How to Be Found Online

How-To Guide: How to Be Found Online

The goal of every small business in creating a website is to drive traffic to the site and drive more business. But how do you make sure your website gets found online? 

There are five key ways visitors (or “traffic”) comes to your website. Here’s a closer look at each and how to increase each type of traffic for maximum results.

  • 1. Direct traffic

    arises when visitors type your website URL directly into their browser. These visitors are really interested in your site, since they’re making the effort to type in the URL and not just clicking on a link. How can you get more of them? Direct traffic typically comes from print media such as your business cards, brochures, flyers or print advertising.

    To Increase Direct Traffic: Be sure to include your URL on all printed materials produced by your business. Distribute printed marketing materials whenever possible.

  • 2. Advertising traffic

    comes from online advertising. You pay for an ad that appears on another website and contains a link to your site. Online advertising options include display or “banner” ads on other sites relevant to your target customers, or ads that appear in search results when users visit search engines to look for companies like yours.

    To Increase Advertising Traffic: Use relevant keywords, target customers as narrowly as possible, and monitor results to ensure good ROI.

  • 3. Social traffic

    comes from social networking websites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. To make the most of social traffic, find out which social networking sites your target customers use most frequently. Establish a presence on these sites and interact with customers. As you become part of the “conversation” on these sites, more users will learn about your company and be more inclined to visit your site.

    To Increase Social Traffic: Provide interesting and useful content in all of your social interactions. Engage regularly—consistency is key. Participate in multiple social networks to enhance your reach.

  • 4. Referral traffic

    comes when another website posts a link to your business and users click on it. These links aren’t paid for. Generally, companies “trade links” with each other (you post their link on your site, and they post yours).

    To Increase Referral Traffic: Search for websites that are complementary to, but not directly competitive, with yours and ask if you can trade links.

  • 5. Search traffic

    results from users typing in a keyword or phrase into their browser during a search. If your website comes up near the top of the search results, the user may click. Results that show up in the main part of the results page are “organic,” as opposed to the paid or “sponsored” results that show up at the top and the right side. Getting your business to show up organically in search results is highly desirable, as users trust these results more than ads.

    To Increase Search Traffic: Use search engine optimization (SEO) tactics—make sure your site has lots of useful content, and that the content includes keywords customers are likely to use when searching online for businesses like yours.