How will your website draw traffic?
Your website, if being used as an engine for generating leads, will need to draw internet users to it. There are several ways in which users can find your website, each requiring very different forms of input from you (or your employed webmaster).
External Marketing for Direct Traffic
Your marketing strategy might not include expenditure on the web other than the cost of setting up your website in the first place. This would be for the creation of a ‘Brochure website’; one where all of your business services and/or products are described on static pages. This is fine if your products and services are themselves very static entities. You might have a cabin in the mountains that you wish to market. Its offerings are the same the year round. There are beautiful walks, a private Jacuzzi, hand-gliding nearby, but essentially these things do not change, so you choose to create a static website with pictures of what your cabin looks like in summer, winter, spring and autumn, and you then just direct people to the site to gather more information than what you can describe over the phone or in an email. The van you use to fetch people from the airport has your website address on the side, your business card contains it, and your email marketing campaign hosts links to the various sections. All of these things drive direct traffic to your website. A fine solution if it is working for you – at the end of the day, if the customers are rolling in faster than you can make beds, then why would you need more. Perhaps, though, your beds aren’t full and you need to reach further. You now need to employ the web more actively. You can do this using the other two methods of drawing web traffic.
Search Engine Optimization
Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines feed off your website. They gather information about what your website contains and they store that information in giant indexes. When you or I go to Google and type in the words “Cabin with Jacuzzi and nearby hand-gliding”, Google checks its index for matching criteria. Of course it is a machine, so it doesn’t understand what it is looking for, however it uses the words you type in; to match words in its index, and indeed it produces your website as one of its many results. Search Engine Optimization is the process by which clever people get your website to appear higher up in those search rankings.
As you can imagine, there are probably more than a few websites that claim to be the solution to your query, so Google has a tough time deciding which ones are genuine, so tough in fact that even the most genuine sites (like yours) struggle to get Google to recognize it above other lesser sites that pretend to be about mountain cabins just long enough to get your potential customers to buy hiking equipment. So the unfortunate truth is that being genuine in your offers, just isn’t enough. You have to really drive home the point with a website that perhaps is not quite a pretty as you imagined because it is substantially more bulky. Luckily, you have yet another option, that gives you the traffic and allows your website to be just as pretty as you like.
Pay per click (PPC) advertising
Pay per click (PPC) advertising is the bits in the search engines that are labeled “sponsored links”. People are paying for their websites to be presented at the top of relevant searches. The process is a bit more in depth than a straight advertising space type trade, but essentially, that is what PPC is.