So You’ve Built It… Will They Come?

OK, so you’ve just put together and launched your small business website. It’s your pride and joy. So where are the eyeballs – why aren’t potential customers flocking to your site to see all your great stuff?

Unfortunately, just building a great website isn’t enough to get noticed nowadays. Not even close. To attract visitors to your site – and keep them coming back for more – you’ll need to draw on a range of tactics that help you stand out from the crowd and get you noticed. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Don’t be shy. You’ve just poured your heart and soul into launching your new website; now’s not the time to keep quiet about it. Tell everyone you know – business associates, friends, family, pets – anyone who might be willing to get their paws on it and spread the word. Not only can personal connections be a great source for feedback about your site, but they can often help broaden your reach in ways you couldn’t possibly do on your own. Personal referrals can be an extremely powerful tool for attracting new visitors and followers, so now’s the time to shout it from the rooftops.
  2. Join the club.  Friends and family are great, but they’ll only get you so far. The real action is online, where you must establish yourself and/or your business as an engaged participant and an authority in your field. Use social networks to find the communities, topics and discussions that are most relevant to your business… and jump in! Share interesting stuff, follow others, and provide links (including some to your site, when appropriate). The game here is all about trust and value. The more you come across as an enthusiastic and knowledgeable member of the community, the more attention you (and your website) will get.
  3. You’ve (still) got mail.  While it’s taken a back seat to social media in some circles, email marketing remains a powerful way to connect directly with your target audience and attract them to your website. Just remember that the same concepts of trust and value apply to email as well: spammy, hard-sell email tactics are usually a direct route to the recycle bin, so keep it short, useful and engaging.
  4.  Win them over.  Sadly, attention spans have touched an all-time low; if people aren’t interested right away, they’re gone. You need to capture and hold your audience’s attention with sharp, well-written and clever content – whether it’s on social media, in an email, or on your website itself. If you’re not especially strong in this area, find someone who is. Whatever investment you make in quality content will more than pay for itself as you gain influence, build followers and grow your website traffic.
  5. Keep it coming. These tactics are all great for generating new traffic to your site, but they won’t keep visitors coming back for more. To build repeat traffic, you’ll need to give visitors a good reason to return, and that means regularly updating your site with fresh content. The more real value (are you sensing a theme here yet!?) you can provide – in blog posts, special offers, tips, case studies, whitepapers, infographics and more – the greater the likelihood that your new visitor will become a loyal follower and, eventually, a customer!

So don’t despair if your new site isn’t yet getting the eyeballs you expected. In fact, you’ve taken that critical first step toward growing your small business online. Now it’s time to build on this foundation by getting the word out – to the right people, through the right channels and with the right content to support your efforts.