Distance from PortlandWhen business owners think about ways to increase website traffic, they generally know that search engine optimization and strong keywords strategies are essential.

Search rank is important and very competitive.  But it can be very expensive to optimize or advertiser your way to top placement on the search page.

But Google, Bing, Yahoo, Twitter and Facebook  aren’t the only ways people find our websites. It is easy to overlook some of the more traditional non-SEO approaches that are very powerful strategies in building site traffic. And when your site traffic goes up, so does your search ranking because sites with more traffic get higher SEO scores. So why not get busy and try a few of these each month to keep the attention on yourwebsite.com.

All of these techniques can be boiled down to one key strategy: advertising — you need to market your website just like you’d market a product. Even with great SEO, you can’t just put a website up and expect it to rise like cream to the top of the search page.

If you don’t tell people that you have a website and why they should visit it, they won’t know.
Here are some ways to do it.

  1. Be your own website evangelist. Tell people about it every chance you get. If you refer to your website often, others will learn to do so to. Be proud of your website and it’s content. If you aren’t, then build  a website you can be proud of.
  2. Use your domain name in your email. Every time you give out your email address, you’re telling others ‘where you live’ on the web. It’s a marketing opportunity too good to pass up. Use a forwarding email if you really don’t want to give up that aol, hotmail or gmail address, but always use yourname@yourwebsite.com
  3. Take out a print ad: magazines, newspapers, yellow pages, theater programs, school or neighborhood newsletters that features your website address prominently. Advertise new content, new sections, or promotions on the website.
  4. Print colorful postcards to leave in coffee shops. Include QR to your website with a promotional offer.
  5. Send email newsletters using an email vendor. Include short pieces of teaser or promo info then link back to the website for the full story. The best way to increase site traffic is to send regular useful email newsletters that link back to your website. Make a publishing plan in advance to keep your schedule regular.
  6. Post signs in your bricks and mortar shop with a QR code for an offer on the website.
  7. Get mentioned in the media — interviews, guest articles, photos or video clips on the news are golden. Always mention or include your web url when you’re being interviewed.
  8. Sponsor an event or benefit where you can distribute promotional materials. Look for ways to provide inkind sponsorship by providing services, prizes or supplies.
  9. Buy radio ads. Build brand recognition through ads or sponsorship of public radio.
  10. Post your job openings. If you have jobs, people will want to know and be checking back often. Jobs are one of the content areas that is a very strong draw.
    Mention the web url in any help wanted ads.
  11. Get fun stickers or rubber stamps with your web url and put them on shopping bags.
  12. Put your url on promotional items and pass them out  — bookmarks, tshirts, coasters, emery boards.
  13. Print marketing materials — brochures, letterhead, biz cards, rack cards, flyers.
  14. Blog or comment on other sites and include a link to your website.
  15. Send a custom greeting card via mail with a QR link in it. See SendoutCards to see some creative options!

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