If you want to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the Internet, setting up a website for your business is the best way to go. People use search to find what they need online. And if your website ranks high in the results page, more people will be encouraged to click on your link and learn more about your business. But in order to climb up the search rankings, you need to increase your website traffic.
A study done by online advertising company Chitika showed that the top position in Google’s search ranking gets 33% of the traffic. The percentage distribution of online traffic decreases as the websites go down the search ranking:
Image courtesy of Search Engine Watch
The answer is “Yes”. If other websites can do it, there is no reason why you can’t. But the first step is to create more inbound traffic to your website. The more traffic you get, the greater the probability of converting a visitor into a paying customer.
4 Cornerstones To An Effective Digital Marketing Strategy
Digital marketing remains an effective strategy for driving more traffic to your website. It organizes all the online tools and processes into a system that is focused on accomplishing your marketing objectives.
The big advantage of going digital is that you can customize your online marketing strategies to meet the needs and concerns of potential end-users of your products and services.
You are not blindly distributing marketing collateral to the billions of people on the Internet. Instead you are target marketing to a specific audience or segment that has the highest probability of being interested in what your business has to offer.
We advise that before you identify the processes you want to include in your digital marketing tool box, you should first build its foundation.
The cornerstones of your foundation will ensure that best practices will always be carried out when planning and implementing your digital marketing strategy,
Here are the 4 cornerstones to an effective digital marketing strategy:
1. Create A Buyer’s Profile
A buyer’s profile summarizes the qualities and characteristics of a potential customer for your business. It will help you determine the best topics to write about and the most effective channels to distribute your content.
2. Update Your Research
Research is a crucial part of business development whether you are a small or large enterprise. If you want to remain competitive, you have to be constantly updated on developments regarding your industry, your market and of course, your customers.
3. Stay Active
If you want your digital marketing efforts to reap dividends, you have to stay active. This means you have to commit to a schedule for creating and distributing content, building networks and engaging with followers. The more active you are, the greater the chances of your content being read by your audience.
4. Use On-Site Analytics
Perhaps the biggest benefit of digital marketing is the availability of on-site analytics. Analytics gives you valuable data on your website: the number of visitors per day, the most read content and where your traffic is coming from. These types of information can be used to fine-tune your digital marketing strategy.
These are the key principles to keep in mind when running your digital marketing strategy. They will help your campaign stay current and on track of the marketing objectives you want to accomplish.
Best Digital Marketing Strategies To Increase Website Traffic In 2018
In order to increase traffic you should build “roads” or “avenues” that make it easy for Internet users to search and find your website. The processes that we discuss in this section continue to be go-to strategies for digital marketers because they have consistently delivered results.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the process of using a variety of online tools and techniques for the purpose of improving your website’s ranking in the Search Engine Results Page or SERP.
We’ve written extensively on SEO and discussed its many benefits in our articles, “5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs SEO Right Now” and “SEO vs PPC: Which One Is Better For Your Business?”.
SEO remains an integral component in digital marketing because the process will always be in a constant state of evolution as search engines frequently introduce changes in their algorithm.
Some of the more current SEO strategies digital marketers are focusing on in 2018 include the following:
- Using Long Tail Keywords
Long tail keywords are phrases that are more descriptive in order to fine-tune the search query.
For example, instead of using the keywords, “bmw tires” a long tail keyword search would read, “how to maintain bmw tires cold weather”. This will produce links on the search results page which are closer to the information that the Internet user is looking for.
Thus, during the research process, SEO practitioners are starting to focus on long-tail keywords as the basis for evaluating competitiveness.
- Updating Old Content
Search engines will reward you with a boost in the rankings simply by updating content.
Let’s say you wrote an article on intermittent fasting that was published three months ago.
If you updated the content by adding the information “Scientists have discovered that fasting for 24 hours increases the rate of autophagy by 300%”, the search engine would move you up slightly in the rankings.
It will then assess how your new ranking compares to the performance of the website you displaced. If your website does better, it will keep you at the new ranking or potentially move you up higher.
SEO is a strategy that will keep finding new ways to optimize and improve delivery of content so that more people will continue to visit your website.
2. Content Marketing
Content marketing continues to be an effective strategy for increasing website traffic because people will always look for content online. This is the importance of constantly creating fresh, new, relevant, usable and engaging content and distributing them through a variety of platforms.
The more content you create and publish, the higher the probability of your materials being found on the Internet. People will voluntarily follow websites that consistently produce great content.
Blogging has remained the cornerstone of content marketing. There are many studies that prove the effectiveness of blogging as a key strategy in increasing website traffic:
- Websites with a blog have 434% more indexed pages.
- B2B marketers that blog generate 67% more leads.
- Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to achieve positive ROI.
- Companies that blog receive 97% more inbound links.
But you don’t have to limit yourself to blogging. Another emerging strategy in content marketing is video content marketing which we discussed in detail in our article, “How To Use Video Content In Your Marketing”.
Videos and the use of images have become popular because they can generate immediate results. For example, if you are in the business of selling organic fruit preserves, you can upload photos or “pin” them in Pinterest. Every image pinned in Pinterest will contain a link to your website.
All you have to do is produce high quality images of your fruit preserves and hope they can entice the Pinterest community to click on your pinned product shots. If they like what they see, they can easily go to your website to learn more about your business and its products.
3. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
SEM uses paid strategies such as PPC or Pay-Per-Click advertising to increase website traffic. With PPC your ads are placed in results pages that feature links relevant to the search query.
For example, if you are a restaurant that offers pizza delivery services, your paid ad will come out at the top of the results page that features inquiries on “pizza delivery services”.
An Internet user who finds your paid ad interesting and clicks on it, will find himself/herself on your website. There you can showcase an interactive menu and navigable delivery ordering system which can help you convert visitors into paying customers.
Search engines offer paid ads as a quick-fix solution for businesses to have their websites move up the top of the search rankings. Social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube also offer paid ad options.
Facebook Ads can run your paid ad through three other platforms: Messenger, Audience Network and Instagram, which the company bought in 2012.
With Facebook Ads, you can customize your ad according to your buyer’s profile. Audience Network will place your ad in apps and websites that fit your buyer’s profile.
Having a paid ad on YouTube is a sure way to rocket up the search rankings because it is owned by Google and is a component of its algorithm.
4. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing can help your business increase its website traffic because it provides you with several channels to distribute content, build communities of followers and opportunities to engage potential end users.
The Internet has exploded with social media networks. Among the most popular are:
- Facebook – Largest online community with over 2 Billion members. Facebook has its own personal messaging system, Messenger.
- Twitter – Short messaging system assures you of high level of activity and engagement.
- Instagram – Image-based platform that is ideal for businesses with highly visual products and services. For example: fashion retailers, restaurants and real estate.
- Pinterest – Another image-based platform that makes it easy for members to collaborate with others in the community by setting up pinboards.
- LinkedIn – The preferred social media network of professionals. Ideal for networking activities and connecting with key influencers in your industry. LinkedIn also has its own publishing platform where you can post your blogs.
- YouTube – The largest video streaming network and the second largest search engine. As mentioned, it is now owned by Google which is the largest search engine on the Internet.
How can you use social media to increase your website traffic?
- Distribution Channel
Open a business page where you can publish your blogs. Include a link to your website so visitors will know where to find more information about your business. In addition to Pinterest, use Instagram and LinkedIn’s ShowCase page feature to highlight high resolution images of your products and services.
- Engagement Medium
Customers appreciate businesses that take the time to address their needs and concerns. If a follower posts a comment or question, use the opportunity to share your knowledge and expertise. Engagement is the first step to a relationship. In time you will develop trust with your audience. Consumers prefer to deal with brands they can trust.
- Product Promotions
Do you have a new store opening? Are you launching a new product? Do you have a limited-time only discount offer? Send out 12 to 20 tweets about the event via Twitter and include a link to your website so interested parties can get more details.
5. Email Marketing
Email marketing is an effective strategy for increasing website traffic for your business because your content will be voluntarily accepted by the recipient. The key to the success of an email marketing strategy lies in your ability to create a mailing list.
You can create mailing lists in a number of ways:
- Regular Engagement – As discussed in the previous section, if you engage with your audience frequently, you will develop trust and a solid relationship. You can ask them to join your mailing list.
- Calls to Action – When you are consistently putting out great content, expect more people to visit your website. Incorporate enticing calls to action such as free newsletter sign ups or giveaway ebooks and manuals in exchange for email addresses.
Once you have built a mailing list, you can regularly send relevant and usable content to your recipients. These could be helpful “How To” tips or updates on your products and services. Always include a link to your website so they know where to go for more information.
Do not get complacent because the inbound avenues which you created have driven substantial traffic to your website. Stay active and constantly monitor the performance of the strategies in place.
For your business to remain competitive and relevant in 2018 and beyond, your website has to maintain a dynamic presence on the Internet so that your products and services will be found by your target audience.
If you want to learn more about increasing website traffic in 2018, please feel free to give us a call or an email. We will get in touch with you right away.
And feel free to comment on this article. We welcome your opinions and we would appreciate it if you could share some of your experiences with our audience.