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How can I get traffic to my website cheaply?

3:31AM | Tuesday, 4 March

How can I traffic to my website cheaply? Is it all about advertising banners and buttons?   So you don’t have much money to spend, but you want to get some traffic to your website.   Sure, you are going to reinvest in your website after you rollout the first stage and make some money, but you need that first bump of cash to get you started.   Top three cheap ways to get traffic to your website are:   1. Google Adwords:   Here is where you are going to need to search for a $100 voucher for Adwords in Google. Find one, sign up and start paying for some traffic. This is going to give you traffic in one hour. It’s going to cost you but you will get traffic.  Cost benefit – This tactic is a sure way to get qualified traffic but if your niche is competitive it can cost you more money than a new customer is worth. Test it – What you want to do with this one is test it. Spend only a small amount of money and then find out what works. You will probably need to tweak your website or form a little and then you want to load up another $100 or so from your credit card and try again. You have to treat this business expense as part research and part marketing. The end outcome you want to achieve is a channel of traffic that is coming in and making you money day in day out. That way you can spend more time trying each of the cocktails on the drinks menu as your website keeps making you money.   2. Search Engine Optimisation:   SEO is a time consuming and slow build process in your business that can bring in serious traffic once you crack some big keyword rankings. Here are four quick wins:  Keywords – Ensure your website has the keywords you want to rank for in the content of your homepage and unique title tags for each page of your website. There are loads of other things you can do but if you just start with these two things it will help get you to that first 100 visits.  Get some listings – You need a few early win links to your site, some directories, a link from a friend and any other links you can scrounge up. List your business in an Australian directory as opposed to an American one. It gives you a better chance to get actual relevant traffic and will help you more with your rankings.  Add some new content – Add some new content to your website that is about topics in your niche. Spend $35 on some new articles with a writer from oDesk or Elance and build out your website.   3. Email:   Sending emails to people inviting them to your website for a high valuable reason is a great way to start. For example: All the daily deals websites at present work by sending people emails of the latest deal. The only way you can become one of those deals is by offering an insane price and offer that will cause you to lose money, otherwise the deals website will burn their list as it wasn’t a deal. You could try a daily deal site but its best to do some maths first to see if you can handle the volume. Here are some other ways to get email traffic:  Send an email to your peers – Collect up all your business cards and put them in a list, send an email announcing your new site and ask your colleagues for feedback on what they think of it. The sheer process of researching your site will imprint it in their minds and they might refer your site to someone else in need!  Write an article – Add a helpful article to a friend’s business eNewsletter and you will get a few residual visits from their site. Make sure you make your article 100% dedicated to their customers and just educate and inform. The keen visitors will come through.  Forward an email – If you find an email or some article that is helpful, forward it to someone who might use it. Ensure you have a call to action in your email signature and you might get some residual traffic if it’s forwarded on again.  Build a database – You will also want to be getting email subscribers from your website, so ensure you have a form on there. Offer a free guide or eBook if they sign up and you will probably get a better response.   Here are some of the other ways you can get traffic but you might want to consider them after you have around 100,000+ visitors.   Banner ads   – Banners are pricey and their click-through rates are low; around 0.1% yes that is 0.001! People do click on them. But you have to buy a lot of them. Top tips to try when starting with this:  Use cost per click – Buy your banners so you pay each time someone clicks, not by the number of impressions.  Pay per sale – If you can get a deal set up like this through the performance media channels of the different networks, try it!   Facebook ads   Everyone is on Facebook but they aren’t on it for the same reason as Google. On Google you are searching to find something and take action. On Facebook you are there to hang out with your friends. Use Facebook ads when you have a competition or timely campaign that is relevant and catchy. For example: If you are a charity and you are having a toga party to raise money, you might want to try Facebook ads and target young single males.  Test it – You can burn money FAST on Facebook but it’s again worth testing.  Basic metrics – Facebook’s advertising reports aren’t quite as sophisticated as Adwords, although you can still set up conversion metrics with it. It’s messy, but worthwhile.   Twitter, Viral, Facebook and that social stuff:   Social media and getting traffic from it is again a slow build. You need to build your profile and interact. Think of it like going into a new town, you want to meet people and become friends with them before you ask them over to your house for a BBQ. The best ways to do this are:  Help people – Be helpful. Helping others makes you a go-to person. The more helpful you are the more people like you and the more influential you will become.  Regular – Keep plugging away. Keep helping people. Short no talk stints are ways to get your tweets and status updates ignored. Be interesting – Boring tweets and links get ignored and you unfollowed.   Offline:   Don’t forget that people aren’t online all the time. People who come from offline media to your website needed to remember your URL and have made the effort to turn their computer on and go to your site. Market to offline media like: PR and magazines – A good story and bring in a solid amount of qualified traffic.   Leaflet drops – If you want local customers, just canvass everyone house in your local area. Eventually they will see your leaflet!   Signboards – If it’s cheap or free to put a sign somewhere, put up an ad, it’ll just tick away! Business cards – Put your domain name on there and a reason to go to your site. Get a free phone, free eBook or free video.   Events – Speaking at an event makes you authoritive, some people in the audience will really resonate with you and you need to put your website up so they can get more of you! What specifically you give them when they arrive needs to connect to what you were talking about otherwise you will lose them.

What kind of special offers work on social media?

11:41AM | Tuesday, 26 November

What kind of offers work on social media? Giveaways on Twitter? Competitions on Facebook? I'm not quite sure how to approach this.

Should I outsource my social media presence?

12:20AM | Tuesday, 18 December

This article first appeared on December 21st, 2011.   Is it ever a good idea to get a third party to build my Facebook/Twitter presence, or should I do it all myself?

Pick your social media hunting ground

8:10AM | Tuesday, 21 August

As an emerging entrepreneur, I almost guarantee that you are determined to use social media to drive your business to great heights.

Website take-up rises among SMEs but social media use takes an unexpected fall: MYOB survey

8:33AM | Wednesday, 15 August

More businesses have websites but fewer are actually using online tools, including search engines and social media, to market their products, according to the latest MYOB Business Monitor.

A business that is all about supporting women

8:32PM | Monday, 13 August

To say Lin Windram and her daughter Maxine know a bit about bras would be an understatement. After all, they’ve successfully launched not one but two retail concepts around the product.

Are potential customers giving you the cold shoulder?

7:56AM | Thursday, 26 July

Recently, I conducted an experiment. I wanted to see how many people were put off by a “salesy” sales approach.

10 ways retailers can flourish

7:38AM | Monday, 23 July

If you’re in retail, there’s a good chance that you’re keen to see the back of 2012 as quickly as possible.

Australians unlikely to tolerate employer access to social media profiles: Report

7:56PM | Sunday, 15 July

Employees in the Asia-Pacific region are least likely to tolerate employer access to private social media content, according to a global survey, with 64% voicing their disapproval over the idea.

How to create your social media strategy in seven steps

6:25AM | Friday, 29 June

Having a strategy is the first step to navigating social media successfully.

How do I get my Facebook fans to my new website?

6:51AM | Wednesday, 27 June

I’ve built a decent following on my Facebook page, but how can I best shift these people to my new website so they can buy products from there?

The next social media wave: Five golden rules to follow

6:50PM | Wednesday, 20 June

Social media is a relatively cost effective tool that increasing numbers of Australian businesses, regardless of size or sector, are eagerly grasping.

Eight take-away tips from Social Media Down Under 2012

6:13AM | Friday, 15 June

How does Australia’s use of social media compare to the rest of the world?

I’m worried my business’ branding doesn’t work online. What should I do?

5:09AM | Monday, 14 May

When it comes to branding, it’s simple: continuity is king!

Make social media part of your marketing budget

5:01PM | Sunday, 6 May

This article first appeared May 18, 2011.   A survey from Nielsen showed that almost three quarters of Australian businesses are dedicating 10% of their budgets to social media marketing.

My last promotion didn’t increase sales. What did I do wrong?

5:01PM | Tuesday, 1 May

I’ve just had an Easter-related sales push that didn’t really go to plan.

Social media to emerge as main consumer watchdog: BDO

3:06AM | Friday, 30 March

Social media will be the primary consumer watchdog within 10 years, new research shows, overtaking traditional media channels as the single biggest influence on purchasing decisions.   According to international research by advisory firm BDO, based on surveys with 479 business leaders, businesses that fail to embrace social media will struggle to spark sales over the next decade.   While almost half of Asia-Pacific companies monitor social media commentary about their organisation, only a third actively use social media to enhance relationships with customers.   BDO partner Stephen Coates says companies need to get past the idea that social media is just a fad, saying this is a dangerous way to approach it.   “Social media is a part of society… Every customer now has an instant, global and searchable means to broadcast feedback about your business – good or bad,” Coates says.   “The continued growth of social media will see consumer purchasing decisions being increasingly influenced by online community-based feedback.”   Rather than shying away from social media, Coates describes it as the “ultimate mechanism” for an organisation to create transparency in order to build trust, which in turn creates loyalty.   “Social media makes it difficult for organisations to hide issues or problems,” he says.   “Being upfront and addressing issues as they arise is important now, but will be even more critical over the next decade.”   The BDO report, titled Service 2020: Megatrends for the decade ahead, provides a blueprint for the prioritisation of service development opportunities over the coming decade.   The report explores how successful organisations have built and sustained excellent client service, and outlines eight predictions on how customer service will change over the next decade.   Here’s the top three megatrends for the decade ahead:   1. Global competition   Global competition will drive up service standards. In an increasingly commoditised and competitive global marketplace, with aggressive new market rivals expanding rapidly, customer service will be used by a rising number of companies as a competitive differentiator.   While quality is seen today as the key means of standing out from the crowd, especially for B2B organisations, service will be the clear focus for all organisations by 2020.     2.The need for speed   Businesses must maintain service standards in the face of “the need for speed” The need for speed is most obviously in the retail and service industries. However, consumers used to getting what they want quickly in their personal lives are also coming to expect the same in their working lives.   The key challenge for companies is the inherent tension between providing a faster service and maintaining quality levels.   Companies will have to figure out how they can speed up service delivery, and where they will need to push back on the “need for speed” and manage customer expectations.     3. Increased transparency    Businesses must learn to utilise the increased transparency brought by social media.

C Coconut Water

3:57AM | Monday, 26 March

C Coconut Water claims to be world’s only organic coconut water brand. It was created by Sydney young guns Adam Abrams, Julian Tobias and Zac Jex.

Google's SEO warning and what we can do about it

3:33AM | Tuesday, 20 March

SmartCompany recently published a great article on Google's recent warning to SEO overuse.

Pinterest – a guide for small businesses

5:15AM | Wednesday, 2 May

Even if you’ve been fully absorbed in the starting and building of your business, it will have been hard to ignore that Pinterest is creating the biggest online buzz of all the social media sites right now.

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