Friday, July 6, 2012

How to Generate Traffic for Your Home Business Website

A good website plays a very important part on the success of any home business, giving it access to a global market instead of being limited by the geographical area where the business is physically located. However, a good business website that nobody visits won't help the company, so what can be done to generate traffic for a home business website? And how can you make sure the traffic that is reaching the website has a high chance of converting into customers? The traffic acquired must be as qualified as possible, to make the most of any marketing effort.

Unlike in the case of Blogs and other content based websites, the goal when optimizing a home business website is not only to increase the number of visitors, but also to get the right type of users that will end up purchasing products or services from the website. Implementing tips and tricks to increase traffic to your site will drive more visitors to your site, but offers no guarantee about the quality of said visitors, so you will need a more targeted approach.

First of all, you want visitors that are actually searching for your products or services, and this means getting on the good side of Search Engines so you rank highly for the keywords your future customers are using to search for your services. This is known as SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. You can learn about SEO yourself, or you can hire a SEO Agency if you have the budget, but in any case your knowledge of your target audience will make all the difference. As a general rule of thumb, you should focus on about 2 or 3 keywords per page (a keyword is a word or a sentence that a user would input on the search engine text box), and they should be related to the content of the page. Also, to improve conversions is important that after the visitor gets the information he was looking for on the page he landed, there's calls to action so he knows how to continue the purchasing process.

You will need to decide which keywords to target on each page or section of your site. To do so, you can start with a list of words and sentences related to your trade. To reduce it, you can get help from tools such as Google Insights for Search (to find out which keywords are the users actually searching for that are applicable to your products) or WebCeo (free edition) to see how your competition ranks for said keywords, just in case you prefer to focus on others with less competition.

Another way of getting good keyword suggestions is installing Google Analytics i n your site, since you can see what search keywords sent people to your site. Also, using web analytics can help improving your website traffic in other ways, by letting you know a great deal of information about your visitors, and the performance of each page of your website.

After choosing the right keywords, you need to start writing (or rewriting) the content in your site to have such keywords, be it on the title tags, or in the headings and definitely in the main body of text. Remember though that your users are your first priority, since you want them to stay on the site and purchase your product. If sacrificing a bit of keyword density makes your page more easy to understand, don't hesitate to do it. The most important factor is writing content that is focused around a single topic, relevant and with the right keywords on it. Sites with more content rank better on search engines, so make sure you have plenty of informative pages about the subject, write articles, and stick to one topic per page. Depending on your budget you might want to outsource the writing and get professional writers to do it for you, be it through Helium's marketplace or other similar sites. For example, you can also invite guests to write content for your sites in exchange of links to their homepage on their articles.

Apart from applying basic SEO strategies, there's also other things you can do to generate traffic to your home business website that will also help your search engine positioning. The most important one is getting links on relevant websites around the same areas of interest as yours. For example, if you're selling pet care products you might want to make sure your local vet clinic has a link to your website, same as other places where pet owners go to get information about them. Some of those links are just about asking the website owner, and maybe adding a link to their website under a "helpful resources" section on your site, but you might need to pay for some others.

Usually very local sites will get you less traffic than bigger ones, but depending on your type of company that traffic will be of better quality for you. Use your analytics package to figure out which sites are giving you traffic that results in sales (This is called goals in Google analytics) and adapt your strategy accordingly. Make sure those links display keywords that are in your keyword list (For example, a link that reads "Pet care products" is much better than a link that reads "My website").

Another way of getting links is participating in conversations, posting in forums and message boards and engaging with the community, always making sure that your signature has a link to your website. Avoid looking spammy and strive to build a reputation for yourself as somebody knowledgeable about the subject, and users will click on said links to check your site out. This also applies to places like LinkedIn Questions&Answers board, for example. Having your website address printed in your offline communications (magazines, advertising, business cards) will also send you traffic and make your name stick on people's memories.

Advertising on printed media and your sector magazines can also drive highly targeted traffic to your sites, but it can be costly and you need to evaluate how much benefit you will get from that. Same goes for Adds campaigns and other traditional paid marketing initiatives. With a good SEO and link building strategy, you might want to focus your paid-for advertising on the peak season for your specific business niche, since then everybody will be making a bigger effort to drive sales to their own websites.

The author enjoys sharing her knowledge at with other business owners and online entrepreneurs.

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