It’s a wise choice for all businesses to take steps to increase traffic to their websites. Simply put- the more visitors to your site, the bigger your business. There are several steps you can take to increase both mobile and fixed traffic on your site.
Make Sure You’re Search Engine Optimized
If you haven’t taken the time to ensure that your website is optimized in the popular search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, it’s time to do so. This simply means that you’ve taken measures to ensure that when a user searches for businesses in your industry or with your name, your business pops up – preferably first! Optimizing your website for better ranking in the search engines will improve traffic to your site both from mobile users and from users at fixed locations.
To improve your ranking in the search engines, you’ll need to spend some time getting “search engine optimized”. This includes making changes to your meta tags and title tags within your website’s code. Don’t assume that your website builder did this for you, because, in most cases, they don’t. You should also ensure that your site is registered with the most popular search engines and that your site contains copy that uses the words most frequently searched for your type of business. For example, if you sell golf clubs, your website should contain written copy that contains phrases like “buying golf clubs” and “good deals on golf equipment”. Having such phrases in the copy on your website helps your ranking in the search engines because these are the types of phrases users search with.
Advertise a Gadget
Business related “gadgets” on your website are a great way to increase traffic. For example, if you own a mortgage company, you might consider offering a mortgage calculator on your website. In addition to having your website search engine optimized for phrases such as “get mortgage”, you would also optimize it for “mortgage calculator”. This creates traffic on your site from visitors who are looking for mortgage calculators, as well as from visitors looking for mortgage companies. Then, you can advertise your mortgage calculator on other websites, linking the advertisement to your own site.
Gadgets such as this can foster a significant traffic increase on your site, both from fixed users and from remote wireless users.
Accept Mobile Payments
If you sell products via your website, make sure that you’re set up to take those payments via mobile devices versus just fixed desktop browsers. One of the easiest ways is by simply accepting Paypal on your site. Paypal is a popular web based payment program. Mobile users can set up mobile payments through their mobile numbers and pay anyone accepting paypal payments right through their phones. If you already accept credit cards via your website, these functions should also work for mobile users, as long as your website is optimized for mobile usage.
Text messaging is widely used by wireless customers as a quick way to communicate and receive small bits of information. For advertisers with access to their customers’ mobile phone numbers, it’s also a great way to send messages about specials and sales and updates on products and services.
Subway® Restaurants has been extremely successful advertising via text messaging. Interested parties can “opt in” to Subway’s mobile marketing campaign and receive the restaurant’s most recent coupons via text messaging. Subway is even smart enough to send the coupons out right around lunch time!
This marketing campaign is accomplished through simple “mass text messaging”. All that’s required is maintaining a database of the phone numbers of your interested customers and sending periodic mass messages to these numbers. There are several “mobile marketing” companies that specialize in handling such campaigns for their customers.
In their mass messages, Subway sends customers a string of numbers and letters to be presented to cashiers at their restaurants in order to redeem the text message coupons. In order to encourage participation in the campaign, they used table tents and signs on the cash registers in their restaurants telling customers how to sign up.
Subway has seen phenomenal success with these text messaging campaigns. The campaigns have been used in several Subway markets and have seen a coupon redemption rate as high as 8% in some markets. Though they may be contacting a smaller number of people than a typical direct mail advertising campaign, the success rate is much higher.
Subway notes two keys to its campaign’s success. The first has been creating a campaign that requires users to “opt in” and gives them the opportunity to “opt out” at any time. This ensures that everyone who receives the advertisements has actually requested them. Sending unwanted text messages could actually turn off prospective customers, and could even be viewed as “spam”.
Secondly, Subway only sends out coupons three or four times a month. The coupons have a very short expiration date, fostering a sense of urgency among customers to use the coupons right away. Subway restaurants in Buffalo New York, for example send the coupons out on snowy days, when their restaurant traffic is at its lowest. The coupons have been successful in encouraging folks to get out for lunch on a day when it would have been much easier to stay in. The short expiration date gets traffic into the Subway stores just on the days they need it most.
Creative thinking like Subway’s is the key to using simple mobile applications to increase business. In the coming years, such innovation will remain critical to business in a technology savvy world. It’s important to note, however, that this sort of campaign is targeted to current customers, aiming to increase the frequency of their visits to the restaurant. Since you have to know about the campaign and sign up to receive the coupons, this sort of campaign doesn’t attract new business. Subway’s primary means of advertising to attract new business is through television commercials and sponsorships.