So you have your pristine new business website built – ideally it’s fast, SEO friendly, responsive and running on a secure server (https). As many business owners will have experienced, that’s often the easiest bit – now the real challenge begins – driving consistent, converting traffic to your website day in, day out.
There is always a temptation to believe that making an amazing website will lead to traffic just happening, but this is rarely the case. Unless you have an established brand or many other websites already linking to your URL, your site will likely echo with the sound of multiple crickets.
Driving traffic is key to the success of your website and in many cases to the survival of your business or brand. Building website traffic can involve a lot of work, especially if you are working to a limited budget and need to gain traffic that is essentially free or very low cost.
Paid traffic can be much faster, far more consistent and effective but obviously you need a fair sized marketing budget and to get the best results you will need to spend a reasonable sum each daily, at least £50 per day to gain consistent momentum.
So here are 5 proven ways to build traffic to your business website, both paid and free methods. Depending on your business method, profit margins, human resources or capital available, you will need to decide which traffic methods are most effective to focus on for you. Many businesses will use a combination of all of these methods.
Method 1: Facebook ads
I would have to recommend Facebook ads as the go-to traffic generation method for anyone who has at least £50 a day budget to spend on digital marketing. Facebook is by far the world’s most effective customer acquisition platform, and the cost to acquire leads and sales are drastically lower than other paid advertising such as Google Ads or YouTube ads.
Facebook ads are quick and simple to set up (the platform is self service), and utilising video creatives – along with the in depth and precise targeting options Facebook Ads Manager provides – businesses can target their ideal customer with a winning ad endlessly. To say that Facebook audience is huge is an understatement. In fact, it’s difficult to visualise in your mind just how many people use Facebook daily.
Facebook ads performance can be improved further by adding the “pixel” to your site – a piece of code which will help optimise your ads – ensuring that you are constantly driving down ad costs and increasing the quality of your conversions using Facebook’s powerful, built-in AI. The more you use Facebook ads, the better they perform, which is why it’s worth sticking with a Facebook ad campaign for at least 6 months at a time.
Read more about how we can help your business succeed with Facebook Ads.
Method 2. Organic traffic via SEO
Search Engine Optimisation is almost the default traffic generation method for most business websites, especially those which choose not to advertise via the paid ads route.
SEO is huge – not least because people search for things multiple times a day – and often they are looking for businesses and products that can solve their problem, either very locally or in a more general sense.
By succeeding at SEO you can drive almost limitless targeted traffic to your website for free, pretty much forever. There is a catch however, in that search engines like Google will only show your website in the search results if they meet a set of criteria, and that list is long.
Due to the hundreds of factors that influence your success with SEO, here are a few of the most important ones (and really – if you focus on these you can more or less forget about the rest):
- Make sure your website is responsive, which means it will adapt to fit any mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. The text on the website should not shrink greatly, and must be readable even on small screens. Google ranks websites that are responsive higher than those that are not.
- Use a .com domain or other top level domain extension such as .org or .net. Many U.K. based websites use the .co.uk extension but if you can find the .com version, it is better to use that for SEO.
- Make your website loads up blinding fast! Check your website speed in Google’s new PageSpeed Insights tool, if you scored below 70 on desktop and 60 on mobile, you will need to make changes to speed up your website, such as compressing images. If your site is built on WordPress this is simple enough using a couple of free plugins. Google increasingly ranks faster loading websites than those that are slow.
- Write useful, relevant content that serves to answer the problem the reader has. All websites that intend to use SEO as a primary and fruitful traffic source will need to invest time into creating unique, relevant written content (and ideally video too) that answers the question the user has entered into their search field as effectively as possible. Gone are the days when you could throw a few keywords into an article title and you will hit page one of Google search in a few weeks, now Google is smart enough to understand such abstract concepts as intent and if your aim is to provide an excellent piece content to solve a problem people have rather than try to game the system, you will be rewarded with plenty of free, organic traffic from search engines.
Learn more about how we can help your business drive traffic with Search Engine Optimisation.
Method 3: YouTube videos
YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, and has become the place people go to learn new stuff. By making helpful, informative and above all entertaining videos geared to the YouTube audience base, you can drive free organic traffic to your website for years to come.
The best thing about YouTube is you can link to your website as freely as you wish, so promoting your business on YouTube could not be simpler. The search engine YouTube employs is not as sophisticated as Google uses for its main search engine, so you can get away with using such archaic methods as keyword lists, and loading your video descriptions with keywords.
YouTube also has far less competition than search engine based traffic, because making great video content is time consuming, difficult and business owners don’t often want to get in front of a camera and expose themselves to the world. But if you do muster the courage, the rewards can be profound and transformative for your business.
Method 4: Pinterest pins
Pinterest is a great traffic source for many business niches such as food, women’s fashion and crafts, to name just a few. Gathering a following and pinning interesting content is quick and straightforward, and you can freely link to your business website with every pin.
It is possible to automate many of the time consuming Pinterest tasks with scheduling apps such as Tailwind. Creative apps such as Canva are a great way to create eye catching and informative images to pin onto your Pinterest boards.
Method 5: Google Ads
Google Ads have been a go to for small business owner for a decade and a half and despite increased competition from young upstarts such as Facebook and Instagram ads, selling products and gaining leads via Google Ads remains a cost effective and reliable method to ensure quality traffic to your site.
Google Ads work particularly well for products that solve a problem people commonly have, or for services that are searched for frequently online, such as pest control or boiler repairs. Results tend to be consistent and steady, rather than fast and viral as they can be with social media ads.
Google Ads do not scale as effectively as Facebook ads, due to the limited number of searches made each day. If you wish to show your product or service to a consumer who may not even know they need it, then Facebook ads might be a more suitable platform for you.
There are many hundreds of ways to drive traffic to your business website, and these are just the tip of the iceberg. The most important factor to getting footfall to your website is to just do something – whether that is enhancing your website SEO, writing useful articles for your target niche or setting up Facebook Ads campaign – because unlike the movie “Field Of Dreams”, if you build it, they most definitely won’t just come!