A successful online business takes more than a website…a lot more! When I ask people if they have an online business, many people tell me they are creating their website. That’s good news except I get the feeling they think that is all they have to do to have a successful online business. Nothing could be farther from the truth!
A major search engine like google.com will have over 8 billion websites in their database. That’s right! Eight Billion! In order to be found on the Internet, just having a website won’t cut it. A web presence is just the start of a long, never-ending journey. Driving traffic to your website must become an overwhelming obsession. The more traffic you drive, the more sales you will make. So how do you drive traffic to a website?
There are hundreds of ways to drive traffic to your website. They start with the free and easy ones like free online classified ads, email signature lines, and link exchanges. Then, you have the more complicated and expensive methods like website optimization, online advertising and email campaigns. Where to start? With the cheapest and easiest first unless you have a lot of capital to launch your website.
Free Online Classified Ads
If you search the Internet for “free classified ads”, you will discover hundreds of sites. Start posting! This may take time but it doesn’t cost you any money. Make certain to get the biggest return for your posting by having a compelling 25 word ad for your website.
Don’t spend time talking about “who” you are and how long you’ve been in business. “They” don’t care! You would be better off to offer something for free in your classified ads. Offer a free ebook or product sample. Offer the chance to win a free drawing for one of your products. Remember, you need to drive traffic to your site. What words will do that?
Email Signature Lines
Every time you send an email, you have an opportunity to influence the email’s recipient. Just below your signature, add a hot link to your website and your 25 word free classified ad copy. In your email program, this should take about 5 minutes to set up and it will automatically be added to every email you send.
There are many large link exchange groups on the Internet. They were spawned based upon the need for cross-linking sites. Why? The search engines used to make the assumption “the more links pointed at your site, the more popular your site”. “Used to” is the operative word here. The search engines can now tell if you are linked to these large linking farms and discount your website because of it. So, back to the “old” way of link sharing.
Think of your product. Let’s say your product is vintage dolls. Go to your search engine of choice (I prefer Google) and type in “vintage dolls”. Now start to go through every website listed. Find those sites which complement your product but don’t compete with your product.
In our example, you would look for websites that focus on display cases for dolls, vintage clothing for dolls, or furniture for dolls. On every one of those websites, find their contact information. Now, send them an email. Your offer? To place a link from your website to theirs if they will do the same for you. Give them your website address so they can check it out.
For every one that responds, add their link to your site, as they have for you. At the very least, this might generate a targeted customer to your website. It will also help your search engine popularity ranking.
If you are starting out on a shoe string, try these cheap and easy methods first. As you begin to make money, take some of the profit and invest it in higher order marketing like website optimization efforts, online advertising, and email campaigns. Ready? Good!
The best method for driving traffic to your website is the one you actually do. So, quit reading articles and get going!
Michele Schermerhorn has over 30 years experience in the business world and over 12 years running her own successful online businesses. She is President of Online Business Institute Inc. (http://www.obinstitute.com ) and regularly conducts free online seminars. Online Business Institute Inc. exists to “Create Successful Online Business Owners One Person At A Time”.