One of the questions I am most often asked is:
"How can I get more people to look at my site without spending money?"
The answer is pretty simple, but it usually isn't what people want to hear. Folks, you have to put in effort...daily. That's it. Really. It sounds simple enough, but for whatever reason, people don't want to do it.
One of the keys to increasing site traffic is to update your site every day. Yes, EVERY DAY. At minimum, Monday - Friday. I don't care if you are a shoe store or a stock broker. If you have a website critical to your business, you should be updating it every day.
What's the pay off? More visitors, and many more return visitors. If you are lucky enough to have someone visit your site, the hope is that they like what they see. But what if they come back again next week? They are going to expect to see something new! If they come back, and it is the same thing they saw last time, they are never going to come back again. Period.
Eventually, the goal is to have your visitors checking back on a nearly daily basis, therefore, you need to have something new there.
Ok, how do you make your site new and fresh every day? The easiest thing to do is start a blog on your site. That word (blog) scares people who aren't Internet savvy peeps. It's ok, calm down. A blog for your purposes is just a means to an end. It's an easy format to constantly keep your site up to date.
For example, let's say you own a modestly popular steakhouse. Your neighborhood locals come regularly, but you would like to expand your dining reach to the surrounding area. Heck, why not...money is good! But how on earth can you keep a restaurant website updated daily?
Well, there's the obvious, like posting your specials menu daily. You can even post a list of events if you have that kind of thing. But what about a blog? What are you going to write about every day?
That's easier than you might think! You're a steakhouse right? Write about steak! The key is to write about what you know. Every business owner is a "professional" at something. In this case, you are a steak professional.
- What wine goes good with a steak?
- How to make on of your most popular side dishes to go with a steak
- What kind of grill should the home chef get to make a steak
- What are the best cuts of beef?
- How to you select a butcher?
- Is steak really that healthy?
- How to cook the perfect medium rare
- Does a good steak mean it has to be expensive
- etc etc
If you stat and thought about it, you could think of a hundred different steak related articles to write. The point is that you, the steak expert, are giving your audience some insight. You've just made yourself an expert about steak. After all that knowledge is spewed forth, who wouldn't want to come in and try your food!!
Also, don't be afraid to tip your hand a bit. Give out some "secret" restaurant recipes. Go ahead, it's not going to hurt your business. People will appreciate your openness and honesty. Don't believe me? Take a look at Gary from WineLibrary.com. This guy owns and operates one of the largest online retail sites for wine. Everyday, he video tapes a 20 minute show about wine for his website. Everyday folks. In the show (winelibarytv.com), he tastes some wines and gives them a thumbs up or down. All the wine he reviews is available for sale through his company. However, 60% or more of the wines he tastes are, according to him, complete crap! He actually recommends NOT buying them! Yet, there he is selling them in his online store.
Gary is being honest and open to his website readers/viewers. As a result, they trust anything that comes out of his mouth. So when he does reccomend a good wine, they buy it!
So, what's the point? You should start a blog and write about what you know (professionally) everyday. Slowly but surely, you will start to see people coming to your site over and over. Eventually, you will start to convert those readers to customers. It really works.