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This post is part of our Small Business Week series. Check back to our blog all week to see more blog posts tailored specifically for small business owners and how they can improve their online presence to grow their business!
True life—I just googled “SMB” to make sure it stood for “small and medium businesses” and not some weird thing you see in the “After Hours” viewing options hotel TVs always advertise. One lazy trip to Wikipedia later, I’m still not convinced SMB doesn’t stand for something dirty.
If you think getting more visitors to your website is just something that companies like Facebook do so they can generate more revenue from advertisers, let me help you out from beneath that rock you’ve been living under. As traditional advertising channels like the Yellow Pages fail to produce a reasonable ROI, more and more companies are shifting their marketing and advertising dollars online and turning their websites into lead generation machines and virtual sales reps.
When it came to traditional forms of advertising like TV commercials, print advertisements, billboards, and more, your reach was extremely limited by your budget. Fortunately for SMBs, the cost-per-lead of online marketing is estimated at 60 percent lower than traditional marketing.
So as long as you already have a website, the first step to getting more leads and sales from that website is to get more visitors.
Types of Website Visitors
If you think of your website as a sales funnel, the very top of the funnel represents your website visitors. Do you know how many visitors come to your website every month?
Most companies will use an analytics platform like Google Analytics to measure their website’s performance—but few companies that we encounter have it set up correctly. For example, if you aren’t filtering out website visits from you and your staff, you could have an extremely skewed view of many visits your website receives each month.
Once you have proper filters set up, you can start to sort through the various types of visitors your website receives:
- New vs. returning visits – Has the visitor been to your website before or not?
- Paid visits – You’ve most likely noticed the paid ads that show up in search results before the actual listings. If you choose to run these paid ads, your visits will show up in Analytics as paid visits. You can also customize your Analytics channels to track paid visits from other platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and more.
- Organic visits – This is the opposite of a paid visit. If your site shows up in the non-paid section of search results (the organic section), this is considered an organic visit.
- Direct visits – If someone who is already familiar with your brand and website goes directly to your website (without using a search engine or clicking a link), this is considered a direct visit.
- Referral visits – When someone clicks a link to your website from another website, that’s a referral visit.
Depending on the industry your SMB is in, return visits can represent repeat business—never a bad thing. But if you’re looking to grow your SMB, you’ll mainly want to focus on getting new visits to your website.
One of the best ways to do that is through search engine marketing (SEM…oh great, another acronym that probably stands for something dirty), which focuses on getting more paid visits and organic visits to your website.
It’s important to note that direct visits CAN still be a valuable metric for determining your SEM success. Say someone arrives on your website from clicking one of your organic listings or paid listings. They don’t fill out one of your contact forms and they don’t pick up the phone and call you. But maybe they’ll remember your website and type it directly into their browser next week (a direct visit).
Getting More Paid Visits to Your SMB Website
I don’t care what NYTimes says—pay per click advertising can be a great and affordable source of website visits and leads for SMBs. If you’ve got someone super smart managing your campaign (I recommend my coworker and PPC nerd, Sean Kelly), it’s not impossible to steal business from your even larger competitors.
Plus, spending a ton of money is not necessary to earn tremendous results. One of our clients is in the fire protection industry. With a small budget of $800 per month ($38.10 per day from Monday through Friday), the client generated 84 web leads and 461 phone leads for a CPL of $16.81. The leads range from residential fire extinguisher sales to commercial fire sprinkler and suppression system installations.
Getting More Organic Visits to Your SMB Website
Now we’re in my stomping grounds. If you want to get more organic visits to your website, content marketing and SEO is the way to go. Think about the last time you performed a search on Google. Did you navigate past the first page of search results to find what you are looking for? Probably not. And no one else does either.
That’s why getting ranked on the first page (and ideally, the first spot) of Google search results for your products and services in your target markets is ideal for getting more website traffic, and consequently, more leads.
So how do you rank on the first page? It’s important to understand that Google doesn’t rank websites, it ranks Web pages. Each page on your website represents a unique opportunity to rank for a keyword or keyphrase. Having too many keywords dedicated to a single page dilutes the relevancy of that page. For example, a page with six mentions of “content marketing” will be seen as more relevant than a page with only one mention of it. (Although be careful not to keyword stuff!)
Read more about why website content is important or fill out the box below to get a free SEO analysis.
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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