Ok, you’ve got your website… now you can just sit back and wait for the customers to roll in, right? Well, hopefully that’s partially true; if whoever builds your website executes a few basic search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, including submitting your sitemap to at least Google, then you should begin to show up when people search Google for you directly or perform some relevant searches.
However, with a little effort of your own, you should be able to drive traffic to your website yourself instead of just waiting around for people to find you.
What Can I Do to Drive Traffic to My Website?
Once you have your website set-up, you should start thinking about adding your website address (also sometimes called a “domain name” or “URL”) to anything current or potential customers will see. This includes:
- Business Cards
- Company Cars
- Print, Radio and TV Advertisements
- Signage Outside Your Location
- Temporary Signage (that you can display as you are working off-site or if you are selling product away from your store, such as the landscaping signs referenced below)
- Anything else you can think of!
Adding a website address to many of these items can be easily accomplished and, in many cases, is free. Even in instances where adding the web address may require a small investment, the benefit of more people being aware of your website—and therefore the increased value you will get out of whatever investment you made to build it—many times outweighs the investment.
Is It a Big Deal if I Don’t?
OK, OK… not bothering to put your website address on company items isn’t the end of the world, but here’s one example of why I think it could rise to the level of a “big deal”.
Every day in the summer, I drive down the street and see small signs on various properties that say something to the effect of “This lawn maintained by Company X”. This is a great idea—a creative and cost-effective way to not only advertise a business, but to present it alongside an example of the business’s work. However, I’ve only seen one sign that lists a website address; most simply provide a phone number.
Now, let’s say you own one of these landscaping companies and I’m in the market for lawn care. The main factors a potential customer like me would consider before hiring you would likely include 1) the quality of your work, 2) what you charge, 3) your reliability, and 4) your likeability. The lawn underneath the sign addresses #1, but that still leaves me to research #2, #3 and #4.
If your sign doesn’t list a website address, I’m generally going to assume you don’t have one and that my only choice to get answers to #2, #3 and #4 are to call you and/or ask around… but I’m unlikely to call you without first having some idea of cost or reliability.
I drive another 2 blocks and see another well-manicured lawn with a sign that includes a website address. When I get home, I look up the website… I see they’ve been in business for 10 years, their rates are reasonable, pictures of 10 other lawns they maintain and a smiling photo of the owner who I recognize from town. I give them a call, we work out the details and I become a customer.
The business that advertised the opportunity to learn more about them by going to their website likely put themselves in a much better position to acquire me as a customer as compared to the business that provided only a phone number that would have required more effort and probably been less informational.
AUTHOR: Matt Bloomer, President of Bloomfo Websites (www.bloomfo.com).