If you are reading this we will assume you have a responsive website that follows best practices for converting online traffic into brand advocates by engaging them at whatever stage in the buyers journey they might be (awareness – consideration – decision), then persuading them to purchase your product or service without friction in the cart or communication and executing post sale to deliver seamlessly. Okay, maybe that was a lot to assume, why don’t we start with: you probably don’t have too many customers.
Having a website with little to no traffic is as effective as a billboard in the middle of the ocean. To complicate things further, it’s imperative to have the right traffic landing on your website. It’s great if you want to see my robust and self-proclaimed worlds largest Star Wars Lego collection, and trust me that social media of this does drive tens of thousands of new unique visitors to our site of which none have ever done business. At Zenman, similar to your business, we have laser focused customer personas and a 14-year-old kid that found us on Reddit is not a SQL (Sales Qualified Lead).
Driving the right traffic to your site isn’t quantum physics but it does require an ongoing strategy. Follow these 10 steps and you will be well on your way.
- Organic Traffic – Generating traffic from potential customers that are currently searching the web with a need that perfectly aligns to the products or services you provide. Ranking in the top 3 places, is one of the most complicated things to achieve with your website, it’s a constantly moving target with a plethora of factors: bounce rate, page titles, content, bounce rate, site architecture and many more.
- Paid Advertising/Retargeting Advertising – One way to start driving immediate traffic is PPC. This method is an essential tool in one’s digital marketing toolbox that can be used effectively or you can burn through your entire marketing budget quickly without generating a sale if done poorly. I would recommend paying an expert to setup and manage your campaigns. The standard cost is 20% of your budget and worth every penny or if you don’t believe me check out our Guide to PPC Setup blog or eBook. Don’t neglect retargeted advertising. By continued marketing to potential customers that have already shown interest in your business retargeting has one of the highest ROI. *If your agency doesn’t set up campaign specific landing pages for your paid search it’s time to look at another agency
- Social Media – This doesn’t mean posting a punch of pictures of you living the ‘instagram lifestyle.’ Its important to be genuine and on the social channels that your customers frequent. Start with the business basics like LinkedIn and Google then explore the sites that can drive the right traffic. If you sell survival gear for apocalypse preppers it makes sense to have a Pinterest page of gear reviews, how-to infographs. If you’re a Plummer its probably not necessary to have a snapchat account (nobody really wants to see that do they).
- Develop valuable thought leader content – Like it or not your blog is one of the most powerful tools you control when it comes to driving web traffic. Its critical that you have a strategy in place that includes a road map of the type of content that needs to be created and a cadence for frequency of publishing. Don’t neglect writing engaging titles that potential customers will stumble across when researching a challenge or need. The title is how people will find you and it’s the bait to get them to click on your content.
- Promote your content – As a rule of thumb you should spend at least the same amount of time promoting a piece of content as it did to create. I like to try and double that personally. I know it’s a little counterintuitive since you want to keep cranking out great content but remember that billboard in the middle of the ocean analogy from earlier? It doesn’t matter how many billboards you stick in the middle of the ocean. If no one sees your advertising efforts it’s a waste of time and money
- Interview industry thought leaders – A video of an interview or transcript of the conversation with a revered thought leader can be immensely valuable. Be respectful of the interviewee’s time and have the preproduction done to ensure it’s a fun and seamless process. This is also an opportunity to expand your network and gain potential industry giants as mentors.
- Incorporate video into your content strategy – Video should be utilized throughout your website and to create a YouTube channel. These can be client testimonials, how-to or other thought leader content and possibly even culture or community themed. The bottom line is video content increases conversion online. When used effectively can drive serious hits to your website than continue to keep viewers engaged.
- Share your knowledge – Speaking on areas of expertise in formats from webinars to presenting at conferences is an exceptional way to build brand awareness. By capturing video of these talks the value lives on forever as content on your website. We bundle all talks, eBooks and thought leader videos in our Resource Center. A great talk is relevant years later, just look at my favorite Creative Mornings talk ‘@&*% You Pay Me’.
- Inbound marketing – Inbound is relevant in both driving new traffic to your website and it works to drive (and track) a returning visitors interaction so you can set up lead scoring. Once someone is in an inbound funnel they will be sent pertinent information based on the pages viewed and other content consumed which will continue to drive them back to your website. Think of Inbound as the rug that really ties a room together. Odd’s are that you received an email with a link to this blog or found it on the landing page of a piece of content you downloaded from Zenman…
- Have a good website – The amount of time and money that go into driving someone to your site is significant so it’s imperative that they land on an engaging page that quickly reinforces why your product or service is the best possible solution. In addition to having a frictionless checkout process, easy-to-use navigation and analytics in place to track conversion make sure and not overlook something small, like a contact form for sales being forwarded to a nonexistent account. Things like bounce rate and load time are factored into search algorithms meaning that how fast a page renders and how long a visitor spends on that page are going to be factored into your organic search rankings.
As you can see there really is no one silver bullet to driving traffic to a website. The one variable that does need to be exceptional is the website itself. All of these techniques take time and sometimes money but they will work. Now it’s up to you to find the right balance based on your goals and budget.