Building a website is one of the most important foundational ways to communicate your business to potential customers. People expect your business to have a website. They also expect your website to be attractive, mobile-friendly, up-to-date and contain the information they need to take action – buy your product, schedule a call, donate to your cause, or apply for the job.
And while a website is a critical first step, it’s just that – a first step. For better or for worse, you can’t expect people to find your website just because you published it. So, once your site is live, you’ll need to figure out how to get the right people to visit. But how?
There are countless ways to drive people to your site and what works for your friend’s company may not work for yours. The options can be overwhelming and it’s hard to know where to start.
Good news! Here are 8 practical tips, presented in no particular order, that you can implement to maximize the impact of your site and attract potential customers.
- Set up a Google Analytics account linked to your website so you can understand the way people are accessing and navigating your site.
- Start a blog on your website
- Create a list of topics that will interest and help your readers
- Determine how frequently you plan to post and stick to your schedule. Tools like CoSchedule make it easy to keep track of blog posts (and social media) in one place.
- Create categories for your blog posts. Assign each post to one category so people can find the information they need.
- Research and develop a list of keyword phrases you want to show up on Google for. Write posts on topics and include your keyword phrases.
- Allow people to comment on your blog and respond to comments to keep the conversation going.
- Participate in social media
- Create social media accounts on platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) your audience spends time. You don’t need to be on all of them – just the ones to make sense. Fill out these accounts completely and use branded imagery for profile and cover pages.
- Follow other people in your field as well as potential clients, colleagues, friends, and partners. Interact with their posts and share their posts on your social platform.
- Share ideas, images, articles, and blog posts you write related to your business that your audience will find helpful and interesting.
- Ask your friends to share your social updates with their networks.
- Use hashtags (#) so people can find your content.
- Make sure your personal social media accounts include your website URL and updated information about your business.
- Connect with your audience via email
- Create a MailChimp account.
- Design an email template with the same look and feel as your website.
- Embed an email sign-up form onto your website so visitors can sign up to receive your emails.
- After you write a blog post, send an email to your list via Mailchimp. Include teaser copy and a link to the full post on your website. People on your list will get to know you and remember you when they or someone they know needs your services.
- Share your website URL with people you meet and encourage them to sign up for your mailing list.
- Create a sales funnel to nurture leads. Post special content on your website available only to people who provide their email addresses. Something simple like a tip sheet or short instructional video that solves a problem related to your expertise will do the trick. Visitors who are interested in that subject will give you their email addresses to get the free download. You will then have permission to email them moving forward! You can even create a series of emails for just these people to keep them engaged.
- Set up a Gravatar (globally recognized avatar) which uses your headshot or other image and follows you from site to site like when you comment on blogs. It’s free!
- Connect with people in real life! Speak, organize, join, and network. Meet people for coffee. Schedule Zoom calls to learn about the work other people are doing and tell them about your work.
- Keep up to date on information relevant to your business/industry. Check out other blogs, Twitter, and other sources to find articles to use as research for blog posts or for sharing on social media sites.
There’s no limit to the ways you can market your business and these tips are just the tip of the iceberg. The first step is often the hardest, but once you get started and commit to a plan, you might even find you enjoy the work! And if it’s not your thing, there are plenty of professionals around to help you if you don’t want to take on these tasks alone. Good luck!