Tripling Website Traffic in Just 90 Days: Here’s How I Did It
There is a lot of hype in the web design business that falsely convinces business owners that success is just around the corner. “Put up a website, create a Facebook page and the world will beat a path to your door…” or so they will have you believe!
Truthfully, a website is really just the beginning. It’s like the foundation of a new house. A few people know it’s there when they happen to drive by it but other than that, it’s nothing special or worthy of attention. There’s nothing wrong with that. It all comes down to the purpose and reason for having a website. Perhaps it functions simply as a business card that you refer people to for contact information. Maybe it has seasonal or specific use as a tool such as a gathering place, forum for a business group or club. In that case, building up traffic and exposure with SEO (search engine optimization) is irrelevant. In some cases, people, organizations or businesses might wish to keep their website private and open exclusively to it’s members.
Vermonter.com is a “hobby website” that I built 30 years ago
My start in web design began way back in the 1990’s when web technology first became available to the general public. I built the website to showcase some photos, etc. and eventually used it to start what would become one of the very first web design agencies in the world and Vermont, in particular. We were also the first in Vermont to sell real estate via web video and a number of other “firsts” in web design and development. Eventually, I moved the web design business to it’s own home at Alpine Web Media.
What to do with Vermonter.com?
I had a great domain name, Vermonter.com, with a handful of local articles, stories, photos and videos. It became more of a “hobby website” for me to tinker with when or if I had time to do so. About 15 years ago, I redesigned the website and added a bit more content to it along with a Facebook page. I used it primarily for advertising some of the books I had published, etc. I really didn’t do much with it because of lack of time, interest and motivation. As a solo entrepreneur, it simply became to difficult to manage everything by myself.
Why is this article so important to your business?
I have many clients throughout Vermont and around the world. As a matter of fact, I will be meeting with one of them , a real estate company in Bangkok, Thailand next month (November 2023). We will be discussing ways I can help them enhance their exposure in much the same way that I have done for Vermonter.com.
Be aware that seeds planted early yield a bounty of crops later on. If your website is essential during seasonal periods, you need to start putting together a strategy several months ahead to be ready for the busy season later on. Did you know that we can create, optimize and schedule blog and page posts to automatically “go live” at a later date? This is one extremely valuable tip that many businesses do not take advantage of. Why wait until the hectic, busy period when your business is at full throttle and you’re hurrying to create blog posts, images, social media posts, etc. at the last minute?
Don’t waste your time! Come up with a solid web content strategy timeline and build up your troops ahead of deployment.
The AI Advantage: How Smart Tools Helped Me Design Websites Faster and Better
Like I did way back in the 1980’s and 1990’s when web technology first began, I started to learn more about AI (artificial intelligence) and what it could do to help my business. I was as excited about AI as I was about web design back when that first originated, perhaps more so. Now, I would have the power and knowledge to leverage my own “virtual team” of creative and technical staff that required no days off, employee reliability (or lack thereof) and all the other headaches of managing staff and personnel.
I have been engaged in AI research since December 2022 and by Spring of 2023, I had experimented with many of the new AI tools and programs, following their progress and growing along with them. The first pilot project was a critical eye upon Vermonter.com. It was the “old faithful website” that deserved better and after many years, it was about to experience a well deserved re-birth, with the help of AI.
First, I had to learn all the new AI technologies, test them and select the tools that worked best for my workflow and design concepts. I used existing topics and enhanced the quality and quantity of my articles with AI assistance. I also learned to prompt AI images to replace inaccurate or non-existing photos in many of my articles. For example, I had a really tough time finding or creating an image of a “pigman” for one of my Vermonter.com articles. Computer generated artwork has been a blessing, but NOT a replacement for real photos if they can be created or exist.
Next stop, social media and sharing content
Now that I had rebuilt my website and started revising old content and gradually adding new content, it was time to get the word out. I dusted off the Vermonter Facebook page, Twitter account, Pinterest account, etc. and even starting posting to my LinkedIn account. I primarily focus on Facebook. That is where I have found the most compatible platform to share photos, articles and other content. I also added an Amazon affiliate program to share my books along with other great Vermont authors like Joseph Citro.
Just because a website exists does not mean it will be popular
Another myth that many businesses are led to believe is that Google will recognize and rank their brand new website immediately. Though that does indeed happen in some cases, especially if the website is based on something new, popular and with very little competition, most of the time you simply have to wait until Google gets around to indexing your website. In the meantime, it’s a good idea to setup a free Google Analytics account (which I do for all my new clients). If you do not already have a Google My Business account, you should create one (or claim an existing one if it already exists). I have an entire series of blog posts on this website devoted to Google My Business that tells you how to set it up, for free.
Results of 30 days of creative work on Vermonter.com
Now that I had cleaned up the website, added a lot more content, etc. it was time to promote it which I did via social media. Here are some of my October 2023 results from Facebook, after many of my image posts “went viral”:
Google Analytics Report October 2023
Facebook Posts Went Viral
Alpine Web Media can provide the same type of results to your website
As you can see, Vermonter.com went from zero to hero in just a few weeks time and continues along a similar trajectory. The reason I created this post is to illustrate what can be done if you’re willing to keep your website fresh and update it regularly. The days of “set it and forget it” search engine optimization are long dead. Please read that again as you need to understand it. Just because you have a website does not mean that it can be easily found and that Google owes you something for free. Though some businesses are happy with a simple referral type website that they can send their customers to, you must get off your butt and put some effort into the ongoing care and feeding of your website.
If you are too busy to work with your own website, create content or promote it that’s ok…
Everyone has priorities and managing website content may not be at the top of their list. That’s totally fine. But, do not be discouraged if your great looking website isn’t ranking and you simply don’t have time to do it yourself. That is where you can either pay for ads, hire Alpine Web Media to do the work for you or find a college student willing to help you out for class credits, etc. Everyone deserves the best website possible to promote their business, hobby, etc.
Just be careful of the many so-called “web design agencies” that offer the moon, stars and sky and actually provide little or nothing. Check the web design agency’s references and see what other local businesses are working with them. Ask how long long they have been with their web design agency and if they’re happy with the quality of work and promptness in getting it done.
Please note that Alpine Web Media does not teach web design, social media, etc. It would be like asking Toyota techs to show you how to service your own automobile rather than having their service department perform their work for you. If you want to learn, we’re happy to refer you to some great resources. We do not teach or show cousin Tommy or your employee how to work with social media, review statistics, etc., but we can possibly fix or replace something they may messed up.
Does my Website Get a Google listing for free?
Yes, a listing in the search results is free, HOWEVER it is NOT guaranteed and depends solely on if and when Google gets around to listing your new website! You can pay for Google Ads if you want immediate exposure and cannot wait. You will have to pay for Google Ads and bid against competitors if you want to come to the top of the ads. I do not recommend this unless you simply cannot wait to get your new website listed and ranking on Google. It can become very expensive, very soon. Better to sign up for your free, Google My Business account. Google may have even created an account for you. Simply search and find your business on Google Search or Google Maps. Under the Business Profile, click Claim this business.
Short on budget? Here are some free tactics customers can use to promote their own website:
- Optimize website for SEO – Improve title tags, meta descriptions, alt text, site speed, etc. to boost organic rankings
- Create social media accounts – Be active posting content, engaging followers on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
- Build high-quality backlinks – Contact relevant blogs/sites in your industry to request they link back to your content
- Distribute content – Repurpose website content into snippets, visuals to share on social media and relevant online forums
- Write guest posts – Contact other blogs in your niche to contribute posts with links back to your site
- Claim online listings – Create free profiles on directories like Google My Business, Bing Places, Yelp and optimize them fully
- Use influencer marketing – Collaborate with influencers in your niche to promote your brand to their audience
- Run contests/giveaways – Offer prizes relevant to your target audience in exchange for social shares, email signups, etc.
- Send press releases – Distribute releases related to company milestones, major announcements, etc. to media contacts
- Attend local networking events – Connect with potential customers and partners to spread brand awareness
- Leverage referrals/word-of-mouth – Offer incentives for existing customers to recommend your business to others
The key is focusing on affordable, sustainable strategies that play to the website’s strengths and get it in front of the right audiences through organic discovery and relationship building.