10 great ideas to attract more traffic to your website in 2012

[dropcap]J[/dropcap]ust over a month has already passed in this brand new year. Before it is too late, let’s inspire ourselves to do things a little differently this year. How about getting that extra traffic to your site? Here are a few ideas to get you inspired and will help you to attract more visitors…


1 – Write Fresh Content

This part is easier said than done, but if you or your business is good at what you do, then you should be establishing yourself as an expert in the market. Write about something that will add value to your clients or peers. It also helps to have a simple way of allowing the content to flow directly onto your website and through to social media. The best thing about a platform like WordPress is that you can always have fresh content. You’re able to add it yourself, whenever you need to add it. WordPress is also an expert archiving system that helps you keep your old content organised and dated, easy for people visiting your site to reference if they wish to.


2 – Use Constructive Criticism

Use Constructive Criticism to your advantage – People using your site will always have some ideas up their sleeves as to how you can better your website and ultimately their user experience. Set up a subscribe button so people can subscribe to a monthly newsletter, or a contact form where people can contact you and leave their details. Use their email address to contact them directly to find out about their experience your website. Instead of taking offense to what they say, rather use it to better your website and service offerings. If people know you’re listening to them, chances are, they’ll remember you & visit your site again. Taking constructive criticism is especially helpful when coming from your clients. After all these are the people you are looking after and want to retain.


3 – Use Google Analytics

Tracking and measuring what is happening on your website is quite important. It helps you to see what people are looking for and what the trends are. This in turn helps you to create more targeted content, which will yield better results. A few plugins available to WordPress have an awesome feature which allows you to view your daily website stats and track your analytics in a concise format on your admin dashboard. It’s also easy to get your Google Analytics report emailed to you once a week, here you will see where your visitors are coming from, this includes their country, which sites are referring people to your website, search terms and keywords used, most viewed pages, time spend on the website and a host of other useful facts. It’s also a helpful tool to know which search terms are working for you – this is what you’ll need to pay attention to if you’d like to try out idea # 4.


4 – Make use of Google AdWords

We have been giving away R500 Google AdWords vouchers to our clients to get them started on the exciting journey of online marketing or more specifically, Search Engine Marketing (SEM). We have seen so many case studies of companies who have gone this route and have benefitted tremendously. This form of advertising is effective and measurable which makes it a winner for all businesses. For those of you who don’t know, using AdWords requires you to choose the most effective possible key words that people searching may be using. You then pay Google a monthly fee (determined by you) to get your online adverts for your site featured. AdWords can be managed to cap at a certain daily spend, so you will never exceed your budget. I think a R500 freebie in February will be well received. Contact us to receive your free R500 Google AdWords Voucher (Note: Vouchers are for first time AdWords South African clients only. A limited number of vouchers are available.)


5 – Take part in the Online Community

Make a Facebook page for your business. Create a Twitter account – but be clever about it. Don’t just spew out marketing nonsense, but rather use it like a mini blog, posting an idea, a concept or helpful link people can use. If the subject or idea you’re Tweeting or posting on is linked to your niche market or the area of your expertise even better. People will remember you if they like what you’re saying and chances are they will become a follower. Using Facebook and Twitter is also a great way to engage with clients and prospects. It will help you get instant messages out there to the people you are targeting. The point to engaging with the community is to eventually build brand ambassadors that will carry forth your brand without your help or even your knowledge. Social media has given us this opportunity – so go ahead and use it wisely.


6 – Get your company noticed

Try winning an award in an online competition. Or even try for a traditional competition or a race. It doesn’t matter what it is that you do, but do something worth bragging about. People visiting the competition website will visit your site if you’re a winner. Or even if you don’t win, visitors to the competition site might just visit your site to find out what your connection was to that particular competition. For example, If you sell sports equipment maybe sponsoring some sports equipment for the competition could be an angle to get started from. You could also help out with charity work, or even run a competition of your own. Be creative – give back instead of taking. You may just get noticed for it.


7 – Optimise your site for Search Engines

This is should be a standard practice and a no brainer, yet there are still websites out there (especially old ones) that are not optimised at all. At the very least all of the pages within your website should have a unique and descriptive page title, a meta description and relevant meta keywords. These are just some very basics but they are a start. All Freedom Studios developed WordPress websites come standard with an SEO plugin that enable you to optimise each page or post with a description, title and keywords, which are essential for Google or any other search engine to use when indexing your site. Apart from this you should be writing good, keyword rich, relevant copy for your website. Always remember “Content is King.”


8 – Create a Blog and write articles

If you don’t already have a blog – you should. I don’t just mean a frivolous type of blog where you post what you had for breakfast (unless you are a food connoisseur) but a blog that reaches right into the essence of what makes your company so unique. You are or can become the expert in your field and people are waiting to be guided by experts. WordPress is the ultimate platform when it comes to blogging. It is simple to setup and easy to get started. If you don’t have a blog get one setup today – we offer a range of affordable WordPress options to help you get started. Blogging is a great way to get noticed, especially via searches not necessarily related to your common website keywords and this usually attracts a larger variety of visitors. We have found that giving something away often brings in a lot of new visitors and ultimately helps to up our website rankings.


9 – Send out Seasonal Cards & Gifts

This is an excellent way to market your services and website. And it sends out a positive psychological message as well. If you can associate your business to a positive feeling someone experienced while holding some marketing material of yours, you’ve just gained some interest. Don’t know what I mean? Here’s an example: You’re having a boring day at the office, you’re feeling hungry and tired and someone stops by and leaves a muffin and a card on your desk. It’s from some company, but still it prickled your interest and made you feel positive, maybe even made you smile and take a look at their website. Often when people receive something as a gift, they feel obliged to repay the favor. This could mean some new business or even just a referral. There are some great holidays and events throughout the year – these could be great opportunities to put this idea into action.


10 – Make a YouTube Video

The best thing about YouTube is that you can embed video on your website, but it will still display on YouTube. If your video is interesting and has a link back to your website, or tell about your website, chances are great that the viewer will give your website a visit. Try making your video informative or even funny about a subject that would interest people whom you would like to market to. The best videos are those that have the ability to go viral. People love sharing funny or cool things – so there is a great opportunity here to create something really special. Getting a video published on YouTube is free and is well worth it if used correctly.


I hope these ideas give you some new inspiration for the year ahead. I’d love for you to leave some comments about what you’ve tried and how it worked out for you. Perhaps you have some ideas of your own that you would like to share.

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