Just Because You’ve Built It, Doesn’t Mean They Will Come
You finally have a powerful website and blog that you are proud to show off, with messages that clearly explain how you help your clients and the value you provide. Now, how do you drive your target audience to your site and generate qualified leads? The following 10 tips create an inbound marketing plan that will drive traffic to and turn your website into a powerful hub for your web presence.
1. Optimize your site around your top keywords
Understanding how people search for your products or services enables you to develop a keyword list that you use for all of your marketing activities. Then optimize each page of your website around one keyword phrase, making sure you use it in your web page title, the meta description tag and appropriately throughout your content.
2. Blog regularly
When you first start to blog, you feel as if you are talking to yourself. However, the search engines do hear you and in time, your content will make its way into the hands of those interested in what you have to say. Good content attracts the right audience and if you know what they care about, what pain they are in or what challenge they need help with, the combination of your content and the search engines will lead them to you.
3. Syndicate your content
Syndicate your blog content to your Facebook Business Page, LinkedIn profile and out through Twitter, making your content visible to your friends, connections and followers. Also use legitimate sites like the 8 communities created by Social Media Today such as Social Media Today and Sustainable Cities Collective (the list of the 8 communities is on each of these sites) to distribute your content to a much larger audience, making you visible to their readers and providing inbound links.
4. Build quality inbound links
This is not an easy task that can be done quickly. Don’t believe those who solicit your business by saying they can build thousands of inbound links in a couple of weeks. What they do is connect your website to link farms that hurt more than help. The best way for you to get inbound links is to connect with reputable websites through reciprocal efforts and to implement a blog comment and syndication strategy.
5. Develop a blog comment strategy
Adding to the conversation by commenting on blogs can help you develop your expertise, build natural inbound links, and help others find you. If someone reads your comment and likes what you have to say, they will click through your link to see other written, visual or audio works you may have done.
6. Create a powerful web presence
Your web presence does not end with your website. You need to take control of other online properties that list your business. Google Places, Yahoo Local and Bing Local are a good start, creating credible listings for your business and providing inbound links. Depending on your industry, InsiderPages, Merchant Circle and Yelp are others. Both directories and review sites are valuable properties in building a strong web presence because the number of citations are now taken into consideration for rankings.
7. Engage in social media
Actively participating in social media makes you visible and helps people find you. Your Facebook Business Page and LinkedIn profile include your website link, again helping those who find you via these networks make their way back to your hub. Even if your target market does not use Facebook, create a powerful personal presence to help people find you when they are searching. If your audience is on these networks, develop your business profile and attract your target market, giving them a reason to learn more about you.
8. Add article and email marketing to the mix
Distributing your content via article marketing or email marketing can also drive visitors to your website. Sites such as IdeaMarketers and eZineArticles create more visibility for you and direct traffic back to your website. A quality eNewsletter can be easily forwarded to others, encouraging them to visit your website. Both build your expert reputation which naturally attracts people to your website.
9. Create compelling free offers
Create offers that are valuable to your ideal client to help them find you. Offer a useful white paper, ebook or template that will be found when someone is searching on that topic. If the offer is valuable to them, they will sign up for your mailing list to receive the offer. You not only attract more visitors but you are building your email list that will build a community around your products and services.
10. Take Advantage of your sales tools
Prominently display your website address on your business card and include a QR code with your website address in it so those with smart phones can easily scan your contact information. Include your website address in your email signature, along with your social media links, so people know where to find information on what you have to offer. All paths lead to your website and it doesn’t matter where they start, as long as they get to the proper destination.
What other cost-effective ideas do you have to drive people to your website?