An Introductory Guide to Driving Website Traffic
You have spent the better part of the year building a new website and now you want people to find it and use it effectively. Our agency works with local, regional, national, and international clients on a regular basis to not only design and develop new websites, but to also partner with them for the long-haul in order to drive traffic (direct, organic and paid) to those websites. We will discuss the best practices in building an integrated marketing plan for your new website, and how to get consistent, new and ongoing traffic.
Get Visible with an Effective SEO Strategy
Now that your new website has launched, SEO best practices should become second nature to you. Many people think that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is overly complicated and time-consuming. But, when done in a consistent format, writing content to optimize your site can be quite simple.
Write Interesting Content
If your website content is interesting and of high quality, while also containing the proper keywords (but don’t go overboard!), you’re going to rank higher in search results than if your content is unorganized, lacks structure, and isn’t interesting. My colleague, Kristi Bielewicz, details out how blogging and a proper content strategy can positively affect your business and website.
Use the Proper Page Titles
Take a lesson from a website like BuzzFeed, and create page titles that are compelling and eye-catching. The way they incorporate numbers, such as top 10 lists, along with witty and intriguing sub headers entices you to want to learn more. You will want the titles of your pages to be as close to your product keywords as possible. If you are a bakery and you sell the best gluten-free cupcakes in town, then you want to make sure and use “Gluten-Free Cupcakes” in a page title. Make sure you also keep things short. According to MOZ, the leader in marketing analytics, titles should be less than 70 characters in length, and it should include a primary and secondary keyword along with the company or brand name. Remove as many filler words such as “the,” “and,” etc. from the title as you can.
Utilize Traditional Media
Even though we are talking about an online resource, traditional media can be a great way to showcase your updated website and refreshed branding to feature the valuable resources you have available. Using a combination of print, outdoor, and TV can help build brand awareness and recall among potential customers. Another good way to use traditional media is to advertise any free resources available on your new website, such as a special calculator or free estimate services. It’s boring to invite people, “Come to our site and learn about our business.” It’s quite another to say “Use the free kitchen remodeling calculator available exclusively on our site.” Make sure that your free service is closely related to what you are selling so the visitors you attract will be good prospects for your business.
Connect Your Digital Marketing Campaign with Analytics
Whether your business is big or small, digital marketing levels the playing field for the competition when a solid online marketing strategy is put in place and the website is up to par in delivering an inviting user experience. It can be the most cost-effective way to market your business, and everything is measurable. You can see how many impressions something has received, who has clicked what, where they landed, and measure it all. Whether you decide to use PPC, retargeting, display or social media advertising, make sure your creative is on message. It may be a good idea to create a separate landing page for this campaign so that you have a clear call to action.
Once your digital marketing campaign is ready to launch, be sure and set-up Google Analytics goals and events to measure how visitors are engaging with your site. For example, you can see how buttons and links are performing compared to banners, or if a video was played and for how long. Setting up events and goals gives you the information you need to better see how people are navigating your site, and if it warrants an update to your digital campaign.
Email marketing is still one of the strongest ways to engage potential and current customers. Give people a compelling reason to subscribe (contests, interesting content, insider information, etc.) and then continually send great content so they don’t unsubscribe. Encourage them to return to your website on a regular basis by showing them what they’ve missed since they last visited — perhaps it’s a new product, blog posts, whitepapers, videos, or something else.
Publish an Email Newsletter
While it requires a commitment of time, creating a monthly email publication is one of the most important promotion techniques. It could be a newsletter list of tips, industry updates, or new product information — whatever you believe your customers will appreciate. This is a great way to keep in touch with your prospects, generate trust, develop brand awareness, and build future business. It also helps you collect email addresses from those who visit your site, but aren’t yet ready to make a purchase, as it gives your users a reason to provide you with their contact information.
Send Offers to Your Visitors and Customers
Your own list of customers and site visitors who have given you permission to contact them will be your most productive list. Send special offers, coupon specials, product updates, etc. They often initiate another visit to your site. If you have a regular newsletter, you can include many of these in your regular emailing.
Word of Mouth/Social Media
Similar to email marketing, social media helps you communicate with your potential customers and encourages them to buy. Again, you should provide compelling reasons to “like” your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter, but you should also share content that gets them visiting your blog or interacting with your brand on a regular basis to remind them why they stopped by your website in the first place. Social media is also a great tool for word of mouth marketing; it helps you see what people are talking about and what recommendations they provide. It’s also a great tool for customer service inquiries and real-time communication when a crisis hits.
Customers make purchasing decisions in the blink of an eye, and often do so based on what other customers have to say about your business or service. Ask your best customers to review your business online. Respond quickly and professionally to any negative reviews or problems posted by customers. You may have a great reputation in the community; however, you need to build that reputation online as well to attract new customers. One way to get reviewed is by making sure your website is listed on review sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List and similar sites for your niche business.
Optimize Sharing Tools & Utilize Social Media
Social Media is a great way to get your name out there and help people discover your products and services. The key is to have a strategy in mind on what social media sites make the most sense for your brand and what type of messaging will be most effective in starting a conversation with your core audience. For example, if you are a B2B organization, then it would probably make more sense to focus on LinkedIn as opposed to Facebook. Or if you are a creative organization, maybe Instagram and Pinterest are where you should be. Too many brands jump right into social media without thinking about a complete strategy and end up seeing little to no results. Utilizing these outlets effectively can help you reach a larger audience and help promote your website when users share and distribute your content. Make it easy for people to share the content on your site. Have “buttons” or links to help people who come to your site drive even more traffic to your site.
Building your reputation and influence is an important part of driving traffic to your company website. Through public relations strategies, you can brand yourself as an expert in your niche and build your credibility. Doing this can increase your conversion rates and build your brand awareness. For instance, by serving as a source in journalists’ articles, the outlet typically provides a link back to your website — which is usually great traffic that converts well, all while building your reputation. Plus, when you’re mentioned on a big press outlet — a trusted source for many people — they ultimately trust you more. Press releases can also help drive traffic and generate interest in your product or service, while also improving your SEO.
Developing a strategy for an effective marketing campaign is crucial in bringing visitors to your new website. To go against the old saying, just because you built it, doesn’t mean they will come. Whether you have a large or small budget, be sure and put some marketing dollars behind a campaign that will let people know where to find you and your new website.