We have come to the final lesson in the Online Business Planning Crash Course
I hope you have enjoyed your lessons and learned a lot about creating a plan for your online business.
In this last lesson, we are going to talk about methods for generating traffic to your website so you can include them in your plan.
Another important aspect of your online business plan is understanding the different methods of traffic generation available and deciding which ones to include in your plan.
Taking the time to map out how you plan to drive traffic to your website can mean the difference between success and failure. It is vital because without it there are no visitors or customers, which equals no revenue.
Let’s go over a few quick ways to generate traffic:
Search Engine Optimization – SEO
SEO means cultivating your website so that your webpages appear higher up the list of search engine results. There are many ways this can be achieved. Such as including keywords, meta tag, descriptions writing content and even layout.
When used properly these SEO techniques can raise the ranking of your website and generate massive amounts of free traffic. Just be aware that it can be a very time-consuming process with a big learning curve.
Banner ads are image-based. The purpose of banner advertising is to promote your website and attract more visitors. This is a method that has been around for a while and some may tell you that it is no longer effective however when used correctly it can be a great way to advertise with a small investment. It requires a bit of effort and you must understand how to create visually appealing ads then track their effectiveness.
Most banner ad networks make this process easier by providing tracking software and split testing options that will allow you to determine which banners are effective and which aren’t.
There are many banner ad networks to choose from including Google Adwords, which allows you to run multiple types of ads including banners.
PPC has the potential to generate a lot of targeted traffic very quickly. It allows you the advertiser to create ads that are displayed on other websites. When the ads are clicked, you pay a predetermined fee to the website owner. It’s like the reverse of the AdSense method we discussed in your last lesson.
Just be aware that it has a big learning curve and can become very costly especially if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Social media marketing
Social media sites can be categorized in two ways. There are social networking sites like Facebook Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Then there are social bookmarking sites, like Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Delicious.
The most important aspect of using social media marketing as a traffic generation method is participation.
You have to participate by posing regular content such as updates, photos, and videos. You also need to engage with followers through comments and social sharing.
In online business, it is very important to set up an opt-in page on your website and capture people’s email addresses. This type of permission-based marketing allows you to send them useful information along with enticements such as discounts, sales and special offers that will encourage them to visit again.
Before you begin using this method, make sure that you understand how it works and always make sure you’re familiar with the CAN-SPAM laws, because if you aren’t compliant with the regulations you can find yourself and your business in a lot of hot water.
As a retailer, you generally have many opportunities in your packaging to advertise your website address. Your product packaging, flyers, business cards, bags, etc. are all good places to share your web address. Previous customers might not know you have a website.
Put a business card in every order, whether it’s a customer in the store or orders you ship, always throw in a business card that has your website address in it. Business cards are cheap to have printed and they provide a huge opportunity to promote your website.
If you do a presentation for your local Chamber of Commerce or at a trade show and plan to provide attendees with printed handouts, make sure that every single page has your website URL on it.
You can also provide a list of your services and even a special offer for anyone who orders via your website.
Press releases, newspapers, magazines, direct mail brochures, flyers, and printable coupons are all forms of targeted print material that can work for you to promote your website online. Again, you can include a special offer or discount code that they can only access from your website.
All of these methods are very effective and can help generate traffic to your website. If you plan to use them or any other method, you will definitely want to include them in your online business plan.
As we close this final lesson, I would like to thank you again for joining me for this short course.
I sincerely hope that you have learned a lot about creating a solid online business plan and even though your lessons have ended please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I will be glad to help!