Each and every business today can benefit from a website. It can be a promotional site, an extension of your sales or services, and even the entirety of your business if you’re online-only. Once you’ve got a website developed and ready to go, you’ve got to get people visiting it. Here are 37 ways to drive the traffic you need to your site and earn the online exposure you want.
Pay Per Click – Text ads through Google AdWords, Microsoft adCenter, or any third-party PPC client.
Search Engine Optimization – Embed keywords into your site content that draws traffic from relevant search results.
Blogging For Business – Keep a business-relevant blog with regular updates, and you’ll be rewarded with higher page ranking and more search traffic from web searches.
Twitter – The premiere microblogging social network service. Reach out to thousands of customers, professionals, and associates in under 140 characters.
Facebook – The gold standard of online communication and social networking. Facebook Pages for Business let you customize your promotions, and per-click advertisements can draw extra traffic.
Google+ – Google’s answer to Facebook, now with integrated search results. Establish a profile for your business, reach out to customers, and improve your page rank with upcoming AuthorRank search engine perks.
Google Places – Tell Google about your business, and it will show up in local relevant searches with your information. Help Google help others find you.
Pinterest – This hot new social sharing website is a favorite for older crowds willing to explore and spend more. Excellent for building positive feedback with potential customers.
Youtube – Can you produce a lot of useful or entertaining video through your business? Host your own video content on Youtube, or advertise with the service for additional exposure.
Yelp – Monitor what your customers think of your business, improve your services from direct suggestions, and encourage customers to drive traffic to your site by reviewing you online.
Other Social Media – Go to where your customers are. Foursquare, LinkedIn, online forums; just about anywhere you can reach potential customers is untapped potential.
Banners – Purchasing ad placements through third-party services can be pricey, but if your customers will see it, it may be worth the expense.
Affiliate Advertising – Advertise other products and services your customers may appreciate, or advertise your own business on other relevant websites.
Email Newsletters – Staying in touch with past customers is easy with email blasts and newsletters. Turn previous visitors into repeat customers with email campaigns.
Local Savings Offers Online – Sites like Groupon and Livingsocial can distribute discounts coupons online and generate buzz for your website.
Purchasing Untargeted Traffic – If you’re hurting for hits, you can sink money into untargeted traffic that may or may not bite on your website. Truly a last resort—your money can be better spent elsewhere.
Print Ads – Purchasing newspaper and magazine ads is a great way to attract attention off the internet.
Event Sponsorships – Drum up goodwill towards your business and your website by underwriting or hosting an event, locally or nationally.
Word of Mouth – Nothing beats positive promotions directly from happy customers. Make your customers and clients happy, and they’ll send more business to you.
Local Business Affiliations – Partner with small businesses in your area and cross-promote each other’s products and services.
Promotional Products – Order a set of branded pens, notepads, or any other inexpensive, fun items. Give these away in-house or on-location at professional events with a link to your website.
Direct Mail Kits – Direct mailers can be more than informative. Sending calendars, promotional items, or interactive “pop-up” mailers can make an excellent impression and drive interest towards your website.
Press Releases – Publishing press releases for your services and distributing them to news outlets can get added exposure to your site. Press releases can be published online, as well, and appear in searches.
Awareness Campaigns – Sponsor awareness campaigns for causes and charities. If you’ve been affected by breast cancer, sponsor a Breast Cancer Awareness Month event or campaign.
TV and Radio – TV and radio can extend your business’s reach with a well-placed interview or commercial purchase.
Local Discounts – Offer local customers with return discounts, membership bonuses, and more. Reward your loyal customers with online and offline deals.
Branding Makeover – Consider rebranding your business with a new logo, a refreshed website and an attractive new edge over your competition. Image can make the difference between loyal business and unimpressed visitors.
QR Codes – Leave a hyperlink in physical space. Generate QR codes for print materials and send users to your mobile site directly.
Viral Content – Never underestimate the power of viral content. Entertainment worth sharing can attract hundreds of thousands of new potential customers overnight.
Alternate Reality Games – If you’re promoting a larger client or need to generate some long-term buzz, an ARG can grab the interests of dedicated customers and hobby sleuths by wrapping your brand in mystery and intrigue. Very complicated to pull off, but it can keep your brand viral for months.
Layar – Set up virtual installations and promotional materials in physical space. Invite customers to visit the virtual side of your physical location, or send them on a digital scavenger hunt into the real world. Layar is a fun little service with infinite possibilities.
Mobile App – Many small towns and small business communities have found mobile apps to be an interesting new source of traffic and customer leads. Smartphone users engage with apps longer than they do standard advertisements.
Brand Your Vehicle – If you’re doing a lot of in-town commuting, your car can attract new traffic by branding your business or personal vehicle with your company’s address.
Operate Uniquely – Are you doing something original? Is your business like no other? Your unique approach to business is definitely worth some additional exposure, be it from online interest articles and interviews, or local TV and radio reports.
Involve Customers – Getting personal and reaching out to your customers can turn them into evangelists and advocates for your brand. Empower word of mouth advertising with a personal approach to communicating with your customers.
Kickstarter – Kickstarter is an online crowd-funding platform. If you have a good idea, throw it on the site and let the community help you fund it. Just about anything and everything can be funded through Kickstarter if it gathers enough interest and is useful to a wider audience.
Local Improvement Projects – Give back to your community by sponsoring improvement projects and getting your customers and neighbors involved. Get your hands dirty, do something good for your community, and you’ll see results in your business and online traffic.
These are primarily advertising techniques, but the secret to attracting traffic to your website is to be a good marketer for your company. These ideas are just starting points, and it’s up to you to find out what works best for your business. If you have any other excellent suggestions for attracting traffic, tell us about it!
Read more: Untargeted Traffic is Bad! Or Is It?