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So you’ve got a great website but how do you use it to attract more customers?

How do you get more traffic to your online shop or convert prospective web browsers into business leads for your services? Here are some Studio Republic suggestions:

Make sure you are found by your target customers. Relevant content with appropriate HTML tags and meta data will help search engine spiders to correctly index your site and including good quality links will help you to improve your ranking. Google changes its algorithms regularly so keep in touch with their webmaster guidelines. Too much to get your head around? Studio Republic can demystify the search engine optimisation process.

Money talks
If you want to supplement your ongoing SEO efforts, or even bypass them altogether if you are pushed for time, you can buy pay per click advertising which is an effective way of driving traffic to your site if you can correctly define your key search terms. You could also sponsor banner advertising or links on affiliate or complementary website to raise your profile.

Content is king
You might launch your website with perfect content but don’t rest there - keeping it fresh and updated will give people something to come back for. Use a content management system to update your Homepage with news, new imagery or special offers. If you write a blog, keep past entries in an archive so customers can see previous content.

Thought leadership
If you have good, readable content for your blog you should consider whether it’s good enough to publish on other people’s websites as a guest blog, column or article. They’ll be glad to have new and original content for their site and you can use the opportunity to promote your web address and business.

It’s great having an audience but even better if you have relationships with them. Getting prospects to engage with your business and brand is not easy but definitely worth investing considerable effort into. You can encourage interaction by sending carefully selected direct mail or HTML emails – ensuring that you don’t spam your targets. You can also give them the option to give you feedback through chat forums, online polls, comment forms or social media. Tapping into this feedback is great market research.

Finger on the pulse
If you can’t/won’t engage in active conversation with your visitors, at least check your web stats so you can deduce how they are using your website. This highlights popular and unpopular pages, where your visitors are based, how long people spend on your site, what search terms they use and which inbound links are working well for you. Very useful analysis! See for up-to-date info on how to do this.

Put it about
Make sure your web address is on all your stationery and marketing collateral, which includes your email signature and physical shop front/office if you have one. And then make sure you use every reasonable opportunity to share your web address – if you have business cards printed, don’t leave home without them!

Okay – there are lots more tips yet to come but here are 7 to get you started. Tune in next time for the next instalment!