3 Ways For Driving Traffic To Your Website

3 Ways For Driving Traffic To Your Website

This article looks at three ways you can increase traffic and boost sales.

Your website is ready. It sits there while you wait for anyone to come to along, view your products, and yes, hopefully, buy something! However, it has been several months and very little or nothing is happening.

You need targeted internet traffic and sales for your online business to grow and thrive.

Your ultimate goal is to generate targeted traffic. You want to gain the interest of your target consumers and drive them to your website. You can achieve this by working on the advertising and marketing aspect of your e-business. There are a number of ways to generate this traffic, including using the below methods:

1: Search Engine Optimization

If people search through major search engines, type in their search keywords and your website comes up, chances are you could expect more website traffic than you could handle. Therefore you could aim to rank heavily on the main search engines such as Google and Bing.

This however does not usually happen overnight. It will likely take a lot of time and effort to achieve this. To aim to make your presence felt and known on the internet could begin by becoming one of the top sites in the results page when a keyword query is made. As such, you could try filling your website with articles reflecting the relevant keywords about your product and service. These could be articles or pages that offer potential customers valuable advice and other crucial information.

SEO takes time so this may not be the quickest approach. It is advisable, therefore, to employ multiple methods to generate more web traffic.

  • You could try buying traffic from vendors to generate website hits.
  • You could buy traffic with Google’s and Yahoo’s pay-per-click programme.
  • You could use Facebook advertising.

How this works is that you determine and identify your target market’s possible keywords and bid for these words or phrases. This may be costly, but it would generate hits.

Of course, it doesn’t end there. You will then have to focus on converting those hits into sales. You have to keep your customer’s interest with an interesting website to begin with.

2: Syndicate your site

There are many websites that would allow feed burning. You would have to create Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds that would link your content and blog to other websites.

Make sure that you are providing informative and interesting information on your blog, to appeal to potential customers. RSS feeds may increase website hits but they may not generate profit or sales leads, if your website is boring or doesn’t inspire trust.

3: Create useful, informative and interesting article content

Again, it doesn’t matter if your website is generating thousands of hits. It also doesn’t matter if suddenly, your website is generating more traffic than you could handle. What is really important is that you are earning profit from this traffic.

You need to provide your prospective customers with quality web content. The content should be responsive to their need. Write as many articles as you can or hire someone to write them for you. You must provide your customers information on how to solve their problems. Keep your articles fresh, updated and relevant to your customer’s needs or problems.




The demand for your goods and services is the amount the customers are willing and able to buy at any given time.

There is an inverse relationship between demand and price, which is expressed in the ‘law of demand’. This basically states that the demand for a good or service will increase if price falls and decrease if price rises.

What are the factors that might affect the demand for your product?

The price of the commodity – if prices are high, then less people would be willing to buy and even if they are willing may not be able to afford the product. Unless of course your product is targeted to an exclusive few whose purchasing power is strong.

The price of other commodities
– especially if you target budget purchasers you should take this into consideration. If there are similar products on the market that are cheaper, customers will quite likely choose those.

Brand loyalty – some customers are loyal to certain brands and will buy no other; in most instances it is very difficult to persuade them to change.

Income – customers purchasing power will determine what they buy; you cannot price your products out of the reach of your target market.

Number of buyers – the number of persons or businesses that can, and do buy your products.

Tradition and beliefs – some customers buy based on religious and family traditions; hence you would never sell pork to a Jehovah’s Witness since religion dictates that they do not consume it.

Taste – taste differ per individuals and customers often buy what they like.


Promotional Mix

The promotional mix is the combination of tools used to promote a product. There are four aspects to the promotional mix; sales promotion, advertising, personal selling and public relations.

This article looks at sales promotion and advertising.

Sales Promotion

Sales promotion is the process of persuading a potential customer to buy the product. It is designed for immediate results and is usually for a specific time period. It can also be used as a part of the personal selling process. Sales promotion supplement advertising and other aspects of visual promotions. Examples of sales promotion are trading stamps, free gifts/gift tokens, loss leaders, competition, production demonstrations, exhibitions, free samples among others.
Sales Promotion

Some methods of sales promotion:

Cash discounts – These can either be in cash refunds or deductions from invoices over a specified period of time.

Money off coupons – Customers receive coupons, or cut coupons from newspapers or take along with product packaging when they go to purchase. This enables them to buy the product at a reduced price.

Competitions – Customer take part in a chance to win by buying the product.

Discount vouchers – A voucher (like a money off coupon) that will allow the customer some discount on the purchase price of the product.

Exhibitions and Trade Shows – Items are neatly displayed to promote sales and attract potential customers at shows.

Free gifts – Customers get a free product when they buy another product. This is normally given out to customers according to how much they spend, so the criterion could be purchases of $100 and over.

Point of sales materials – E.g. posters and display stands; these are ways of presenting the product in its best way or showing the customer that the product is there and available for purchase.

Loyalty cards – Customers earn points for buying certain goods or shopping at certain retailers, which can later be exchanged for money, goods or other offers. Loyalty cards have become an important form of sales promotion. Loyalty cards can offset the discounts a business offer by making more sales and persuading the customer to come back. They also provide information about the shopping habits of customers – where do they shop, when and what do they buy. This is valuable marketing information and can be used in the planning process for new and existing products.

Loss leader – A loss leader is a popular product being sold at below market price to encourage customers to enter the store in the hope that they will make other purchases.

Trading stamps – These are given freely to purchasers by merchants. The customer can then save them until they have a certain number; when returned to the shop or some specified dealer, the customer get goods or money in exchange.

Premium offers – These include self-liquidation devices (being asked to return empty bottles etc for cash or product), gifts, contests, bargain packs (such as buy one get one free).

Sweepstakes – Contest or race on which a lottery is run, the money is usually contributed by the applicants, maybe through tickets sales.
Sales promotion


Advertising presents or promotes the product to the target audience through media such as TV, radio, and billboards to encourage them to buy. When deciding which type of advertising to use (known as an advertising medium) the business needs to consider the following factors:

Reach of the media – nationally or locally, the number of potential customers it could reach.

Nature of the product – the media need to reflect the image of the product; a recruitment ad would be placed in a trade magazine or newspaper but a lipstick ad would be shown on TV or in women’s magazines.

Position in product life cycle – launch stage will need different advertising from extension strategies.

Cost of medium
– radio is cheaper than TV, but you may want to consider cost per head if reaching a larger audience.
In the printed media, advertising can take two forms:

A classified ad is normally put into a newspaper by an individual and is expressed solely in words and numbers.

A display ad is where space is bought in the newspaper or magazine and can be filled with words and/or pictures.
Display adverts have more impact, but are more expensive.

Advertising can also be split into types:
Persuasive advertising – This is to entice the customer to buy the product by informing them of the product’s benefits.

Informative advertising – This serves to inform the consumer.

Comparative advertising
– This is used to compare your product to others, of course pointing out the positives of your product compared to the others.

Reminder advertising – This serves to inform that the product is still available. This is usually used in areas with a lot of competition or when the product has been around a while and you need to increase its popularity.

Advertising serves to:

  • To announce new products
  • To highlight the unique features of a product
  • To build a firm’s image around its product
  • To increase market share by stimulating demand
  • To educate customers about the products
  • To highlight special events, such as concessions, sales or late opening
  • You will need to be fully aware of the laws that govern advertising.

Sometimes a business will employ an advertising agency to deal with its needs. An agency plans, organizes and produces advertising campaigns for other businesses. The advantage of an agency managing the campaign is that it has the expertise a business may not have, e.g. copywriters, designers and media buyers.


  • Electronic
  • Radio
  • Television (TV)
  • Telemarketing


  • Creates and maintains public and consumer awareness of the product.
  • Attracts different demographic segments of the population.
  • A medium such as radio is not very expensive and so affordable for small business owners.
  • The visuals produced by television make it a powerful means of persuasion.


  • Telemarketing is a turn-off for many consumers and it is also very expensive
  • Sometimes there are several laws and restrictions to observe
  • Ads usually have to be aired at a certain time for better effect and those time periods are usually more costly such as morning peak hours or primetime

Print Media

  • Newspaper
  • Magazines
  • Periodicals
  • Journals


  • Creates credibility
  • Printed words last a very long time.
  • Customers can refer to it when they need to


  • Less use of colour
  • Presentation is not as lively or friendly
  • There is no way of knowing if target audience reads it



  • It’s animated and thus eye-catching
  • You can target a specific audience more easily


  • In recent times there are limited audience because of the competition from TV and radio
  • Others
  • Billboards
  • Buses
  • Postcards
  • Signs



  • Can create strong impact
  • Signs can be attention grabbing


  • Often have to be updated or replaced

Market Research

Market Research for businesses

Market research seeks to help you identify the possibilities in the current market. You will be able to make predictions from the market research analysis and hence better able to satisfy the needs of your customers.

Market research is critical to the success of any business. You need market research information to market your product successfully. Normally, it involves gathering information from your targeted market, which will be further analysed; information need to be collected, sorted,  analysed and interpreted.

So the first thing is to collect that information. Usually this is done through questionnaires. Carefully consider before you design questionnaires. Think of the following:

  • Objectives – Consider what questions you want answered.
  • Numbers – How many questionnaires do you want completed?
  • Target persons – Who do you want to answer questions or fill out questionnaires?
  • Nature of questions – When you structure your questions, be careful not to over-simplify.
  • Method of research – Decide on the method of research, will it be by telephone or will you be conducting face-to-face interviews?
  • Types of questions – Whether it will require yes or no answers, choice responses, a scale of rating or even a combination of two or all three.

Market Research


There are two types of Market Research that you could undertake, Primary and Secondary researches.

Primary Research

When you undertake a primary research, you are creating new data for yourself. Therefore, you are getting information directly from your target market. This will help you to ‘identify and anticipate’ customer’s needs.

Primary research is good in that you can design your research questions or test to answer specific questions about your product and get feedback. The information is of course up-to-date and the market research you conduct is information that is confidential to you only, not your competitors.

Suggested questions to explore:

  • Do customers see a need for your product in the market?
  • Would they be willing to try your product?
  • What do they think of the competition?
  • How would they rate the current offer of product available to them?
  • What factors would contribute to them trying or not trying your product?
  • What do they see as a reasonable price for the product?
  • Would they recommend it to others?
  • What do they like about current products?
  • What don’t they like about current products?
  • What preferences or needs do they have that current products do not satisfy?

These are just some suggestions but you would of course tailor your questions to your particular type of business, ask the critical questions you need answered.

Field Research

Getting out there and asking questions is often termed ‘field research’. We will now look at the various methods of field research.

Face-to-face interviews – Here you would ask people on the street questions. You could pull on your slacks and go out there and get it done yourself, especially if cost is a big factor for you. You could also enlist the aid of neighbourhood kids; you would not have to pay much in this case, plus they would appreciate the pocket money. If you are planning on a bigger venture, which may involve sampling different markets, then enlist the services of a market research agency.

– Prepare questionnaires and mail or issue them allowing individuals to fill them out and you collect them when finished.

Telephone interviews
– This is where you call individuals at random, ask questions and record responses. It is advisable that you do not make questionnaires too long or you will probably have more phones slammed in your ear than completed responses.

Focus group/consumer panel – You will probably use this method only if you are introducing a new product to the market. Here a small group of people are asked detailed questions about a product after close examination.

Online survey – This is becoming a very popular way of gathering primary data. It is more cost effective than other methods and information can also be gathered quickly.

The main disadvantage to performing primary research is that it can be costly if you pay others or an agency to assist in the information gathering. Also, some people do not like to stand and answer series of questions. With that in mind, keep it short. Sometimes you might need to have it a little longer to satisfy your criteria, but always be mindful of the negatives when designing your questionnaire.

Secondary Research

This is the use of information that had previously been gathered and compiled by other entities. Gathering data in this manner is usually less expensive than primary research. Therefore, you should first explore this option when you decide to do your research.

Where to look for secondary data
Search local libraries for information gathered about your industry of choice. Trade association publications, periodicals, information provided by government agencies and also search online.

When gathering secondary data ensure that information is not outdated, check the year when research was conducted, information that is too outdated may be useless. You also have to bear in mind that information might not be as valid since the circumstances in which they were conducted might have been different and as such sought to answer different questions than those you need answered. The methods of measurement might also have been different.

As a potential small business owner you might want to buy into the pessimistic view that small business owners have about market research, that it is costly, irrelevant, only for big businesses and is complex. It does not have to be costly, as you would have realised from reading above; it can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be and certainly, it is not irrelevant. Market research can aid you in assessing your suitability to a market. Even freelancers have to know what is happening in their market. Ensure that you do some market research before venturing into the market place, it will help to correctly assess and analyse your position.

Additional points
  • Visit and observe other businesses that are operating in the industry you wish to enter.
  • Get statistical information on the industry such as import, export, price ranges, industry sales and industry market shares.
  • Determine the potential of your product – will it have longevity or will it be more of a fad?

To help you in identifying opportunities and threats, monitor what is happening with your competitors and their marketing strategies, economic changes, population changes, new laws and other legal developments and the local economic situation.


Market Feasibility

Market Feasibility Study - Product or Service

Why Market Feasibility?

Market Feasibility is quite appropriate where you are planning to open a new business or extend an existing line of product. Your aim is to determine how ‘feasible’ your product would be in the current market.

It will allow for better evaluation of your product’s suitability to the market. You will need to:

  • Define your objective(s)
  • Gather your information
  • Make your analyses
  • Make a decision

To be able to accomplish these you would have had to conduct a market research.

Having done your research there are two methods to further proceed.


1. Go/no go decision

Based on information collected and market trends should you or should you not go ahead with your business decision. Do you need to make adjustments to the original ideas? If so, what changes?

2. Return on investment

Evaluate your business as an investment, look at the opportunity costs (the cost of opportunity forgone. By deciding to go ahead with this venture, what other opportunities are you giving up? Are they more or less profitable ventures?). Based on the estimated sales determined from market research, would there be adequate returns in a given period of time? How long can you go on without positive returns?
Market Analysis

Marketing Strategy

The marketing strategy is the business’ approach to marketing the product. It helps you to focus on and better serve your target market. Your target market, location, and your budget can affect your marketing strategy. Given these considerations you will have to determine a specific product, promotional strategies, price and the distribution method you will need to employ to suit your target market. Your marketing strategy is what you use to determine your marketing plan.

Marketing Plan

A marketing plan is a written description of your marketing objectives. It is the detailed layout of the information mentioned in your marketing strategy. It will look at:

  • How you will increase product awareness
  • How you will appeal to customers and convince them to buy
  • How you will deliver your product to the customers
  • Where you intend to sell and to whom you intend to sell
  • Product choices and how you will tailor that product to the market, considering pricing, sales and promotion

Market Segmentation

As a small business owner your resources may be quite limited and so market segmentation could be a viable option. Market segmentation focuses on satisfying the needs of one or two markets instead of the general market. You could focus on satisfying the needs of specific geographic areas such as neighbourhood shops or neighbouring communities. You could also segment according to the target market, thus focusing on the section of people that are most likely to buy your product.

In summary, for effective marketing we need to examine:

  • Market research – evaluate customers’ needs
  • Marketing strategy – develope by analysing competitive and comparative advantages
  • Marketing plan – detailed description of specific product, pricing, distribution and promotional methods
  • Target marketing – determine the specific markets you will serve
  • Marketing mix – determine how to satisfy your target customers by identifying and applying a market mix

Click the link to download a Market Feasibility Study Template.


Setting Goals 2015: 3 ways to improve your business

Setting Goals for your business

We are now into a new year. For many of us the excitement has already worn off and we are now focused on the list we made of things we hope to achieve. In some instances it is a very long list, but …what is on that list as it pertains to your work and business goals?

Setting goals is an important part of preparing for growth and success, whether you are a small business owner, entrepreneur, freelancer, self-employed or whatever you label yourself. As such, this is an opportune time to set goals that will result in success and begin working to bring them to fruition.

Do not set your goals without examining these three (3) areas and if your have not addressed them, then take a look at your list again as they are important and could mean difference between success and failure this year:

1. Aims / Objectives

re-examine your aims and objectives. Are they still as relevant to you now as they were when you first made them? Be specific about what you hope to achieve. Sometimes it is even necessary to rewrite or amend them – think about it… do it now!

If you do not have any objectives laid down, now is a good time to start making a few – you can add more later.

Having aims/objectives makes it easier to work towards achieving a goal and succeeding at what you do.

Examples of some short term objectives:
– increase google ranking to page one for your chosen keyword within a year
– increase website visits by 200% by March 31st
– reorganise customer service response system so as to respond to customers queries within 24 hours

Always attach a time limit to your goals.

Keep your word in business

2. Keep your word

this is important. It is a very competitive world and whether you are a business owner with one hundred employees or a self-employed freelancer, your word should be your bond. When you make a commitment to your client or customer, deliver on your promise! If there are mitigating circumstances that interferes with getting things done, then inform them in a timely manner, offer alternatives where feasible and of course apologise. This is how you build trust and encourage clients to recommend you to others and your reputation and business will benefit from it.

Promote your business

3. Promote

promote, promote, promote! I cannot say this enough. Get out there and use all the free resources available to you. Create a website, blog and social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Stumbleupon and any other you think could increase your exposure). Create videos on Youtube, use email marketing – there are a number of free email marketing tools to assist with sending newsletter to customers and potentials about your new product or service. Create business cards, carry them with you and issue them where and when you can.

While a number of others could be added to the list, if you focus on these three areas you should see improvements.

Many people want business success, but with an ad hoc approach they rarely see results. Organise yourself, keep your goals in mind and make a renewed commitment to work hard at achieving your goals this year.


Cost-plus Pricing

Cost Plus Pricing

Calculating Cost-plus pricing

To determine price using the cost-plus method:
Cost-plus price = (Total cost of production + mark-up) / Total output

For example if you are producing and selling bags and your cost to produce 200 bags was $5,000 and you want to make 10% profit on each bag, you would determine your price as follows:

($5,000 + mark-up) / 200
($5,000 +($5,000*10%) / 200
($5,000 + $500 ) / 200
= $5500 / 200
= $27.50

Alternately, you can also calculate as below:

($5,000 * 1.10) / 200
= $5,500 / 200
= $27.50

Therefore, in order to make a 10% profit on each bag you will need to price each at $27.50.

Please view my other post on pricing strategies for additional information.


Pricing Strategy

Costing and Pricing for products and services

All businesses at various times deal with issues relating to the cost they accrue for acquiring raw material and determining prices which they will charge customers for goods and services.


Cost is a necessary part of running a business, raw materials have to be bought, rent has to be paid and of course whatever expenses are incurred in the starting and running of your business. To determine your price you first have to determine your business objectives and your costs. You will probably finally price your products based on your own costs, your competitors’ prices or the demand for your product.

Know your costs

Determining your cost will aid you in determining your price; if you are operating a really small business then this will be easier for you to do.

Distinguishing costs

Fixed costs

These are costs that are not dependent on your usage, for example, your rent is a fixed cost, it will not change if you produce more or less for the month.

Variable costs

These are costs that vary depending on usage, examples are your electricity and water charges.

Direct costs

Costs that are directly linked to the production of goods or services, for example if you are operating a restaurant where you sell vegan burgers, then a direct costs would be the cost of your burger ingredients and the seasoning and spices you use to make it tasty.

Overhead costs

These are costs that can be directly linked to the production of goods or services but is not specifically linked to any one product, for example, the air conditioning unit in a restaurant.


You can choose your pricing with the intent of satisfying a number of goals:


You can price your goods based on the expected demand for your goods or services. You have to look at the price the market is willing to pay. Therefore you could charge more for your product if the market is willing to pay more. If your potential customers see your product as a ‘premium product’ then they will be willing to pay more for it because they view it as quality above the ordinary.


You can decide your price based on what your competitors are charging. You may choose to go above, below or charge the same. If you decide to go above your competitors make sure you are marketing a product that is in some way superior to theirs’, whether you are offering better after sales or customer service. Whatever it is, you don’t want to price yourself out of the market.


You can determine your costs and add a mark-up to that cost to get your price. Try to at least break-even or else you will find yourself in trouble pretty quickly.

When determining prices try to be realistic, don’t set prices too high or two low. Remember the information you would have acquired and analysed from your market research is to help you determine where you stand in the market, so think through that when you decide your price. Consider offering different packages to suit the needs of different markets. You may even decide to charge your high-end clients a different price compared to what you offer your low-end clients.

Here are some pricing strategies to consider:

Competitor pricing

Set your price based on what competitors are charging.

Cost-plus pricing

Set your price by adding a percentage to cost. Find out how to calculate cost plus price.

Penetration pricing

Here you set the initial or introductory price lower than the current market price to gain many sales and lure customers. The price can then be increased when the product becomes more popular.

Price discrimination

Here you set different prices to different markets for the same product.

Predatory pricing

Setting a very low price with the intent of getting rid of the competition. You continue to drop the price until your competitors are out of the market.

Psychological pricing

This is where you make a price seem smaller by setting it below a bigger figure e.g. $19.99 instead of $20.

Price skimming

This is where you will set a rather high price in the initial stage but lower it over time.

Whatever pricing strategy you use, it is important to ensure that it will keep you in the market.


Quality Control

Quality Control - Julian Gooden

Quality Control is the process by which businesses review the quality of all factors involved in production. The aim of management and employees should be to strive for excellence. High quality is to be maintained regardless of whether a product is in great demand at the moment or not. These are a few things that will aid in maintaining quality:

  • Good quality material
  • Well-trained employees
  • Customer service quality
  • Good methods for customer feedback
  • Means of analysing and measuring profitability and growth
  • Increased productivity
  • Setting goals in place and measures for reaching such goals

Enhancing Business Competitiveness

Enhancing Competiveness

There are usually businesses entering or leaving a market. The rate is of course dependant on a number of factors. However, regardless of the reasons, you have to stay competitive in order to operate profitably. How can you stay competitive?

Training – Gather additional knowledge and skills in order to compete with increasing competition; don’t be laid back, get on top of things. What are the latest events in your field? What about new technologies? Are you able to understand these? Could they enhance your competitiveness?

Opportunities – Find out what’s new on the market, keep abreast of changes, and always try to exploit new market opportunities.

Increase efficiency – Find ways of improving your product or service; especially new methods that would increase quality and reduce cost.

Build customer loyalty – Lock in customers with effective customer care. This will result in customer/brand loyalty.

Quality control – Ensure that delivering high quality product or service is part of your business’ motto.

Well-trained staff – Your employees should be well-trained and be well aware of their job roles.

Quality input – Input in the production process should be of quality, and that quality should be supervised and maintained.

Identify areas for improvement – Keep close eye on all areas of your business so you will be able to quickly identify areas that need improvement.

Financial needs – Assess the financial needs of your business and its urgency.

Competing – Acknowledge your competitors, be ready to compete. However, don’t try to compete with large businesses head on.

Differentiate – Try to differentiate in the areas of customer service, pricing and packaging.

Explore advantages – Explore competitive and comparative advantages.

Aim for growth and development – If you stand still you will eventually go backwards. Identify areas that need improvements and determine how you will meet such improvements.

It is important that you work at enhancing your business competitiveness by implementing the changes necessary and be consistent in seeing these changes maintained and improved upon.