Why Just Having a Website Isn’t Enough to Bring in Customers

In today’s digital world, it’s not enough to just have a website—you have to have a website that drives traffic and converts that traffic into customers. So, how do you go about doing that? In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the ways you can increase traffic to your website and turn those visitors into paying customers.

We often talk with frustrated small business owners who paid to have a website built, and they’re not seeing any increase in customer generation.  Here’s the metaphor we use to get our clients to think differently about the issue.

Imagine that you make a really good spaghetti sauce.  It’s your great grandma’s recipe, handed down through the family, and people rave about it when you make it for them.  In fact, for years people have been telling you, “You should sell this!” So you finally do.  And now you just got your spaghetti sauce to be sold at Wal-Mart.  Wal-Mart has so many customers!  Surely your business will be a huge success now, right?

Well, here’s the thing: your spaghetti sauce is now going to sit on a shelf next to about thirty other kinds of spaghetti sauce, in a giant warehouse filled with thousands of products.  So if someone is searching for spaghetti sauce, how do you get them to choose yours off the shelf instead of somebody else’s?

Then, think of all the people going in and out of Wal-Mart all day long, many of whom aren’t even thinking about buying spaghetti sauce.  They don’t even know your jar of sauce is sitting there on the shelf. Maybe they came in to buy motor oil.  We don’t want to try to get their attention. That would be a waste of resources.

But what about customers in the building who know they need to get something for dinner, but it hasn’t occurred to them that spaghetti would be a good option?  Even though they have a need that your product could fill, they aren’t connecting it in their head, so they don’t go down the spaghetti sauce aisle.  It would be great if we could find a way to make them more aware.

In this metaphor, Wal-Mart, the marketplace, is the internet.  Your spaghetti sauce is your product or service.  The exact spot on the shelf it’s sitting on is your website.  The marketplace is so big, and there are so many products being offered!  Just being in the marketplace isn’t enough; you have to get people to notice you, to be aware of what you’re offering.  Your website, on its own, simply won’t do this.

You need marketing.

You need to reach out to people who are in the world, would benefit from what you have to offer, and get them to know that you have a solution to their problem.  To return to the metaphor, you need to get people to walk over to the spaghetti aisle.  Now let’s talk about ways to do that.

Generating Traffic: Paid vs. Organic Methods

There are two primary methods for generating traffic to your website: paid methods and organic methods. Paid methods, such as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, can be effective but can also be expensive. Organic methods, on the other hand, are free but often take longer to see results. Let’s take a closer look at both of these methods.

Paid Methods:

Paid advertising is exactly what it sounds like—you pay to have your ad shown on another website or platform. The most common form of paid advertising is Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, which is when you pay a fee every time someone clicks on your ad. PPC advertising can be effective but it can also be expensive, particularly for small businesses with limited budgets.

Another form of paid advertising is sponsored content, which is when you pay to have your article or blog post featured on another website or social media platform. Sponsored content can also be effective but, like PPC advertising, it can be expensive.  Getting a big shot internet influencer to plug your stuff to their audience will cost you big bucks.

Organic Methods:

Organic methods are ways to generate traffic to your website without paying for it. The most common organic method is search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the process of optimizing your website so that it ranks higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). When your website appears higher in SERPs, it means more people will see it and click through to your site. Optimizing your website for SEO can be time-consuming but it is free and often more effective in the long run than paid methods.

Other organic methods include content marketing (creating informative blog posts or articles), social media marketing (posting engaging content on social media platforms), and email marketing (sending informative emails to your subscribers). Like SEO, these organic methods take time and effort but they are free and can be very effective in driving traffic to your website.

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on paid campaigns, but you also don’t have the time to create content yourself for the organic methods, you can outsource content creation to an agency like Ramsay Media.  We help businesses produce content consistently across multiple social media platforms, and this drives traffic to their websites.  The cost of doing this is usually pennies on the dollar compared to running paid ad campaigns.  Organic methods are less expensive and work better in the long-term.

The big takeaway is that simply having a website isn’t enough to bring customers to your small business—you have to actively generate traffic to your site through paid or organic methods (or both). While paid methods can be effective, they can also be expensive; organic methods may take longer to show results but they are free. Regardless of which method you choose (or if you choose both), the important thing is that you make an effort to drive traffic to your site so that you can increase visibility for your small business and hopefully convert some of those visitors into paying customers!

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