This is part three in the “15 Ways to Get More Traffic to Your Website” series. Here are strategies 11 through 15.
Craigslist.org is the hugely popular and successful local bulletin board website. Have you tried it for business yet? If not, or if your results have been less than you hoped for, here’s a link to an article full of great tips and a step by step on how to effectively use Craigslist: http://snipurl.com/3duox
12. Google Local
Want to come up at the top of Google listings? Target your geographical area and it might be easier than you think! Try a quick search for something like “alternative health anchorage” and you’ll see above the regular listing there are 10 geographically based listings with a small Google Map on the left. Now search for “your business type your city” (example: “dentist new york city” or “boutique baby shop seattle”) — if you aren’t listed on the top by the map, it’s easy to get added! If you’re already listed, claim ownership of your listing and make sure your contact info is up to date.
Description from Google: “Use the Local Business Center to create your free listing. When potential customers search Maps for local information, they’ll find your business: your address, hours of operation, even photos of your storefront or products. It’s easy, free, and you don’t need a website of your own.”
Sign up at http://www.google.com/local/add (you’ll need a Google account)
You can also encourage your customers to leave reviews for you through Google Local.
13. Joint Ventures
Two minds may be better than one. Two business promoting together can definitely be better than one! There are many easy ways to build your traffic and sales with joint ventures. Here are a couple quick strategy ideas to kick start your brainstorming:
– Create a collaboration of products
– Swap ads in ezines
– Link exchanges or banner exchanges
– Do a contest swap and offer a contest others can promote, the promote their contests for them
– Swap business cards – send theirs out with your orders, they send yours out with theirs
(I share more ideas in “Building Synergy”, available at www.michelleshaeffer.com)
Who can resist a great deal? Or better yet, something for free? The most effective free items or giveaways will be closely targeted to your market.
For example, if you offer items like nursing bras, you could create (or hire a designer to create) blinkies promoting breastfeeding and give them away to visitors to use on their websites or MySpace pages. If you’re an artist, you could setup a script to offer free ecards that feature your artwork. You could give away craft project ideas if you sell children’s items, or recipes if you sell home related items to women.
Just grab a piece of paper and take five minutes to write down everything you can think of that your target market is interested in, and then go back over your list and highlight the ones that also relate to your products or services. Those are good things to consider for freebies.
I’ve saved the best for last. Studies show that most shoppers don’t purchase the first time they hear of a business, service, or product. So you need a way to capture their information and keep your business on their minds.
One of the best promotional tools is a newsletter or ezine. If you haven’t started yours yet, it’s easier than you might think! Choose your service provider, add the form to your website, encourage your visitors to sign up (offer a freebie or coupon in exchange for their subscription), then send out regular newsletters. Weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or even seasonally may be often enough depending on your business model. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to keep your business in the minds of people who are interested in your products or services.
I highly recommend Aweber for newsletters: http://www.aweber.com/?221066
I couldn’t let this issue go out without one bonus tip to help you get more traffic. You need a way to let visitors tell their friends about your website!
Here’s a free hosted tell a friend form:
Or, here’s a free script you can install on your website: