If You Build It, Will They Come?

Want people to visit your website? It takes 3 strategies: local optimization, pay-per-click & content marketing to come to the top of a Google search.

Field of Dreams lied to us … and we didn’t even know it. Yep, kicked me in the stomach too.  That little voice that spoke to Ray and told him all he had to do was build a baseball diamond and people and players and everything else would flock to it may have hit a home run for the box office, but for the rest of us living in reality, we have been sadly disappointed ever since.

We build things all the time: Relationships, houses, hopes and websites. Let’s not forget websites (since that’s what we do), but just because we build these things with great intentions and dreams of success, it doesn’t always mean that success comes without effort.

That’s what the voice that spoke to Ray was missing — that little tidbit that says,

“If you build it, they will come. But it’s going to take some effort to get them there.”

The Internet has to be the most accessible resource in America these days. We’re convinced. So it makes sense that people would find your website and visit it nearly as often as they visit their local grocery store. It makes sense for you to think that, after you invest in a new website or even a few enhancements or design tweaks and spend your time perfecting it that people won’t be able to help themselves from exploring all the new things you have to offer.

But then we sit and watch our Google Analytics tracker and cry ourselves to sleep because no one visits our masterpiece of a website. Just kidding. We don’t cry, but we understand.

It’s not what you built or how you built it. Rest assured that your investment was worth it, but it just takes that little extra nudge in the marketing department to get your site recognized by the right search engines, assure it’s front-and-center for your target audience, and keep it fresh and interesting for those that are visiting. Here are the best (and most painless) methods we have found to get you there:

1. Local Optimization

It’s pretty obvious Google runs the show, but there are some other guys out there that carry some weight in this arena, too. The point of local optimization is so that, when someone goes looking for you or your organization online or on their smartphone, they can find you (as well as your location, your website and your hours of operation), and they can browse a few images that represent you well, not just some picture someone posted on social media and tagged you in (we know that spells trouble in most cases). And we know things change, and businesses expand and move, so you want to stay ahead of the game and control this information yourselves.

First step is always making it easy for them to find you.

2. Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

You’ve probably heard of this, and it probably sounds a little scary since you know how excessively some people click while using a computer, but thankfully those aren’t the clicks that count. PPC puts your website at the top of search results in the ad space for certain keywords that you’re already optimized for in your industry, which is prime position for people to click on it. We all know that the first link is the link you click on if it remotely looks like what you searched for (or sometimes even if it doesn’t). And the cool thing about PPC is that, despite your organic search result ranking, you can still end up top of the list for your target audience, but there’s still some strategy here too. Just like baseball, it’s still a game and there are other competitors out there.

First step is always making it easiest for them to find you. Second step is to get them there.

3. Content Marketing

Your content represents you, and unfortunately the Internet is a breeding ground for unfair judgements and first impressions, so it’s important to get it right at first glance. Of course, design plays a part here too, but what you say and how frequently you say it matters just as much if not more. Your website should be a guide for your visitors, so they should be able to find what they need, and they should know what action you want them to take on each page they visit. You also want to always provide them with new and exciting content via a blog or news articles. You have to give them a reason to be a repeat visitor. Better yet, give them a reason to be a fan!

First step is always making it easiest for them to find you. Second step is to get them there. Last step is to show them what you got!

We realize that in baseball it’s normally three strikes and you’re out, but in the case of website traffic, it’s three strikes to check each of these off the list and you’re in. So, if you build it, will they come?

Nope, but if you build it, optimize it, position it, and refresh it, then they’ll start showing up in herds. Or baseball teams. Whichever you prefer.

Valerie is a self-proclaimed word nerd, with a passion for the English language. She can not only dot the I's and cross the T's, but can also tell you what big words mean (and even use them in a sentence). She uses her communication skills to build strong relationships with current and potential clients – and usually does so while sitting underneath a blanket, sipping hot tea. When she's not working, she's probably cleaning and organizing everything – yes, everything, probably even your house.
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