A common challenge for many small businesses is understanding the best way to drive customers to your website. However, while there are tried and tested ways of generating traffic, the first step should be to understand when it is the right time to drive people to your site, versus the right time to communicate with them on other platforms like social media.
Knowing the right time to send people to your website
There are clear occasions when you need customers to visit your site; perhaps to make a purchase, or for non-ecommerce sites, to find out more information about your business and for contact details. Your website is the online face of your brand. It is often the best place for customers to get a comprehensive overview of your business.
When these are your goals, it’s important for businesses to have a long-term SEO strategy in place. This will ensure that your site is visible in natural search results. You can also run ongoing or even short term tactical paid search campaigns to increase your visibility against key search terms. This will enable your audience to have many ways to get to your website.
Cultivating your audience away from your site
It’s always important to consider whether it is necessary to drive people away from what they’re doing to visit your site. In cases where people are actively searching for your website (e.g. Google) then it makes absolute sense to be present in that space. This will help guide them to the information they need or on to a purchase. If you can provide key information like opening hours and a phone number in the Google ad site links then even better.
However, when you are interacting with your audience in social media, it’s highly unlikely that people will want to leave what they are doing (e.g. browsing Facebook or Twitter) to visit your site.
For example, it is often best to direct people clicking on your Facebook ads to your Facebook page, as they are more likely to do this than leave Facebook altogether. Better still, if you can convey your message and interact with your audience in your ad format and its comments, then you are generating immediate engagement without asking your audience to take unnecessary extra steps.
What is the best way to generate traffic to your site?
When you do need to generate traffic, Paid & Natural Search are the most cost-effective methods of driving people to your site. They enable you to be present when people are searching either directly for your company or for products or services like yours. SEO (search engine optimisation) is a sound long term investment, while PPC (Pay Per Click) Google ads are transparent and accountable. They can provide additional long-term traffic as well as short term tactical messaging.
A cohesive digital strategy should offer touch points with your audience across search and social media, to ensure you remain present, top of mind and reachable at all times.