Many people are unhappy with their websites because they have had so little return on their investment, no wonder so many businesses invest as little as possible in their web sites. The problem is not the limited profitability of the internet, the problem is incompetent or disreputable web designers, either do-it-yourself web designers, the high school kid down the street, graphic artists who have a limited understanding of technology or fly-by-night web design firms who care less how successful your website is after they develop it. The internet is complicated and to achieve a truly successful, profitable website requires someone with an understanding of web business and web marketing.
With that goal in mind here are the top 6 ways to drive traffic and make your website more profitable.
- Search Engine Optimization. Not just submitting your site to search engines, because even if you get listed in all of them, if you come up past the first page you might as well not be listed at all. For new clients to find you on the web you need to be at the top of the results for several carefully selected keywords. This may also include pay-per-click advertising campaigns. Read this post on the Secrets of Search Engine Optimization to help with this step to achieving a profitable website.
- Promote through existing channels. Your website is not just a tool for making new contacts, it is also a 24/7 marketing brochure in the hands of any prospects that have your URL. The key then, is getting your website’s address into the hands of as many prospects, clients and interested parties as possible. This could be critical to the success of your website, you just need to include one more line on all of your promotional material (business cards, flyers, yellow page ads etc) with your URL on it. Not everyone is interested enough to call or come in, not everyone has time during regular business hours, many people have more questions they need answered before they make a decision. This is where your website comes in; clinching the deal, answering the questions, making the sale without you or your employees having to so much as answer the phone or lift a finger.
- Establish a newsletter. Now that you have the customers you need to keep them, an e-newsletter can turn your website into a valuable networking tool. Visitors to your site are able to subscribe and unsubscribe to your newsletter and all you have to do is enter your content into a form and click the submit button and your contacts are alerted to any new services or products you are offering, any sales or other developments at your business, automatically, in their email inbox. A must-have tool in developing a profitable website. For help setting up an email newsletter check out Constant Contact or Mail Chimp.
- Track visitors, users and clients. By tracking visitors to your site you will know how many visits your website gets, what pages are being accessed and what features are being used. With this in place you know which portions of your site are the most effective and which may need to be reevaluated. You will also know where traffic is coming from, which marketing efforts are paying off and which are not. Every truly profitable website needs some type of web analytics to track visitors. A good resource in this area is Google Analytics.
- Update content regularly. Why would somebody want to return to your site time after time, give them something to return for by adding new content to your site at least once a month. Web users have high expectations for website content, they expect it to be kept fresh, if they perceive that your website is static or that your content is stale they may not return again. On the other hand if your website features regular updates, news items of interest or short informative articles, they will return regularly. To learn more about how fresh content can lead to a more profitable website read our post 4 Disadvantages to Not Keeping Your Web Content Fresh.
- Write web friendly text. Studies have shown that people online often skim text instead of reading word for word as they would in print. There are several things you can do to make your pages more readable and keep your visitors from getting bored and leaving. Keep the copy on your site short and to the point, use bullets and subheadings wherever possible, and break long blocks of text up into different pages.
By following these suggestions you can make a more profitable website and move your site ahead of the competition.