web trafficPreparing your website for traffic involves more than just making sure you have pages with content.  Consider these 5 points before you begin any advertisement:

1. Get rid of “under construction” text or images

It just wouldn’t make sense to conduct [paid] advertising only to send people to a website that isn’t even finished.  That would be like having your website under construction with hammers and saws and trying to get people to come in for lunch.  Instead, make sure your website has a finished appearance before you try to get anyone to come to it so you aren’t wasting money on advertising, as well as potentially ruining a potential buyer.

2. Have sign-up forms ready

Everybody knows that you want and need to build an email list as a long-term asset for future marketing.  To do that, you need to have your email signup (also called opt-in forms) ready.  And you’re probably going to need more than just one, because of different places you’ll use them, even if they all go to the same underlying email list.

Carefully plan out where your forms need to go so they are sized correctly, and provide people with a true incentive to join.  You need to give people something free to show that you provide real value.

– Know your audience, use language that will resonate with them
– Explain how your email list will help resolve whatever keeps them up at night worrying about
– Clearly answer, “What’s in it for me”
– Have a clear Call to Action

If you do all these things, you’re going to have a much better rate of converting visitors into email subscribers.

3. Navigation should be easy and intuitive

Everyone’s in a hurry and doesn’t want to hunt around for the information they’re after.  Don’t create a complicated menu system, or even worse, put different menus in different places.  Have one single intuitive menu that’s prominently placed.  Breadcrumbs are also highly recommended.

It’s also a good idea to include a sitemap map in the footer of your website.

4. Build things in sections – work smarter, not harder

If your website is going to be potentially large, consider building things in sections so you don’t have a bunch of under-construction pages that will put off visitors.  For example, if you’re going to feature both kitchen and bath remodeling, you might put just one section on the front of your site until the other is finished.  This will make it seem that what do you have up is professionally done and well thought-out, as opposed to a half-finished site that could make it look like you aren’t taking things seriously.

5. Build relationships

It’s human nature to want to feel like you are part of something that matters.  We want to feel connected, that we have value, and that what we’re doing elevates our social status as well.

– Don’t try to be something you aren’t, or unnecessarily formal and impersonal.  Be real.
– Don’t send time-wasting emails.  Make it worth opening and reading.
– Focus on building relationships, and sales will follow all on its own.
– Ask people what their problems are!  Then you can work on helping solve them.
– Provide means to grow your community and facilitate its health online
– Provide plenty of free value to your users

Identify your basic community characteristics and build your site so that it has their needs in mind.  For example, if there’s a specific age range, make sure the people in any pictures are in that same range.  You want everything they see to make them feel like they’re with like-minded people that “get” them.

Take care of these things and you’ll be a whole lot more prepared for website traffic.  Good luck!