If you’re like me, you’ve already read scores of posts and articles telling you how to get more traffic to your web site or online store. The problem is, most articles include methods that are cumbersome, time consuming, cost additional money or simply don’t make sense. To those saying we need to stop everything we’re doing and adopt all new strategies, I say phooey. Chances are, the things you’re already doing are a start in the right direction. You just need to backup a bit, and think about the bigger picture.
Here’s ten, quick ways to gain more traffic:
- Comment on the articles and blog posts you read. Most sites include a field to enter your site’s URL. By becoming a part of the conversation you stand to gain a few clicks. Just be professional and interesting.
- Upload a Gravatar (Globally Recognized Avatar). Default avatars simply don’t cut it when you’re trying to gain exposure via profile posts and comments. By tying an avatar to the email address you post under, you’ll stand out more. However, people respond more to images of other people rather than unknown company logos. So head over to Gravatar.com and upload a great picture of yourself – it’s totally free. If you want to integrate your business logo, do so as an overlay.
- Add a signature to your forum profiles. Most forums support signatures, though some require you be an active member before it will display. Keep it brief, including the name of the site, a clear tagline and the URL. Avoid using terms oft perceived as spam, and steer clear of heated debates; it’s too easy to get sucked into topics that do more harm than good.
- Update your social media profiles. Be sure to include the URL to your site, and exactly what it is you sell. Seasoned Twitter users, for example, rely on profiles to determine if they want to follow an account.
- Keep your Twitter timeline in check. Depending on the tool used, anyone clicking your username will see 10-20 of your most recent tweets. This means you need to be careful about having too much fun or being too business-stuffy for any extended number of posts. If you just tweeted out a bunch of useless information, people are less-apt to follow you. If your last 20 tweets were all rants, the same applies. You need a happy medium, and mixing business with pleasure works on Twitter.
- Put some soap in your mouth. I don’t care how angry something makes you (and, keep in mind, politics and religion don’t often mix well with marketing efforts), there are words to avoid using. You already know what they are… All I can say is, refrain. No one will be offended if you don’t spew cuss words. It’s that simple.
- Share cool things, even if semi-competitive. People want to follow and do business with folks who are honest. That means you should be sharing things that have nothing to do with your business, as well as semi-competitive articles and posts. For example, I am a webOS (Palm) advocate, but I’ve no problem tweeting about my iPod, even though the Palm Pre has a built-in music player. I also have no problem re-tweeting killer profile sites built by a competitor. To completely dismiss everything that may compete with your business in even the smallest way may not be obvious, but when you engage with followers, well, it gets noticed. In short, if you love it and think others can benefit from reading it, the only filter you need is: Does this outright hurt my business? If it doesn’t, tweet away.
- Thank others for their input. A simple thank you tells writers and tweeters that you’re reading what they have to say. This can result in follow recommendations, support and possibly even converting them into shoppers.
- Submit testimonials. If a product or service has helped you, tell the company. If someone’s article was put successfully to use, share your results with him/her. You don’t have to be definitive with financials (percentages are nice), but commenting can lead to bigger and better things. For example, I’ve spotlighted users and businesses which I discovered solely because they were engaged in discussions on my own site.
- Update your business card. Include links to your social media profile (or to a page on your site that lists them). Go the extra mile by including a QR Code or Microsoft Tag. For many, it’s easier to just follow someone than it is to bookmark a web site. By following you via social media, people are more apt to remember who you are and eventually act on their initial intent – to visit your web site. Then, pass them out. I can’t tell you how many times I’m asked what I do whilst in a waiting room, at the grocery store or even at a local club. One person can bring you many; never underestimate word of mouth.
These actions don’t require much additional time and, ultimately, should enhance your own online experience.
Have some quick tips of your own? Tried any of these ones? Why not…leave a comment?