You’ve got a shiny new website that people should be flocking to, but looking at your stats no one’s visiting it at all. It’s just crickets.
What’s gone wrong?
When it comes to websites it’s not true that if you build it they will come.
People aren’t coming to your site simply because they don’t know it’s there – you need to actually ask them to visit it.
There are loads of ways you can spread the word about your new site. Work your way through this list and your stats should look much better!
Hey! This post was originally published in 2013 and has been updated with more tips and a handy checklist to help you start driving traffic to your site. Enter your email to download your copy:
How to get people to visit your new website:
1. Tell search engines about your site
New websites aren’t automatically added to search engine results. When you launch a new site you need to ask the search engines to include it in search results.
If you’re working with a web designer they’ve probably done this for you but if they haven’t or you’ve created your website yourself then you’ll need to do it. Thankfully it’s really simple.
Both Google and Bing have a simple form to fill in – you just enter the address (URL) of your new site and complete the CAPTCHA to submit your site. It will usually then take anything from a day to a couple of weeks for the search engines to crawl your site and start including it in search results.
Update: Both Google and Bing have now stopped these public URL submissions. You need to submit your sitemap via their webmaster tools instead. For a guide to setting up Google Search Console and submitting your sitemap, check out this post.
2. Update your branding and marketing
While you’re waiting for the search engines to start sending visitors to your site you need to create some traffic yourself. So start shouting from the rooftops that you have a new website!
Add your web address to your email signature and make sure it goes on your business cards, brochures, flyers and any other printed materials you have, such as product packaging.
Create new social media cover images promoting your new site and update your Facebook page, Twitter profile and any other profiles you have online.
You might also like: How to use Canva to create awesome graphics
3. Tell people about your new site
Got an email list? Be sure to let them know you’ve got a new site.
If you’re on social media sites announce your new site and ask people to check it out. Create several tweets, updates and pins that you can send out over the next few days, inviting people over to your site in different ways.
Encourage your customers to visit by pointing out how it will benefit them, for example the handy tips posted in your new blog. Or, if you are a retailer, launching an online shop so they can then buy your products from the comfort of their sofas.
And when you create your updates and tweets, tag the people who helped you create the site, like the photographer who took your lovely new headshots. They’ll share your updates with their followers as it’s great promotion for both of you!
4. Create an incentive
To get even more people over to your new site, give them a compelling reason to visit.
Create a freebie, like a checklist, workbook, challenge, email course or other resource and that gives you something else you can promote to drive more traffic.
Or you could create a special offer or hold a giveaway to attract more people to your site. And let them earn extra entries when they share the competition with their friends.
5. Keep the visitors coming
Regularly update your site, like adding new products, freebies and blog posts and promote them to create a steady stream of traffic. Make it easy for other people to share your content too, by adding social sharing buttons to your site.
You could write a guest post on someone else’s blog to reach a new audience. And you could invite someone to guest post for you, as when they promote their post to their audience they’ll also be driving traffic to your site.
Also consider other ways of generating extra traffic, such as advertising. You could set up some Facebook ads or try Google Adsense. You could place an advert in magazines your target market generally read. Or how could you generate some PR exposure?
6. Create or update other profiles
You’ve already updated your social media profiles, but what about the other places you hang out online?
Got a listing on Yell or another directory site? Get that updated.
Look for local networking sites. There’s a great one in Aberdeen called Aberdeen Business Network; can you find one local to you?
Maybe there’s a site specific to your industry, like Reiki Pages. Or there could be a site targeting your ideal customers, like Mumsnet. Join these sites, fill out your profile and start interacting with people. Get known for being helpful and people will start checking out your site for more info.
Don’t create profiles anywhere and everywhere as that would be a huge amount of work. Stick to places relevant to the services and products you offer and where your ideal customers are likely to be hanging out.
There are many ways to encourage people to visit your website, but don’t forget to simply ask them to – after all no one will visit if they don’t know it’s there! And don’t forget to download your checklist with even more ideas for getting your new site seen: