The days when you could just upload a website and wait for the visitors to arrive are long gone. If you rely on casual visitors you’re likely to have completely wasted your effort, you need to drive visitors to your site. There are two basic methods for this – normally referred to as organic and inorganic traffic.
Organic traffic refers from visitors who naturally find your web site from using directories, social networks and search engines. For instance if you run a online store selling Christmas decorations you could receive traffic from google search queries relating to Christmas decorations. You might receive traffic from posts on social networks like Facebook or perhaps if you build up a following on Twitter. These visitors can be very valuable and should really form the long term strategy behind your web site – the most obvious advantage of this traffic is that’s it’s free.
The other sort – inorganic, is traffic that you’ll have to pay for, but it can also be a very valuable source of revenue. You can place adverts on sites like Facebook and Google which target potential customers. The methods for targeting customers varies depending on which platform you use – through search engines like Google and Bing you’ll pay per click based on search queries. For example you can specific that your advert appears when someone searches for ‘buy Christmas decorations’, if someone clicks and visits your site through the advertisement then you’ll pay for that click. It can get expensive but this is highly specific advertising if you target the right keywords – it’s essential you carefully track your ROI (Return on Investment) for each campaign.
To get the high rankings in the search engines for free, then you’ll need to study Search Engine Optimization to help promote your site. It’s quite a complicated subject though and you need to be very careful that you don’t get your site penalized by using aggressive tactics, it’s easy to do and some very big businesses have fallen foul of penalties from the search engine giants. If you do build some links and promote your site, ensure you are careful and if possible – this is a useful video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqIYc0-spyc which explains how to hide your IP address.
Both methods have their advantages, but in the long run organic is certainly more sustainable. You can supplement the traffic by posting updates and statuses on Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, try to get people to follow you so they see your new posts. Online marketing can be combined with physical promotion techniques, hand out cards with your addresses, try and gather email address in return for discounts and special offers. Any business will benefit from an all round digital strategy in fact many wouldn’t survive without the internet.
If you travel away from your business a lot then it’s worth investing in some sort of VPN service to protect your connection. There are other advantages to using these in that you can connect to your home country and locale restricted sites. I use mine so I can watch the BBC Iplayer when I’m overseas just like this. It’s important to be aware of all the advantages and potential that the internet can bring to virtually any business, even one that might seem to very localised. The reality is that a customer might live around the corner from your business yet find it by using the internet.