I know what you’re thinking: “Offline SEO, that doesn’t make sense. SEO is all about getting visitors to my website.”
There’s more to SEO than just getting visitors, but when it comes to getting visitors why should they have to come from another web page?
Offline SEO is often one of the most effective ways of getting new visitors to your website, and there’s lots of ways to do it.
Here’s some examples:
1. TV Ads
Ok, while TV ads probably aren’t an option for many of you due to cost, they’re still one of the best ways to advertise a website. Just think about all of the infomercials you see out there with URLs in them. They’re there for a reason.
2. Billboards, Bus Stops & Benches
Every time I drive by a bus stop or city bench I notice the ad on it, but what I don’t notice is a URL. Every ad I see has a phone number though. What’s easier to remember while you’re driving? 1-866-555-6789 or www.RentaDumpster.com?
3. Google Radio
If you haven’t played with Google radio ads yet, you should. For a very small investment you can get your ad heard by thousands of people as they drive to and from work. You only get 30 seconds, so you should try to get your website mentioned at least 3 times in the ad. You’ll be surprised at the results you get.
4. Newspapers and Magazines
Newspapers and Magazines often have vast online archives that are just full of pagerank. The only way to get into them though, is to actually have an article mention you in the newspaper or magazine. The easiest way to do this is to just write the article yourself. There’s thousands of small town papers and grocery store magazines that accept submissions, and niche magazines are always looking for new content from authorities on their subjects. Writing an article is also a great way to help build yourself up as an expert in that field. Pick up a writers market and start sending your content around.
5. TV and Radio
Once you’ve established yourself as an expert in your field, you should see yourself receiving requests to be interviewed on relevant talk radio or TV news stories. Tons of people listen to talk radio and watch their local news – and you’ll be shocked at how many actually click over to your website. In addition, you may even get a nice juicy link from the station.
Depending on your business, it may be a wise idea to mail out some coupons. This can be a simple letter, or a fancier postcard. Don’t get trapped in the “coupons only work for repeat customers” line of thinking. Creative “refer a friend” style coupons are a great way to help your customers spread word of mouth.
7. The Phone Book
I personally don’t own one, but lots of people my parents age do. You can’t think of the baby boomers as computer illiterate anymore. They’re starting to get computers and they’re starting to be able to use them really good. They may still look to the phone book instead of Google, but that doesn’t mean they won’t visit your site after they find you in the phone book.
8. Your Car
Think about it. How many people see your car on your drive to and from work? What about vacation? A simple little URL sticker on your rear window can actually drive a lot of people to pull out their iPhone and say “wtf is that… let’s see…” Just don’t put it near your license plate though, that’s illegal.
9. Business Cards
Sure your work business cards already have your URL on them (or they should) but what if you’re like me and run several personal websites too? Head on over to VistaPrint and get some free cards made up for your personal sites. When you meet somebody at the bar, or a friend of a friend, give them this personal one instead.
10. Your Logo
Is your URL part of your logo? Making it part of your logo ensures that it will always be on any merchandise, uniforms, stationary, signs, and anything else you’d normally put your logo on.
11. Sponsor a sports team
Find a local beer league hockey, softball, or bowling team and offer to buy their jerseys for them. They’ll love you, and your logo and website will be worn all throughout the league. Sponsoring a hole at a golf tournament is also another great way to build website awareness.