Thanks to WordPress and other template-based sites, it’s easy to create a website. The hard part is attracting people to that website if you don’t already have an existing audience. When your website has a few thousand regular visitors already, you’ll be able to generate enough revenue to reinvest in marketing strategies, and rely on word-of-mouth and social methods to increase your reach even further, but how can you get to those first strong footholds of popularity?
Attracting your first thousand visitors is a major hurdle to overcome, but with the right strategies in place, anyone with a solid idea can do it.
Getting Your First Thousand Visitors
If you want to start attracting significant regular traffic, these are the steps you’ll need to take:
1. Flesh out your site. Your first job is to make sure there’s enough content on your site to keep users interested. Make sure there are several main pages to explore, and a contact page so people can get in touch with you. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll need a blog page, filled with several posts in your main area of expertise. Blogs will serve as inbound channels people can follow to your site, and will also keep them engaged for a longer period of time once they’re there. Commit to producing new blog posts on a weekly basis, preferably multiple times per week.
2. Consider physical ads. Don’t discount the potential reach of physical advertising, especially if you’re a local business that already has a customer base. Printing a booklet or flyer could generate some initial interest in your website, especially if there’s an advantage in visiting (such as a wider selection of products, more in-depth content, or discounts and special offers). When paired together, physical and digital advertising form a powerful synergy.
3. Optimize for search engines. You’ll also want to take the time to optimize your website for search engines. Even if you’re not technically savvy, the basics of SEO are approachable and relatively easy to master. You’ll do things like optimizing the titles and descriptions of your pages to match users’ potential searches, and fill your site with richer content to attract more backlinks. Even a marginal increase in search rankings can help you generate a few hundred additional visitors every month.
4. Guest post on offsite authorities. One of the fastest ways to build an audience is by leveraging an audience that already exists. The best way to do that is to earn yourself a position as a guest author on an offsite authority’s site. Generally, you’ll make a pitch that’s relevant to the authority’s readership, write up a post, and link back to your main page. This is beneficial for both you and the publisher; you’ll earn some brand exposure, some referral traffic, and even some domain authority (for SEO) thanks to your link. Do this several times over, and your website traffic is likely to explode.
5. Syndicate and build an audience on social media. Once you have a small archive of content to rely on, you can start syndicating your articles through social media. This will make your social media profiles more attractive to new followers, and will help you drive more traffic thanks to your syndicated links. As you reach out to more people and build more of a reputation, your number of followers will grow even further, and it will be easier to attract more recurring traffic from that pool of potential visitors. Just remember, if you want people to keep following you, you need to keep them engaged with conversation, recognition, and practical benefits.
6. Use PPC ads on search engines and social media platforms. If you’ve tried all the above strategies and still aren’t seeing any results, consider using pay-per-click ads on social media or through search engines like Google. You’ll only pay for the traffic you receive, so while it’s more expensive than a “free” marketing strategy, it also offers more guaranteed results. This is best used if you have some way to make that traffic profitable, such as through sales and onsite conversion opportunities.
You may not experience the surge in website traffic that you hoped or expected when you first start using these strategies. Remain patient; it takes months, and sometimes longer, to build an audience. However, if you still aren’t seeing any momentum after consistent efforts, it may be time to reevaluate your angle. Are you unique in the field? Are you valuable to your target demographics? Are you consistent in your brand voice?
These aren’t easy questions to address, but you’ll need to find a way to answer them if you want to keep your momentum moving forward.