Promoting Your Website I: Direct Traffic

Having a website go “live” on the internet is an exciting moment. The fact that your message is out there for anyone and everyone  to see brings along with it endless possibilities for achieving your objectives. However, it is not enough to just send your website out onto the world wide web and expect it to perform miracles, you’re only part way to making it an effective marketing and communication tool.

There are three ways for visitors to find your website: Direct Traffic, Referral Sites, and Search Engines. Knowing what these are and how they work is useful for effectively promoting your website. This is the first of three articles that describes strategies to make the most out of these tools and increase traffic to your website.

Direct Traffic

Visits to your website that are from direct traffic means that the visitor either typed in your exact web address, had it in their bookmarks, or clicked on a link sent to them by email. Direct traffic means the person wasn’t casually browsing the web and stumbled upon your site amongst many others; they wanted to seek you out specifically. If it’s easy for someone to find you directly, you will avoid the possibility of visitors trying to “Google” your site and getting completely distracted by other websites  (hey, we’ve all been on the internet and gone off on these tangents, right?).

Here are six ways to increase direct traffic to your site:

  1. Let people know about it! If your website is new or you’ve added new content, use it as an excuse to announce it to friends, family, colleagues and associates through email.
  2. Include the web address in all your paid promotional material. Business cards, brochures, newspaper ads,  yellow pages ad, you name it.
  3. Ensure the website is mentioned in any PR opportunities such as newspaper articles, radio or TV interviews, and charity events.
  4. If you have a storefront or office, display your web address in the window, in the waiting room or throughout the store.
  5. Include a hyperlink to the website along with your email signature so that people can easily visit after exchanging emails with you.
  6. If you have a blog page in your website, add “widgets” such as an RSS feed  or ‘email to a friend’, or both. RSS feeds allow visitors to subscribe for an automatic email that sends a link to your web page  every time you post a new blog article. Email to a friend is a convenient way for visitors to send the link to others who might be interested in the  content. There are many others as well (see some examples below on this blog). These widgets can be acquired for free off the internet and are very simple to add to your site.

Your website is an investment that has to work to your benefit and achieve your objectives, so we strongly encourage you to apply ALL of these strategies to increase direct traffic to your site.

Have you already discovered creative ways to increased direct traffic to your website? Please share your insights with us…we’d love to hear about it!