How do you drive traffic to your website?
If you website looks decent and professional, has topical, relevant and organized content covering topics that are relevant to your target audience and help answer their questions, then you will drive a ton of traffic to your website.
Is it that simple? Yes, indeed! I go into a lot of detail in this article to answer that question but that there is the gist of it.
There was a time when creating a great brand and driving people to your small business website was as simple as buying some Google advertising and participating in a few link exchanges. However, these days are gone. Customers are getting very savvy when it comes to search engines and many pay no attention to the ads whatsoever. More importantly Google has evolved and improved so much that none of the tricks of the past work in ranking and generating traffic. This means it is more important than ever to find organic ways of attracting traffic.
Here are a few broad strategies and tactics to help accomplish this goal.
Create valuable content
At the end of the day, all the traffic in the world is of no use if your content sucks! That is the first rule of this game. Before you go out and start spending money on Google adverts, Facebook adverts or other paid traffic services, make sure your website has quality content that will connect with your target audience and helps build a relationship with your brand.
The intent of getting a lot of traffic is to convert that to paying customers, or taking any action that would ultimately benefit your brand or business. To make this happen, you need to find topics that your target audience are searching for on their customer journey. If you are not sure of what a customer journey is, check out this article I wrote a little while ago.
When your audience enters your sales funnel, you use content to guide them to get educated on the solution to the problem that your business solves.
Spend time and resources in creating quality content. Start with a robust content strategy that is based on your messaging framework which in turn was derived from your brand strategy. If you do not have these fundamentals of your brand before you embark on creating content then all your efforts will be diluted and become a game of hit and miss.
Your messaging framework will give you pointers and leads on what content to create. Then research keywords and user intent before creating that content so that you are speaking to a specific audience about a specific thing that they would care about and find valuable.
Become a topic authority
With valuable content that you create, you can eventually become a topic authority. This pushes search engines to recommend your website in top results for questions or queries related to that topic. This will drive massive traffic to your website over a period of time.
Of course, this is not a quick overnight solution. Becoming an authority on a topic that is either your business frame or related to your product or services is not easy and would take a lot of time and effort. But as you become an authority, you will start to see increase in traffic and if you tell your brand story properly, ultimately sales and revenue.
Write guest posts
One of the best way to create topical authority in any sector is to write guess posts on related websites. This strategy has been misused in the past to such an extent that Google penalized the offending websites based on a clause in their policy: “Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links.” You can read Googles full link schemes policy here.
Having said that, if done right, guest posts are still a great way to put your website in front of relevant audience.
So how do you go about guest posting in the right way?
Here are a few things to keep in mind during guest posting:
- Write high quality content that REALLY benefits the audience on that website.
- Post only on websites that have a relevant audience. For example, if you post an article on top 10 tips to take care of your lawn on a website that sells cat food then you will be in trouble.
- Ask the website where you are guest posting to include a rel=”sponsored” link attribute when linking to you website so Google knows this is a guest post.
- Don’t go crazy with guest posting. Limit your posts to high quality websites and do it infrequently.
Although this may sound like a nefarious tactic, it is quite a robust way of generating tons of organic traffic to your website. The way it works is that you find websites where people are posting photos and links to products they are using or wearing and contact those users to post photos of your products and link to your product pages.
For example, if you are in the fashion business, then a great community to look at is Lookbook.nu. People post photos of their outfits and style and sometimes include links to the apparel they are wearing or products they are using.
You can also do this on Instagram but you may find that it is more expensive as people with a lot of followers charge quite a bit to post links to your product or service.
Build Email Lists
Another marketing strategy that is still effective is email marketing. Especially for driving traffic to your business website. If you have a decent email list, you can let them know when you post a new blog post or article and you start generating traffic to that page right away. Some of your visitors may then share your post on their social media and this in turn generates more traffic.
Of course you can also send out product or service offers, announcements, discounts, or other such emails to your list and expect some traffic and conversions. You must however take care not to blast your email list with promotional emails all the time. Once in a while is ok. And when you do send such emails, do it tastefully. Align your copy with your brand message and inject some personality and voice into them.
Optimize your website for search engine success
Search engines like Google are all about user intent now. The algorithm looks at what the user searched for, which titles they clicked on from the search results, and if they doubled back quickly.
Search Intent: Correlating what the user searched for and a page on your website that looks like it delivers that content is what the Google algorithm is continually trying to improve and get better yet. For example, if you a user is searching for some quick kale recipes and you page is listed in the results – when the user clicks through and comes to you page and see that it takes 1.5 hours to cook your recipe, they would double back and click on another result. This is explained extremely well in an article by Backlinko.
Page Title: Weather a user clicks on your page title one the results and how often is quite important so your page titles have to be optimized well. It does not mean you have to stuff them keywords and write nonsense titles just for the algorithms. You need to write titles that correlate to the search intent and the kind of people you want visiting your page. Here is a good article on how to write the best title tags that you may find useful.
On Page Optimization: This is quite important both from the users perspective and from Googles. When a user comes to your page, they should feel that the information is going to be useful to them. This includes the trust that gets created when users a professional and nicely formatted website design, the images used and the content itself.
If your page has bad 1990s design, is cluttered with too many adverts and junk and looks spammy, then users will leave quickly which will push your page down the search results into oblivion.
It is amazing how many small business owners do not invest enough into creating a decent website but spend a ton of money on driving traffic their website which ends up leaving with out converting.
On page optimization means, besides good and valued added content, using title tags, header tags, keyword meta tags, and of course keywords. These will tell the search engines know what your page is about and direct traffic searching for the same terms to your website. Here is a good article on how to optimize your website.
Finally here are a list of smaller activities that can bring traction to your website traffic:
- Submit your site to search engines. Search engines do not automatically index every page on the internet; you will have the best luck if you formally submit your site to them. Many free services offer to do this for you, but it will better if you submit to the search engines individually and on your own. You can also build links to your website ensure your website if found by the search engines and then crawled.
- Add text encouraging return visits. This can be as simple as adding a ‘bookmark this site’ script to key pages. You also may want to add a ‘Recommend this site’ button to relevant pages.
- Allow interested people to subscribe. You can send out an occasional newsletter or e-zine for these people—whatever works best for your company and your customer base. The point is to allow people the opportunity to form a long-term relationship with your brand.
- Be ethical and trustworthy. Your customer service policies and privacy policies will make people feel better about continuing to visit your website and doing business with you. Always stick to these policies; what goes around comes around, and nowhere more so than in the buzz-driven internet.
- Court the media. Offer a downloadable media kit on the internet and never turn down an interview. Links to your website from these pages will drive up your site rating and also bring more interested customers to your web presence.
- Visit related chat rooms and bulletin boards. Don’t spam these boards with commercial information, but form real relationships by posting relevant content on these boards. Place a link to your website in your signature.
- Pay attention to branding. Make your logo and colors visible on your website. After all, there is no use driving traffic to your website if it doesn’t help your business increase sales and promote awareness of your company.
Digital marketing can be tough and driving quality traffic to your website quite a time and resource intensive activity. However, if done right it can yield a lot of success for your brand. Write high quality content by researching keywords and their search volume and then share your content on social media. You can use Google search console and Google analytics to help understand your keywords and how they are performing. Look at referral traffic to see which channels are sending you the most traffic.
Use guest blogging judiciously to create more opportunities for your target audience to find your website. In conjunction with social media marketing, this can be a powerful tool in your arsenal.
« Seasonal Business Branding | Keep an eye on your online brand »