July 20, 2011

Build It and They Will Come…or Will They? Attracting Visitors to Your (New) Website

Written by
field-of-dreams

As a small business owner you know that your website is an important tool for communicating with your current and potential clients and that is why you have invested in making sure your website looks great, is functional and easy to use. This is a great first step in maximizing your use of the web to help your small business grow BUT there is a very important next step that is often times overlooked by small business owners.

The process of attracting visitors to your website does not stop with your website launch. Below, we offer a few tips about how you can increase your web presence, achieve a better search engine ranking, and maximize your return on investment from your website.

1. Steady Stream of High Quality Content - The key words here are steady and high quality. Google, the largest search engine, gives more weight to websites that bring original, relevant content to the web. Recently, Google took steps to devalue sites that are considered “content farms” which are clearing houses for lots of content that is copied and/or of low quality (read more about this change here).

As a small business owner you are an expert in your field. Capitalize on the years you have spent developing this experience by starting an “Ask the Expert” section of your website or by writing a weekly or monthly blog where you offer practical bits of advice. The best blogs are relatively short and offer useable, easy to read tips to a client.

2. Embrace Social Media – Social media is everywhere and for most small businesses, selective, smart use of social media can help drive traffic to your website. Notice we say selective smart use! There are some businesses where using Twitter makes sense and some business where it doesn’t. Other sites like Facebook are a great place to find new clients by offering discounts, posting new products, and promoting events or sales. Beware though – just like with anything, too much of a good thing can go bad. Inundating your business’s Facebook friends with too many posts or low quality posts can be a turn off.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE: As with most things in life persistence is key. Capitalize on your strengths by bringing your expertise to the web and use social media smartly. In the future we will be offering more industry specific examples of how small business owners can bring their unique experience online, so stay tuned. Of course, your web developer is a great resource to guide you on how to drive visitors to your site and to convert them to loyal customers once they get there.

Ross McClenahan

Ross McClenahan is co-owner and Lead Developer at Tree Top Web Design, a Santa Cruz Web Design firm.

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