May 2, 2012
Have a handmade biz? Then you probably (read: should) have a website. It gives legitimacy to your business, as well as provides an online catalog to showcase your work. Even better, it may allow customers to place orders directly with you, bypassing a 3rd party marketplace (which includes extra fees and lots of competition). In this vein, we suggest 12 ways to increase traffic to your website:
- SEO. Search engine optimization. Essentially, including appropriate keywords in your website that will trigger search engines to find you while crawling the web, helping you to achieve a high page rank in google. Take a test: google a keyword for your business (i.e. handmade tutu, handmade boutique clothing, etc.). Does your website appear on the 1st page of the search results, the 2nd, the 100th? The better SEO your website has, the higher up your website will appear. If you are in a niche market with relatively few players, this will be much easier than if your market is saturated, and you are one amongst a million small businesses similar to yours.
- Business Cards. No brainer. Your business card should have your website on it, along with all contact information. Nowadays, it should also include your Facebook and Twitter handles (you’re on them, right?).
- Marketplace Descriptions. Huh? This means your Etsy, or any other online marketplace you use to sell retail. Be sure to include your website in your business description.
- Product Labels. The labels you put on your product should not only contain your business name, but also your website. Otherwise, how will you gain repeat business? (Note though, in selling wholesale, this may need to be negotiated with the boutique owner).
- Shipments. Your shipments to customers should include a few extra business cards. Afterall, you do want them to recommend your awesome product to friends and family, right? If you don’t include them and have poor labeling, the customer may not even remember from whom she bought the product. This is bad business.
- Email Signature. Your email signature should include your website link. Yes, friends and family may get tired of seeing it over and over, but it is definitely something to consider.
- Blog Comments. If you are into blogs, consider commenting on the posts you read. Make sure your comments are worthy and relevant. You could include your website with your comment (though this may appear spammy…use some discretion).
- Online Directories. There are free online directories for small businesses. Some are even geared to mompreneurs (mom entrepreneurs) or handmade businesses.
- Fishbowls. Another, huh? You know those fishbowls in restaurants that allow you to leave a business card to receive a free lunch? Well, drop in a card. Who knows if the personal going through them will be in dire need of the product you sell.
- Community Bulletin Boards. Your local coffee house, sandwich shop, or ice cream parlor may have a bulletin board for small, local businesses to post flyers and business cards. Use it.
- Silent Auctions and Goodie Bags. Feeling charitable? Contribute a product to a local silent auction or fundraiser (think schools, churches, food pantries, etc). Be sure to include a few business cards as well.
- Article Marketing. Consider yourself an expert in your field? Write an article for a popular article marketing website (ezinearticles.com is one). You will be able to include a bio and link to your site…giving you a little free press.
There, this should be enough to keep you busy!