Small business owners are known for being creative and personal with their customers and prospects; however, often they desire more traffic to their website and want to know how to get more of it. I’ll share a 11 tactics that work to drive more traffic to their site, increase conversions and be able to have fun in the process.
Traffic is not the only thing that matters. Heck, if it was, you’d just buy a full-page ad in New York Times and expect millions of people to go to your site and buy your product and service. The difference here is making your website known in relevant circles – communities – that are interested in what you do as an entrepreneur and as a business. Traffic helps, but it’s relevance and trustworthiness that moves the needle.
With that said, here are eleven creative ways to drive traffic to your business. Be sure to add your own if it’s not already mentioned in the comments, too!
- Offline Guerilla Marketing (Stickers, Leaflets, Community Boards)
This takes a little more insight and planning than others, but is worth it. People are interested in messages that they have to research and maybe even share strange and “weird” ads. Construct a witty message that describes your business for a larger campaign. Have it printed with your website address on it on paper, stickers and distribute them in clever places. You know, like University Student Unions, light poles, sidewalks, etc. Ambiguity will likely translate into traffic; so the key is doing it in places that interested people naturally meet and greet. The bottom line is if your stuff is legit, people will spread the word naturally; otherwise, it goes into the garbage can.
- Participate in Discussion Forums
Online communities are rich with very thoughtful people who methodically discuss, vet and spread ideas to each other and across the web. Communities are a great way to drive traffic because the more you find your niche and share your expertise, the more people gain trust and go to you for questions. It’s no overnight task, either, so it will take a little bit of time to survey and find a community that fits for you. Many forums on the web allow you to have a “signature” where you can plug your sites and drive traffic and SEO-juice towards your site. The key is to actually participate and earn the respect from others. Ideally, one would dedicate themselves to just a few meaningful communities.
- Comment on Blogs
Don’t just plug your business; forge a good connection with blog authors by reacting/responding with good ideas to bloggers through comments. Many blogs attract thousands, even tens of thousands of views but only receive a handful of comments. Think about it. If you’re one of the few people who add to the discussion, some of those people will visit your site to find out who you are. You’ll probably start to earn the respect as a favorable commenter and get people to reply to you, effectively riding the coattails of the blogger – in a nice, expected and respectful way.
- Say Thank You
Acknowledgment and support for the people who got you where you are today is a great way to drive traffic that is loyal to you. Saying thank you can be in the form of a simple web page with a picture, video or a public acknowledgment of their efforts to help you. In closing of that message, ask them to share the link with a friend if they liked it. (In hindsight, it’s not a good idea to say thank you, expecting anything back, but it’s just a thought.)
- Participate in Tweetchats
Tweetchats are conversations on Twitter with a group of people who are conversing about a given subject, theme or idea. It’s easy to get started; check out this volunteer-provided schedule of on-going Twiter-based chats, find what closely matches your passion or business and participate. Often these Tweetchats attract upwards of 500+ participants and you can develop thought-leadership and opportunities to plug your business and content.
- Use Social Bookmarking Services (StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious)
Social bookmarking services promote discovery of new and popular content. While not all content you would submit would necessarily be popular to everyone, if you tag and describe it to your target audience, it may resonate well and rise in popularity in those social circles. StumbleUpon is a service that helps people discover new and popular websites;. Digg works similarly where people submit articles for the court of public opinion to rank it higher. Delicious works by categorizing links and allowing new sites to earn a spike of traffic and interest.
- Sponsor and Support a Cause
Supporting a cause and telling your customers, prospects, friends and family is a great way to drive traffic to your site. People generally have a favorable view of a business that engages in philanthropic efforts. Social media is a great platform for your audience to spread the buzz about a cause they (and you) care about a cause or a mission they support. Infusionsoft is a supporter of Kiva and Mentors International as they are great organizations and help entrepreneurs worldwide.
- Attend and Be Active at Events
Attending events is one thing, but being active online and offline is another. Most quality live events today have a big online element to all the agenda. You can be a hit by covering the event live via a live-blog, on-going tweets and even shooting video and asking questions to other attendees and speakers. You name it, you get known and drive traffic by participating and going on the hustle for your brand. Does it mean tossing out business cards like candy? No, it means that you make a concerted effort to be useful and connect with people so they have an interest in you.
- Author Informative and Interesting Blogs
Blog posts are probably one of the easiest ways to drive traffic to your site and grow from them. When you publish a great post, you’ll not only get your name out there and get a nice SEO benefit, you’ll also drive interest to your business to learn more about where all your awesome ideas came from. Not sure what to blog? Here’s a tutorial on how to share your ideas through blogging.
- Answer Questions and Help Others (LinkedIn, PeerPong, Yahoo! Answers)
Are you seeing a theme here, yet? Answering questions and being helpful is an effective way to become known for your business and your areas of expertise. In fact, you can become distinguished in several niche area and can translate top Q&A and topics into blog posts, videos and much more and have your business being closely associated with answering questions from others. Sites like Yahoo Answers, LinkedIn and PeerPong are indexed well in search engines and allows you to ensure many people who come across the question will encounter your answer, name and likely, your business.
- Publish Reactions (Blogs, Tweets & Video) to Bleeding-Edge Trends
This is a grey area, but I encourage you to do it with discretion. Google Trends ranks the top searches people are doing on their service and you can quickly tap into the popularity of a search team by publishing content around it. Use it to share your personal and even your business’ reactions to top events. Reporters sometimes want to include the views from entrepreneurs in their stories – and if your story is there, you will get traffic and potentially even more buzz. You can also do the same with What the Trend to look at what’s a big deal across Twitter. Just be careful not to publish nonsense… Justin Beiber probably has nothing to do with your business and those people searching for him probably want nothing to do with yours.
These traffic-building tactics can relate to a larger marketing strategy where you follow-up to people’s interests in your business. This is where marketing automation software can come into play where you can track where people came from and follow up with an ingenious marketing campaign to turn those visitors into suspects, suspects into leads, and leads into customers.
Know of any creative, interesting and even fun ways to drive traffic to your website? Let us know in the comments below.