Running a new startup is gruelling, stressful, and not for the faint of heart. And it’s sad but true that most startups don’t stick, and close down within two years as initial buzz dies down and ultimately doesn’t yield enough capital to maintain business.

But if your startup has a great website, there are some easy ways you can put it to work to improve your startup’s reach to new potential customers, and help more people who are interested in doing business with you actually find you.

This collection of great tricks and tips can help any startup on their way to gaining enough of a foothold to have a steady stream of income, and can help build the habits which keep any startup growing.

The first several customers your website gets are often make-or-break for the future of the business, and can set your business on the track for surviving those first brutal two years.

Using a pre-Launch countdown website

If you’re reading this before you’ve launched your startup formally, good news! You can use that position to begin building a database of emails for potential clients.

One great tactic which has worked for hundreds of startups is to build a countdown landing page for their website before the business actually launches, with an email newsletter subscription form to get the email addresses of interested parties.

This ensures that all the advertising you do before you launch help you to build a database of possible customers to email at launch, dramatically shortening the timeline by which you make your first dollars.

Run some social sharing contests

Most startups don’t go viral. But you can absolutely give your website a boost by running a great contest to get visitors and potential customers to share information about your website!

For example, running a social sharing campaign using the Rafflecopter plugin can allow visitors to your website to promote your website and startup on their social media profiles for ‘tickets’ to a raffle. And the bigger the prize you offer, the more activity you’re certain to get! But don’t stop there…

Offer big prizes to customers who leave reviews of your business for a SEO boost and more visibility on search engines and Yelp, and up the ante for video reviews, which have a lot of staying power, SEO perks, and can be used for increased traction on social media.

Manage your reputation from the get go

Most startups don’t have the money to hire a full-service PR firm or to aggressively tackle a PR campaign; but they can use the services of reputation management companies to help politely solicit customers for reviews (which can dramatically increase search engine visibility) and to run targeted content campaigns.

Promoting positive reviews on your website, and even on third-party websites, can help send positive signals to potential customers. After all, roughly 80% of online shoppers utilize online reviews in their purchasing decisions.

Build content for your audience

A startup website isn’t likely to rank strongly in a competitive industry very quickly; but whether you’re in a competitive industry or not, you should begin building great content for your audience on your startup’s blog.

Often blog posts act as great landing pages to bring potential customers into your website via search engines, and if you pepper each post with strong CTAs about your service or product, you can begin converting blog readers into clients.

The bottom line

Building a startup website which converts takes some careful planning; but any startup can leverage these tricks to begin building a steady flow of clients.

Depending on the industry your business is in, account for the average conversion rate for websites is between 5 and 15 percent; so of course, the more visitors you get to your startup’s website, the better!