Started a new business? Or you've just set up a new website? Or perhaps your small business has had a website for years but not been marketing, with the Analytics stats looking something like this:
(Please note this is a screenshot of 2014 Analytics data - before they became my client!)
Or do you have dreams of growing your business inquiries online, with a website that sees its traffic increasing like this:
In this article I will show you four ways you can look to improve on your marketing side to help increase your traffic, and ultimately, reach the people you want to sell to.
Google Rankings & Search Engine Optimisation
If you're a local business mainly targeting your local and surrounding areas and don't have a massive budget, aside from advertising in the local newspapers and magazines and relying on word of mouth, you could also be looking to rank for local terms.
For example, you may sell widgets in Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada. Therefore, you can increase your reach by ranking for keywords that people are searching in your area, such as 'widgets in Gravenhurst', 'blue widgets in Gravenhurst' and 'Gravenhurst widgets' for example.
Ultimately, the less competition in your town or city, the easier it is to get to the top. Creating a Google my business page is another way to gain exposure for these searches, but ultimately you want your website to be number one in the organic results.
Keeping your website up-to-date, or at least modern in terms of Search Engine Optimisation is important to help with your rankings. You don't want a thin content, keyword stuffing, under or over-optimised site in the year 2015.
So keep up-to-date with the latest developments on blogs such as Search Engine People for what's hot and what's not in SEO.
Basic Link Building
Once your website is ready to be shown to the world, you'll want to do some basic, or straightforward link building. I'm not talking directory or article submissions, please stay clear of these.
Rather, are there information sites in your industry that you could politely contact by phone or email to get your website listed?
Finding such sites can be done by using a one month subscription to Majestic and looking at your competitors' backlinks (your competitors are the ones that are ranking positions 1, 2, 3 in Google for the keywords you want to rank for).
If you or a member of your team are passionate for the industry you are in, why not become a thought leader? Offer to contribute to bigger blogs, magazines and/or newspapers in your sector.
Should there be few opportunities for you, you can try branching out and writing for business or small business websites if these are relevant to you.
Becoming a thought leader won't happen overnight, but writing a great post that is popular on these websites or in these magazines can be done with your first post. Inquisitively people may want to check out you and your business - an author section on these sites will allow you to very briefly explain and most of them allow you to include a link back to your website for more details.
A well-executed PR stunt can be a great way of getting a large amount of attention to your brand.
There are many ways to get attention in newspapers, some cheaper than others - you only need to read one copy to see how other brands are getting featured from stunts they've carried out.
A PR stunt doesn't have to be expensive either. Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? A recent report from Forbes magazine says that raised $220 million in promoting the awareness of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
That got monumental coverage and celebrities all over the world took part.
Protein World's 'Beach Body Ready' campaign reportedly helped their sales significantly in May. No surprise, the whole thing went viral, covered by many major newspapers and magazines here in the United Kingdom.
Shortly after their adverts were up in London it became an instant PR success. Well there were plenty against the advertisement, but a £1 million sales increase spells success to me.
Long-term effect, it appears to have had little impact on their long-term branding as Google trends shows they quickly returned their previous amount of monthly searches:
No doubt a welcomed boost for the business and I cannot criticise the campaign from that perspective.
A successful national PR campaign like that is very difficult to pull off though, but even if you can do something to get some coverage, whether it be in newspapers, on TV, magazines, you're likely to see the rewards with a spike in traffic and brand searches.
Ultimately, you'll want your PR campaign to help you increase your brand name searches and to at least maintain those levels over a period of time.
If you need help getting more traffic and sales to your business, perhaps with Search Engine Optimisation or a PR campaign, feel free to get in touch today.