I love Field of Dreams as much as the next gal, but this is where I have to disagree.
One of the most exhilarating parts of our process with clients is launching a new website. You’ve made it! You’re official. Your site is beautiful, it tells what you do or what you offer, and your contact page is easy to find. You’re ready for clients, customers, and the like. But you might wonder why you’re not getting traffic or seeing immediate results. I get it. Web can be frustrating. But there’s a formula to the madness.
Google Crawlers are pretty specific, so you have to actually drive traffic to the site if you want to see change. Gone are the days when people will easily find you just because you have a website. We’re living in a digitally-saturated age, where you’ve got to be the one to get in front of your audience.
But how? Here are a few strategies and best practices for getting your site seen without paying for AdWords or other expensive SEO techniques:
1. Start blogging.
This is not for everyone, but if you’re willing to invest some time and thought into a relevant blog, you will see some surprising results. The main key here is consistency. If you commit to having a blog, it’s best to make sure that you are posting regularly--it doesn’t have to be daily, but once weekly (or 2-3 times weekly if you can) will not only help your search and keywords, it will also establish you further as an authority in your field.
>>Note that a few blog posts will not produce change. This is a long-vision strategy that works best with many posts. 10 years ago, we would tell clients to not expect any change without at least 30 posts. Today, I would recommend consistent posting for 10-12 months before fully assessing the effectiveness of the blog. Blogging effectively will take the right content and using tags and keywords correctly.
2. Make sure your business is listed with Google Business.
This is one of the easiest things you can do for your business. This is a free listing with Google, and it will be one of the first things that show up when you Google your business. It also immediately shows a link to your website (which means more clicks) and other relevant business info, including a description about what you or your business is all about. If you haven’t set this up yet, take 10 minutes and do it today.
3. Make sure you have keywords set up.
With every website that we build, we include a starting list of keywords within the site. There are always ways to expand this further and maximize with meta tags, page headings, and copy. If you’re interested in adding additional SEO on to your site, let us know. We’ll do a review of what’s currently included and make suggestions for increasing further.
4. Use alt tags on your images.
This is another simple practice that is a great habit for your website. Each CMS system is different in terms of how to add alt tags, but we’ll walk through these with a subsequent post using the CMS systems we work with most (Wordpress, Shopify, and Squarespace).
5. Utilize social media.
This is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site. After determining where your audience lives, utilize each social media channel specifically to link to your site. This is where a blog or something that you update regularly on the site (for example, a portfolio, product, or listing page), comes in handy. You can select the direct url and include on each social media channel.
Make it easy for your audience. Most people do not have time to sift through your site if they are just wanting to see what you posted about today, so don’t lose them. If it’s a blog post, it should look like this for example:
6. Utilize email.
Just about every client that we work with can and should utilize a mail service. We love MailChimp for it’s intuitive nature, lists options, and design-savvy templates. It’s also free (up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails a month), so you can really build your list without significant costs. Think about what your audience wants to hear from you and how you can best help them. This is a great way to stay in front of your audience--again, we’re all saturated with info, posts, and the like, so we have to find ways to stay in touch and connect with our audience directly.
These habits take time and attention, but done correctly and consistently, you should see organic and effective growth.
We’d love to help you grow your site and your audience. If you’d like to speak more about any of the strategies mentioned, we can help you formulate a plan of action and set up any channels needed to get there. Contact us here to chat.
Keep fighting the good fight.
Sara Beth Cobb
Creative Director, Parc Branding
Parc Branding, led by Creative Director Sara Beth Cobb, is a boutique branding agency in New York City specializing in brand identity and brand strategy for small businesses and startups.