Simplifying the Web World
Your website is now live. Don’t just sit there waiting for people to come and visit it. There are too many websites out there already. Your website will not be suddenly overwhelmed with visitors. Building traffic is a slow process. Only those who patiently work to make their websites successful will reap real benefits.
There are only three sources of website visitors:
Direct Traffic – Those who type your web address into the browser address bar and click.
Search Engines – Responding to a query, search engines deliver results that are relevant. If your website appears close to the top of the list, and if the title and description are intelligible, there is a possibility that the searcher might click on the link to your website.
Referrals – People click on links to your website that are found on other websites, either in text or ads.
The volume of activity you receive from these sources is contingent upon the effort put into cultivating them. Direct traffic can be increased by increasing website address recognition through print and other media. Your web address should be prominently displayed on every piece of stationery and literature that is used in your business, including business cards, letterhead, pads, forms, etc. It should be displayed on all company vehicles. If you have a waiting room, it should be prominently displayed there. The goal is to get as many people familiar with your web address as possible. Consider billboards, banners drawn behind a plane over events that draw a large crowd. Use your imagination to saturate your target market. Consider radio and tv ads. Always display the web address prominently.
Search Engines – There is Google, and then there are all the others. Focus upon obtaining satisfactory placement in the Google index. Google has a wide variety of tools that will help you facilitate placement of your web address within their database of websites. Consider these:
Google Webmaster Tools – will validate the html code used to create your website, check for errors in your sitemap and robots.txt files, tell you which sites have links to your website, tell you if there are any broken links within your website, provide HTML suggestions and measure website speed.
Google Analytics – will provide detailed information regarding the visitors to your website and their activities while they are on your website. Pageviews, pages per visit, bounce rate, time on each page, search terms used to find each page, geographic information regarding the visitor and referring sites that deliver visitors to your website. The data can be delivered by day, week, month, year, or for any time period you desire.
Google Local Business Center – will provide an opportunity for you to have a custom map created with your business pinpointed. It will also provide a link to your website and enable you to create a page full of relevant business information that includes hours of operation, credit cards accepted, and descriptions of the products/services that are offered.
Referrals can come from the multitude of directories including specialty directories that focus upon your specific industry, organizations that you belong to like the chamber of commerce website, and Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blogs where you might chose to post articles and establish links to your website. Solicitation of external links from other websites to yours should be a process without end.
If you continue to work on these three elements, your reward will be increased website traffic. When you stop, others will move ahead of you and your placements will decline in quality.