Over the last few years “Google” has become synonymous with internet search. Whilst it is true that the vast majority of searches are made through Google, it is important to appreciate that this is not the only way of getting traffic to your site. In this article we look at some of the other methods of increasing those all important visitor statistics.
Other Search Engines
Although,as we have said, Google accounts for the majority of searches that are carried out by internet users, with around 67% using its search tool, there are other search engines whose importance should not be under-estimated. Microsoft’s Bing now accounts for around 18% and Yahoo’s most recent figures stand at around 11%. Approximately 4% is shared between Ask and AOL. Whilst these figures are dwarfed by Google’s share, they still represent significant numbers, especially when you consider that there are hundreds of billions of internet searches every month! In terms of the traffic that is obtained through search engine results, therefore, although Google is clearly the leader in the field, you should also look at the potential traffic that the other search engines could provide.
A more direct way of driving traffic to your site is by advertising on other websites. Banner advertisements that promote your organisation’s products and services and link back to your website are an effective means of generating traffic. The advertisement should obviously be placed on an industry-related site. That way it is targeted at an audience who are most likely to be interested in your product and, therefore, to visit your site. There will be a cost, of course, usually involving either the payment of a flat rate for placing the banner ad or a Pay per Click arrangement, but the amount of site visitors that can be achieved through this method can make the expense worthwhile. It is also easy to track the amount of traffic that your site achieves through a specific banner advert so that you can assess its effectiveness on an ongoing basis.
Your Online Presence
There are certain ways of enhancing your online profile which can also have the effect of increasing your site’s traffic. Many trades and industries have online forums. If you have something positive to contribute to a business-related forum, why not join? If you make valid, interesting and informative contributions, it is likely to result in other forum users clicking on the link to your website. The same can be said for contributing to blogs either by writing informative and relevant guest articles or by adding comments to the posts of other blog contributors. In the case of such contributions to forums and blogs, it is important that your primary aim is to contribute to the subject under discussion NOT simply to acquire more site traffic. Other users will quickly recognise it if your only reason for making a contribution is to boost traffic or increase the number of links to your own site and your time and effort is likely to be wasted.
Of course, the internet is not the only medium through which your website traffic can be increased. Offline advertising campaigns and marketing procedures can also be effective. The telephone directory, Yellow Pages and Thompson Local are all means of advertising your product and, because you can include your web address in the entry, of getting people to look at your site. The same can be said for newspaper advertisements and entries in local and national trade directories. Leaflets and flyers are still considered to be an effective marketing tool and, as your website is an important showcase for your products and services, the web address should be placed prominently on them. Your website’s address should also be clearly set out on your stationery, business cards and, if you have them, on any of your commercial vehicles. It is almost second nature, nowadays, to visit an organisation’s website if you want to find out more about what it has to offer. Make sure that your potential customers can access your site by ensuring that your offline advertising makes it clear that you have an online presence.
Hopefully, this article has demonstrated that, although the importance of Google should not be questioned, your website’s traffic is unlikely to be sourced solely from its search results. An approach that incorporates both the role of Google and the other methods set out above is likely to bring the additional traffic to your site that you desire, which should, in turn lead to an increase in your sales.