Increase Traffic to Your WebsiteIt’s gratifying to see traffic numbers increase for your website, but unless those visitors are potential customers, the numbers aren’t helping you.

How to be sure that the visitors to your site are potential customers? Here are the most important ways:

1. Speak to Your Audience’s Needs

Do you know what your potential customers are searching for when they go online to find a business like yours? Make sure that your home page and your services page, your PPC landing pages and your blog contain lots of information about the specific things your customers are looking for.

For example, if you’re a plumber, what are the top issues you get hired to address? Clogged drains? Backed up kitchen sink? Toilets overflowing? Leaky faucets? Be sure your website lists all of those issues and how you resolve them.

2. Locate Yourself

Many businesses make the mistake of just listing a phone number on their website and not including any other location information. Even if you don’t have an office that people come to, you need to give a good description of the geographic area you serve. Don’t go all spammy and list every single town in a 6-county area, but do describe your service area clearly.

While you’re at it, always include the state you’re in since many city names are commonly found in multiple states. It clarifies things for your visitors and for the search engines.

3. Consider the Search Engines

If your contact and location info is in a graphic on your website, the search engines don’t know where you are. Be sure to include all of that critical information – in text – prominently on your site. You don’t need visitors from outside of your service area contacting you.

And speaking of the search engines, be sure that the content on your site is original and not copied from other sources. Add fresh content on a regular basis (blogging is a great way to do this), and make sure that all of the pages on your website are properly optimized so you can be found.

4. Give Visitors a Reason to Come Back

It’s always a great idea to feature sales, special online offers and coupons. If a visitor to your website knows that you regularly include incentives like this, you’ll see repeat visits increase.

5. Spread the Word

Always be Promoting! Make sure your web address is prominently included in every bit of printed material, every ad, every flyer, every event you attend and in all of your communications. This seems obvious, but many businesses overlook the offline opportunities to promote their online presence.

6. Leverage Social Media

Do you have a Facebook business page? A Twitter account or Google+ page? If your business has social media accounts, you need to link your online activity together to get more bang for the buck. Make sure your website has links to your social accounts and vice versa. Then be sure to promote your website and any new content, blog posts, coupons, offers, etc. by posting links to them from your social accounts.

7. Have a Linking Strategy

Besides leveraging your own social media accounts to create links to your website, you need to focus some attention on cultivating links from other relevant websites. Here are a few suggestions on how to do that:

How to build links organically

  • Publish great content that other sites will want to link to
  • Add a contest, or a poll, or a widget to your website that people will want
  • Add a blog to your site and allow moderated comments
  • Allow guest bloggers to contribute to your blog
  • Offer to contribute a guest blog post to other sites
  • Build your social media presence, share your content there
  • Like, follow and share other people’s links – they will often reciprocate
  • Create a YouTube channel for your business and post some videos
  • Participate in industry-related events both online and in person
  • Become a contributing member of industry-related forums and groups online
  • Ask your partners, suppliers, consultants to link to your site
  • Get your business listed in influential online directories
  • Optimize your free business listings online
  • Add some outbound links from your site to authoritative sites in your industry
  • Ask for links