Offline strategies to increase website traffic
When you think about increasing website traffic, you probably picture solitary hours spent hunched over your computer, researching the latest hi-tech methods with which to grab the attention of potential fans. And, sure, there’s definitely some things you can do in that realm. But directing people to your site doesn’t mean you have to live a lonely existence, shunning daylight and losing track of reality.
In fact, there’s a ton of stuff you can do IRL (in real life, also known in some corners as “meatspace”) to increase your website traffic. A crazy concept, I know, but you’ll have to trust me. So turn off your computer, put some pants on, and get out there – you might be surprised at what you can accomplish when you’re not even worried about finding wifi.
(Before we begin, I mention ‘QR codes’ a few times in this list. You may not know the name, but I guarantee you’ve seen them. They’re a quick way to connect fans with your online content using a mobile phone. See this post to learn more about ‘em.)
Ok, enough exposition. Here are…
10 great ways to turn offline people into online visitors
1. Create a domain name (www.YourName.com) that is easy to say, spell, and remember. Seems like a given, but you’d be surprised at how many people flub this one. Don’t make it difficult for people to remember your web address. Because then they won’t.
2. Put your website address on any and all posters, flyers, one-sheets, press releases, etc. You could also Include a QR code that links to a song or sample chapter on your site.
3. Put your address on the inside of your CDs, vinyl, home-dubbed cassette, USB stick, book, or whatever other crazy method you’re using to distribute your work. You could also include a QR code that takes people to the corresponding page on your site for more info.
4. Announce a contest at your events that involves visiting your website and signing up to your email list. Encourage people to bookmark the URL in their phone.
5. Create branded matchbooks, lighters, stickers or buttons with your web address and give them away at events. That’s traveling advertising right there.
6. Film or take pictures of your audience and tell them you’re going to upload everything to your website that night (or the next day).
7. Offer an exclusive free single, short story, or other bonus item only available to people who visit your website that night.
8. Put your website address on stage. Paint it on your bass drum or put up a banner or poster next to the podium at a reading. This is especially effective if your event is being televised, or even if it might randomly end up on YouTube. (I’ve even seen a band on a late-night show use giant QR code placards, so people could put their phones right up to the TV and scan the QR codes. So, when you’re playing on Letterman, remember that.)
9. Record your audience singing a song, doing a shout-out, or taking part in something else wacky and fun. Tell them you’ll post it on your website for them to download.
10. Carry business cards or download cards in your wallet. Hand them out to anyone who you end up talking to about your projects. Make sure your web address and/or a QR code is included. Duh.
How have you increased your website traffic?
Have you tried bringing offline people online? What techniques have you used? Have they worked, or did you embarrass yourself? Either way, we want to hear about it! Leave your suggestions in the comments below.