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So you’ve set up your website, purchased some stock but you need some customers. Now its time for the fun part, making money. In this blog post I will tell you how to drive traffic to your website through various paid and free methods. I will also show you have to boost your social presence. We’ve got a lot to cover so lets get started…. Get Creative The first step is to create some content for your website. I recommend you use several different mediums to share your knowledge on the products that you intend to sell, be open and share your honest opinions and advice. For each product you sell, you should create an original description with the unique selling point (USP). YouTube is a great way to reach a large audience with little investment needed (apart from a decent camera).You could review your products and create a few tutorials. Blogs are another great way to publish content but in a written format; they are often used in a similar way to YouTube videos to review products and create tutorials. Get Social Most businesses have some sort of social media presence. Personally I have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts (Pinterest is also a good option). You should give each account a different purpose, for example your Facebook page could be about competitions, offers and site updates. Whilst your Instagram account could share your experience of running a business. By posting quality, original content on each platform you will give people a reason to follow you on a number of different platforms. To maximise engagement, I would highly advise using a mixture of mediums e.g. videos, images, text etc. If you want to gain any real traction on social media I recommend you post 2-3 pieces of content a day on one of your channels.   1

Boost Your Social Presence

It will take time to gain a following on social media but if you persevere it will pay off in the end. In the meantime there are a few things that you can do. Firstly, if you are willing to spend some money on advertising I would recommend Facebook Ads. They are highly flexible, you can choose the amount you want to spend and for how long you want to advertise for. What makes it particularly effective is the fact that you can target specific audiences. The price you pay ranges massively depending on how engaging your content is and the type of category you are competing in; the graph below shows the average cost of advertising on Facebook.  I typically pay around 2-8p per engagement. 2 Twitter ads offer similar targeting options to Facebook in that you can choose whereabouts in the world you want to promote your business. You can choose various criteria  and you can target accounts with specific interests. When you advertise on Twitter you can choose to promote a tweet or your account (in order to gain more followers), they each have their own benefits. If you decide to promote a tweet you can use a ‘call to action’ straight away, so you could link to one of your products. On the other hand if someone follows you, you can send them promotional content on a recurring basis and you only pay when someone actively follows you. You set the maximum bid per follower, Twitter will wildy over value the price of a follower but I recommend setting a bid rate of 30p – 40p. At the time of writing this blog post, Instagram doesn’t currently offer any form of paid advertising. However you may want to consider using Instagress or a similar service. Instagress will automatically like other people’s photos based on the hashtags that you want to target. When someone sees that they liked your photo, they will often look at your Instagram account and engage with your content. This is a very affordable option and there are a wide range of pricing plans. Run a Competition/Giveaway However I have found running a completion to be the most cost effective way to grow your social presence. Gleam.io is a powerful way of leveraging new customers. People are allowed to enter your competition in return for completing actions such as following you on Twitter and subscribing to you on YouTube. Best of all, they offer a free plan. There were 10868 entries in the competition and I saw a significant increase in social interaction on the different social media platforms. Driving traffic organically. Advertising can get expensive, so investing some time optimizing your site is important. We are going to be using some SEO (search engine optimization)  techniques to improve your page ranking.
  • Get a good balance between images and text. The content that users first interact with should contain between 60% – 80% visual.
  • Build plenty of internal links on your website. Make sure your site is easy to navigate, e.g make your logo a link to your homepage.
  • Use Meta description and Meta keywords. Search engines often use the Meta description in the results page as seen in the example below.
  • Ensure your site is optimized for mobile. Almost all web site builders will allow you to have a mobile version of your site. Just ensure that it is set up properly. (Nearly 60% of traffic is mobile).
  • Place helpful and relevant links to to other websites in your field. For example if you had a  flower shop you would want to link to local delivery businesses.
  • Ensure that you keep page waiting times to a minimum. This means not uploading huge files to your website or installing too many addons.
  • When you upload a photo makes sure it has a suitable name (not just a jumble of random numbers). Your web builder should allow the use of ALT tags.
  • Get people with similar sites to link back to you. This is the most powerful way of getting to the top of search engine results page. The bigger the site the more “link juice” it will give you. For example if the BBC were to link to your site it would drastically boost your ranking.
  • When Google looks at your site it looks at content and then compares it to other content on the web to see if your content is different. So when writing content on your site make it original.
  • Using keywords will also improve your rank; sometimes it can be difficult to think of keywords; thats where SEO-Quake comes in. This tool lets you analyse competitors pages and see what keywords they are using.
  • Post helpful content onto forum sites giving quality advice to users.
  • Create a sitemap, a page that links to all your major pages on your site. This makes it easier for the search engines to crawl your website.
Few extra tips
  • Ensure that you have an ‘about us’ page; this will help instill confidence in potential buyers. I recommend you include an image of yourself and a basic description of yourself as well as what your business offers.
  • You should also ensure that you business phone number and email are clearly displayed on your homepage. Although they may not ever contact you, it will give them confidence knowing that they can pick up the phone or mail if they ever have any problems.
  • Sign up for Google Analytics which allows you to gain insight into your audience. It tells you the gender, age, location of your audience as well as what time people visit your site and what browser they use. Best of all it’s 100% free.
  • Another great tool is Google Webmasters which is used to keep your website in good health ie up to date and secure.
Thanks for reading this article, you can check out my site at – new2youdeal.co.uk

Robert Wood