As a startup or small business, your resources are incredibly valuable. Whether it’s your time, your employees’ time, or hard dollars, the way you invest each of these is critical. As a result, it’s incredibly difficult to justify large marketing expenses without a proven track record of success.
Thankfully, there’s plenty that small businesses can do with little-to-no monetary investment at all. This article will explore the top 4 strategies you can begin implementing at no cost to drive traffic to your website.
Get social on platforms your audience is active on.
Social media is a great free platform for generating website traffic. With millions of users ready to give you attention, social media is like the modern billboard, but way cheaper.
In order to be successful on social media, your efforts should be strategic. Start by building buyer personas to determine who your target audience is and where they spend their time. Focus on creating content only for the platforms your audience actually utilizes.
In addition to where, good social strategy also takes into consideration what you’re posting. Depending on the platform, you’ll want to post 3–12+ times each week. In your schedule should be a responsible mix of the following 4 types of posts:
- Self-promotional. This is the first thing most business owners want to post, but the last thing they should post. Limit these posts to a maximum of 1/12. Even when making self-promotional content, focus on the benefit to your audience first and foremost.
- Educational. This is the most important type of content as it’s centered around your buyer. Provide tailored content that teaches your audience something or helps them do their job better. Use this content as frequently as you have it. Be sure to incorporate relevant hashtags.
- Industry. These are important to share in order to build your network and industry trust. Share articles about industry (or local) events, upcoming news, and new regulations. Use relevant hashtags, share your expert thoughts, and engage with others in your industry.
- Culture. Use these posts to show off your personality and highlight talented team members. Share posts about your team, pics around the office, behind-the-scenes brainstorm sessions, and company outings. Share these at least once a week and encourage your employees or team members to engage on the posts.
While not all of these posts will drive traffic to your website, implementing a mix of the four will help you grow a following and increase engagement so that when you do link back to your content, people visit your website.
Share your expertise on Quora & Reddit.
This is actually just a specific vertical of social media. Quora and Reddit allow you to demonstrate your subject matter expertise on specific topics and eventually link back to your own content.
One drawback to utilizing these platforms is they require a lot more consistency (read: your time) and while effective efforts can generate tons of traffic, they typically convert at a significantly lower rate. (But this is a blog on generating website traffic. Read this for tips on lead generation strategies.)
Optimize your website for Google search.
Google ads and other pay-per-click advertising opportunities can be a great traffic source, but we’re on a budget here!
By spending time optimizing your website for Google search, taking into consideration how your target audience would be searching for certain content, over time you’ll be able to land your website on the top of search results.
For some early wins, start by ensuring the SEO title, selected focus keyword, meta description, and page headers on your website are all based on a relevant target keyword with an average monthly search volume of at least 80 and a keyword difficult under 80%. SEMRush and Spyfu are great tools for doing this research.
Attract visitors with content marketing.
To support all of the above strategies, you need a high-quality content strategy in place. Create ungated (blogs and pillar pages) and gated (downloadable offers) that educate around topics related to your brand or products.
Consider what your persona cares about, what questions they typically have at each stage of the buyers’ journey, and any sales barriers. Create content that educates without selling and helps push your prospects through the sales cycle, toward making a purchase.
Start generating website traffic.
Having an excellent strategy for driving consistent website to your traffic will ensure you have eyes on the valuable content you’re creating. To ensure that traffic eventually results in a purchase, keep your buyer personas at the forefront of your strategy.