Promoting Your Web Presence in 2014
The initial goal of nearly every website is to be viewed by as many relevant visitors as possible. Why? Without traffic to your site, visitors won't turn into paying customers (also referred to as a "conversion"), and zero conversions equals zero return on your investment. Simply put, visitors need to be able to find and view your website in order for it to make you money.
The biggest mistake most small businesses make when it comes to generating 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 basket.
While most methods of driving traffic to your website ultimately affect your search engine ranking, an aggressive SEO campaign is not the only way to attract visitors. Social media marketing, blogging, link building, and other forms of digital marketing can all generate a significant increase in traffic and conversions when done correctly.
The following is an overview of best practices for drawing traffic to your website:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you're just getting started with SEO, it's important to know that there are two kinds: organic and paid. Paid SEO is a term used to refer to PPC (pay-per-click) marketing, and it can be very successful at driving traffic to your website. However, running a successful PPC campaign takes skill and an advanced understanding of Google Adwords, and is therefore better left to the experts.
Organic SEO consists of the things you can do on your website, or on-page, to optimize it for better search engine results. This includes integrating the search terms you want to be found for into your copy and page titles, adding keyword rich titles to your site's images, ensuring all of your navigation and links work correctly, and building 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 those practices are considered web spam and can land you penalties from Google. Instead, many companies now utilize social media and company blogs to lure viewers to their 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. Keep in mind that the blogs you link from should be your own, or belong to a reputable business that is not being compensated for sharing your link, as paying for links can also land your site in hot water.
Content & Social Media Marketing
The most important quality of a good social media strategy is that it is conversational, and not just in tone. Effective social media marketing engages your audience and encourages them to interact with your brand online. Audience participation can range anywhere from liking a page and commenting on a post, to re-tweeting or re-sharing a link, or entering in a contest or promotion. The most important thing to remember about social media marketing is that you need to respond to your audience appropriately in order to keep them engaged and coming back.
Over the past couple of years, the social media landscape has also shifted towards the sharing of informative content, also known as content marketing. This content may exist anywhere on the web, but is often found on company blogs. 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 going on in your office, just be sure to provide links back to your website.
Once you've started creating content to share with your web visitors, creating a monthly newsletter is a breeze. Pick a few recent articles from your website or blog that you would like to share, and then place a teaser paragraph with a link to the full article in your newsletter. When a subscriber wants to view the rest of the article, he or she will be taken to your site or blog, where they will ideally look around for a while.
While email marketing can be extremely effective, it is also very over-used and if you don't follow the rules, your audience will punish you for it. Therefore, make sure all of your subscribers have opted-in to your mailing list (ie. you didn't buy them or scrape them from another site), and don't send spam. Spam may consist of poorly crafted messages (sending an email for the sake of sending it), overly "salesy" pitches, and too-frequent emails. If you're not sure how much email is too much, try starting with a monthly delivery and adjust from there.
While there are numerous other ways to deliver traffic to your website, we're confident in the ability of those listed above to produce measurable results. To learn more about how 360 PSG can help deliver more traffic to your website, contact an Account Manager today!