FORTUNE Small Business:

Help me increase traffic to my website

Tips from online marketing expert Michele Chambers Mills.

By Winna Ironkwe, FSB contributor

(FSB Online) -- Dear FSB: We run a small company that manufactures and distributes breathalyzers. Right now our marketing budget is very limited, with the majority of work being done by e-mail and phone calls. We have started a blog averaging about 150 hits a day. It is linked to our website, which gets about 10,000 hits a month. How do we drive more traffic to our website that will result in an increase in sales?

- Perry Cook, president, Arrive Alive Inc., Las Vegas

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Dear Perry: "You're doing well to get 150 hits a day on your blog," says Michele Chambers Mills, president of FunnelFusion, a marketing firm in Charlotte, N.C. "But if want to step it up a notch, you have to get creative. "

By pulling in more traffic to your main website, you should increase visits to your blog. One way to keep them top of mind is to give away freebies with your urls on them to customers. Skip the traditional pen with your company logo on it, advises Mills. Instead, offer something unique. She has seen businesses succeed in raising brand recognition by handing out everything from origami planes to pairs of Waterford crystal champagne flutes. If you opt for a more expensive item, make it available on a limited basis to keep your costs reasonable.

Don't underestimate the importance of good web design in keeping customers coming back. Does your site guide visitors to the pages that are most useful to them? Do you update it frequently? Is it visually pleasing? If the answer to those questions is no, you may need to hire a good web designer to help you. (If you don't know any, ask business colleagues if they have found a pro in your area). Experiment with photos and videos, and get your viewers involved with comments and feedback, says Mills. Top of page