Your website can be a powerful marketing tool—especially if it gets a lot of traffic. Many small business owners discover that this doesn’t happen on its own. To boost traffic to your website, they have to take an active role. That means experimenting with content and trying new strategies to attract customers.

Here are ways that three small businesses—a hardware store, a restaurant and a cosmetics shop—could update their sites to draw more traffic.

Hardware store: Attracting do-it-yourselfers with rich content
A Main Street hardware store wants to build traffic to its website and win new customers. It could use the following tactics:

  • Create a clearance section on the site and announce daily or weekly deals to entice customers to check back frequently.
  • Update the site with original do-it-yourself how-to articles or videos. Post links to this content on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Houzz, which is a social network for home decorating buffs. Include special offers on products featured in the pieces.
  • Add an event calendar to the site and announce in-store how-to workshops. Include a coupon that participants can use for a discount on purchases made the day of the event.
  • Create slideshows of popular seasonal products and update them regularly so visitors always have new items to look at. A summer slideshow could feature lawn care and barbeque products; a winter show could include the latest snow removal and insulation tools.

Local Diner: Recipe for a more enticing site
A family-friendly diner wants to use its website to build business and connect more deeply with the community. It could use these strategies:

  • Provide the address and phone number of the restaurant in a prominent place on every page of the site so it becomes an easy reference point for smartphone users.
  • Showcase photos of signature dishes and the restaurant’s interior on the website. Share them on the restaurant’s Facebook page and use phrases such as “see this week’s specials” and “meet our staff” to encourage visitors to click through to the website.
  • Add social sharing buttons to the website to make it easy for visitors to share menus or pictures of their favorite meals.
  • Make menus easy to find on the site and include prices. Customers who are new to the restaurant or want to order takeout are less likely to abandon the site if they can find the information they need.
  • Set up and monitor a restaurant profile on review sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor, and in local search directories like Yahoo! Local Listings. Include a link to the restaurant website and ask loyal customers to submit reviews to attract more business.

Organic cosmetics company: Outshining the competition
A store specializing in all-natural makeup and skin care products wants to use its website to attract new clients and stand out from competitors in the area. It could use these tactics to achieve its goals:

  • Start a weekly blog that reports on the benefits of natural products and educates consumers about ingredients to avoid. Include prominent social media sharing buttons with the posts so readers can send them to friends.
  • Add a module to the website that supports online product reviews, allowing visitors to rate products and leave comments about them.
  • Post videos on the store’s YouTube channel demonstrating application techniques and creative ways to use products together. Promote a specific video on the website every few weeks to encourage search engines to crawl the site for fresh content, which can boost search engine rankings.
  • Give visitors an easy way to sign up for the store’s email newsletter on the site. Provide a sample issue to highlight the newsletter’s valuable content and email-only special offers.


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