5 Key Website Elements: Drawing Traffic
The initial goal of every website, whether your brand offers a product or a service, is to increase the number of people that see it. Why? Without visitors to your site, zero conversions (when a visitor turns into a paying customer) take place, and zero conversions equates to zero return on your investment. Simply put, users need to be able to find (and view) your website in order for it to generate revenue.
The biggest mistake most small businesses make when it comes to building website traffic is not putting forth enough effort. Drawing traffic to your site is an organic process that takes time and one that never really ends, which is why it makes sense not to put all of your eggs into one metaphorical basket. While all attempts to drive traffic to your site ultimately culminate with the idea of Search Engine Optimization, an aggressive SEO campaign is not the only way to attract visitors. Adding the use of social media, internet marketing, and link building can create a significant increase in traffic and conversions if done right.
Everything that you do online, whether it's a targeted SEO campaign, social media, blogging, or creating links, contributes to your organic search ranking. The following is a compilation of best practices for drawing traffic to your website:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you're not familiar with SEO, it's important to know that there are two kinds: organic and paid. Paid SEO uses tools like Google Adwords and PPC (pay per click) marketing, and can be very successful at generating traffic for your website. However, the focus of this article is what you can do organically, so we'll save that topic for another time.
Experts say that the majority of your marketing energy should be directed at landing the top search engine rank for your keywords. To determine the best keywords for your site, try using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. This tool offers keyword suggestions for your site, as well as provides global and local search statistics for each keyword and the sites that you'll be in competition with.
Once you've established your keywords, it's essential that you work them into the titles of your web pages, page headings, and the copy on your website. When integrating key phrases into your site's copy, keep in mind that you're still writing to your visitors, and that writing needs to engage them, not just bombard them with keywords and links. Be sure to title all of your photos with keywords, too. While it doesn't seem like much, taking the time to perform these simple tasks will help search engines index your website and propel your website up search engine rankings.
Search engines also tend to place a lot of emphasis on links. The two main benefits of building your link-presence online are to a.) introduce another website's visitors to your site and b) help improve your search engine ranking. This is where generating inbound links to your site from other (credible) sites on the internet comes into play.
While the process of link building used to rely heavily on reciprocal links and link directories, today many companies utilize social media and company blogs to lure viewers to a site. By linking to your site through a status update or blog article, you're not only increasing the chances that one of your followers or fans will visit your site, but providing them an opportunity to share that link with their friends or followers, and expanding your audience reach.
Social Media - Twitter, Facebook, & LinkedIn
The most important thing to remember is that a good social media strategy is conversational, and not just in tone. Effective social media engages the user and encourages them to interact with your brand online. Audience participation can range anywhere from liking a page and commenting, retweeting or re-sharing a link, to entering in a contest or promotion.
For Twitter users, getting retweeted is the ultimate goal. Even if you only have a few hundred followers (or less) there is still the potential for your message to reach thousands of people, so be sure that your messages are interesting, relevant and free of typos or mistakes. "The quality—and consistency—of your tweets will have a long-term impact on how much traffic will be driven to your site." (If you want to see how far your tweets are really traveling, try using an application like tweetreach.)
As far as Facebook is concerned, there's really no better platform to drive traffic to your site. Even if you get just a tiny percentage of Facebook's 500 million users to look at your page, there's a good chance you'll still drive a fair amount of traffic back to your website.
In addition to the page details that list your company's address and website address, you should also consider integrating the "Like" button onto pages of your site. Once a visitor clicks the button, a link to your site appears in their Facebook feed, and depending on how many friends they have, thousands of new eyeballs could view your product or service in a matter of hours.
Similar to Facebook, but based around the idea of a business network, LinkedIn is a great place for sharing your industry related news. Links to new product announcements, events, and resourceful blog articles are generally well received and expected by LinkedIn users, because they're doing the same to promote their own businesses. Just be sure not to overdo it.
No matter what kind of product or service you offer, a blog can help drive traffic to your site. A well-conceived blog has the ability to boost your brand credibility, improve your SEO and encourage customers to return to your site for new content, even if your product or service hasn't changed at all.
Use your company blog as an industry resource, to offer promotions, or to talk about what's new and exciting in your office, just be sure to provide links back to your website. (For blogging tips, check out the Common Blogging Mistakes that Small Businesses Make)
This is not to say that there aren't numerous other ways to draw traffic to your website. Content aggregation (through sites like Digg or StumbleUpon), blast email marketing campaigns or company newsletters and press release distribution though online sites (like pr.com) are additional ways to generate more site traffic.
To learn more about how 360 PSG can help deliver more traffic to your website, contact an account manager today! 716.829.7373.