When I talk to business owners about their desire for a new website, I ask, “How will you get people to visit your website?” Too often, I get blank stares, or vague responses such as “People will find us by googling.” If you don’t have a plan for bringing people to your website, you’re setting your website up to fail as a marketing machine. Let’s look at why your website is useless without marketing.
The Empty Restaurant
Imagine a restaurant that’s only accessible from a dark, narrow alley; you can’t see it from the street. How many people walking down the street would end up in that restaurant?
Even if that restaurant has the best food and customer service in town, it will be empty because no one knows to go there.
A website that doesn’t have any marketing efforts directing people to it is like that restaurant. No matter how useful or compelling the website is, it won’t matter if no one knows about it.
For a website to function as a marketing machine, it needs traffic (visitors) and conversion (visitors taking steps towards buying). The website itself can be optimized for conversions (through its content, design, functionality, etc.), but that’s all worthless without traffic coming to the site.
Build It and They Will Come?
Many business owners think of their website as the Field of Dreams. They assume that if they build it, visitors will come. But a website doesn’t magically attract traffic.
Yes, you can submit your website to Google using Google Search Console, and Google should add it to its index, and that may allow you to rank highly enough to get some visitors. But for the most part, your site won’t get any traffic unless you tell people about it in some way.
How to Bring Visitors to Your Website
You can bring visitors to site with a wide variety of ways, online and offline. Here are just a few:
Online Methods for Bringing Visitors to Your Website
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, such as Google Ads
- Email marketing
- Social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)
- Guest blogging
- Participating in online groups
- Email signature
Offline Methods for Bringing Visitors to Your Website
- Business cards
- Direct marketing (postal mail)
- Hosting seminars and workshops
- Referral groups (BNI, etc.)
Fit, Ability, and Time
As you look over the lists above, you’ll see some methods that you don’t think would be a fit for your business. You may be right, but it wouldn’t hurt to get a second opinion. There are many businesses that have successfully driven traffic to their websites using marketing methods that are unpopular in their industry.
As you look over the lists above, you’ll see some methods that you have the ability (skills) to do, and that you have the time to do. For others, you may have ability or time, but not both. For others, you may have neither ability nor time.
You don’t need to skip the methods that you don’t have the ability and time to do. The economy exists so that businesses can help each other out! As Peter Drucker said, “Do what you do best, and outsource the rest.”
Do You Want Your Website to be Useless or Useful?
Is your website useless as a marketing machine? Is it like that empty restaurant? Then let’s transform it from useless to useful! Once your target audience, your prospects, visit the site, it will become like a bustling restaurant. Simply contact us to talk about how to get people to your website!