If you are driven by the idea of doing what you love, or already running a startup, going online is the best way forward. Even though it sounds easy, because of its competitiveness, attracting engagements online is a real challenge. If you don't have any coding or tech knowledge, SEO can sound complex and you might feel lost. You can think of hiring someone to help you, but then again you will have a second thought about the cost of it. Google and Facebook will suggest you try paid ads, but If you're only just starting your journey online, allocating marketing dollars to an unknown isn't justifiable. So let's talk about how to generate cost-free traffic to your website.
The most important thing about your website is how useful the content is to your target audience and how user-friendly the site is for them to find content. Organisations hire UX designers to curate their content, but as a small business, you can do it yourself. You need to create customer personas to figure out how compelling your content is to specific customer groups. Does the content build integrity? Does the call to action sound engaging? How long will they spend on your website? What devices will they be using to find you? If you have the answers for these, then you can arrange your content in a way that creates a good user experience.
This is critically important for search engines to understand what the page is about and to attract the right kind of traffic to each page. When it comes to meta tags, priority should be given to Meta Titles, Meta Descriptions and URL’s. In that meta description, you have to highlight the niche you are serving and the value proposition that you generate with your product or service.
Blogging is a great way of connecting with your customers and attracting traffic. You can talk about various topics related to your industry by using long-tail keywords. This is a great way to show visitors that you are passionate about the business and value your visitors. You have to make sure that your blog is not a tool to promote yourself though. Depending on your target audience, use it to educate, entertain and engage. In the long run, you might feel like you are repeating yourself between articles. To avoid that from happening, it’s important to have a topic cluster framework in your blog. You can have one article each for the major topics as pillars and link related articles that were written best on long-tail keywords as cluster pages.
When you constantly upload quality content, search engines will increase your page ranking.
Building a social media audience on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and directing that traffic to your website is a great way to generate page visits. There are many startups that run their businesses only through social media. That's how powerful the audience is. But you have to understand that you don't have ultimate control over these channels. It’s best to have your own website and generate traffic to it through social media. You can share your blog stories on those channels and you can even use some platforms like FB instant articles and LinkedIn articles to generate more traffic.
Creating awareness about your online existence is important. If you are physically interacting with your customers you can ask them to review their experience on your site, check out offers and promotions, register for loyalty programs and so on. You can even display your web link on catalogues, billboards and even on invoices.
There are many analytical tools in the market that tell you the behaviour of visitors to your site. These tools give you insights into how much time they spend, pages that have the most attraction, how many clicks, the call to actions and so on. This gives you an idea about the direction of your efforts and if you have to change your strategy according to these insights.
It's needless to say how powerful video libraries like Youtube and IGTV are. You have to make sure that you stay relevant by giving priority to create video pieces. You can film it with your smartphone and even edit it with user-friendly video editing tools.You don’t have to create lengthy YouTube videos. You can use tools like Instagram stories or Facebook stories in a creative manner to attract traffic. Shearable content is the key to success with videos.
Any of these approaches won't cost you a penny, whilst allowing you to build an online presence. These recommendations can help you grow your online SEO ranking. From there you’ll have enough information to be able to design a marketing/advertising campaign.
The right strategy along with consistency can increase your search engine ranking. Once you are established enough to invest in the idea of selling online, you can start allocating a marketing budget to generate more sales and create greater awareness.
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