I actually had a pretty rubbish website when I first started out. I was totally clueless about SEO, my old developer had created the site in Dreamweaver which I think went out with the dinosaurs, I had no niche, I didn’t know what I was doing and nobody knew where to find me. So how did I get traffic to my website so people could see how amazing I was and hire me?
Simple. I told people where to find it.
Anyone who sits around hoping their ideal client will somehow miraculously find their website will be waiting a long time. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best Virtual Assistant on the planet if nobody hires you or even knows you exist.
So until your site has some authority with Google, you need to lead people to it.
How I got traffic to my own site when I first started out:
- I talked to people at networking events, gave them my business card with my website URL on it and left handouts explaining what I did on the info table. I then emailed people with a follow-up message telling them again what I did and asking them to connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn.
- I put my business on Google Local (it used to be called Places) so I would come up in local search results for admin services and support.
- I registered my site with loads of free national business directories
- I added a blog to my website and wrote articles aimed at my target client clearly showing that I knew the challenges of their industry and my niche along with some testimonials and case studies showing how I’d helped people just like them. I then joined Twitter, added my website URL to my profile and shared the great blog content I’d taken so much time to write.
- I used Snagit (Loom is now better and free) to make a short video showing people how to use an Excel spreadsheet to break down their business expenses. I added my website URL to the credits, posted it on YouTube and put the URL in the description as well so people could click to download the document from my site. The video is still up but now has the VA Handbook website link instead.
- I made a short slideshow with PowerPoint called ‘How to Set up Gmail Filters in 3 Easy Steps’, uploaded it to Slideshare and put a link to my website on it. I then added the video and slide to my LinkedIn profile to give people more reasons and ways to visit my site.
When I had more of an idea of what I was doing and had read some great articles by marketing pros I did a few more things:
- I wrote a few blog posts for local websites which linked back to my own site. This is called creating ‘Inbound Links’ which Google loves because it makes you look popular.
- I read everything I could about SEO, added the free Yoast plugin to my WordPress site and SEO’d the hell out of my blog posts and pages.
- I put an advert on Gumtree to get my site noticed by the search engines.
- I contacted people using the method in my guide and they came and checked out my site.
Notice that everything I did was aimed at my target market.
Even if your target market is initially everyone, you’re still going to be offering certain services, so think about who specifically will be looking for those services and where you might find them because you’re way more likely to find them – not the other way around!
* Blogging can be beneficial for SEO purposes. This article confirms that the methods I used when I first started out were correct and also provides a few more ways you can promote your website.
* Networking can be daunting if you’re not used to it so read my article on How to Network Like a Pro and pick up some handy tips on how to swan in and work the room like the confident, VA superstar you are.
* Get my guide on how to get clients. This method was so successful that I eventually didn’t use any other method to get new clients.
*If your website is hideous and you want to build a lovely gorgeous one yourself then consider my Beginners WordPress course. The first section is even free.