Let's be real. Even if you have the best website ever, it is useless if you can't get customers to visit your website in the first place.
The most obvious way to get customers to visit your website is through paid advertising. This can take many forms. You can pay Google and Facebook to run ads for you. You can also hire social media influencers to promote your brand to their followers. Don't forget about traditional advertising like newspapers, radio, and billboards too. But, paid advertising can get rather expensive and might not suit smaller start-ups.
But don't worry, it doesn't mean you're out of options. Here are three affordable ways to get customers to visit your website.
1. Rank high in Google search results
Google search is a popular way for customers to discover brands and solutions. Google sorts the search results by how relevant they are to the search query. The better the website answers the query, the higher it ranks in the search results. Ranking higher exponentially increases visitors to your website.
This is where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) comes in. The main idea of SEO is for websites to provide a good experience for a user to get answers to what they searched for. On top of having well-written content, the website also has to be fast, mobile-friendly, and secure.
Another major factor in search engine rankings is your authority to provide solutions. One of the main indications for this is how often other websites link to yours (called backlinks). The reputation of the linking website also plays a big role. When more established websites link to you, you are perceived to have more authority on a topic. Thus, Google will consider you more reliable to provide solutions and rank you higher.
2. Blog about helpful content
Most people hate salesmen but they'll appreciate someone who helps to solve a problem. That's why having a blog on your website can be an effective way to attract customers. First, you'll need to identify what are the problems your customers are facing. Then, write blog articles to address their specific problems.
The crucial point here is you need to be helpful. Do not randomly blog about your breakfast or cat. Don't even promote your products and services. Your blog should be genuine and provide real value to your readers.
When readers find your blog helpful, it creates a level of trust in your brand. They will be confident of your credibility to provide good products and services. Customers are more likely to buy from a brand they trust rather than a brand they have no connection with. They might even share your articles on social media so you'll enjoy the exposure.
Blogs are also an excellent strategy for ranking high in Google search results. When someone searches for something along the lines of "how do I..." or "what is...", a blog article can be a more relevant search result than a typical marketing page. This increases your chance to rank higher in search results. Blog articles are also more likely to get shared or referenced so you can get more backlinks.
3. Offer a valuable freebie
Everyone loves free stuff. Receiving something valuable without spending money is amazing! For businesses, freebies are a chance to start a relationship with new customers. Customers are more receptive when they don't have to commit to any pricing.
This does not mean you have to provide your main products and services for free. You should not be offering random freebies like keychains or stickers either.
It is best to offer a freebie that would convince customers you are the right solution for them. For example, to get customers to trust your expertise, a free eBook on a relevant topic is a terrific freebie. If you offer a subscription service, a limited trial or free tier can be very attractive. My favourite example is Spotify. They have a free tier supported by ads, which encourages customers to sign up for their Premium plan. The free tier was what made them the largest music streaming service today.
In exchange for a freebie, all you need to ask for is a way to follow up with your customers. Asking for a name and email address is usually enough. Don’t demand too much information because it will make them reluctant to take up your offer. You can ask more when they feel closer to your brand later on.
Offer this freebie in social media and relevant communities with a link to your website. You'll be very likely to land a few customers.
Continue to grow and improve
Ranking well on Google, writing a blog, and offering freebies can take a lot of effort and time. Still, they are proven to be more cost-effective compared to traditional paid advertising.
Keep in mind that you should not expect to see an immediate increase in customer visits to your website. These are action items you can start as early as possible and continuously improve. When done right, they can pay off soon enough and increase visitors to your website.