Sam Hollis Web Design

Making the web work for you

Sam Hollis Web Design

 Making the web work for you

Sam Hollis Web Design

Making the web work for you

Sam Hollis is a Web Designer, Dad, Serial networker and Smallholder.

‘I’m alway happy to chat and advice is always free’

Contact Sam

Why is no-one visiting my website?

You’ve spent the money, or time, on a great new website for your business only to find no-one is visiting it. I get lots of people asking me the question ‘How can I get visitors to my website?’
My first response is always

‘Do you know who is visiting your website already?’

If you don’t, get Google Analytics set up so you do know who is visiting. If you have that set-up, and the visitor numbers are low, what can you do?
Firstly I would check that your website is correctly set-up to allow it to be found by Google and without errors that will cause them to drop you down the rankings. Even if your website is set-up correctly this does not guarantee you visitors to your website.
Ask yourself the question the other way around,

‘Why would anyone visit my website?’

Have you told anyone about it?
The web is massive and your website is just a tiny part of it. For many businesses, there are also a huge number of other businesses offering a similar service.
So, how do you get visitors to your site?
It takes time and effort. The basic locations you can get visitors from are:

  • Social Media.
  •  Other sites that link through to your site.
  • Emails that link to your website (these usually come from you).
  • Organic Seach (appearing for search terms on Google).
  • Paid Search (paying to appear in search terms on Google).

I’ll go through each of these areas in turn and explain how you can use them to start to get visitors to your website.

Social media

Poeple using social mediaThis is a great way to get visitors to your website. First, you need to ensure that your website is part of your profile on all of the social media channels that you use. Then, are you posting regularly? Posting regularly (not just about your website) will remind your followers that you exist and will help drive people to your website. There are limits to how many posts you can make about your new website (that limit is probably about one) so how are you going to get people to visit your site again and again from social media? The best way to be able to do this is to ensure that you have a lot of great content on your website that you can post about and link to. This could be offers, giveaways, useful articles, products, whatever you choose. But, keep it varied and link to the correct place in your website (ideally even link to a specific section within a page) don’t just link everything to your home page. Facebook is slightly awkward and posts with links in don’t do as well as those without. With regular and relevant posts you can use social media to drive traffic to your website.

Links from other sites

How do you get other websites to link to yours? There is a range of different approaches. Firstly get your business listed on business listings pages such as Yell and Bark. Most of these allow you to list your business for free, they just try to sell you extra services once you are there. Once you have listed on those websites their website is linking to yours.
If your website contains useful content then point people to it. Get onto forums, chat rooms, Facebook groups relevant to your business and link to the chat where it’s relevant. For example, a domestic cleaning service may have written a blog about the best way to remove wine stains from a carpet. They could find on Mumsnet a thread where visitors are discussing how to remove a red wine stain from a carpet. You could comment and link to your blog explaining there are more details on the blog.
You can also look for businesses who have clients who may use your service but you aren’t in direct competition with you. For example, you might have a food stall that is perfect for weddings. Wedding photographers, wedding planners and wedding car hire may all be happy to list your business on their website. It’s helping you and helping them, help their customers. All you need to do is ask.

Links from Email

Sending out a regular email bulletin can help drive visitors to your website. Getting a good bulletin is an art form in itself and I don’t have space to go into the details here. I can, however, cover a few basics. Make sure it has some links back to relevant parts of your website. Bulletins that look good and are relevant and useful to the reader are more likely to be opened. This again links back to having useful content on your website. Remember to be careful with GDPR rules. I would always advise the use of MailChimp here. It has an excellent combination of ease of use, good looking emails, GDPR compliance and it’s free until you are sending out thousands of emails a month.

Organic search

This is a difficult and long term area. Don’t expect to appear in Google search overnight. Appearing for a search even for your own business name can take weeks or months. Appearing for more generic terms can take longer and some work. Appearing for any terms depends on a wide range of factors, but, having a well set-up site and relevant regularly updated content will make a huge difference.

Paid search (Adverts)

adverts on streetThis is the quick and easy way to be found for the terms you want. It does, however, take cash. The ads on Google are ‘pay per click’ so you only pay when a user clicks on your ad. You can set up a daily spend limit to ensure you only pay what you want and can afford. It takes a little time to set up well. You will need a good range of well-worded ads for a range of well-researched keywords linking to the most relevant part of your website. It’s usually best to have a range of very specific ads, linking to a specific product or service and a specific part of your website. Although you pay Google they don’t guarantee results. Your ad must match the search terms and they must match your website page. If you have listed for a keyword of ‘motorbikes’ your advert is about’cheese’ and your linked webpage is about ‘elephants’ then the ad won’t get any traffic.
However, if you’ve done your keyword research, you want to be found for ‘yoga classes Hull’ (and similar terms) your ads talk about yoga classes in Hull and you direct users to a page showing the location time and cost of yoga classes in Hull then that will work well. A good ad campaign, sufficiently funded will usually get traffic to your website. However if you’re in a crowded market this might be more tricky, or cost a lot more.
The visitors that follow thew ads help your organic search ranking, as your website is more popular. It also helps you to test your new website as it pushed lots of visitors through it. With the help of Google Analytics, you can see how they behave.

Summary

Its always good to get website traffic from a variety of sources. If you focus too much on one area it can cause problems. For example if all your website traffic comes from Facebook and they change their algorithm your website visits may dissapear overnight.
All areas are useful to get visitors to your site and which to choose depends on you, your business, circumstances and your available budget. Most rely on you having useful relevant and up to date content on your website so I would really focus on that. For a way to quickly get visitors to your site I would probably start using the combination of social media and paid ads. However, if your in a crowded market paid ads may not be the best way forward for you. Pick a couple of areas and focus on them. Remember to keep in your head,

‘Why would anyone visit my website?’

You’ve spent the money, or time, on a great new website for your business only to find no-one is visiting it. I get lots of people asking me the question ‘How can I get visitors to my website?’
My first response is always

‘Do you know who is visiting your website already?’

If you don’t, get Google Analytics set up so you do know who is visiting. If you have that set-up, and the visitor numbers are low, what can you do?
Firstly I would check that your website is correctly set-up to allow it to be found by Google and without errors that will cause them to drop you down the rankings. Even if your website is set-up correctly this does not guarantee you visitors to your website.
Ask yourself the question the other way around,

‘Why would anyone visit my website?’

Have you told anyone about it?
The web is massive and your website is just a tiny part of it. For many businesses, there are also a huge number of other businesses offering a similar service.
So, how do you get visitors to your site?
It takes time and effort. The basic locations you can get visitors from are:

  • Social Media.
  •  Other sites that link through to your site.
  • Emails that link to your website (these usually come from you).
  • Organic Seach (appearing for search terms on Google).
  • Paid Search (paying to appear in search terms on Google).

I’ll go through each of these areas in turn and explain how you can use them to start to get visitors to your website.

Social media

Poeple using social mediaThis is a great way to get visitors to your website. First, you need to ensure that your website is part of your profile on all of the social media channels that you use. Then, are you posting regularly? Posting regularly (not just about your website) will remind your followers that you exist and will help drive people to your website. There are limits to how many posts you can make about your new website (that limit is probably about one) so how are you going to get people to visit your site again and again from social media? The best way to be able to do this is to ensure that you have a lot of great content on your website that you can post about and link to. This could be offers, giveaways, useful articles, products, whatever you choose. But, keep it varied and link to the correct place in your website (ideally even link to a specific section within a page) don’t just link everything to your home page. Facebook is slightly awkward and posts with links in don’t do as well as those without. With regular and relevant posts you can use social media to drive traffic to your website.

Links from other sites

How do you get other websites to link to yours? There is a range of different approaches. Firstly get your business listed on business listings pages such as Yell and Bark. Most of these allow you to list your business for free, they just try to sell you extra services once you are there. Once you have listed on those websites their website is linking to yours.
If your website contains useful content then point people to it. Get onto forums, chat rooms, Facebook groups relevant to your business and link to the chat where it’s relevant. For example, a domestic cleaning service may have written a blog about the best way to remove wine stains from a carpet. They could find on Mumsnet a thread where visitors are discussing how to remove a red wine stain from a carpet. You could comment and link to your blog explaining there are more details on the blog.
You can also look for businesses who have clients who may use your service but you aren’t in direct competition with you. For example, you might have a food stall that is perfect for weddings. Wedding photographers, wedding planners and wedding car hire may all be happy to list your business on their website. It’s helping you and helping them, help their customers. All you need to do is ask.

Links from Email

Sending out a regular email bulletin can help drive visitors to your website. Getting a good bulletin is an art form in itself and I don’t have space to go into the details here. I can, however, cover a few basics. Make sure it has some links back to relevant parts of your website. Bulletins that look good and are relevant and useful to the reader are more likely to be opened. This again links back to having useful content on your website. Remember to be careful with GDPR rules. I would always advise the use of MailChimp here. It has an excellent combination of ease of use, good looking emails, GDPR compliance and it’s free until you are sending out thousands of emails a month.

Organic search

This is a difficult and long term area. Don’t expect to appear in Google search overnight. Appearing for a search even for your own business name can take weeks or months. Appearing for more generic terms can take longer and some work. Appearing for any terms depends on a wide range of factors, but, having a well set-up site and relevant regularly updated content will make a huge difference.

Paid search (Adverts)

adverts on streetThis is the quick and easy way to be found for the terms you want. It does, however, take cash. The ads on Google are ‘pay per click’ so you only pay when a user clicks on your ad. You can set up a daily spend limit to ensure you only pay what you want and can afford. It takes a little time to set up well. You will need a good range of well-worded ads for a range of well-researched keywords linking to the most relevant part of your website. It’s usually best to have a range of very specific ads, linking to a specific product or service and a specific part of your website. Although you pay Google they don’t guarantee results. Your ad must match the search terms and they must match your website page. If you have listed for a keyword of ‘motorbikes’ your advert is about’cheese’ and your linked webpage is about ‘elephants’ then the ad won’t get any traffic.
However, if you’ve done your keyword research, you want to be found for ‘yoga classes Hull’ (and similar terms) your ads talk about yoga classes in Hull and you direct users to a page showing the location time and cost of yoga classes in Hull then that will work well. A good ad campaign, sufficiently funded will usually get traffic to your website. However if you’re in a crowded market this might be more tricky, or cost a lot more.
The visitors that follow thew ads help your organic search ranking, as your website is more popular. It also helps you to test your new website as it pushed lots of visitors through it. With the help of Google Analytics, you can see how they behave.

Summary

cars on a busy streetIts always good to get website traffic from a variety of sources. If you focus too much on one area it can cause problems. For example if all your website traffic comes from Facebook and they change their algorithm your website visits may dissapear overnight.
All areas are useful to get visitors to your site and which to choose depends on you, your business, circumstances and your available budget. Most rely on you having useful relevant and up to date content on your website so I would really focus on that. For a way to quickly get visitors to your site I would probably start using the combination of social media and paid ads. However, if your in a crowded market paid ads may not be the best way forward for you. Pick a couple of areas and focus on them. Remember to keep in your head,

‘Why would anyone visit my website?’

Sam Hollis is a Web Designer, Dad, Serial networker and Smallholder.

‘I’m alway happy to chat and advice is always free’

Contact Sam