7 Proven Ways to Boost Website Traffic

My Post (24)According to retail analyst, GlobalData, over 50% of UK consumers now shop online, with spending predicted to grow 30% by 2024. Indeed, by 2021, Statista forecasts 93% of internet users in the UK will be shopping online. While this is fantastic news for online businesses, it comes hand in hand with a growth in competition as more companies launch websites: 84% had them in 2018 compared to 70% in 2007. To be successful in such a competitive marketplace, companies will need to find ways of increasing website traffic and in this post, we’ll explain some of the main ways to achieve this.

1. Online advertising

For companies with new websites or those which struggle to get listed in search engine results, online advertising is often the chief method of attracting customers to your website. The main way to advertise is with Google and Bing, using paid search ads that appear in search results or display ads that appear on other websites. Alternatively, you can also advertise on social media sites. All of these options allow you to target specific audiences and track the progress of your campaign, helping to ensure your advertising budget is spent effectively. It can, however, be an expensive strategy.

2. Content marketing

Internet users aren’t always looking for products or services; quite often what they are seeking is information or ideas to help them solve problems. Providing content on your website which solves those problems can massively boost the number of people who visit as it can be found in search results and shared on social media. If that content subtly mentions and links to a product or service that you supply, it increases the chances of a sale. Take, for example, someone with a small garden looking for ideas to spruce it up. They find a blog article from a garden centre called ’10 ideas for revamping a small garden’ in which they find a picture of a table and chair set they like, together with a link to the product page. From this article, the visitor solves their problem and the garden centre makes a sale. This technique is widely used by businesses in all sectors.

3. Social media marketing

If businesses don’t want to pay for advertising on social media, they can always use these sites to promote their brand, their web content and their products or services. Social media is great for posting links to your website and with the ability to use eye-catching images and video, it can be a highly effective way to increase traffic, especially as other users can spread the word by liking and sharing your posts.

4. Improve SEO

Search engines are the main way consumers find the things they are looking for online, so optimising your website for them is vital if you want to improve the chances of your web pages ranking well in search results.

While the crucial factor in SEO is providing high-quality, fresh and relevant content on your pages, you must not overlook all the other key ingredients. These include having a well-structured, easily navigable website and placing relevant keywords in the titles, subheadings, meta descriptions and content.

5. A mobile-friendly website

A mobile-friendly or responsive website is a necessity in today’s online market. The main reason for this is the fact that users spend more time online on their phones than they do on laptops or other devices. Increasingly, users are also shopping more on mobiles too. According to Statista, at the end of 2018, smartphones generated the largest share of online retail revenue in the UK with many sources predicting the amount spent using mobile devices would double over the next few years to around £40 billion.

There are many reasons for this growth: there are more phone users, there is better internet access away from home, there are easier ways for people to pay using their phones and, importantly, more companies are providing mobile-friendly websites. For businesses, the last point is crucial, as without a mobile-friendly site, the growing market of smartphone shoppers won’t be able to fully access your store. That’s an issue which also makes search engines downrank sites which aren’t mobile-friendly.

6. Make use of email marketing

Email marketing has the highest ROI of any marketing technique and is very inexpensive to implement. There are various ways to grow an email list, such as using a pop-up that offers an incentive to sign up (e.g. 10% off your first order) or asking customers to sign up during the checkout process (e.g. ‘Get updates of our new products and latest offers’).

Once visitors have signed up, you can send marketing emails to them for free with links to your website included. Today, many companies combine email marketing with the use of personalised product recommendation software which tracks what a visitor has been looking at on the website and sends out emails with links to relevant products. This personalised form of email marketing can significantly increase traffic to your site. – Read more

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5 Website Updates Needed Due To Coronavirus

My Post (22)The effects of Coronavirus are forcing the majority of companies to temporarily change the way they do business. In times like these, your website plays a crucial role. It’s one area of your business that can remain in operation and, with so many people confined to their homes, it’s the main way customers can connect with your company. However, to meet the needs of your business and your customers, you may also need to make changes to your website. Here are five updates you might want to consider.

1. Update users about the impact on your business

It is highly likely that the levels of service your company offers will have changed because of Coronavirus. You may have difficulty sourcing products, have staff in self-isolation, work from home technology issues and various other challenges. You may even have had your physical premises compulsorily closed.

While customers are aware that businesses, in general, have been affected, they cannot know the specific impact on individual companies or how things change on a day to day basis. The place to let them know is your website and, ideally, you need to put this information on your homepage, a pop-up or a prominent link on all pages to a specially created Coronavirus page.

Information you might need to display includes:

  • Reduced opening times or days
  • Delays in delivery
  • Delays in responding to queries
  • Changes in products being sold
  • Restrictions on purchasing (e.g. limiting the number of any item a customer can buy)
  • Limitations on people allowed in physical premises
  • Social distancing measures introduced in physical premises
  • Any services which have temporarily ceased
  • How cancellations, returns and refunds will be handled

2. Showcase new initiatives

Although companies are facing challenges and restrictions, many of them are going out of their way to offer alternative services and to help those most in need. Again, you should use your website to communicate these initiatives to visitors. These might include:

  • Measures to help the over 70s, those at high risk and key workers, such as priority shopping hours or deliveries.
  • Any new services you have begun to offer, such as live chat instead of telephone customer service and online shopping and delivery instead of shopping in-store.

3. Explain how you are looking after employees

Many businesses are using their websites to make it clear to their customers how they are looking after their employees. This is done to help customers understand how Coronavirus is impacting company operations and to highlight that the companies are putting employee welfare above profits. The latter is important as social media criticism of poor employee treatment can worsen already damaged sales. Things to include here are:

  • Allowing staff time off to care for others
  • Reduced hours
  • Overtime payments
  • Work from home introduced where feasible
  • Social distancing introduced on-site
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) issued to all who need it
  • Where redeployment or furloughing has been used

While it may seem that these things aren’t relevant for customers to know, today’s ethical shoppers are much more likely to stay loyal to ethical businesses. This information can be important for brand reputation and customer retention.

4. Back end tweaks

It is not just the front end of your website that will need updating, there may be backend changes required too. If you sell online and find products hard to procure, you may have to regularly update your list of unavailable products so that you aren’t left with a string of complaining customers. However, clever stores are offering alternative products on these web pages and these products are selling well as customers, now used to scarcity, are willing to settle for second choice.

You may also have to adjust the shipping times on your store. With more people shopping online, shipping companies are under increased strain to deliver unprecedented numbers of items while facing their own issues with staff shortages. You may find shipping times will need regularly changing. Shipping costs may fluctuate, too, and this could mean making changes to your pricing.     – Read more

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Keeping Your Business Going During Lockdown

My Post (8).pngBusiness owners will be very worried about how their company can survive over the next few months. However, though a lockdown means there will be no customers visiting your premises, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stop trading completely. What it does mean is that you’ll need to think out of the box to come up with income-generating alternatives and make your business agile enough to adapt to your new circumstances. Here are some ideas you should consider.

Moving online

If you cannot trade from physical premises or face to face, the only way to serve your customers is online. That will mean adding shopping functionality to your website and communicating with your customers using email, social media and if your budget allows, through advertising.

If you don’t currently have a website, you can create one quickly, easily and cheaply. You can host your website here at WHUK for as little as £2.49 a month (plus VAT) and this will provide you with all the services and support you need to put your website online and give you professional email addresses. You can purchase a domain name (e.g. yourbusiness.com) from us too, for as little as £7.20 a year. And, once your hosting account is set up, you can install free, easy to use, website creation software, like WordPress, with one click. To add a shopping area to your site, you can then install the free WooCommerce plugin, which can be done in a couple of clicks from your website’s dashboard.

If you don’t already have business social media accounts on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, you would also need to set these up so you can promote your business to a much wider audience.

Alternative income streams

One of the most difficult things is to think of alternative ways to generate revenue. The key here is to look at what your business has expertise in and then work out how it can still help customers who are unable to access your current services.

Retailers, in some respects, have the easiest solution. They can simply advertise their products on their website, on social media platforms or sites like eBay and have them delivered to customers. Local businesses can even offer same-day delivery by dropping off the items themselves.

The challenge is bigger for companies which offer services. Social media, however, has plenty of examples of businesses with innovative solutions. Many restaurants, for example, are now delivering cooked meals or ingredient and recipe packs to their customers and helping taxi drivers stay in business while doing so. Local electrical and device repair services, meanwhile, are offering to collect and return items from customers’ homes.

Hair and beauty salons are creating monthly hair care and body care packages to be delivered to their customers’ homes. Contacting existing customers by email and text message, they are sending out items that their clients used to buy when they visited, like hair conditioner, styling products, face masks and body lotions. They are doing this by getting customers to sign up to receive regular monthly packages, which gives them time to acquire stock and helps them gauge what demand will be. They are then asking customers to like and share the service on social media to generate more sales through their website. Again, this is something that can be done by nail clinics, manicurists, pedicurists and various other service providers.

Other businesses which have used the internet to keep going are fitness instructors and educational tutors. Using easily available video conferencing apps, fitness classes and tutoring sessions can take place with all the usual members in attendance, except done from the safety of their own home. With a website, customers can sign up and pay for the services in advance and then those who have paid can be called when the session begins. Obviously, fitness instructors won’t be able to hand out equipment, so some improvisation or alternative ideas may be required. This method of delivering a service can be adopted by many other kinds of business – financial advisors, recruitment agencies, travel agents or anywhere else where visual communication is essential. – Read more

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