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How to drive traffic to your small business without spending a fortune

When it comes to driving traffic to your website we are all keen on FREE. Traffic is one of the key elements in building your business, it is the starting point for your sales funnel. If you are not getting enough in at the top of the funnel then you can't hope to get a lot out in terms of new customers. Detailed below are 8 free ways that you can drive new traffic to your small business website.

1) Business Directories

There are hundreds of directories out there online however the trick is that you need to find the decent ones that will add value. An easy way to do this without analysing all of the KPI's related to each individual directory is to simply do a search on Google for the top 10 free internet directories. Don't just opt for the first search result that you see, have a good look at the websites making the recommendation and try to take the advice of reputable companies like well ranked web design companies or well respected SEO companies. Also, it is worth looking at several lists to see which directories keep on reoccurring. Once you have your list of directories you should put some time and energy into setting up your listings properly. If possible add your logo and images of your business/products.

2) Forums

Another great way to drive business is to start participating on forums. Try to find forums that are related to your industry and answer questions, share information or just have a presence. Most forums will allow you to put a signature link in the footer of your comments so every time you add a comment there will be an opportunity for people to see your business details. A good forum for general small businesses is the Flying Solo forum which targets micro business owners and small business owners. Something else to think about with forums is where the forum is located. If you are an Australian business then there probably isn't a lot of benefit in participating in USA or UK forums. Try to keep to the region in which your business is located.

3) Facebook

Social media can be a great way to drive traffic to your website and Facebook can be one of the easiest ones to get started with. Initially you need to set up your business page and get your branding right. It is a good idea from a design perspective to make sure that the style, logo, fonts etc that you use for your Facebook page match the style and look and feel of your website and your general branding. Once you have your page sorted you need to start thinking about how you are going to build followers to your site and how you are going to build up likes etc. You can build your followers by generating good content. When developing your content we would advise to drip feed the content and not to post it all at once, also, try to create content that has the potential to go viral, try to build content that your followers will want to share and that will potentially help you build more content.

4) Twitter

Another great opportunity to drive traffic to your website is via Twitter. If you have a business that is interesting and creates a lot of news then Twitter is a great way to share that content. remember, try to think of topics that have the potential to go viral, if you can go viral you can reach more potential visitors and more potential followers.

5) Emails

If done properly email marketing can be a brilliant way to drive traffic to your website. If done badly, email marketing can seriously damage your business. The best approach with email marketing is to target your existing customers and specifically the customers who have opted in to the idea of receiving emails. Try not to continually bombard your list things up a bit by keeping them warm with newsletters etc. The bad approach with email marketing is to send unsolicited emails to dodgy email lists. If you do this then you not only risk repercussions but it is also very unlikely that you will get any positive response at all.

6) SEO

SEO or search engine optimisation is a good long term option for building traffic to your website. SEO needs to start at the point when you first put your website live. You need to make sure that all of your onpage SEO is set up correctly. Once you have your onpage SEO set up you need to start thinking about your offpage SEO. Offpage SEO involves building links from other high authority sites to your site. Make sure that any links that you build are built naturally and are done from sites that work within the same theme as the theme that your site is operating within.

7) Google My Business

Google My Business (the old Google Places) is a great way to drive free traffic to your site. Firstly, you will need to set up your account. When doing this, make sure that you spend a bit of time loading up some decent photo's and entering some pertinent content about your business. Once you have your page set up make sure that you enter regular content and try to develop your followers. You should also try to get some of your customers to leave reviews and interact with the site.

8) Word of Mouth/Reviews

Word of mouth can be a great way of building respect and driving new traffic to your site. Word of mouth doesn't necessarily mean people chatting in a cafe or pub about your business, word of mouth can also be your customers leaving reviews on a variety of sites. Because it is so easy for customers to comment either positively or negatively about your business it is imperative these days that you try to deliver the best possible level of service to your customers.

Once you start driving a lot of traffic to your website it is likely that your phone leads will increase. Why not consider a live answering service to take those calls. Ruby Receptionist would be happy to help.

Websites are like plants, the more attention you give them in terms of fertiliser etc the better they will prosper. Hopefully these 8 ideas will help you to fertilise your website and grow your customer base.