friendly (as long as there are no flashing graphics), and gives room for logos and images. It is slightly less visible to those visitors who choose to ignore the sidebar. A third method is to provide the sidebar information in the middle of paragraph breaks in the article. Although this provides differentiation and high visibility, it is customer unfriendly. The fourth method is pop-up ads, which appear in front of the copy. Like the third method, it is visible and contains differentiation, but is extremely customer-unfriendly. It takes control away from the visitor, and hides the information the visitor wants to see. The fifth method is a pop-under window. This has lesser visibility as it displays behind the current window, but has all the other benefits.
As an online business owner, choose one of these methods, implement it, and use the metrics to determine its effectiveness. Both methods are proven techniques for increasing traffic to your website.