As an SEO company we feel “mighty proud” when a clients’ search engine referral traffic is up year over year. That means we are doing a good job; bringing them more traffic from search engines! As a marketer, though, I get concerned when I see the other source of traffic, referrals, is just a small slice of their monthly visitors.
But the other day, a light went off in my head. You see, we mainly work with small to medium sized businesses, aka SMB’s. Very often, given the nature of small business, we may be the only outsourced labor they have besides their bookkeeper. Having been a small business owner/manager myself, we tend to put our trust into whomever walks in the door. Think about it; yellow page sales, local newspaper, radio and tv… They all come to you and more often than not they offer “turn-key” marketing, producing the creative to place into their media. It’s how they get their foot in the door! You very rarely find online marketing opportunities coming through your door though.
Here is a list of places to gain more referrals and grow that sector of traffic if you are a local business:
- Pay Per Click Advertising – We offer this service to clients and about 1/3 of them utilize it. Today it is possible to spread out your buy beyond the right side of the search engines though. But most SMB’s run out of budget before they can try other types of PPC.
- Local Search – Make sure you have robust listings in the local sections of the three main search engines. We offer this as part of our services to clients who opt for our “off page seo” services
- Social Media is veritably free. But it takes a complete effort to have it payoff in visitors to your web site. Beyond the obvious, there are dozens of social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon for you to test as well. We offer SMM services to our clients and about 1/4 of them utilize us.
- Local Media is the next place to learn about. Chances are your local paper, tv station and radio all have web sites with advertising opportunities. These may work for your business.
- Deals and Coupon sites may hold winning potential for you. Or not. But there is only one way to find out and that is get educated about the various ones being offered around you.
- Local Web Sites – Could a landscaping company advertise on a real estate web site? Are there local, regional, and national web directories and guides you should be found in? We help our clients sift through the myriad of potential synergistic partners, so they don’t waste any of their budget on non performing and potential harmful sites.
- Review sites – More and more, review sites are becoming major providers of traffic to web sites. Of course, if you have poor reviews this can end up hurting your traffic if not attended to properly. We monitor review sites and help clients work with them. From Trip Advisor to Yelp, CitySearch and Angie’s List, there is something for everyone on the world of review sites.
- Email list – You are building your list, right? One major goal of a web site should be to collect email addresses from visitors. They are not going to do this, freely on their own. You need to point the way and give them a reason.
- Video – You do not need expensively produced videos to lure people to your web site. But good video marketing can help your traffic building efforts from sources like YouTube, Vimeo and other video portals.
- Guest Posting on Blogs – A little used method of obtaining traffic is to offer to write a guest blog post for another web site that is complimentary to your own.
The main goal is to become less “solely” dependent on Google for your traffic. Prepare now, because if you woke up tomorrow and your Google traffic dropped to a trickle it wouldn’t be as painful as it would if all your eggs were in that basket! Make a goal of adding one new source of referral traffic a month and a year from now, you should be sitting pretty.