Putting up a website isn’t as simple as setting up a coffee shop, opening the doors and expecting customers to file right in. Almost everyone in the world drinks coffee but just because you’ve set up shop, doesn’t mean you will be guaranteed business. It definitely is a step in the right direction, but you have to put in time, work and resources to gain business. It’s the same with driving traffic to your website. The good news is generating traffic to your website is not as difficult or costly as you might think.
If your business was located inside a mall, you can scope out your competition and approximate foot traffic by assigning staff at the entrances to conduct a click count. From there, you can come up with marketing strategies, design collaterals and draw up promos to attract interest from the mall’s daily visitors.
But things are different in the World Wide Web. If a mall has 200 tenants, the Internet has over 1 Billion websites. If a mall attracts 10,000 visitors daily, the Internet draws over 3.6 Billion users every single day. Once your website is launched, your challenge is to get Internet users to click on your URL as often as possible.
When flyers are distributed randomly inside a mall, many end up in trash bins. You cannot apply the same tactics in a place as vast as the Internet. The marketing approach must be more strategic, well thought-out and focused.
It’s not a matter of casting a larger net into an ocean filled with fish. What ends up in your net might be inedible or unusable. Instead you should figure out the right kind of bait that draws fish to your line. But different bait attracts different fish. Before you know it, you have a multitude of lines with a variety of bait that consistently fills up your boat with tons of fish!
If you want to drive traffic to your website, you must utilize strategies that will attract or compel potential end users to view your products and services. This approach is popularly referred to as Inbound Marketing; the process of using online marketing techniques, tools and tactics for the purpose of generating inbound traffic to a website.
7 Effective Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website
1. Optimize Your Website
SEO or Search Engine Optimization helps to get your content found online. It gives your website a fighting chance to stand out and get noticed even if there are billions of websites proliferating on the Internet. Remember this key stat: 91% of all Internet users prefer to use organic search to find information.
Keyword research is a big component of an effective SEO strategy. All of your inbound marketing efforts should be focused on landing the top 3 positions of the search rankings for your keywords. The SEO expert should provide you a keywords report which categorizes keywords according to volume and level of competition.
The keywords report will be used to optimize your web pages, particularly the title, meta and descriptive tags. It will also be used to optimize text, image and video content.
2. Consistently Create Great Content
Content is the cornerstone of a successful inbound marketing campaign. People go online to find usable and relevant information. You should give your audience content that addresses their interests or concerns.
If you are able to produce consistently great content, you will enhance your reputation as a valuable resource and attract more followers to your website.
Here are a few tips on how to come up with great content:
- Write in a conversational manner; don’t attempt to impress your readers by using technical terms.
- Make sure your data is accurate and sourced from reputable sources.
- Write with the audience in mind; they should find your content usable, relevant and informative.
- Always come up with original content; do not plagiarize someone else’s work.
- Do not abuse keywords; it is important to have the main keyword in the title, the opening paragraph, throughout the body and in the concluding section. But use keywords judiciously. It should never affect the quality of the content.
If you are not sure what to write about, review your website analytics. Find out which blogs or articles generated the highest levels of engagement and had the lowest bounce rates. You could also do surveys or engage your followers in social media to find out what topics interest them.
3. Utilize Social Media
Social media is great for sharing content which could help drive traffic to your website. But there are other ways you can use social media to create inbound avenues to your website.
- Search.twitter.com – This is one of the lesser known features of Twitter but it is an effective tool for engaging your market. For example, we could type in “mobile responsive design” and see how people in the community are interacting with this topic. We could then engage them by providing a link to an article we published some time ago, “Why Your Business Needs Responsive Design”.
- Set up Company Pages – Identify 3 social media networks that are appropriate for your business then set up company pages in each of them. Try to stay active by posting regularly and engaging with your followers whenever possible.
- Remarketing – Facebook and Twitter can provide you with tracking pixels which you can use to continue marketing to Internet users who have visited your site. Facebook will grant you a tracking pixel once you have achieved 100 visitors. Twitter’s minimum requirement is much higher at 500 visitors.
- Twitter Cards – This is another special feature of Twitter which allows you to send out tweets that are large enough to include an image and a functional button to support a call- to- action. Twitter Cards have been shown to generate 18% more clicks than plain text tweets.
- Community and Focus Groups – You can also join community and focus groups that are involved in the same industry as you are. Members in these communities often engage one another in discussion threads. Join some of these threads and openly share your expertise and experience. Write blogs and distribute them to your various communities.
These are just the tip of the mountaintop when it comes to all the possibilities with social media. A digital marketing company can help you conceptualize a social media strategy that is customized for your business.
4. Build Links
Link building is such an effective technique for driving traffic to your website that it is often abused by unethical marketers. Google penalizes websites that implement overly aggressive link building strategies. These practices include using irrelevant links for the sake of increasing site exposure.
Done properly, link building is a great way of finding a new audience for your website. Get in touch with the webmaster of a reputable website in your industry and ask if they could include a link to your website. Offer reciprocity so that everyone benefits from the arrangement.
Another way of building links is to engage in industry and business forums. These sites give you the platform to showcase your expertise, knowledge and build up your reputation as a credible resource. Wait for the right moment to provide the link to your website. It should be relevant to the discussion and the content must have information that has value to the community.
5. Contribute to Other Websites
A big part of driving traffic to your website involves enhancing your online presence as an expert in the industry. The more platforms you have to share your knowledge, the better your reach in finding a new audience for your content. One of the best ways to achieve this is to become a contributor to other websites such as content aggregators.
Content aggregators are websites that gather content from various online sources for reuse or resale. Anyone who visits your page from an aggregator and likes what they read will send a link to your site from their feed. Among the most popular content aggregators are the following:
Becoming a contributor isn’t as simple as sending content and having it published right away. These content aggregators have standards and guidelines for writing. If you are not confident about your writing skills, do not hesitate to hire a professional content writer.
6. Host a Podcast
A podcast is a great way to deliver content because it creates a more personalized, informal and intimate connection with your market. It is also a convenient medium for your audience to digest your content. All they have to do is subscribe and they can listen to your podcast anytime. A podcast puts you in a forum where you can actively engage with other experts in your field.
During the period of 2015 to 2016, the audience for podcasts in the United States grew by 23%. To put this in context, in the same period, Spotify and Twitter grew by 13% and 21% respectively. Hosting podcasts has also been shown to increase website traffic significantly.
7. Use Web Analytics
Web Analytics allows you to have data- driven basis to assess the performance of your website and your inbound marketing strategies. One of the most effective tools you can use is Google Analytics, but it is easy to get lost in the sheer volume of data available for your review.
We have simplified the 4 key reports you should look into when using Google Analytics:
- Acquisition Keywords- Find out which keywords are driving more visitors to your website.
- Acquisition Referring Sites – By discovering which websites are delivering more traffic to your website, you can focus more resources to them and less toward those that are underperforming.
- Visitors Overview – Determine the proportion of new visitors to old visitors so you can customize your content to a specific audience.
- Content Overview Top Pages – Find out which published content is responsible for driving the most traffic to your website and focus more time and resources on the topic.
Inbound marketing will not generate significant traffic overnight. It is a process; and as such needs time to produce quantifiable results. Because the Internet and social media have made information accessible, market forces can shift or change without warning.
Thus if you want to drive more traffic to your website, the first step is to hire a professional digital marketing services company. You have to regularly track the progress of your campaign and implement the necessary revisions to strategy. As a business owner, your time is best dedicated to running your enterprise.
You should also apply these inbound marketing techniques with strategy, thought and purpose. A digital marketing company has the experience and knowledge to design a campaign strategy customized for your business and implement it according to schedule.
What you need to keep in mind is that an inbound marketing campaign is not an expense. It is an investment because you expect a return within a period of time. The great thing about investing in an inbound marketing campaign is that the strategies are more focused, sustainable and reusable.
You’re not distributing flyers to random people inside a mall. With inbound marketing, you identify your target market and focus your strategies to influence his or her preference toward your products and services instead of your competitor.
You are not pushing content to your audience. You are creating content that will pull your audience or compel them to follow you.
The content you create will not end up in the trash bin. You can re-cycle it; edit its content and ideas to fit changes in your market’s behavioral profile. You can also reuse it by publishing it in other websites so you can attract a new audience.
When it comes to driving traffic to your website, the keyword is patience. It will take time to develop the avenues that will consistently bring users to your website.
Building a website is one thing. Committing to develop it is another. But as long as you put in the time, effort and resources, your investment should eventually yield dividends.
If you’re interested in learning more about inbound marketing and how to put together a campaign to drive more traffic to your website, drop us an e-mail or give us a call.