When you need more foot traffic in a brick-and-mortar store, the solutions are obvious. Get a more visible sign. Create an offer that will draw people in. Turn on the lights and increase your hours. Go bigger, better, bolder.

But for a small business website, acquiring more traffic is sometimes more art than science.

For any small business today, getting more feet in the door boils down to three things: advertising on social media, knowing your target audience, and having a website worthy of being visited in the first place. Here’s how you should tackle all three.

Strategy #1: Better Content

Quality content is the foundation. With it, you’ll find people willingly share your website with friends, willingly post your links to social media — often without you having to ask.

But a phrase like “quality content” is a loaded term. What exactly does it involve, and how can you achieve more of it? Here are a few ideas:

In short, create a website that you would want to visit on a regular basis. Chances are, your audience will feel the same way.

Strategy #2: Better Advertising

Note: “better” is not necessarily a synonym for “more.” Better advertising simply means improved advertising — and if you aren’t getting enough traffic to your small business website, chances are there’s more than one area in which you can improve.

But where do you start?

Once you define your target audience, many of the ancillary questions — which social media outlet to focus on, which keywords to identify, etc. — get answered. The important thing here: developing the right advertising habits.

Strategy #3: Better Social Media

You might not be able to afford a full-time social media pro like the big chains can, but you can always make an effort to increase engagement on social media.

It starts with spreading the word. If you’ve already followed through on Strategy #1 in this post, then you’ll have more than a few links to share. Think about what makes them appealing and post them up to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Second, always pay attention to engagement. Are you responding to customer questions? Making the occasional retweet? Customers won’t engage with you if it’s a one-way conversation.

Finally, make a special effort to create offers that are unique to social media. Polls, contests, online discounts — if you send enough out to your audience, eventually a few potential customers are going to feel like maybe you’re worth a “like” or a “follow.”

Get More Traffic

Coupled with better identification of your target audience and a more interesting website, and you should notice traffic starting to tick up. What’s more, your strategies should pay off with better quality traffic: customers who stick around. That means more conversions, more sales, and a more profitable small business.

And without a brick-and-mortar presence, you won’t even have to turn off the lights at the end of the night.

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