You’ve had your website designed (tick) by a professional web designer.
It looks beautiful, it looks professional, and it’s easy to navigate (tick)
It has been built by a professional web developer and as such is capable of achieving a good search engine ranking, and has not been built in a way that would harm your chance of ranking highly (tick)
You launch your site and soon enough after a bit of optimisation work and online marketing you’re getting 1000 unique visitors a month; sit back and watch the orders come flooding in. No. That won’t happen. No, No, No.
I’m witnessing a common misconception among business owners that once their site is live, well built and well designed, that as soon as they achieve some semblance of traffic it will start generating business for them.
It doesn’t matter how wonderful your new website is – without sufficient traffic you won’t gain enough orders from the website to float a serious business.
I think a lot of businesses don’t realise quite how much traffic is required to make decent sales. I would say with most industries it’s going to be quite a lot – ie many thousands of unique visitors (which is different from ‘hits’) per month.
I’m observing quite a number of businesses thinking the website orders should start to flow once they are getting say 1000 visitors a month. That sum for instance is no where near enough visitors for most businesses who operate in their very competitive and highly saturated markets.
how can I get more traffic?
Without turning this into an in-depth guide to search engine optimisation there are a number of measures you need to take to build high traffic to your website.
These are not one-off measures – you have to do them month in month out FOREVER. If you stop, your website traffic will slowly decrease again. You can read the following and then start Googling to learn more.
1. Write keyword rich (but useful and interesting) content on your website. Add new pages on a monthly basis. A blog is ideal for this. Google likes websites with lots of content rich pages.
2. Whenever you write a new page, promote it for the purpose of gaining backlinks to the page and ensuring it is indexed by Google; you can promote your pages via your Facebook business page (you should have one, and you should post to your wall EVERY SINGLE WEEK), via Twitter, via social bookmarking websites (Digg, Del.icio.us etc). You can also use www.ping.fm and www.onlywire.com
3. You need inbound links, and you need lots of them, here are some ways of getting links:
- Write interesting content, as per point 1 above.
- Use social bookmarking websites to post links to your content.
- Use article submission websites.
- Use ‘white paper’ submission websites such as www.slideshare.net and www.docstoc.com
- Submit your to free online directories (never pay for a directory listing. NEVER)
- Make sure you are contributing your thoughts and expertise via online business networking forums and industry relevant blogs. Don’t post spammy comments just to get your link on there, you’ll do more harm to your business than good; make genuine comments and be helpful.
4. You can use PPC (pay per click – such as Google Adwords for instance) advertising if you want to gain instant traffic, but it’s expensive and search engine optimisation is a far more cost effective long term solution to gaining customers via your website. If you really do need customers/visitors instantly, you could use PPC for the short term whilst you work on building the traffic naturally – then you can drop the PPC and rely on the sales from the natural traffic.
Be careful though because PPC is a bit of an art, just because you throw oodles of money at PPC, don’t presume it will equal customers. I’d recommend hiring a PPC expert to run your campaign.
back to seo … You need to do all these ‘search engine optimisation work tasks’ EVERY MONTH as I said, and you need to be patient, it will probably take something like 3 months at least to see any decent result from all of this activity. But if you keep it up, the results will continue to grow.
Read our more detailed guide to Search Engine Optimisation.