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Monthly Archives: January 2009

Building Traffic to your Homestead Website

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What are you doing to gain additional visitors to your website?

You may have read somewhere that making posts on forums and blogs will quickly bring you a lot new visitors. Reference has also been made about Craigs list and You Tube as sources for site visitors. 

This type of advice is usually given by people who do not understand the basics of website traffic and marketing and have yet to realize that a gazillion hits does not a successful site make.

The Scoop on Website Visitors
There are several types of visitors to a website, some count and some don’t.
Which type of site user is important to your business or website? Obviously the one who converts, purchases, signs up. But let’s examine these visitors a bit more.

• Focused visitors –  These are people who are actually looking for a product, service or information that your website provides. They will usually find your site from doing a search, finding your listing in a directory or on a links page from a similar website. These are the visitors who are most apt to convert and buy your products or services.

• Casual/Comparison shoppers – This type of visitor is looking for information on something that they are interested in purchasing. They’re looking for information and best price. They may visit  a site several times before committing…if they find a site that provides the information they need, is well done and gives them a feeling of security they can turn into customers.

• Impulse buyers –  These are people who purchase something without having planned to do so. 

• Curious people –  Those who are surfing or reading forums or blogs fall in this category.  They may see a signature line and click it to see what the poster has for a website.  Most, if not all, of the clicks you get from this type of person are useless. People motivated by curiosity produce abysmally low conversion rates for purchasing products or services.  So the work involved in posting to forums or blogs may produce visitors, but not ones who are likely to buy. Worth your time? Probably not.

Craig’s list – If you haven’t used Craig’s list it is free online advertising platform. You register and then choose a city to advertise your product or service in. If done right this option can provide some people focused on what you are promoting.  Casual shoppers may also use Craig’s list to see if there are bargains available in their area.  However, the vast majority will again be just curious about your ad. What you will probably see is lots of hits with some potential benefit if you learn to write good ads and have a good buy on unique products. Flooding a website with Looky-Loos doesn’t mean you will make money.

Blog and forum posting – These are most apt to bring you the Curious segment of shoppers, so again you need to weigh benefit over time involved in keeping up a blog or traveling to various forums to post just for the links.  It certainly is not going to bring in many focused visitors or even casual shoppers…these people don’t go read a blog or a forum to find the product or service they are interested in.
 
Newsletters can help promote your website and its products. Provide something of real importance to get sign ups. This is your target market, give away tips, and helpful information that will develop a trust relationship. You then add your product promotion for those who are interested. One word of caution, don’t scam the potential user…give them quality information and make sure it is complete, current and accurate.

YouTube
This website provides a free place to upload videos to entertain, educate and promote.  Unfortunately it is also a source of a lot of information that has been cobbled together into quickie, unprofessional videos promoting everything from SEO to dancing. If you decide to use this method to market your site then make your videos professional. Lack of professionalism is not a problem if  the video is of talking birds or dancing puppies, but it takes time and serious effort to produce a video that is worthwhile.  Will this avenue gain you site visitors and will they convert?  Most people will be looking from curiosity but you may pick up the occasional buyer.

If you are serious about your business then you don’t want hits you want FOCUSED visitors, those who are looking for your products. Hits mean nothing except allowing you to say “I got a gazillion hits on my website”. Hits do not mean money or build a site reputation and success does not come easy or fast.

Visit the Homestead Connection forum to learn more about SEO and building professional looking and useable websites. We provide real tools and tutorials for building your Homestead website.  Free site evaluations, tips and guidance.