Here in the Philippines, the influence of the internet on some local businesses, particularly on the small ones, is still very little. Most of the businesses locally are just starting to go online. Since my company started in 2002, most of our clients are usually from overseas with US and Singapore being the majority.

The other day, I’ve met with a businessman who owns a local travel agency and is now willing to expand his market using a web channel. One of his questions was how to get traffic to a new website?

As professional web designer and web developer, the design and structure of a website is not enough to bring in visitors and potential clients. There are many strategies involved on how to increase the traffic of a website. And here are some of the online marketing tips that I gave him to get people into his website:

Tip #1: The use of Pay-per-click or PPC while SEO efforts are underway.

One of the most successful forms of increasing the volume of visitors in a website is through Search engine Optimization (SEO). SEO makes use of organic search results for targeted keywords to increase the potential of users in visiting a website. As a marketing strategy for increasing a site’s relevance, SEO considers how search algorithms work and what people search for.

SEO efforts involves a lot of process, such as altering a site’s coding, presentation, and structure, as well as fixing problems that could prevent search engine indexing programs from fully spidering a site. SEO is a great strategy in increasing the volume of visitors to a website but it takes some time before it can really be felt.

Though there are some “techniques” in an SEO campaign that can bring results a lot faster, search engine guidelines and rules prevents us in doing so. That leads us to using a more professional approach which can also bring slower results.

So while SEO efforts are underway, it will be better to implement a PPC campaign to get traffic for your new website.

Pay-per click or PPC is an Internet advertising model used on search engines, advertising networks, and content websites, such as blogs, where advertisers only pay when a user actually clicks on an advertisement to visit the advertisers’ website.

A keyword based PPC campaign involves the display of advertisements on search engine results pages, whereas content match campaigns involve the display of advertisements on publisher websites, newsletters, and e-mails.
With the current trends on Search engine optimization (SEO), it will take a longer time for new websites to rank up higher in the search results. While waiting for your site to climb up the ranking, it will be better to implement a PPC campaign to get traffic for your new website.

Tip #2: Join the online community.

In marketing, connections are important. This interconnection of contacts or people will create a community, and this community can provide you a higher probability for a successful campaign.

This is because of the strategy called the “Word of Mouth in which information is being relayed to others through the word of mouth. This strategy also works with online marketing, and this strategy is commonly known as Social Media Optimization or SMO.

Social Media Optimization is a method used to get publicized. Much like what actors and actresses do to become popular and known, they use publicity. But in SMO, they get publicized through social network websites and online communities such as forums and blogs.

Methods belonging to SMO includes adding RSS feeds, adding a “Digg This” button, blogging and incorporating third party community functionalities like Flickr photo slides and galleries or YouTube videos.

Social Media Optimization or SMO is much more related to search engine marketing or SEM, but differs in several ways. Mainly the focus on driving traffic from sources other than search engines, though improved search ranking is also a benefit of successful SMO, which makes
SEO efforts important to SMO campaigns.

Interacting with people on social networks like Facebook, Friendster, Myspace, etc. and being involved on forum topics that are related to your business, will make it easier for the market to know about you and the business you’re handling.

Tip #3: Make a Banner Ad

Web banners work as much like a PPC or Pay Per Click. Web Banners are a form of advertising on the World Wide Web. This form of online advertising entails embedding an advertisement into a web page. It is intended to attract traffic to a website by linking to the website of the advertiser.

The web banner is displayed when a web page that references the banner is loaded into a web browser. When the viewer clicks on the banner, the viewer is directed to the website advertised in the banner. Much like what PPC does. The only difference is that a PPC is located on search engines or emails, whereas a web banner is commonly located on a web page and is much more attractive.

Web banners function the same way as traditional advertisements are intended to function: notifying consumers of the product or service and presenting reasons why the consumer should choose the product in question, although web banners differ in that the results for advertisement campaigns may be monitored real-time and may be targeted to the viewer’s interests.

Tip #4: Reward your visitors and customers.

Implement a rewards system or give your customers or visitors prizes whenever they buy or refer someone to your website. This strategy is more commonly used by bloggers. This is a strategy in which bloggers can invite other bloggers to visit their blogs, give comment, then win a price, or much like a contest. In this way, bloggers can receive a lot of incoming traffic therefore making their blog more famous.

This strategy also applies to increasing a website’s volume of visitors. Setting up contests, games, and other entertaining means to win a reward can attract a lot of visitors. In this way, the volume of traffic in a website will increase significantly.

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